The reason for the complexity is that it uses several different materials that are not usually incorporated into a whirligig. The design is a steam punk style and uses everything from wire, tubing and even wiremesh.
I think it would look really cool using a copper mesh for the netting. The balloon itself is a simple oval 1/4" cut out painted gray to resembled the dirigibles used during the Victorian era. The guide wires or ropes will need to be some type of rigid wire such as brass welding rod or even bicycle spokes to support the balloon. Steam generator in the middle can be part wood but also could be just as easily fashioned out of a metal cut out. Tubing could be substituted with copper or brass wire. The steam gauge itself can be a sliced dowel painted silver and then applying a decal for the gauge and numbers. The ship body is cut out of 1/2" to 5/8" wood stock. The propeller is actually quite simple, in that it is a dowel using beads as a spacer and cap.
The rest of the design is left open for your own imagination, such as the type and style of anchor that you wish to use or whether you would want to add any ports. I personally thought about drilling a hole in the side and then mounting glass marbles as port windows. You could probably use pipe fittings or even Sculpey clay for copper or brass fittings.
If you have any suggestions or ideas please feel free to post them in the comment section. I'd be very interested in hearing people's input so I can make improvements on the design or future designs.
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