I have a new obsession. Steampunk started as a literary genre of speculative fiction/alternative history, and is specifically alt. Victorian, based on 19th century scientific romance.= (H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Mary Shelly). These humble beginnings have morphed into an emerging subculture, focused on combining a Victorian aesthetic with scientific sensibilities. Partly, I think it's a reaction to our alienation from our objects and our technologies; an attempt to bring humanity and beauty back to technology. As such, modding, reverse-engineering, and the DIY ethos is another key part of Steampunk.
I find this description, from SteamPunk Magazine, to be particularly eloquent:
Before the age of homogenization and micro-machinery, before the tyrannous efficiency of internal combustion and the domestication of electricity, lived beautiful, monstrous machines that lived and breathed and exploded unexpectedly at inconvenient moments. It was a time where art and craft were united, where unique wonders were invented and forgotten, and punks roamed the streets, living in squats and fighting against despotic governance through wit, will and wile.
Even if we had to make it all up.
With this brief intro, I bring you a contribution from Monsoon and me (for I am attempting to drag her into this obsession as well). It may not be on par with the designs of Datamancer, Jake von Slatt, or Kaden, but hey - we're sociologists by trade. And this is our first mod.
We give you: Steamy Ray Guns!!!!
These started as cheap $1 plastic guns from our local dollar store. We lovingly primed and painted them. Here are some pictures of the process (and no, I don't own a tripod, in case you're wondering. Monsoon has a steadier hand than I, so she took the photos):
And here are some Photoshopped images of Monsoon and me holding our guns: