Posts Tagged “Steampunk”

Here’s the second part of my ‘Steampunk Exo Suit’ build log and it’s starting to take shape.  It took me quite alot of experimentation to get the length and spacing of the pistons correct but they seem to work really well now.  I might add a few more pistons – it definitely needs one on the back of the arm that will move when I move my forearm.

Once I’ve got all the functionality working I’ll then pull it apart and start adding detail and start painting.

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So with The Asylum barely two months away, I’m working on a new costume piece for the festival.  Last year it was Steampunk Predator.  This year it’s a steampunk version of the exo-suit from Elysium.

I had some experience with making items out of wood and plastic last year making my predator shoulder cannon.  The main barrel is made from PVC pipe overlaid with thin brass sheet.  That gave me the idea that it might be relatively easy to make some pistons in the same way.  I could then attach them to a costume piece and have them move as I moved.  The power suit from Elysium seemed like an obvious choice for inspiration.

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This is a steampunk BB-8 that I’ve made. This is part of a charity exhibition organised by http://forceforchange.starwars.com/

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My incessant videoing continues with a new video looking at some steampunk items that I’ve made!  I plan to do some more in depth ‘how-to’ videos, but I’ve built quite alot of stuff over the last few years so I thought I’d give it an airing ;)

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So I spent the weekend in the National Space Centre in Leicester for Steampunks in Spaaaaaaace!  This is the third year of the event and my second as an exhibitor.  It was noticeably busier than the previous year and I was surprised to see something like 200 people show up at 10am on saturday!  I had alot of people come up to say hi and take a look and it was nice to share my stuff with people.  It spends most of it’s time in my front room, so nice to give it an airing ;)  Alot of people were interested in how the sculptures were made so it was also nice to talk shop with people.

Here’re some pics of my stand and the makers area.

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I also did a quick vid!

I decided to concentrate on sculptures this year.  My two co-exhibitors Herr Doktor and Arty Piston-Broke each have their own disicipline – Herr Doktor has the hard edged modelling covered (check out his tripods ;) ) where-as Arty Piston concentrates more  on costumes and props.  There’s abit of an overlap as both me and Herr Doktor have several gadgets and costume pieces too, but I figured I’d mostly bring sculptures so there was abit more of a distinction between us.

However I did bring a few gauntlets with me which did garner a fair bit of attention.  Might have to bring a few along next year – people liked trying them on ;)

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I also took the mask for a quick whirl around the space center.  Mostly to scare people you understand ;)

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Finally, you may have noticed I seem to have gained a rather fetching green coat in this pic.  This was made for me by my friends Jon and Sue.  I’d made them some steampunk goggles a while back back and they reciprocated in spectacular fashion with this amazing custom made coat!  Jon is open to commissions so do give him a shout – there’s more info on his blog.

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I’ll be in Lecicester this coming weekend for Steampunks in Space, the National Space Center’s annual steampunk event.  I’ve been there two years in a row now, although I was only exhibiting for the first time last year.  It should be good, so if you’re local do come along ;)

Here’re just a few pieces I’ll be taking along.  There’ll be plenty more ;)

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In a strange occurrence of actually finishing projects I’ve started, I’ve finished my clockwork dude! I need to add a bracket so I can stick this on a stand and I might add a few more mechanical gubbins in the back of his head, but it is, for all intents and purposes, done :)

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Here’s another picture of my big face thing (still not thought of a good name for it!).  I’ve now installed the eyes.  These were made from the ends of roll on deodorant bottles and some plastic baubles that I cut in half.  I’m going to be adding some gears and mechanisms inside the head next :)

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So I spent the weekend parading about like some sort of clockwork menace at The Asylum, Lincoln’s steampunk festival.  I managed to complete my steampunk predator cannon in time and took this along with my steampunk mask.

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I had a great time and the costume was well received – I couldn’t go more than 10 meters without being mobbed by photographers, but I guess you’ve got to expect that if you’re dressed up like a lunatic ;) I spent a fair chunk of the weekend like this!

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The mechanism for the cannon held up pretty well and didn’t break.  There was some slippage or stretching of the cable which meant that the lever that raises the whole assembly didn’t bring it up the whole way after a while.  I could compensate for this by using the up/down motion however.   I got talking to a chap that I know who works in special effects and he was able to give me a few pointers, for example soldering the ends of the bike cable so that they don’t fray, and using cable junctions (this sort of thing, minus the plastic) to connect the cables.

He also suggested creating a hand control, which makes alot of sense.  I think I might rework this doing exactly that.  That way I can control the gun without it looking too obvious that I’m directly controlling it.  I can also exert abit more force with my hand than I can on a wrist mounted control box.

I also gave a talk about the creation of the costume at the event.  I didn’t think anyone would show up initially but in the end I had about 20-30 people and managed to talk for about 20 mins or so.  A fair few techniques went into the creation of the costume so I had a fair bit to say.  Alot of people asked questions and it was quite a receptive audience so it ended up being really fun.  I’m afraid you can see my face in these pics….. ;)

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Here’re a few more pics of the thing, including some pics of the back.

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So I had hoped to post some more in-progress pic of the construction of this thing, but with The Asylum 2015 rapidly approaching I’ve had to get cracking in order to get ready in time.

Here’s the costume so far.  I’m using a version of my mask and backpack that I’d constructed for previous events, I’ve modified the backpack to include the wooden arm so I can mount the gun on my shoulder however.  I’ll hopefully have some more complete pics soon.

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So the last time I posted, the shoulder cannon was basically just a wood and metal mechanism without an actual gun.  It’s come some way since then.  I’ve covered the wooden arm and mechanism in a layer of styrene plastic and spray painted everything green.  The gun is also mostly constructed from styrene and various other found pieces like lids from spray paint cans and contact lens containers.  There’s also a bicycle pump in there and I also cast some copies of those nitrous oxide canisters to include on the side as they’d weigh less than the real thing.

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I also had a go at doing some paint chipping effects by painting the model silver in places then applying some torn up pieces of masking tape.  I then spray painted everything green.  Once it was all dry I peeled off the masking tape.  It doesn’t look too bad for a first try.  I gave the whole piece some washes of brown and black oil paints for weathering.

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Here’s a video of the gun moving.

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