Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Gray Steampunk World of Vadim Voitekhovitch

Vadim Voitekhovitch, painter of gray, gloomy-atmosphere, northern European Steampunk scenes was born and raised in Belarus and has been working in Germany since 2004. And that's about all I know about personal details from a short Google search.

I find most of his images fascinating because he creates an almost-believable world of circa-1900 European cities and towns where airships and other never-quite-happened contraptions abound. Besides his attention to detail, Voitekhovitch gives his scenes believable atmospherics. Northern Europe is gloomy a good part of the year, after all.


Fleet at Sea
The coal-fired warships are similar to 1890s French cuirassés designs such as the Masséna, featuring extreme tumble-home sides and ram bows. The airships also seem to have coal-fired steam engines: note the dark smoke from their stacks.

In a Distant Country
Harbor scene.  I like the rust on the battleship -- it makes the scene more believable.

No One Will Come Back
Setting off to war, though the people seem indifferent aside from the woman near the cannon and another with her young son near the stairway.

Old Harbour
Details include what might be a steam-powered omnibus and an airship "carrier."

Postal Dragon
Loading mail aboard from the rickety tower.

Stolen Sky

The Road to Babylon
Two scenes with airships, while the rest of the technology is pre-automobile.

The nearest airship is attached to a loading platform.

Gloomy Morning
Again, no cars.

Closeup of a Voitekhovitch airship.  Note the rust on the sides and what looks to be a royal or national crest on the rudder.  Clearly, his airships are impossible from an engineering standpoint.  The rust implies steel cladding -- very heavy.  They are powered by steam, often from coal-fired boilers.  Steam engines, boilers and filled coal bins are very heavy too.  Finally the size of the steel-clad "air bag" is much too small to house enough hydrogen to lift all that weight.  But I can easily ignore such matters because the world he has created is so enchanting for a history and design buff such as me.

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