I had a quick project that a couple of friends of mine and I got started earlier this week. We’re still in the planning and prep phase, but it’s basically an alternate reality world building exercise for the fun of it. It’ll also be a fun platform to create art from. For starters, I churned out four representative faction logos and a temporary site banner based on the Machines vs. Magik backstory that we are building. It is designed to be a fun imagination exercise to further develop some of our mutual art ideas within the general steampunk genre. If you’d like to see the logos and keep up with our progress, the website is NorthernContingents.com
Posted in Steampunk
Tagged art, contingents, decker, dull, Empire, industrial, magik, Maine, new, north, shaman, Steam punk, Steampunk, Website, World, world domination, worldbuilding, Writing
: science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology
“Steampunk.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 27 May 2014.
I think that’s a boring, generic definition written by someone who has no interest in the genre. I define Steampunk as:
: A science fiction sub-genre featuring post-apocalyptic or open faced anachronistic technology, spiritualism, and/or evolution. An art and design rebellion against the modern era of disposable products, hermetically sealed technology, and safety labels.
The historical fiction re-enactment style stuff isn’t nearly as interesting to me as the post-apocalyptic punk art of steampunk.
My introduction to the ideas that make up steampunk as a fantasy sub-genre came from watching Voyagers! reruns as a kid back in the 80’s, watching City of Lost Children in 1996, and later playing Thief: The Dark Project in 1998. These sources have nothing to do with the Victorian era too often pre-supposed as the definition of steampunk. The sequel to Thief pushed the “medieval fantasy universe with electricity and steam power” aesthetic further. The key defining idea in Thief 2 was a hidden war between a religious faction of machinists and a nature worshipping pagan faction.
I thought that was a great contrast and I still like that balance in my art. My other influences were mostly Japanese with more well-known titles, like Final Fantasy VII (more dieselpunk, but it still counts) and another Square Enix title, Full Metal Alchemist. There were plenty of other influencing sources too, but I really didn’t assign a genre title to anything until 2007 when the term “Steampunk” was a joke about “Goths that found brown.” I never got into the wardrobe part of the genre because my clothing is starkly functional and rarely defined by a myriad of accessories. That said, I did sketch a coat and pants back in the day that now look totally steampunk-esque to me.
Well, that’s my definition of Steampunk post. How were you introduced to the genre and how do you define it? Let me know in the comments. Cheers.
Posted in Steampunk
Tagged anachronism, Anarchy, apocalyptic, definition, film, genre, Jon Decker, literature, punk, sci-fi, Steam, Steampunk
People cosplaying Mass Effect characters has been really popular at conventions lately. I’ve played the games and am a huge fan of that universe, but only recently did I get past the perfectionist in my head enough to try using cheaper materials like EVA foam instead of wishing I could use carbon fiber, like the real thing. I’ve wanted to put together some blue, N7-style armor to use for a photo shoot with the Nerf arsenal. I found a blog online that had rough patterns for the EVA foam version of the N7 armor. I have the EVA foam, the straps, the buckles, and the tools. I printed the patterns out earlier and taped them together. They look a bit big for me, but I’ll follow the pattern for the first copy to make sure I do it right. I’ll size them as I go. I’ll make sure to post my process here as I go. For now, I’ve linked below to a zip containing all the PDF printouts of the patterns that I am using. Keep in mind the scale is a little big. I recommend printing at a percentage of the scale. I tried 100% but it’s made for giants. I’m going to try 70% now. The gauntlet is a good starting point.
The blog I got the idea from is: Bioweapons.com.
Posted in Props and Costuming
Tagged armor, commander, cosplay, costume, costuming, eva, foam, gaming, N7, pattern, sci-fi, shepherd
Last weekend during the Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway, New Jersey I thought it would be fun to cosplay a lesser known time traveler, Professor Paradox. I figured there’d be plenty of Doctor Who’s, particularly since the tenth doctor had a steampunk flavored TARDIS bridge. David Tennant (the tenth Doctor) was my first Doctor Who, and I’ll always have a soft spot for his portrayal of the character; but I thought it might be fun to show up as a different anachronistic character. I chose Professor Paradox from the Ben 10 series on Cartoon Network. Paradox is a bit more diesel punk, but the later Ben 10 series had him appear as an intentionally (hang a lantern in the dialogue) steampunk time-farer. The first theme was simpler and looked like a real scientist, so I chose to assemble that version. I trimmed out the safety goggles with a little brass to steampunk it a bit, and that’s about the only difference.
I present the source character below as an example.
Here it is, ladies. The finished products of my misery last week. I had a couple of problems when a can of black paint didn’t adhere to the plastic in certain places. It caused some cracking of the paint later … Continue reading
Here’s a gallery of last night’s painting. The focus was on the grey faction. I started with the Nerf Barricades, masked them off, and brushed on the matte grey. I did the same with the Nerf Stampede. The CS-6 Longshot was … Continue reading
I’ve got so many paint mods hanging to dry now that I don’t know where to start with this update. In an effort to maximize these past few nights, I’ve gotten almost the entire rifle and handgun arsenal painted. Everything except … Continue reading
The painting is almost complete. After I applied the primer black coat to the Nerf CS-6 I did a little simple form of ‘battle aging” using outlining and dry brushing with silver paint (sprayed the silver can into a plastic bin). I … Continue reading
I got a ton done, but this isn’t really a mod. This is more of a Nerf blaster paint re-scheming.
I’ve shaved the the labels off the Barricades and prepped them for painting.
Because I’m going with the cyber-punk theme, I decided to use a metallic paint which supposedly sticks to plastic as my base coat. I like the way that metallics make matte black look metallic later. The first coat is always light, just to make sure it sticks.
I was going to mod the Barricades for better speed and efficiency, but then decided that their use as props made power modding useless. I’ll show updates when I get more done on them.