You may or may not have heard the term "greebles" or "kit-bashing" before, but if not, they may sound like nonsense. Particularly 'greebles', which sounds more like the name of a small, gremlin-like creature. However, I assure you that they are very important in prop-making, and if you can master them both, you'll be able to make intricate, great-looking props in hardly any time!
With this article, I'll be continuing the series I started with my recent plague doctor article. That is, examining tropes that may at first appear to not fit into Steampunk.
The holiday season is creeping up fast, and if you're shopping for a Steampunk, it could be almost impossible to find anything for them unless you know exactly where to look. Luckily for you, some of us have done all of the work you'll need. Whether you're Steampunk shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, Chrismukkah (yes, that's real), Kwanzaa, or Festivus, you're sure to find something for that special lady or gentleman in your life by taking a stroll down this list!
It's a controversial headline, I know, but bear with me and I'll explain in due course. Disclaimer: I was once a child, and I played lots of video games. I didn't look anything like this child.
We frequently associate plastics with the modern era, starting at around the 1950s with the prevalence of bakelite. However, for all of you "you can't use plastic in Steampunk" purists out there, I have bad news for you:
You may or may not care about this, but sometimes it physically upsets me when I see gears stuck together haphazardly, with no concern for whether their teeth interlock. I mean, what do you do with non-interlocking gears?
I obviously do a lot of Steampunk projects, but there are a ton of things out there that I haven't tried yet. So, in an effort to broaden my horizons, I recently taught myself how to use Arduinos, which I plan to incorporate into some of my future Steampunk builds.
Let me start out by saying that Steampunk isn't about being historically accurate, and that everything I'm about to tell you is entirely optional. That said, let's take a look at the history of screws! What many people don't realize is that before we had metal screws, wooden screws were in wide use for things like wine and oil presses. Generally, the invention of the screw is attributed to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. That was a long, long time ago. Metal screws and even screwdrivers hav...
Thrift stores! As a Steampunk, they can be your best friend, but it's easy to make a tragic mistake. This hands-on guide will help you navigate the murky waters of successful thrifting in order to find the hidden gems that will make your Steampunk outfit complete!
There's a lot that goes into making a nice crystal radio set, so this is going to have to be broken down into two parts. The first part is the actual making of a functional radio, and the second part is making the whole arrangement look nice. In this part, I'm actually going to tell you more than just how to make a crystal radio, but I'm also going to explain how and why they work. Crystal radios are pretty Steampunk in and of themselves, since they were first developed in the late 19th centu...
What I'm going to do in this tutorial is, as the title implies, teach you how to make nearly anything look like metal. This can especially come in handy in Steampunk, as most of us don't have the ability to machine brass. We do, however, have access to wood, PVC, and spray paint. Not to mention that, as a costumer, I can speak from personal experience when I say that things made of brass are really, really, really heavy!
Many people find Steampunk problematic for a whole host of reasons, not least of which is the glorification of an era of Western history that featured institutionalized slavery, racism, sexism, elitism, and many more -isms.
I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there who have no idea what a plague doctor is/was, so I'll start with an explanation.
We see Steampunk props all the time and wonder where the maker found all their pieces. In fact, for some people it's almost like a game to examine each prop and see if they can name all of the original parts.
Before I really get into this article, it's important to note that you do not need a Steampunk persona (or "steamsona") in order to be a Steampunk, or wear Steampunk clothes. Some people like to pretend to be a different person when dressed up in Steampunk clothing, but that is entirely optional, and only to be done if it appeals to you. That said, even if you aren't actually acting as your character, it may still be helpful to have one in mind when putting together an outfit. Personally, I'v...
If you're a Steampunk (or costumer of any variety) and you don't know what Rub 'n Buff is, this tutorial will make your life so much easier. You have no idea.
Steampunking Nerf guns by painting them is a pretty common practice among Steampunks, but unfortunately, the really amazing-looking ones involve literally taking the gun apart, painting it, and then screwing it all back together.
This two-part series (second part here) will teach you literally everything you need to know in order to make pretty much anything out of leather.
Let's say that you've got the look down, and you have your Steampunk props all ready to go. Congratulations! You're a Steampunk!
Since it's October and Halloween is fast approaching, it's time for a series of articles on how to make the coolest Steampunk Halloween decorations for your home! In this installment, we'll look at some jack-o'-lanterns, skulls, and a few other things that are easy to Steampunk, but will still keep that "spooky" Halloween feeling.
Tea has been around for thousands of years, and as a result, tons of customs and ceremonies have sprung up around its consumption. Some cultures take their tea plain, while others put things in it. Sometimes there are special tea-holding vessels, other times not. Maybe there will even be special foods meant to be eaten with tea. However, in America, our appreciation of tea has waned. For many, iced tea is their biggest source of tea consumption, and it's imbibed with no ceremony whatsoever in...
I've had a handlebar mustache for about five years now, and I've learned a lot over those years about how to grow and care for it. I will now share all of that information with you! Hopefully this will encourage you to grow one for Movember! The first thing I want to address right now is that I do not use wax on a daily basis. I kind of hate using wax, but I still do it on occasion. I shall teach you my secrets, starting from the beginning!
In the first part of this two-part guide, I covered cutting, grooving, beveling, making holes, and stamping/tooling. I hope you enjoyed that part, because we're pushing the accelerator to the floor and moving ahead at full speed!
While I am a writer with a degree in Creative Writing, I haven't published any Steampunk fiction. However, as a panelist and track director, I've been on panels with many well-known Steampunk writers and have gleaned insight from the things they've said. I've compiled some of those things into this post, which will hopefully be helpful to all of the writers out there!
Nikola Tesla is one of the most tragic figures in the history of science, a history that is practically filled to the brim with tragic figures. Francis Bacon, a 16th century philosopher and scientist, caught pneumonia and died because he was trying to stuff snow into a dead chicken. Marie Curie died as a result of her long-term exposure to radioactivity, and her papers from the 1890s are too radioactive to touch without protective gear to this day.
I don't know how many of you had this experience in your youth, but when I was a kid, I used to actively think about what would happen if I suddenly woke up in a fantasy land, or were to pass through a portal into another space and time. I knew it wouldn't really happen, but when you're a kid, these can be important issues to you. So I slept with my glasses on every night, just in case. Photo from George Pal's The Time Machine.
Ever since the mid-2000s, there's been a lot of bandying back and forth on the Internet over what exactly Steampunk is. Some people think it's one thing, others another thing, and some think that it shouldn't be defined at all.
In my last article, I explained why text adventure games are some of the most Steampunk computer games out there. I even shared a free Steampunk text adventure game that I'd made myself!
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous characters in modern history, and has appeared in film more often than any other character. No less than 78 different actors have taken their turn at portraying the enigmatic deduction machine in various mediums, and each has brought their own foibles to the role. Some of the names may even surprise you: Tom Baker, John Cleese, Peter Cushing, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, and even Leonard Nimoy.
This list may not blow your mind as much as it may make you want to blow your brains out, depending on how tired you are of goggles in Steampunk.
As you know, it's impossible to be a Steampunk without a pair of goggles. In fact, there are entire communities dedicated to judging other Steampunks based solely on their goggles. A Steampunk without goggles is like Samson without his hair, or a duck without a beak—totally powerless. As I'm sure you also know, the right pair of goggles can instantly render any outfit Steampunk, no matter what it looks like.
Many of us in the Steampunk community have pets that we love and cherish, myself included, and we want those pets to share our joy of Steampunk. In reality, they couldn't care less, but for some reason we still love to dress them up. Their reactions usually range from bemused acceptance to temper tantrums, but the awwwws we get from onlookers usually makes it worthwhile.
There are tons of uses for a flashlight. You can turn it into a laser, hack it into a night vision flashlight, or make it super bright. Or if you're a Steampunk Jedi, you turn it into a steampunk lightsaber. Jen from EPBOT started with a vintage flashlight and attached a piece of plumbing extension pipe. Screen splicing was glued on with E-600 for the grip and brass mesh with buttons and rhinestones makes up the 'control panel.' She added a silver gear to cover up the logo on the end. The LED...
I just returned from a trip overseas and I came across this great article over at The Chronicles of Harriet about the role of black men in the evolution of Dandyism. Dandyism rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century, so there's a clear connection to Steampunk. I hope that many black men embrace the fashion and find their way into steampunk!
I've tried my hand in the past at defining Steampunk, but as anyone else who has made a similar attempt will tell you, there's a significant backlash from the community against working to create a real definition of what Steampunk is. That may sound ridiculous to some, but it's a very serious matter to others. With the recent announcement that TeslaCon 4 will be called the Congress of Steam, I think it's appropriate to talk about why all of this stuff is worth it. In this article, I'm going t...
You may or may not have heard of alt-rock band Panic! at the Disco, but a year and a half ago they released a single called "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", which had an accompanying music video that was Steampunk-themed. In fact, here's the video:
I recently set out to do a roundup post on the state of Steampunk underwear, but what I found surprised me: There wasn't any men's underwear! Did I accidentally stumble onto sexism in Steampunk?
A Steampunk's Guide to Sex was the subject of a recent successful Kickstarter campaign, and I now hold the finished book in my hands. As such, I can say (mostly) unreservedly that you should buy this book. Allow me to tell you why, before I get into the nitty-gritty about the book itself. Sex is something of an odd topic in America because it's perfectly legal, and yet taboo. Unlike things that are illegal and not taboo, like drug use, murder, theft, etc. What this means is that children can ...
If you've never heard of Steampunk before, then you're about to be educated. Steampunk is a relatively new hybrid style (and subgenre) of old anachronisms and technology. So, for instance, a steampunk computer is one that's done in an industrial, victorian manner with brass parts.
Not sure if this is specifically counts as steampunk, but it's awesome nonetheless: