Airship Elara – Deluxe Model – 100% Mesh
From : Starhelm Trading Company Victorian Steampunk Emporium
Sold by: Alexis Sommerfeld
Copy – NO Modify – NO Transfer
This deluxe model has a land impact of 83
There is a model offered at lesser cost that has fewer bells and whistles but is still a work of art. That model has a land Impact of 57 for less than half the cost of the Deluxe.
There is also a demo available for 10 linden.
I have already left a short review in the marketplace ad for the Elara –Deluxe but thought I would perhaps talk a bit more about this really great airship. Pictures do not do it justice but I will do my best.
The Elara Deluxe is a very beautiful ship of manageable size and, for me anyway, one of the best flying scripts in use. (A bit more on that later) The build is truly gorgeous and the on board details and decore are great. Attention to detail is clearly evident. Textures are first rate.
Graceful curves and elegant wood and copper hull construction with carved wood on rails and pilot’s wheel, vintage lantern running lights, potted flowers on tasteful stands and a small rug at the pilot’s station add to the beauty of this oh so civilized and elegant airship.
Oh yes, there is a fancy hot beverage set just in front of the pilot to complete the look of the well to do adventurer with good taste. It even serves tea when clicked so the Adventurer on the go can remain civilized no matter where they might be. My passengers have all enjoyed taking tea while I see to their safe and enjoyable journey. I myself dedicate my attention to the vessel and maintain an eye for Air Pirates and the ever dreaded Air Kraken. That is why I leave the tea drinking until safely in port. Spilled tea could cause a nasty turn of events not to mention ruin a good suit so I am a firm believer in not drinking and flying.
There is a basic HUD to start and stop the engines and even the HUD is done up in Victorian style. *A tip of the hat for attention to that detail. *
By sitting on the airship the pilot takes the wheel –remember to turn off your AO. You might not have an issue right away but sim crossings will often goof the animation and have you sitting in a most awkward position and not looking adventuresome or even mildly cool. Best avoided I say.
On start up the steam engine mounted in the stern behind the pilot chugs to life with moving flywheel and a suitable engine sound to add to the realism. For real sticklers on engines there could be some debate if this is a steam engine or an internal combustion engine due to the lack of a smokestack and perhaps the exact sound as it runs. I choose to think of it as a steam engine and its my ship so there. The propellers activate as needed to drive and turn the ship and it adds a certain degree of realism to see props actually speeding up or slowing down to match the desired maneuver. *note that if you do not see the propellers turning while moving a tap on the turn buttons to left and right will usually wake them up for me*
There are three bench seats where up to 6 passengers can ride and as you go merrily along there is a vintage phonograph behind the pilot that can be activated to play a couple of tunes that fit the period. I found the tune “Coffee“ to be worthy of being a kind of SL anthem. The song extols the virtues of coffee AND pie! Two foods of the gods immortalized in song. I play it over and over until passengers start tossing things at me or threaten mutiny.
The ship itself crosses sim boundaries well but as air travelers in SL can attest script or physics laden guests might find that SL unceremoniously dumps them overboard. It is not a fault of the ship but rather all part of the fun and excitement in SL. It is suggested that passengers and crew pack light for the trip.
For those who like to experience their flight in mouselook for a natural and realistic view the Elara does have some limitations because of the wide deck. Looking down directly below or close to the ship can be problematic but the view is realistic as it would be if flying such a craft as you can see in the pictures below.
In SL, though, we have the option to set our cam to change our views so you have the ability to cam to a place and view that suits you. When piloting you will find that you might set your cam outside the ship to be able to do fine manoeuvring in tight spaces or landing. Remember though that when you push a control button you might find your cam trying to sneak back to the pilot’s default view. For just sailing along enjoying the view mouselook gives a nice effect.
The ship is no mod and even though I tend to favour the ability to mod to give the Second Life Exploration Society Fleet some measure of a unique look I am so impressed with this build that I am happy to leave it as is and not quibble. Should I see another of these craft while out and about I will not be dismayed at our identical appearance but will instead cheerily wave and congratulate them on their obvious good taste in airships. They are obviously an Adventurer of class and distinction with a taste for the finer things in life. A person of refinement and with a good head on their shoulders to have chosen so well. Just like me……………stop laughing you members of the Society I can hear you you know!
Now a bit of detail about the flight script and why i like it. It is not totally a unique format in SL with several airships in the fleet using something similar but the script as used in the Elara is a perfect match.
**NOTE – for those that like the mouselook view this is one of the few flight scripts that will allow you to operate the controls while in mouselook. That’s really nice. Most will bounce your cam back to a default setting outside of mouselook every time you try to steer or they refuse to acknowledge the helm unless you cam manually back out of mouselook.
W – is your forward gear and each successive tap on the W key will switch gears and you will go faster until you reach top gear.
S – is the reverse gear but remember in order to actually get into reverse you have to tap down through the forward speeds until you hit 0 speed and then each successive tap will get you going faster in reverse. Good to keep in mind all you daredevils out there. This craft does not stop on a dime nor is it a racer. A patient and moderate hand on the controls will give you the best flying experience.
This is evident too in turns. A and D are your left and right turning buttons. If you hold the turn key in an effort to turn faster you will find yourself turning faster and faster to the point where over steering is not just a possibility but it is guaranteed and the continual wrestling with the ship to try to keep it on course can cut into your cool and collected Adventurer persona. Lag will only make it worse. Take a deep breath and straighten your pith helmet and guide this vessel with a confident and restrained approach. Just tap, release and repeat to get a gentle curving turn works well. You will also find that judicious taps on the opposite prop will help counter a drifting turn and in short order you will get the hang of it. It feels to me like how trying to steer with variable speed props would be so I like it for the realistic feel. Emergency turns are something that an experienced pilot can handle but learning to deal with them will mean a few embarrassing run-ins with unintended targets. If you need to make a tight turn then slow or stop the forward action of the ship and make the turn without the stress or feeling that mashing one of the turn keys in a desperate attempt to make a high speed turn will actually save the day. It usually won’t.
The E button engages the gear to go up and like the W key successive taps will walk you up through the gears to maximum rise speed.
Tapping the C key walks you back down the gearing and will take you though the ascend gears to hover setting where you will maintain that altitude. Once at hover tapping the C button sets the descent speed.
The operator has to remember to be ready to apply the proper number of taps to control the speed and direction of motion or ascent and decent to their liking and there are messages in local chat from your airship that will keep you in the know. If you have tapped twice to ascend and are in essentially second gear going up and want to go down its going to take two taps of the descent button to get to neutral or hover and then the next tap will get the descent started.
It might sound complex but is actually quite easy and intuitive and it does not take too long to get proficient.
The interface allows for some pretty fine control on this ship as the speed settings are quite well set up. You can gracefully glide at tree top level with very tight manoeuvring possible once you get some experience. In fact it is not uncommon for me to take my passengers right down to near ground level to get a very impressive view indeed.
This is a ship you will be proud to own and show off so expect to be going on some sightseeing tours with friends. This type of flight script lends itself to enjoying the trip with them as it allows the driver to set a speed and then have a conversation with their passengers as the airship sails along. The flight scripts that call for continuous pressing the control buttons without option for autopilot make chatting while cruising pretty well impossible. This as an airship running on a steam engine so it is not one of those modern aether coronal discharge powered airships that lend themselves to giddy flights at high speed. I have nothing against modern and can indulge in giddy on occasion but this is not the ship for that. You are out for an adventure but there is no need to be in a hurry. You should be taking your time and enjoying the quiet and sedate progress you make and good conversation is all part of that so a big thumbs up for being able to chat without undue fuss and bother.
You might even find yourself exclaiming “I say!”, “Pip Pip!”, or maybe even “Huzzah!!” just because you are overcome with the feel of owning and flying such a posh conveyance.
I know that I am moved for this review to say “Bloody marvelous! And Huzzah! Job well done Captain Alexis of The Starhelm Trading Company Victorian Steampunk Emporium! Well done I say!
Lord High Commander
The Second Life Exploration Society
**Please note – I would say “Pip Pip” but for the life of me I cannot say that without cracking up
A few more pictures for fun: