Alternate Weapons of War thread...

A bit of a showcase of the firearms I chose for my steampunk story series about air crews and their adventures in a fictional world.

These weapons reflect the small arms arsenal of the crew of the Nimrod, a rigid airship that acts as an aerial tramp freighter.

The underlined names are their in-universe names, the bracketed names are their real world names.



In addition to that, here's a showcase of the melee weapons occassionally used by the crew, largelly for defensive purposes.



As daggers, bayonets, hangers, cutlasses and swords are simply what they are, the more fanciful and fantasy-ish names are reserved for the ranged weapons used by the Nimrod's crew and other aeronaut crews.

See the notes below, in the spoiler, for more detailed information on these weapons.

- have some music, on the house, while you read

Firearm descriptions:
Ratcatcher - a broomhandle-gripped, short recoil semi-automatic pistol, with a front-mounted magazine and rather elegant thin barrel. Can be equipped with a detachable wooden stock, and a larger magazine, and even be converted into an impromptu machine pistol of sorts. Given the broomhandle grip and the machine pistol capability for clearing a room, one other nickname for this pistol is the "Room-broom". Within the Nimrod crew, this is the favourite gun of steerswoman Spark and mechanic Scrumpy, among others. (Based on the OTL Mauser C96 pistol, including its detachable stock and improvised SMG versions. The nickname is obviously a pun on the OTL manufacturer. The "room-broom" pun isn't far-fetched either, just read up on how warlord era China utilised these cute but deadly pistols !)
Dragonring - a recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol, with several unusual design features. It has no detachable magazine, but its integrated magazine in the grip is reloaded with a stripper clip. It has a relatively slim, almost revolver-like appearance compared to other pistols, including a rather prominently protruding ring-guard around the trigger. A Kymrian design by firearm manufacturer Arfau Draig ("Dragon Arms"), this was the nation’s first successful semi-auto model, and was initially issued mainly to cavalry and mounted infantry, including the Kymrian Royal Dragoons. This is where its now more popular nickname originated, as a misnomer: Officially listed as a "dragoon pistol", people misunderstood the name as "dragon pistol". The nickname later expanded to "dragonring", a punny reference to the ring-guard of the trigger, and a certain legend involving a ring and one of the national symbols, the dragon. The pistol remains a popular Kymrian design among adventurers and sky pirates, and plenty of people in the Nimrod crew use it as their favourite sideam, e.g. Noggin. Though it lacks the greater versatility and ruggedness of its successor, it’s considered a reliable and reasonably fast pistol. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Roth-Steyr M1907 (Steyr-Krnka M.7) pistol. The fictional name, aside from its etymology via misunderstanding, is a nod to the dragon iconography seen in some of the national symbols of the Kymrians, as well as the name of the Kymrian manufacturer.)
Cockatrice - a short recoil semi-automatic pistol, with a more conventional layout and an internal magazine reloaded with a stripper clip. De facto successor to the earlier Dragonring design. Used by a few of the crew members as a sidearm, including the captain (Hardskull), who considers it his favourite pistol. A very rugged pistol, it was used widely by the Kymrian armed forces during one of the more recent regional wars of the current industrial era. Like the Ratcatcher, it is unique in being able to equip an elongated magazine and a detachable stock, transforming into a cost-saving, fast-firing machine pistol. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Steyr M1912 (Steyr-Hahn) pistol, a successor to the earlier M1907. The fictional name is a pun on the OTL pistol's cocking mechanism designation, Hahn, i.e. "cockerel", and the dragon associations of its fictional manufacturer and predecessor pistol. The cockatrice is a mythical beast related to the basilisk, a cross between a dragon and a cockerel.)
Pistonpunch - a blowback semi-automatic pistol, with a more conventional layout and grip-mounted magazine. Used by a few of the crew members as a sidearm. Though a rather unremarkable-looking gun, it can pack quite a punch forward, not only backward as part of the blowback action and the combined movement of its barrel and bolt. Though a rarer Kymrian design, the crew own several specimens. Costello and Serviss favour it the most. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Frommer Stop pistol. The name is a nod to the blowback motion of the pistol.)
Sapphire - a simple, humble, blowback semi-automatic pistol of Avionese design, with a comfortable grip, grip-mounted magazine and modern angular shape. There are only two aboard, slightly different variants. One of them belongs to crew newcomer Curly, who took it from her father when she left home and joined the crew of the Nimrod. It was a gift from a relative of her father, who used to serve in the police or armed forces. She reckoned her father wouldn't need it anymore, as he always kept it tucked away in a wooden lockbox and never bothered to use it. Though always preferring rifles and more of a riflewoman by instinct, Curly did gradually become skillful enough at shooting her sidearm. (Based on the OTL Ruby pistol, used by France and to a lesser extent Spain during the early 1900s and especially WWI.)
Firesnail - one of the most modern guns of the setting, this is an early true submachine gun, rather than just a converted machine pistol. It has a carbine-like walnut stock, a side-mounted snail-shaped magazine (hence the odd name) and a short, thick, perforated barrel. As it's still very novel, rare and expensive, the Nimrod crew only owns a single specimen. (Based on the OTL Bergmann MP 18, one of the first true SMGs in the modern sense of the word.)
Airlock / Windgun - a rather rare and unique breech-loading repeating rifle, though the crew of the Nimrod owns some four specimens. Considered "an elegant weapon from a more civilised age", these rifles were designed and deployed over a century ago in the Kymrese monarchy by the military reformers of the time. The Kymrese referred to them as windguns. Though they use no gunpowder, only compressed air provided by an air cylinder concealed in the stock, they were some of the first practical and mass-produced repeating rifles anywhere in the world. They are still unprecedent and unsurpassed in terms of magazine capacity, capable of shooting a remarkable 22 shots in short succession, launched purely by compressed air. Though they were expensive to manufacture and ultimately ended up as short-lived specialist weapons in the Kymrese army (for sharpshooters), the surviving surplus found a new lease of life as civilian rifles. Highly prized by sky pirates, air merchants and various adventurers for their high-rate of shot and economic approach to ammo. Though not as powerful as some conventional gunpowder rifles, they are excellent for stealthy hunting while on the ground, or for stealthy shooting. The air cylinders are traditionally filled by a man-powered air pump, but sky pirates have figured out crafty solutions for speeding up the process: The Nimrod's compressed air machines serve for quicker refilling of these rifles' air cylinders. (Based on the OTL Girandoni air rifle of the Habsburg Empire, which was often referred to as a "windbüchse" - windgun, windrifle. The first nickname is a pun on its flintlock-like outward appearance, and the fact that its lock mechanism uses air instead of gunpowder.)
Whirlygig
- general term bandied around by the crew of the Nimrod for revolving rifles and revolving carbines. They might not be the most modern or advanced repeaters around, and they're more short-to-medium distance guns, but they can pack a punch if handled and aimed well. Spark's, Doc's and Noggin's favourite rifles. (Based mostly on the OTL Remington 1858 revolving rifles and some elements of the Colt New Model revolving rifles. The barrel foreguard on the main picture is a fictional addition by me.)
Trapdoor
- a tradpoor mechanism breech-loading, single-shot rifle or carbine, depending on the size. Though lacking repeating fire, it is quick to load and deadly in the hands of a good shooter. A favourite rifle of Goggles, the only military veteran of the Nimrod crew. (Based on the OTL American Springfield 1873 Trapdoor rifle and carbine, which was famously fast to load for a single-shot gun. And yes, it can be equipped with a period scope, as it had been in OTL.)
Sharptalon
- a single-shot breechloader design from Victinya. Famous for its accuracy, despite the more mediocre cartridges. A favourite rifle of sharpshooters, both military and hunters. Like the Trapdoor, it can be equipped with a scope for sniping, but one that's more awkward to install and use than that of the slightly more modern Trapdoor. There are only two of these rifles on the Nimrod, one belonging to Alto, the other to his fellow crewman Smiley. Both were acquired by Alto and he gave the second rifle to Smiley as a gift, out of gratitude for her (Smiley) saving his bacon at one point. (Based on the OTL American Sharps rifle (specifically, the 1874 model), renowned for its high long-range accuracy.)
Pigeon-slayer / Fowler - a single-shot breechloader, manufactured by Arfau Draig. Developed by the Kymrese as a standard rifle for their armies, but now considered outdated. It also had some popularity as a civilian rifle, which is where part of these rifles owned by the Nimrod crew come from, the rest being sold-off or *ehem* "cunningly acquired" military surplus. Since the rifle is single-shot and the user sometimes might run into a situation where he needs to use it for melee self-defense, it can also be equipped with its own bespoke type of sword bayonet. That said, the crew generally don't use bayonets that often. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Werndl-Holub breach-loading rifles, which were standard issue until the 1880s, and then backup guns until the end of WWI. The fictional name is something of a pun, as designer Holub's surname translates to "pigeon", and the gun can also be used for fowl-hunting or skeet-shooting, i.e. slaying pigeons with a fowler, a "fowling piece".)
Snuffbox / Snuffer - a single-shot breechloader, developed by the Avionese as a standard rifle for their armies by updating older muzzleloader designs, but now already considered outdated. The name comes from the fact that the loading mechanism looks similar to a snuff box. There are only two of these rifles aboard the Nimrod, and the crew considers them a rarer but similar cousin to their other backup single-shots, the Fowlers. The Snuffbox can be equipped with an Avionese-style sword bayonet, though the crew generally don't use bayonets that often. Steersman Argent's favourite rifle model. (Based on the OTL French Tabatière ("snuff box") system rifle.)
Skidshot / Slidefire - the most modern breech-loading, repeating rifle in the Nimrod crew's arsenal and one of the most modern ones around in general. (And the crew's only repeater type, besides the more ancient Windgun and arguably the revolver carbines.) It is reloaded not by lever-action, but by a far more unusual slide-action (colloquially pump-action) loader mechanism, in the front part of the gun. This loader slides on much of the outside of the long tubular magazine of the rifle, located below the barrel itself. The rifle can be equipped with a knife bayonet, though the crew generally don't use bayonets that often. The Skidshot is a rifle favoured by much of the crewmen, whom went to extra pains to gradually buy plenty of these, in order to bolster the stocks of older-style rifles aboard. Along with the far more archaic Airlock, it is the fastest-shooting rifle the crew has at their disposal. It becomes a favourite of Curly. (A fictional gun, based on an OTL Martini-Henry repeating rifle, converted to slide-action/pump-action reloading of cartridges. The slide-action loader is very similar to that of the Winchester 1897 shotguns. More information on this entirely fictional rifle design here.)
Salamander
- a very portable and versatile light machine gun with a front-mounted bipod, shrouded barrel and top-mounted wheel-shaped magazine. Due to its versatility, this is both the main machine gun of the Nimrod's crew on foot, as well as the main machine gun aboard the defence points of the ship. (Based on the OTL American-British Lewis Gun. Probably the first really successful bipod light machine gun in history. The fictional name is a reference to the role salamanders often play in traditional folklore and mythology, usually in association with fire, burning, alchemy, etc. Due to the LMG's low-lying position, it is also reminescent of a salamander or newt lying on the ground, spread out.)

A little bonus: Non-firearm ranged weapons and defence systems used by the crew. (Not pictured. Yet. Stay patient.)
Cable-backed bow - the most archaic ranged weapon aboard the Nimrod, this is a traditional hunting bow made by Geark's people. It's a medium-length wooden bow, reinforced with a cable made of tangled sinew rope attached to the back. It is one of the few native heirlooms Geark carried within his luggage when he left his homeland to study and work abroad as a younger man. Though he doesn't get the opportunity to use it that often, he's maintained it well and regularly impresses the crew with his archery skills during hunting, especially of seabirds. Some old hunting skills, learned regularly since childhood, don't vanish... Especially if you want to put wild geese on the table on a regular basis, and doing it quietly. Despite his embracing of modern technology, Geark hasn't entirely left his roots and tends to prefer the bow for hunting, along with the old windgun repeater. The stealthier, the better. (Based on real world Inuit cable-backed bows.)
Stakebow -
a large, mostly metal crossbow, with a walnut rifle-like stock, a compound bow and integrated, lever-action spanning of the bowstring. Can shoot more conventional bolts, but also large, stake-like bolts, tough enough to pin someone or something to a wall. Hence, "stakebow". Though not as silent as some would think, it's one of the quieter weapons in a sky pirate arsenal of tricks. Aside from being used as a ranged weapon, the crew actually uses it more often as a tool of sorts, to launch stakes or grappling hooks with rope or tow-cables. (Based on a combination of modern compound crossbows, some 19th and 20th century crossbows, and some early modern lever-action-spanning crossbows.)
Arbapult
- this mechanical catapult, reminescent of a very large crossbow or scorpion, was derived from some existing portable mechanical artillery used by some of the military powers of the known world. A cheap but precise form of mechanical artillery, sky pirate crews found new uses for it as a defensive device, outside of the trenches and sandbag forts of the landlubbers. Aboard airships and skyclippers, they are used for launching incendiary bolts, incendiary bombs, grappling hooks and even the so-called tow-sparklers. The term is a contraction of "arbalest catapult". (Basically an airship-mounted version of the OTL French Sauterelle ("Grasshopper") grenade catapults from the first world war. Hey, they worked just fine, and I like getting creative.)
Tow-sparkler - a passive weapon projectile of sorts, used as something of a trap against attacking aerial vessels. The metal, javelin-like projectile is launched from an airship at a passing plane or other airship, usually from an arbapult. Once it impacts and remains still in the body of the enemy vehicle, its hind half separates and deploys itself from the rest of the projectile on a thin but strong chain. Simultaneously, its spring-loaded mechanisms also deploy small, kite-like wings, to keep the hind section gliding, and light a series of flares and sparklers. These are then used as a targeting aid by the defenders of an airship against the "tagged" enemy plane or vessel. Ooh, naaasssty... ;)
'Poon-gun - a lewd nickname for a rather lewd-seeming piece of heavier weaponry. Small swivel guns modified to act as harpoon guns are spread throughout the defensive points on the exterior of the Nimrod. These small cannon are used to shoot small harpoons, arrowhead anchors or even grappling hooks, towing lines, rope or tow-lines, especially downward, under the ship. Aside from 'pooning (spearing) something and towing it back (hence the punny nickname), they are also used for fast-roping disembarking or embarking of the Nimrod's crew, either downward or upward.

Quick notes on the edged weapons:
Fighting knife / Trench knife - just a simple military dagger, exactly of the sort used by commandos and assault troops in the real world's first world war. This one's based on the Austro-Hungarian types of the time.
Pioneer hanger/shortsword - single-edged large dagger/shortsword, this one's based on the Habsburg Empire M1853 pioneer sword.
Cutlass - naval-style short-bladed sabre, commonly with a cup/bowl hilt. The ones used here for reference are all 19th century specimens.
Hanger - typical hangers, early modern single-edged shortswords, often with a curved blade that gives them a sabre-like look. A low-thrills but practical shortsword typical even for the pre-WWI era, where they were often used by police and guards, in addition to soldiers and hunters. On the high seas, the cutlass would be a more common single-edged cousin.
Infantry officer's broadsword - straight-bladed officer sword with a more unusually angular knuckle bow, based on a French Napoleonic era officer's broadsword.
Infantry officer's sabre - a typical big ol' sabre with a longer curved blade and a (slightly more unusually shaped) knuckle bow on the hilt. Based on the M1861 sabre of the Habsburg monarchy, the newer versions of which were still in use by Austria-Hungary in WWI.

The vast majority of these melee weapons aboard are the smaller and shorter ones. There are only four broadswords and sabres aboard, altogether, in total. "Hanger" is a general English term for any single-edged early modern shortsword used for hunting or police/military purposes, up to the 19th and 20th century types.

When not in use, all weaponry aboard the Nimrod is put under (pad)lock and key, away in weapons lockers.

Only one of these is really a fictional kitbash, but I did try to pick guns that could fit the particular setting I am going for. As a rule of thumb, the pistols and larger guns tend to be more WWI-esque, while the rifles and carbines are stylistically closer to ones from the second half of the 19th century. The melee and mechanical ranged weaponry ismore secondary, I wanted to focus on the protagonist crew's firearms in this overview.

I think I'm already being generous by giving my protagonist crew a single dedicated machine pistol. They have LMGs, they have improvised SMGs, but something light, easily portable and fast-firing would kind of defeat the tone I'm going for, even in the action scenes and shoot-outs. The tone I'm going for is "a Western with aviators", rather than a military WWI tone. Hence the all-too-precious folksy names for the fantasy counterparts of the real world guns. Or the fact my rifle choices just scream "These would fit right in within a Jules Verne style novel !". :p That's the idea. ;)

Not really alternate weapons per se (aside from two photomanipulations), so I'm putting them under a spoiler. Under it is a little photo-overview of firearms and other weapons I chose for my steampunk sky pirate stories. The rifles are all very second half of the 19th century, while the pistols, machine pistols and machine guns are all very early 20th century and WWI in style.

I wanted to focus more on genuine early semi-auto pistols, rather than giving everyone revolvers. The revolvers of the tech period this is inspired by strike me as a bit unwieldy and clumsy when requiring use aboard an airship. Hence, mostly pistols, though archaic by today's standards. Notice the utter absence of not only bolt-action rifles, but also lever-action rifles, or the fact that the antique airgun rifle, the revolver carbines and my slide-action mashup rifle are the only repeating rifles in the entire arsenal of this particular crew. The rest are single-shots, including the two sniper rifles. Of course, none of the names are the same as in our world, and they're mostly popular nicknames for these guns. I wanted to select everything based on both practicality and what can give off the most convincing "steampunk flair", if you will.

My special thanks goes to @cortz#9 for suggestions concerning the OTL Sharps rifle, and for finding that killer image of a scoped Sharps rifle. :cool:
 
Last edited:
A bit of a showcase of the firearms I chose for my steampunk story series about air crews and their adventures in a fictional world.

These weapons reflect the small arms arsenal of the crew of the Nimrod, a rigid airship that acts as an aerial tramp freighter.



- have some music, on the house, while you read

Ratcatcher - a broomhandle-gripped, short recoil semi-automatic pistol, with a front-mounted magazine and rather elegant thin barrel. Can be equipped with a detachable wooden stock, and a larger magazine, and even be converted into an impromptu machine pistol of sorts. Given the broomhandle grip and the machine pistol capability for clearing a room, one other nickname for this pistol is the "Room-broom". Among others, a favourite gun of steerswoman Spark. (Based on the OTL Mauser C96 pistol, including its detachable stock and improvised SMG versions. The nickname is obviously a pun on the OTL manufacturer. The "room-broom" pun isn't far-fetched either, just read up on how warlord era China utilised these cute but deadly pistols !)
Pistonpunch - a blowback semi-automatic pistol, with a more conventional layout and grip-mounted magazine. Used by a few of the crew members as a sidearm, including the captain (Hardskull), who considers it his favourite pistol. Though a rather unremarkable-looking pistol, it can pack quite a punch forward, not only backward as part of the blowback action. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Frommer Stop pistol. The name is a nod to the blowback motion of the pistol.)
Sapphire - a simple, humble, blowback semi-automatic pistol of Avionese design, with a comfortable grip, grip-mounted magazine and modern angular shape. There are only two aboard, slightly different variants. One of them belongs to crew newcomer Curly, who took it from her father when she left home and joined the crew of the Nimrod. It was a gift from a relative of her father, who used to serve in the police or armed forces. She reckoned her father wouldn't need it anymore, as he always kept it tucked away in a wooden lockbox and never bothered to use it. Though always preferring rifles and more of a riflewoman by instinct, Curly did gradually become skillful enough at shooting her sidearm. (Based on the OTL Ruby pistol, used by France and to a lesser extent Spain during the early 1900s and especially WWI.)
Firesnail - one of the most modern guns of the setting, this is an early true submachine gun, rather than just a converted machine pistol. It has a carbine-like walnut stock, a side-mounted snail-shaped magazine (hence the odd name) and a short, thick, perforated barrel. (Based on the OTL Bergmann MP 18, one of the first true SMGs in the modern sense of the word.)
Airlock / Windgun - a rather rare and unique breech-loading repeating rifle, though the crew of the Nimrod owns some four specimens. Considered "an elegant weapon from a more civilised age", these rifles were designed and deployed over a century ago in the Kymrese monarchy by the military reformers of the time. The Kymrese referred to them as windguns. Though they use no gunpowder, only compressed air provided by an air cylinder concealed in the stock, they were some of the first practical and mass-produced repeating rifles anywhere in the world. They are still unprecedent and unsurpassed in terms of magazine capacity, capable of shooting a remarkable 22 shots in a short succession, launched purely by compressed air. Though they were expensive to manufacture and ultimately ended up as short-lived specialist weapons in the Kymrese army (for sharpshooters), the surviving surplus found a new lease of life as civilian rifles. Highly prized by sky pirates, air merchants and various adventurers for their high-rate of shot and economic approach to ammo. Though not as powerful as some conventional gunpowder rifles, they are excellent for stealthy hunting while on the ground, or for stealthy shooting. The air cylinders are traditionally filled by a man-powered air pump, but sky pirates have figured out crafty solutions for speeding up the process: The Nimrod's compressed air machines serve for quicker refilling of these rifles' air cylinders. (Based on the OTL Girandoni air rifle of the Habsburg Empire, which was often referred to as a "windbüchse" - windgun, windrifle. The first nickname is a pun on its flintlock-like outward appearance, and the fact that its lock mechanism uses air instead of gunpowder.)
Whirlygig
- general term bandied around by the crew of the Nimrod for revolving rifles and revolving carbines. They might not be the most modern or advanced repeaters around, and they're more short-to-medium distance guns, but they can pack a punch if handled and aimed well. Spark's, Doc's and Noggin's favourite rifles. (Based mostly on the OTL Remington 1858 revolving rifles and some elements of the Colt New Model revolving rifles. The barrel foreguard on the main picture is a fictional addition by me.)
Trapdoor
- a tradpoor mechanism breech-loading, single-shot rifle or carbine, depending on the size. Though lacking repeating fire, it is quick to load and deadly in the hands of a good shooter. A favourite rifle of Goggles, the only military veteran of the Nimrod crew. (Based on the OTL American Springfield 1873 Trapdoor rifle and carbine, which was famously fast to load for a single-shot gun. And yes, it can be equipped with a period scope, as it had been in OTL.)
Sharptalon
- a single-shot breechloader design from Victinya. Famous for its accuracy, despite the more mediocre cartridges. A favourite rifle of sharpshooters, both military and hunters. Like the Trapdoor, it can be equipped with a scope for sniping, but one that's more awkward to install and use than that of the slightly more modern Trapdoor. There are only two of these rifles on the Nimrod, one belonging to Alto, the other to his fellow crewman Smiley. Both were acquired by Alto and he gave the second rifle to Smiley as a gift, out of gratitude for her (Smiley) saving his bacon at one point. (Based on the OTL American Sharps rifle, renowned for its high long-range accuracy.)
Pigeon-slayer / Fowler - a single-shot breechloader, developed by the Kymrese as a standard rifle for their armies, but now considered outdated. It also had some popularity as a civilian rifle, which is where part of these rifles owned bythe Nimrod crew come from, the rest being sold-off or *ehem* "cunningly acquired" military surplus. (Based on the OTL Austro-Hungarian Werndl-Holub breach-loading rifles, which were standard issue until the 1880s, and then backup guns until the end of WWI. The fictional name is something of a pun, as designer Holub's surname translates to "pigeon", and the gun can also be used for fowl-hunting or skeet-shooting, i.e. slaying pigeons with a fowler, a "fowling piece".)
Snuffbox / Snuffer - a single-shot breechloader, developed by the Avionese as a standard rifle for their armies by updating older muzzleloader designs, but now already considered outdated. The name comes from the fact that the loading mechanism looks similar to a snuff box. There are only two of these rifles aboard the Nimrod, and the crew considers them a rarer but similar cousin to their other backup single-shots, the Fowlers. (Based on the OTL French Tabatière ("snuff box") system rifle.)
Skidshot / Slidefire - the most modern breech-loading, repeating rifle in the Nimrod crew's arsenal and one of the most modern ones around in general. (And the crew's only repeater type, besides the more ancient Windgun and arguably the revolver carbines.) It is reloaded not by lever-action, but by a far more unusual slide-action (colloquially pump-action) loader mechanism, in the front part of the gun. This loader slides on much of the outside of the long tubular magazine of the rifle, located below the barrel itself. The Skidshot is a rifle favoured by much of the crewmen, whom went to extra pains to gradually buy plenty of these, in order to bolster the stocks of older-style rifles aboard. Along with the far more archaic Airlock, it is the fastest-shooting rifle the crew has at their disposal. It becomes a favourite of Curly. (A fictional gun, based on a combination of an OTL Martini-Henry repeating rifle, converted to slide-action/pump-action reloading of cartridges. The slide-action loader is very similar to that of the Winchester 1897 shotguns. More information on this entirely fictional rifle design here.)
Salamander
- a very portable and versatile light machine gun with a front-mounted bipod, shrouded barrel and top-mounted wheel-shaped magazine. Due to its versatility, this is both the main machine gun of the Nimrod's crew on foot, as well as the main machine gun aboard the defence points of the ship. (Based on the OTL American-British Lewis Gun. The fictional name is a reference to the role salamanders often play in traditional folklore and mythology, usually in association with fire, burning, alchemy, etc. Due to the LMG's low-lying position, it is also reminescent of a salamander or newt lying on the ground, spread out.)


A little bonus: Non-firearm ranged weapons and defence systems used by the crew. (Not pictured. Yet. Stay patient.)

Stakebow - a large, mostly metal crossbow, with a walnut rifle-like stock, a compound bow and integrated, lever-action spanning of the bowstring. Can shoot more conventional bolts, but also large, stake-like bolts, tough enough to pin someone or something to a wall. Hence, "stakebow". Though not as silent as some would think, it's one of the quieter weapons in a sky pirate arsenal of tricks. Aside from being used as a ranged weapon, the crew actually uses it more often as a tool of sorts, to launch stakes or grappling hooks with rope or tow-cables. (Based on a combination of modern compound crossbows, some 19th and 20th century crossbows, and some early modern lever-action-spanning crossbows.)
Arbapult
- this mechanical catapult, reminescent of a very large crossbow or scorpion, was derived from some existing portable mechanical artillery used by some of the military powers of the known world. A cheap but precise form of mechanical artillery, sky pirate crews found new uses for it as a defensive device, outside of the trenches and sandbag forts of the landlubbers. Aboard airships and skyclippers, they are used for launching incendiary bolts, incendiary bombs, grappling hooks and even the so-called tow-sparklers. (Basically an airship-mounted version of the OTL French Sauterelle ("Grasshopper") grenade catapults from the first world war. Hey, they worked just fine, and I like getting creative.)
Tow-sparkler - a passive weapon projectile of sorts, used as something of a trap against attacking aerial vessels. The metal, javelin-like projectile is launched from an airship at a passing plane or other airship, usually from an arbapult. Once it impacts and remains still in the body of the enemy vehicle, its hind half separates and deploys itself from the rest of the projectile on a thin but strong chain. Simultaneously, its spring-loaded mechanisms also deploy small, kite-like wings, to keep the hind section gliding, and light a series of flares and sparklers. These are then used as a targeting aid by the defenders of an airship against the "tagged" enemy plane or vessel. Ooh, naaasssty... ;)
'Poon-gun - a lewd nickname for a rather lewd-seeming piece of heavier weaponry. Small swivel guns modified to act as harpoon guns are spread throughout the defensive points on the exterior of the Nimrod. These small cannon are used to shoot small harpoons, arrowhead anchors or even grappling hooks, towing lines, rope or tow-lines, especially downward, under the ship. Aside from 'pooning (spearing) something and towing it back (hence the punny nickname), they are also used for fast-roping disembarking or embarking of the Nimrod's crew, either downward or upward.

The underlined names are their in-universe names, the bracketed names are their real world names.

Only one of these is really a fictional kitbash, but I did try to pick guns that could fit the particular setting I am going for. As a rule of thumb, the pistols and larger guns tend to be more WWI-esque, while the rifles and carbines are stylistically closer to ones from the second half of the 19th century. There is also some melee and mechanical ranged weaponry, but I only wanted to focus on the protagonist crew's firearms in this overview.

I think I'm already being generous by giving my protagonist crew a single dedicated machine pistol. They have LMGs, they have improvised SMGs, but something light, easily portable and fast-firing would kind of defeat the tone I'm going for, even in the action scenes and shoot-outs. The tone I'm going for is "a Western with aviators", rather than a military WWI tone. Hence the all-too-precious folksy names for the fantasy counterparts of the real world guns. Or the fact my rifle choices just scream "These would fit right in within a Jules Verne style novel !". :p That's the idea. ;)

Not really alternate weapons per se (aside from two photomanipulations), so I'm putting them under a spoiler. Under it is a little photo-overview of firearms I chose for my steampunk sky pirate stories. The rifles are all very second half of the 19th century, while the pistols, machine pistols and machine guns are all very early 20th century and WWI in style.

I wanted to focus more on genuine early semi-auto pistols, rather than giving everyone revolvers. The revolvers of the tech period this is inspired by strike me as a bit unwieldy and clumsy when requiring use aboard an airship. Hence, mostly pistols, though archaic by today's standards. Notice the utter absence of not only bolt-action rifles, but also lever-action rifles, or the fact that the antique airgun rifle, the revolver carbines and my slide-action mashup rifle are the only repeating rifles in the entire arsenal of this particular crew. The rest are single-shots, including the two sniper rifles. Of course, none of the names are the same as in our world, and they're mostly popular nicknames for these guns. I wanted to select everything based on both practicality and what can give off the most convincing "steampunk flair", if you will.

My special thanks goes to @cortz#9 for suggestions concerning the OTL Sharps rifle, and for finding that killer image of a scoped Sharps rifle. :cool:
Always happy to lend a hand. :)
And when you say story, I hope you mean a TL because I want to read it. :cool:
 
Always happy to lend a hand. :)
And when you say story, I hope you mean a TL because I want to read it. :cool:
It's not a timeline, because it's not an AH world. The link is under the first spoiler, at the very top of the post, before the image.

The technology of that fictional world is within an OTL 1850-1920 type of timeframe. A few novel tech combinations and fantasy touches, but it's an intentionally grounded world. There's no magic, no dragons, the people and their experiences and adventures drive the story along. It's part Jules Verne style period science fiction adventure travelogue, part something akin to a non-military-focused version of the Iron Grip universe (or the Air Power universe), if it had pre-1920 tech only. For the other influences, add a dash of turn of the century geographic explorers (in the vein of Shackleton, Nansen, etc.) and some early 1900s dime novel or pulp style adventures, á la Captain Mors.

(Speaking of IG earlier, if that universe is what a fantasy world during a world war would look like, then my stories' universe is what a similar fantasy world would look like a few decades prior, before those global conflicts came and changed everything. Call it the Edwardian period quiet, or K.u.k. monarchy sleepy gemütlichkeit, before the later Great War storm. Though I will drop hints there was some big industrial War with a capital W in the recent past, just not yet global enough.)

There's a part of the world with equivalents of late 1800s and early 1900s European countries, some "exotic countries" in the far north, far east and to the south and immediate east. The crew will visit plenty of these locations. It's also something of a bildungsroman story, character growth and change and all that, especially for the fish-out-of-water newcomer character in the stories' airship crew cast. Don't look for any recognisable countries. The Avionese are kind of early 1900s French, but the Kymrians are basically a combination of Austria-Hungary and Wales (!), culturally, and I could go on. It won't be much of a story about geopolitics, as the characters are just ordinary people on adventures, but the political/social background still plays an active role in what they encounter or have to face.
 
Last edited:
It's not a timeline, because it's not an AH world. The link is under the first spoiler, at the very top of the post, before the image.

The technology of that fictional world is within an OTL 1850-1920 type of timeframe. A few novel tech combinations and fantasy touches, but it's an intentionally grounded world. There's no magic, no dragons, the people and their experiences and adventures drive the story along. It's part Jules Verne style period science fiction adventure travelogue, part something akin to a non-military-focused version of the Iron Grip universe. And a dash of turn of the century geographic explorers, in the vein of Shackleton, Nansen, etc., and some early 1900s dime novel or pulp style adventures. (Speaking of IG, if that universe is what a fantasy world during a world war would look like, then my stories' universe is what a similar fantasy world would look like a few decades prior, before those global conflicts came and changed everything. Call it the Edwardian period quiet, or K.u.k. monarchy sleepy gemütlichkeit, before the later Great War storm. Though I will drop hints there was some big industrial War with a big W in the recent past, just not yet global enough.)

There's a part of the world with equivalents of late 1800s and early 1900s European countries, some "exotic countries" in the far north, far east and to the south and immediate east. The crew will visit plenty of these locations. It's also something of a bildungsroman story, character growth and change and all that, especially for the fish-out-of-water newcomer character in the stories' airship crew cast. Don't look for any recognisable countries. The Avionese are kind of early 1900s French, but the Kymrians are basically a combination of Austria-Hungary and Wales (!), culturally, and I could go on. It won't be much of a story about geopolitics, as the characters are just ordinary people on adventures, but the political/social background still plays an active role in what they encounter or have to face.
OK I just saved the thread linked and will give it a read when I get a chance.
 
OK I just saved the thread linked and will give it a read when I get a chance.
I'm still only gathering steam for the thing and starting it (and also lost a third of a proto-chapter recently because of an accidental overwrite, LOL, but I want to start it again anyway), but more short stories are coming this winter. Beware, it's in non-chronological order, so I will be jumping around a bit, and let readers piece together the puzzle. There's definite continuity between every chapter, just not the one you're typically used to. It's like reading scattered little diary entries from a scrapbook, albeit told in third person.
 
I'm still only gathering steam for the thing and starting it (and also lost a third of a proto-chapter recently because of an accidental overwrite, LOL, but I want to start it again anyway), but more short stories are coming this winter. Beware, it's in non-chronological order, so I will be jumping around a bit, and let readers piece together the puzzle. There's definite continuity between every chapter, just not the one you're typically used to. It's like reading scattered little diary entries from a scrapbook, albeit told in third person.
Sounds interesting.
 
Iron Grip is still one of my favourite steampunk/dieselpunk-style computer game IPs. Though it is sadly defunct, along with its developers, I love all the craftsmanship that went into the series, especially the art and design. In recent weeks, I've been sharing various concept art and illustrations from the series over at the fantasy pictures thread. I felt concept art and renders of guns wouldn't really fit it, though, so I turn to this thread instead. It has a broader scope and is also more fitting for "parallel universe" type stuff, rather than just ATL stuff.

Iron Grip series guns - Sholohov SMLI-12-QL (12 mm).jpg


Here's the Sholohov SMLI-15-QL 12mm SMG, favoured by various resistance cells in the Rahmos Protectorate States, the Rahmos-conquered city states and countries in northern Kathos that are trying to fight back and eject the occupation forces from their homelands. In shape and function, the Sholohov is like the steampunk grand-daddy of our real world MP5. Note the foregrip and collapsible stock. Mikhail sends his regards, I suppose.
 
Last edited:
View attachment 518572

The ARE-14 heavy pistol or heavy revolver, an officer sideam of the occupying Rahmos forces. Form over function, but can pack a shot.

One part early 19th century pepperbox revolver, one part late 19th century or early 20th century revolver or pistol grip.

The resistance cell members confiscate these just to have more multi-shot sidearms at the ready.

(Image source 1, Image source 2)
I wish someone would make a paintball revolver like this. :cool:
 


Iron Grip concept art continued.

RCD-5 "Raccoon" armoured car of the Rahmos Sovereign Republic's military and its occupation forces in Kathos . Anti-infantry armoured vehicle.

Design by Davis Barkmann and other CG/render artists of the IG:TO total conversion.



"Dingo" main battle tank and "Mastiff" heavy tank of the Rahmos Sovereign Republic's military, as well as some smaller Rahmos and Kathos armoured vehicles (including a more cumbersome armoured car that preceded the Raccoon design). I think the tractor-truck in the last portion of the picture is either a troop carrier or a civilian vehicle of the Kathos states.

Designs by Davis Barkmann and other CG/render artists of the IG:TO total conversion, and also by Keith Thompson (yes, the guy who illustrated Westerfeld's Leviathan series).


"Devastator" self-proppeled howitzer and unnamed self-proppeled siege mortar of the Rahmos Sovereign Republic's military.

Designs by Davis Barkmann and other CG/render artists of the IG:TO total conversion, and once again, also by Keith Thompson.



Here's the Thompson siege mortar concept on another piece of Iron Grip promotional art, by a different illustrator for the IG series.
 


Various Rahmos and Kathos designed firearms from Iron Grip: The Oppression.

Now we'll take a bit of a rest from these, but I will revisit the IG series' military tech at some point in the future.
 
Top