Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spotlight on Tulsa TNT

Tulsa TransNational Transport is my fictitious commercial airline company set within the Crimson Skies universe. Part of the official corporate lore:

Tulsa TNT was born in the wake of the Republic of Texas' secession from the United States. Texas annexed American Airways holdings in Oklahoma along with the entire state when Texas declared Oklahoma a "Protectorate." Its current Chief Executive, C. Christophe Cluche', originally a native of "French" Louisiana, was annexed as well, but has done his best to build a thriving aviation entity under the watchful eyes of The Republic. "I prefer a Republic to a Collective, even if it can be damned hard to tell the two apart some days," is a quote often attributed to Cluche' by his defenders, when his affinity for the Oklahoma Freedom Fighters (OFF) is mentioned by his detractors.

Tulsa TNT was basically created to provide plunder and cannon fodder for the pirate gangs and militias of our Crimson Skies games. I have succeeded brilliantly as my dismal record of protecting corporate assets, as well as escort flyers, can attest. TNT's most prized possession, the luxury liner "Jewel in the Crown" has been shot down and resurrected twice already, mainly due to the corporate escorts' inability to protect it.

Following are photos of all of TNT's aircraft assets, with a brief description of each. Enjoy!

The Jewel in the Crown is currently the largest passenger liner in operation out of Oklahoma. Her two main routes are between Tulsa and Austin in the Republic of Texas, and Tulsa to Chicago in the Industrial States of America. The Chicago run is the most hazardous of the two, as the borderland between Dixie and the Collective is fraught with peril, and not just the piratical kind.

(Model note: The Jewel is a stock build of the 1976 Testors HAWK model of the Graf Zeppelin in 1/245 scale. This same kit allows you to model the U.S.S. Los Angeles at 1/200 scale. FYI I reckon the Crimson Skies models to be 1/200 scale and this zep model works well with the Crimson Skies models. I added gun turrets to the Jewel from a WW2-era destroyer model. The Testors HAWK kit has recently been re-tooled and re-released with a "hard" plastic body instead of the soft plastic of the original. I picked up two awhile back at half-price on ebay with the idea of building a military version and maybe a pirate, as well. Some day. . .)

4 Kingfishers provide escort for the Jewel and are physically carried on board, ready at all times to launch in her defense. The Kingfisher is a hardy plane that was designed specifically for zeppelin escort duty. I find it to be slightly under-gunned (that must be why I can't defend the Jewel properly), but it is a great looking aircraft.

The "eyes" of the Escort Wings are provided by the 2 Seers, nimble, lightly armored airplanes with long range and great speed. The Seer makes a great courier, too.

An Albatross float plane provides security in river and lake country. 

TNT also boasts an impressive fleet of autogyros. The Bird Dog was designed for standard police and security service.

Short-hop commuter service is provided by the pair of Liberte'.

 And finally we have a more upscale passenger autogyro, the Metroliner.


 Next up for Crimson Skies? The People's Collective militia, the Wichita Windstorm. I'll share when I finish painting.

See ya! 


  1. Hi There, I am currently doing one of these zepplin models. I was looking at yours and it looks fantastic. I was hoping your could tell me how did you get the surface of the zepplin looking so good and "uneven', it really looks like weathered canvas. I hope you dont mind me asking

  2. Don't mind at all : ) I hope you have the newer re-released model with the hard styrene body as it is much easier to work with than the older vacu-formed body. The finish is not difficult, just takes a little time. I use Liquitex acrylic paint; two shades of metallic silver. I use the paint in the tubes as it is a little thick to start. Then I thin it just a bit with water and brush it onto the model. I start with the darker silver ("Antique," I think) and brush it onto the entire surface, kinda scrubbing with the brush (use a tough old brush). You want some surface texture when the paint is dry. Then take the lighter silver and "dry-brush" it over the entire surface. Dry-brushing leaves the light silver on all the "raised surfaces" of the model detail and the texture you created with the first coat. With a little practice you can get great results. Just takes a little time to get a look that is subtle enough. Too big a brush or too much paint or going too fast will make the model look splotchy instead of weathered. Good luck!

    1. Hi Cluck,
      Me again. I was just wondering if you still have the graf zepplin decals and if you want to sell them? I had a bit of mishap with some tape that caught the edge of one.