H.M.S. Chronabelle: All Aboard!

While Lady Almi­ra, Cap­tain Mouse, the Grand Duchess and Lady Kodak have grown up togeth­er cre­at­ing their own world  aboard the ship HMS Chron­abelle, they have scat­tered across the coun­try to attend dif­fer­ent col­leges. Despite their sep­a­ra­tion, they always reunite at con­ven­tions as the crew of this imag­i­nary ship. Jeff and S. J. found this very inspir­ing, and want­ed to cel­e­brate the crew’s cre­ation by bring­ing the imag­i­nary into the mate­r­i­al.

First the love­ly Aus­tralian water­col­orist Krista Bren­nan was com­mis­sioned to do por­traits of the entire crew in their per­sonas.  Then  the illus­tri­ous U.K. illus­tra­tor John Coulthart was com­mis­sioned to recre­ate their ship based upon respons­es from their raw inter­views. When asked to describe The Chron­abelle, they were sworn to not share this response with any oth­er crew mem­bers.

Lady Almi­ra: The Chron­abelle looks a bit like a giant float­ing angler fish with pro­pellers. We nev­er wor­ried too much about the tech­ni­cal prob­a­bil­i­ty of it. There is a curved pole at the front with a lantern hang­ing off the end, like a lure. The fins can be adjust­ed like rud­ders and sails. We’re a diplo­mat­ic ves­sel, not a bat­tle­ship, so it isn’t too heav­i­ly armed — just a few mount­ed guns. She’s most­ly col­ored in browns, greys, and brass­es. Per­haps there are a cou­ple of col­ors that stand out though. We’re a col­or­ful bunch. Maybe there’s a British flag some­where.

Cap­tain Mouse:  It’s quite a bit like what would hap­pen if you build a giant fly­ing mechan­i­cal angler fish out of scav­enged machine parts and scrap met­al. But with more can­nons.

Grand Duchess:  I think of it as a rel­a­tive­ly small air­ship, but with room to work, have tea, and with enough stor­age for what we need to work on the air­ship and not much else.

John took these respons­es and from their imag­i­na­tion fil­tered through his own, he cre­at­ed this beau­ti­ful diri­gi­ble:


H.M.S. Chron­abelle by John Coulthart

And so for the first time, through this project, the crew of the HMS Chron­abelle were able to see the ship they had inhab­it­ed in their imag­i­na­tion for years.

“H.M.S. Chronabelle: All Aboard!” was published in Art, Fashion, Fun times, Interviews.

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