Steampunk R&D Features

How To: Survive and Thrive in the Victorian Era

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.

The Black Dandy: People of Color in Steampunk

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!

How To: This DIY Steampunk Toothbrush Timer Tells You When You're Done Brushing Your Teeth

If you're a steampunk enthusiast looking to give your bathroom an extra kick, this just might be the project for you. This stylish and functional "vintage" toothbrush timer knows when you've grabbed your toothbrush, and will visually count down two minutes before alerting you when you've brushed long enough. All you'll need to put one together yourself is a microcontroller (the designer used a ATmega328p), a weight sensor, light bulbs, brass cups and a tray, an alarm clock's chime, and some w...

Steampunk's Rising Popularity: How to Take Advantage of the Hottest 'New' Trend

As practically the entire Steampunk world knows by now, IBM has predicted that Steampunk will be the big new trend from 2013 to 2015. They based this prediction on their computers, which sift through broad swathes of the internet in order to see patterns that may help commercial industries. According to them, Steampunk has been on the rise for the last few years, and they predict that it will explode into peak popularity within the next two years. But what does that mean and how will it impac...

Steampunk R&D Podcast 01: Thomas Willeford on Creating His Empire

Today, on our first episode of Steampunk Research and Development, we'll be interviewing Thomas Willeford, owner and operator of Brute Force Leather. Thomas is a man of many talents, and has worked in a vast array of fields. His Steampunk work can be seen in his book, Steampunk Gear and Gadgets, as well as on the television show Castle. Thomas is also one of the creative consultants on the upcoming television show Lantern City.

Steampunk R&D Podcast 02: Joey Marsocci on Professional Steampunking

This week on the Steampunk Research and Development Podcast, our guest is Joey Marsocci, better known to the world as Dr. Grymm. He's a full-time, professional Steampunk maker, and is the owner and operator of Dr. Grymm Laboratories. He's written several books and has worked as a designer at companies such as Hasbro and Disney. In fact, he worked with Disney to design the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attractions for both Paris and Tokyo Disney parks.

Steampunk R&D Podcast 06: Thomas Willeford Behind the Scenes of Steampunk Reality Television

This week, another guest returns to our Steampunk R&D show for the second time, Thomas Willeford. In our very first podcast, Thomas talked to us about creating his empire; this time we most notably talk about his recent appearance on the Science Channel's program Odd Folks Home, in an episode entitled "Blow Off Some Steampunk". Thomas Willeford is the owner and operator of Brute Force Studios, and has been responsible for some of Steampunk's most recognizable props and accessories, such as th...

News: Which Actor Is the Best Sherlock Holmes?

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.

How To: Steampunk Yourself for Halloween in 10 Minutes or Less

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.

How To: Turn a Boring Old Flashlight into a Steampunk Star Wars Lightsaber

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...

News: What Is Steampunk?

So I have been wondering this for a while now. What exactly is steampunk? I know a little bit about it but I feel as thought the internet definitions can only give so much information. What do you guys think? Is steampunk a lifestyle? A fiction base? A for of a art? I think that steampunk has way more potential than people think. Share your ideas on what you think steampunk is and what you would like to see be done with it!

How To: Steampunk Your Next Party with the Elixirator, a Truly Exquisite DIY Robotic Bartender

So, you want to throw a steampunk party and you have almost everything in place—your steampunk persona and iPhone are ready to go, and you've even got your own steampunk straight razor. What's missing? The Elixirator, that's what. The Elixirator is a steampunk cocktail-making machine by Botronics that can hold four different ingredients and mix up to ten drinks. It has a Picaxe microcontroller for a brain and was built using a lot of pieces from thrift shops. It has a plasma globe at the top ...

How To: Steampunk Your iPhone! How to Add Your Favorite Art to Apple's Boring Back Glass Panel

Jake von Slatt of The Steampunk Workshop kept breaking the rear glass panel on his iPhone. So, he ended up making his own gorgeous replacement out of brass to replace the standard Apple logo ones who kept getting. The only problem was that it made his signal strength super weak, so he figured out how to transfer the etching onto a glass back. Here's the basic rundown of how he accomplished this feat...

News: The Top 10 Steampunk Music Videos

"Jef with one F" from the Houston Press compiled a list of the 10 best steampunk songs, but it's really a collection of the best steampunk music videos. There are some amazing videos in the collection, such as this one, "Brass Goggles" by Steam-Powered Giraffe. It's not the best-looking, but it's a great performance.

How To: Make a Super-Simple Steampunk iPad Case Out of Leather

I chose to make this a Steampunk iPad case, but you can change the details and make it look as modern as you'd like. As I said earlier, Steampunks probably shouldn't buy iPhones or iPads, but if you're going to get one, you may as well make it look cool, right? The iPad pictured below was borrowed from a friend of mine, though I should add that this design will easily work with tablet computers of any variety, Apple, Android, or otherwise.