Oh yes, I’ve been tinkering around in airships since I was a boy. Had an uncle, don’t you know, who owned one and allowed me to go along on some of his journeys. Goodness me, they were rough old machines in those days! I remember having to move the rudder by manhandling a length of wire. Cut your hands to ribbons, that did. So I fixed up a little device that linked directly to the compass and the anemometer. Far better. The old boy saw what I’d done and was pretty impressed; kept me on as crew.
I thoroughly enjoy tinkering with the machinery even now. Just take a look at my clockwork air-pressure measurement device here. Dashed proud of that, if I say it myself.
A chap doesn’t like to brag, but I designed and built my own dirigible from scratch, y’know. Steam-powered beauty of a machine, she is. Now I regularly navigate to the Americas in her. Off on another trip next week, as it happens.
I commissioned that woman – Mrs Steampunkle, or whatever she calls herself these days – to make me a new leather coat and helmet. Made a dashed fine job of it in my opinion. Good and thick with the fleece collar. It can be bitter when you’re flying over Cape Horn, don’t y’know.
Anyway, can’t hang around here dilly-dallying all day, pleasant as it’s been to chat to you. I need to go and sort out my provisions for the trip.
Ernest – like the rest of the Steampunk- Shrunk figures – is a one-of-a-kind 1/12 scale figure with a porcelain head, hands and feet and movable limbs. His coat, helmet, goggles and air-pressure gadget were handmade in Glastonbury, England.
He is no longer for sale, as was been bought as a gift for an aviation enthusiast. I’m told there’s even a chance he may get the chance to fly in one of this gentleman’s remote-controlled aircraft. Ernest would love that! Other figures, including some more aviators, can be found at The Steampunk Dolls’ House (online) or, if you’re visiting Somerset, at Rune Smith of Glastonbury.