One of my first collaborations for Industria Mechanika products was with an artist named Ian McQue, famous for his diesel-punk airship designs. I was a huge fan of his work and as it turns out, he was also a fan of mine. Over the next decade, I sculpted four 1/35 scale airship kit products based on his designs and collaborated with additional 3D figure sculptors to release several figure sets as well. We plan to release some full-digital kit designs at some point but he’s a busy guy so it hasn’t happened yet. Meanwhile my customer-base is screaming for more of his airship kits. I avoided going rogue for a while, but eventually gave in to demand and decided to create a small, simple unofficial airship release on my own based on my experience with his art.
The Drifter is more of a glorified rowboat than an airship, but I feel that I captured the aesthetic of my hand-sculpted kit masters well for the most part. Ian’s rounder hulls are rarely angular at the bottom, but I wanted to base my design on one of my favorite rowboat designs which enabled me to create two kits… a simple blank rowboat hull that modelers could use in their dioramas, and the full detailed airship.
The Drifter was designed as a digital kit using Autodesk Fusion 360. Due to the rush of constantly designing new monthly content, I have not been able to assemble or clean the one print Iâ€™ve made of it, however more than a few customers have built and painted their own. I designed and optimized this kit to be resin-printed in 1/35 scale to match our official Ian McQue releases. I always consider the intended scale/print-size when designing to maximize what can be done to make sure all of the details are crisp and not too thin or thick visually.
The Drifter was available to my upper-tier FichtenFoo Patreon subscribers as part of my monthly digital-kit drops during October 2021. After that month, the files were added to the Industria Mechanika shop as a retail-priced digital kit product. You can purchase the digital-kit files complete with instructions and print your own Drifter here.