In this section:


Intro to Steampumk

That Really Gets My Gears Going! Steampunk Basics

via Daniel Proulx
via Steampunk Parade

Imagine the Victorian Era, only instead of riding over to your friend’s place in a horse-drawn buggy, you have to fight your way through Lovecraftian monsters using your gattling-gun mounted airship. That, for the most part, is was Steampunk is like.

Combining class and elegance with gritty mechanics is the bread and butter of Steampunk costumes. It gives you the freedom to be as creative as you want, but you’ll need to know how to bring your ideas to life first.

Victorian Fashion

That Really Gets My Gears Going! Steampunk Basics

via Daniel Proulx
via Steampunk Parade

Imagine the Victorian Era, only instead of riding over to your friend’s place in a horse-drawn buggy, you have to fight your way through Lovecraftian monsters using your gattling-gun mounted airship. That, for the most part, is was Steampunk is like.

Combining class and elegance with gritty mechanics is the bread and butter of Steampunk costumes. It gives you the freedom to be as creative as you want, but you’ll need to know how to bring your ideas to life first.

Kit-Bashing and Greebling

You know when you see those costumes that are so full of intricate pieces that you could never hope to recreate them? They were probably made using kit-bashing and greebling. If you don’t already know what that means, you should.

Kit-bashing is when you break apart (bash) a prepackaged product get get certain pieces from it. If you ever bought a variety pack of jewelry because you wanted a single pair of earrings out of it, you were kit-bashing.

Greebling is fixing tiny pieces from other items to a prop to make it look more complex without actually making it more complex. You use the pieces you got from kit-bashing to decorate your prop.

This article shows exactly how it’s done: http://steampunk.wonderhowto.com/how-to/greebling-and-kit-bashing-easy-way-make-intricate-looking-steampunk-props-0142846/

They’re both super-easy to do and will make your outfit look a gajillion times better. Go raid your local thrift or dollar store, find some good pieces, and have at it!

Why So Many Gears?

Gears and Steampunk go together like Santa and reindeer, but it isn’t really clear why. After all, gears weren’t a new phenomena that hit during the Victorian Era–they had been used for thousands of years before then! This is my reasoning on the whole affair.

A large part of it has to do with trains.

Steam engines were created a good century before the Victorian era and relied heavily on tubes and pistons (this video shows you how it works). When the steam engine became powerful enough it was used for high-speed locomotives like trains. Railroads soon took over as the main route of transportation.

As office workers started to rely on trains to get them to their jobs, it became essential that the trains follow a strict schedule. This required that conductors use pocket watches to keep time, all of which used an intricate system of coils and gears to run:

Eventually the idea of the train and the pocket watch, or the steam engine and the gear, became intertwined.

Big Ben

Steampunk’s love affair with gears has a little something to do with Big Ben. Built in 1858 and functioning in 1859, the famous watch tower runs on a massive, intricate, dizzying system of gears that must be wound up to work (yes, even now).

(See some more pictures on Happy Homemaker’s blog.)

Big Ben became an icon of the Victorian Era–the fashion, the technology, the customs, the art style. It was also a representation of how much was possible through simple mechanics: just a few people designed a massive, dependable machine that thousands of others recognize and love. Since Steampunk is based on Victorian inspiration and ingenuity, it makes sense that it would also pull largely from Big Ben.

Okay…but why are you telling me this?

Steampunk may have a large sci-fi and fantasy bent, but it’s also period-based. Whenever you’re working on something from a certain time span you have to know what happened then. It lets you know what you should be working with, helping you build more accurate and impressive costumes later on.

It’s all in the details.

Inspiration and Tutorials

It’s important to have a goal, but even more important to know how to get there. Use these guys as that little extra push to get your outfit made!

via Cuber

Functioning Wings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKd49mAtgp4

Homemade Firing Gattling Gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuS3G7YKrj4

via Faniacal Laugh

19th century prosthetic via design buzz

Bionic hand via the National Post

Steampunk-specific Tutorials

These are a few guides to make things that every Steampunk costumer will need.

Making a Jet Pack: http://www.instructables.com/id/Steampunk-Sky-Raider-Jetpack-With-MP3-LEDs-Fog-/?ALLSTEPS

How to Put on a Corset: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZSs55m6JTA

Making Goggles out of Craft Foam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G8vDgr6c9A

 

Shares