Steampunk Battleship complete with Steam Engine!

steampunk fortress

The photo above doesn’t do this huge and whimsical Steampunk Battleship justice. It’s an amazing project that took its creator, [Ed Ross], over 2500 hours to complete.

Called Barnum’s Dream, it was said to be originally commissioned by Queen Victoria as a ship for the Crimean war, and was the largest paddle wheel steam warship ever built. It was then retrofitted with a massive train carriage to be used in the Franco-Prussian war (that’s right, on land!).

The model is just over 4 feet long and just under 4 feet tall. Aside from the steam engine (which was modified) it was completely build by hand. Almost all of the mechanical linkages and powered by the internal steam engine. The level of detail that went into this is absolutely awe-inspiring. 

If you enjoyed the background history of the ship, there’s a delightful tale of the ship’s apparent origins on [Ed's] blog which is thoroughly enjoyable. Make sure to check it out after watching the video after the break.


  1. j0z0r says:

    The amount of work and attention to detail in this is amazing! I tried to track down some more information about the history of the original, but it is quite elusive.

  2. Taniwha says:

    It does appear to include a dalek in its superstructure, apparently a common mistake for naive builders that seldom results in a good ending ….. or so I see on TV

  3. cap-couillon says:

    Usless waste of time and materials,,,,,,, I love it!
    Now all we need is a full size version for the next trip to Black Rock,

  4. aztraph says:

    that sound you hear isn’t Barnum rolling in his grave, it’s him standing up and applauding.

  5. Voxnulla says:

    Fantastic build. Suddenly I have the urge to play Guns of Icarus and to build something steampunky….

  6. dave says:

    I’m not generally a fan of steampunk, but this looks like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book (Green Eggs and Ham, maybe). My kids would love it.

  7. LunaEros says:

    Please don’t tell me I’m going to see more and more of this steampunk stuff here.
    One of the reasons Hack-A-Day is my favorite site is it sticks to technical/electronic builds.
    Let this stuff stay at the general maker sites like Instructables.

  8. rue_mohr says:

    oooo, O scale…

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