Forum Thread: Newbie Steampunk Here!

I'm fairly new to the culture of steampunk, having just joined the Olympia Gaslight Guardians, and I'm looking for tips on a steampunk Sniper outfit.

What I plan on modding into my rifle of choice is a Nerf Longshot CS-6

My outfit as it stands is an old black trench coat I own, a white dress shirt and black vest and a bow tie (because bow ties are cool)

I was thinking of modifying a pair of swimming goggles, or maybe these odd Eye-Clops nightvision goggles I have into sniping goggles

Also, I already have a hat, A black trilby with a silver band.

8 Responses

Hey, welcome aboard!

My first word of caution is about the trench coat. Is it a long coat, or an actual trench coat? Because trench coats are from well after the period we usually associate with Steampunk. I mean, we're not usually going for historical accuracy, here, but trench coats are so strongly associated with the 1930's-1940's for many people that it might have an impact on how they perceive your costume. So my first advice is to use a duster, rather than a trench coat. Dusters were very common in the Victorian era, and have a great look to them.

Second, I recommend that you get a few other accessories for the outfit, so that it doesn't look plain, or bland. The Longshot is a good weapon for a sniper, and the sniping goggles sound like you're on the right track (though often times snipers will go with a mono-goggle rather than a set of two). However, why limit yourself to only goggles and a gun? You can have a variety of accessories that "punk" up your outfit a bit more. First of all, ammunition belts are an easy way to add some points of interest. You can even have two ammunition belts, if you add them properly. Snipers would often need a sidearm, too, so a holster for a smaller gun isn't a bad idea. Some sort of communicator wouldn't be a bad idea, either, so that you can get orders as to whether or not to take the shot. You could have a Steampunk glove that would help steady your trigger finger, or maybe even a chest-worn device designed to slow your heart rate while you're preparing to fire.

I hope these suggestions were helpful!

I drew up several different designs, such as equipment to make my left arm bionic, a sawed-off double barreled over-under shotgun that will be my sidearm, I wonder what a steampunk earpiece would look like; that would be a pretty nice addition to the outfit. I also have this odd golden locking knife that I want to modify (the handguard at least) to look similar to a short estoc sword. Will the community like if I mount my Iphone to my bionic arm as well? I figured it would be pretty cool to make up a skating wristguard to be a small steam engine that would produce the needed power to run the device. I want to know if involving any sort of modern technology in the outfit is heresy. I didn't have alot to do today so I just worked at my outfit design.

Sounds like you're on the right track!

Incorporating modern technology is fine, so long as it's done in a good-looking manner. Using a decorated iPhone in your outfit is no different than using a decorated Longshot. ;)

The rest of your ideas all sound great! Good job!

I would agree with Austin about the overcoat. There are greatcoats, trench coats, and dusters. A duster's function is precisely identified by its name. It was worn on coach trips in London or any other Victorian era city that was experiencing the mechanised age. Coal dust and ash were oft times handing in the air so thickly it would coat anything with oily suet. Including a gentleman's suit or lady's dress. The duster was made of lightweight linen and was made to cover the suit on such trips into the polluted areas. The same was true of the American and Australian frontier areas. Stagecoach rides were dusty and you needed something to cover your traveling clothes to protect them.

Dusters were not ornate nor embellished. They were the closest thing to a disposable garment the upper classes had. Once it became too dirty to properly cleanse, it was replaced. Of course the poor sods driving the coaches had no such budget and likely made do with nothing or the cast offs of others. The 'duster' or range coat made of wax coated or plain cotton duck is a relatively modern invention that looks good but is quite heavy and not period correct. Great coats would have been woolen. Still, use what you have and make a go of it!

BTW Anerio I love bow ties and have several. I also have a suit coat made by Wah Maker which is not exactly period correct but works famously for a retro look. If I can figure out how to post a link to it I will do so. it does not have the skirt of the more correct frock coat of the era but makes do with a thigh length hem. The back has a special treatment that makes it look a bit like tails of a longer coat. It works with both modern and period looks. BTW, most do not realise the skirted frock coat lasted well into the first decade of the twentieth century as required business attire for professional businessmen(think bankers and doctors), clergy, and court officials. I love the attire of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Its what I have on hand, and as a high school student with no source of income (can't work for another year :c ) I'm up for using anything on hand. My outfit will be pretty minimalist for now with the use of what I have on hand (which isn't things like cogs, gears, tubes, leather or even a proper duster) the coat isn't as long as a proper trench coat on me either, it comes down only to about my thighs and not the floor or my ankles like my father's leather one. To go with the minimalist thing, that's kind of part of the experience right? Using whatever is on hand to create something amazing?

Completely understandable. Truly, use what you have at hand and you will be fine. I like your character theme and have thought of that myself. I want to make a prop gun with a copper coloured barrel, brass receiver area, and a combination of the two for an air storage tank.

what would be the difference in coloration for brass and copper, clearly they are different colors though with spraypaint is it possible to get that metallic shine off them?

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