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18 Feb 2009 - 14:1610893
Quote Millenia:
oh cool a steampunk thread!

I always loved classical literature - Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Gaston Leroux, Wilkie Collins etc. It kinda built the foundations on which steampunk followed later on in my teenhood.

Me and my best friend found out about Steampunk when we saw some of Alexander McQueen's fashion photos when we were studying art in school. We got hooked on the genre.. tried to make a steampunk revolution back then but.. nobody really got it T_T Mind you that was back before we entered the cosplay community!

Back in Sixth Form I started a story called The Sinister Tea Cult of Guildford... about steampunk pirates and smugglers. It's been sitting at the back of my mind for years, and it's nowhere near as developed as Sean's Flight of the Valkyrie (which I thoroughly reccommend as a dashing good read)


Alexander Mcqueen ^.^ is a really good way to get into steampunk, alot of females in my fashion class had sort of unknowingly got into it that way ^.^ couple that with literature and there you have it.

I have recently been shown by fishyfins a magazine I was totaly unaware existed in britan. the chap magazine is a really amazingly tongue in cheek read ^.^ i would hihgly reccomend it for 3 pounds ^.^ most amusing ^^


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18 Feb 2009 - 20:4410899
on the topic of the use of "punk" in any of it's common contexts, (from a totally outside view, i have no interest in any of the "-punk" cultures) it's really an inappropriate postfix.

punk (after it ceased being regularly used for the description of dry woods, and a breed of fungus) derived from "perh", which was a slang word used to shorten "those poor of quality". this word appeared in the late 1500's to describe prostitutes and hoodlums. later the word changed (like so many words do) into "punk", and for many years was used exclusivly as a slang term for prostitute.

some time in the 1900's the word's meaning changed to a broader spectrum of antisocialites, but still remained a term affixed to those "poor of quality" (thugs, bullies, and other assorted low class individuals and groups)

in the latter half of the 1900's (around 1970+) the word became affixed to the music movement of the time, punk rock. which comprised mostly of garage bands producing poor quality recordings, and wearing clothes of questionable fashion and quality.

so in reality, using -punk as a postfix for cultures is really a misnomer, unless those cultures are poor of quality.

(this post is kind of a cut down and edited version of an essay i wrote about the cyberpunk revolution, but it applies to almost all the -punk cultures)


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19 Feb 2009 - 02:5710906
From a True steamer
Quote sjbonnar:
Quote Deceipher:
The great thing about Steam punk outfits is how cheap and readily available the materials are. I mean just by raking through charity shops, breaking apart machines for parts and buying piping from hardware shops you can have yourself an awesome outfit. I wouldn't spend over £50 on an outfit because I feel like I'm going against the whole look i'm trying to achieve. Haggard, dirty and lots of steam : O
(fixed`some spelling)

That very much depends on what kind of look you're trying to achieve and how accurate to the time period you want to be. If you're trying to be a random mechanic, that kind of thing will work.

If you're trying to be a member of the military, that won't work as you'll need an accurate uniform.

And my costume was over £400, because I went about getting tailor-made, time-accurate suits, top-hats, goggles from the 1800s...etc.

And Monkey: that's quite alright. I'm just getting into the whole acting thing at the moment ^_^'


i find having the clothing items tailor made well..... a semi skimmed form of the experience for making a steamer's outfit

i mean the joy of going into a plumbing store and finding the discount section full of brass piping ( im ecstatic) to go into the army surplus and find they have classic world war two goggles just ready to be thrown out, just because they have broken? ( im giddy with anticipation) to walk into a charity shop and find that elusive filigree double-breasted waistcoat ( im in Ecstasy) ^_^" but maybe im just odd.

to say you've spent that much? im shocked really, i mean i cant see myself spending the suit itself cant be to much more that 50-60 pounds ( English sterling) from greenwoods as well for a suit for a costume, i mean i wear steam punk as my wear everyday, i made a lab coat for working in labs( im a chem student) i wear goggles for a purpose not just for poses but i cant see myself putting 400 into it, i guess its alright for some, and those that can i guess i would love an overview to see where the money went though, i mean maybe i missed something ^_^ im one who hates self-ignorance so i mean if you wanna hit me up with a pm with a run down thats cool

but doesn't it go against the term punk of steam( punk coming from the actions of antagonistic nature of most of the novels that started off steam punk as a whole ( actually a sub-genre of cyberpunk punk and in fact a parody when it first came into light)to spend tons of money on it, and wouldn't it take from the fun and wonder of the outfit..... but i digress im sure any well read steamer would know this, im sure once you've been into it for any length of time ( a couple of years or so) anyone would know this.

Now onto Steamers itself, i love any pet name for our little grouping in style, i personally cuddle up to the genre and call it pumpkin, and it smiles, blushes and says " oh you" now as for the term, steamers its well known, well used and much more lexically pleasing than saying steam punk over and over, i think we are all grown ups here, if we want to make jokes about fecal matter then we should take it to an alternative website and i feel i would of expected more from a moderator of a website to bring up the subject for a style he himself he has adopted ( sorry for the personal attack on that but hey ... come on)

now dont get me wrong after this rant, im not out to say im the worlds best steamer, i just feel that some things need to made clear, i mean i feel that my side of the steam punk community hasn't been represented yet on here, i guess yeah i would say im quite long term, committed i guess and i guess i like to see people set onto a more relaxed friendly set of rails on our great steam engine

this is Riz verne dupre, keepin it brassy looking forward to continue this, and i hope for the PM ^_^



Last edited by Riz (19 Feb 2009 - 03:06)
19 Feb 2009 - 09:4110907
Hey there Riz,
I really respect your views and all, and that you're committed to your genre, but I do think you may be being a little harsh on SJ about his costume money-spending.
I know my views differ from yours, so I hope you'll understand this and not take it the wrong way, but I believe that it doesn't matter how much you spend on a costume, whether it's a £10 job from a charity store or the full tailor-made hog for hundreds of pounds.
I understand what you're saying about it seeming antagonistic to steampunk's denoted semantic meaning, but in this current post-modern culture, everything (including punk) is so far removed from its origins that it's nearly impossible to state whether someone is corresponding to a culture in the right or wrong manner.
I'm really glad you're here and talking about your side of the steampunk community, as I love seeing the variety within the genre. But you mentioned 'your side' in your post, and I do believe that there is more than one side of the community, not all steampunks/steamers are exactly like you, some just do things a little differently.
I hope you'll respect my views too!
Cheers


19 Feb 2009 - 09:5010908
Quote xaerael:

(this post is kind of a cut down and edited version of an essay i wrote about the cyberpunk revolution, but it applies to almost all the -punk cultures)


Sounds really interesting Xaerael! I'd love to hear more about this essay



Last edited by (19 Feb 2009 - 09:51) Reason: typos!
19 Feb 2009 - 10:0410909
Quote Millenia:
Hey there Riz,
I really respect your views and all, and that you're committed to your genre, but I do think you may be being a little harsh on SJ about his costume money-spending.
I know my views differ from yours, so I hope you'll understand this and not take it the wrong way, but I believe that it doesn't matter how much you spend on a costume, whether it's a £10 job from a charity store or the full tailor-made hog for hundreds of pounds.
I understand what you're saying about it seeming antagonistic to steampunk's denoted semantic meaning, but in this current post-modern culture, everything (including punk) is so far removed from its origins that it's nearly impossible to state whether someone is corresponding to a culture in the right or wrong manner.
I'm really glad you're here and talking about your side of the steampunk community, as I love seeing the variety within the genre. But you mentioned 'your side' in your post, and I do believe that there is more than one side of the community, not all steampunks/steamers are exactly like you, some just do things a little differently.
I hope you'll respect my views too!
Cheers


i say, if you actually have the money, and you wanna spend that much on the costume, then go for it, lol. if it makes you happy, then thats what matters. i personally enjoy Riz's idea a lot more, with the buying stuff from charity shops, and bargain bins. it gives me something of a hit if i find something, that i dont get anywhere else.
i also think that, costume wise, there is very little difference of inpact in spending hundreds on a costume, as opposed to spending a few pounds. the general public on the street probably would not notice a difference between the two, and only people within the steampunk niche would be able to tell. if a guy walked down the street in a £50, scrap steampunk costume, next to a guy in a £200 tailor made steampunk outfit, no one would be able to tell the difference.


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Disasters road has been walked by better men

19 Feb 2009 - 10:1410910
Riz: i like to see people set onto a more relaxed friendly set of rails on our great steam engine

Here Here ^.^ actually the punk referes to the Anarchic nature of the world itself as well as the characters. Its a moot point that we are all discussing here as all steampunks are diffrent ^.^ now the name itself for me is what it was in the late 70s It really hasnt changed that much. I thought Riz's views on price are totaly grouded ^.^ not everyone can affored major budgets which riz mentioned he would not pay himself. Being a charity shop whore biscuit ^.^ I personally dont buy things new I find the fun is drained out of it when someone else has touched my garb before hand, I enjoy customising and changing clothes as well as i suppose giving to charity LOL, what im saying is its a part of the play that i wouldnt miss. I dont think Riz was being harsh I think Sjbonnar will take it in good stead as a fellow debater ^^ he seems mature enough to give good feedback. And I look forward to his reply ^.^

ps: im still raving about the chap magazine ^.^


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Last edited by Captain_Marvelous (19 Feb 2009 - 10:15)
19 Feb 2009 - 10:1510911
Quote Fishyfins:

i say, if you actually have the money, and you wanna spend that much on the costume, then go for it, lol. if it makes you happy, then thats what matters.

Exactamundo!

I must say i'm a charity shop kinda person myself, but that's just my personal taste


19 Feb 2009 - 10:2010912
Quote Millenia:
Quote Fishyfins:

i say, if you actually have the money, and you wanna spend that much on the costume, then go for it, lol. if it makes you happy, then thats what matters.

Exactamundo!

I must say i'm a charity shop kinda person myself, but that's just my personal taste


what are charity shops like where you live?


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19 Feb 2009 - 10:2310913
Quote ryukredapples:
Quote Millenia:
Quote Fishyfins:

i say, if you actually have the money, and you wanna spend that much on the costume, then go for it, lol. if it makes you happy, then thats what matters.

Exactamundo!

I must say i'm a charity shop kinda person myself, but that's just my personal taste


what are charity shops like where you live?

Well, like most charity shops I presume! There's tons of them around Farnborough and Aldershot, that's where I do most of my cosplay shopping


19 Feb 2009 - 10:2610915
we have the awesome everything for a pound charity shop its where i accumulate all of my suits from O_o got a really nice tux from there ^.^ I get excited the most in charity shops than any other type


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19 Feb 2009 - 10:2810916
Quote ryukredapples:
we have the awesome everything for a pound charity shop its where i accumulate all of my suits from O_o got a really nice tux from there ^.^ I get excited the most in charity shops than any other type


you have a lot better luck than i do sir. i think i must always go in after you visit and buy all the good stuff. i never find anything decent in those charity shops you mention


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Disasters road has been walked by better men

19 Feb 2009 - 10:2910917
Quote ryukredapples:
we have the awesome everything for a pound charity shop its where i accumulate all of my suits from O_o got a really nice tux from there ^.^ I get excited the most in charity shops than any other type

oh awesome!
oh hey if you like army surplus stuff you should SO go to aldershot (it's not a great town in itself but it's a major army town in the UK and it has some great surplus stores!)


19 Feb 2009 - 10:4010918
OMG army surplus rocks its not to badly priced in hull ^.^ I need alot for my naked snake/big boss cosplay. I just love...everything ^.^ and fishyfins I always buy most of the mens stuff in there, and some of the ladies ^,^ lol


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19 Feb 2009 - 12:3210925
It really depends on the characters you're doing and the props you are doing.

Like Pierre my goblin chef is expensive, not because of the clothes, but because of all the prosthetic parts that we had to make for him.

My costume is pretty cheap, but that's only because I have the skill to make corsets myself. If I didn't know how then I would have had to pay someone £400-£500 to make the exact custom corset I needed. That's not the kind of thing you'd ever be able to buy in a charity shop, so if it weren't me making the costume I could have spent a grand on it so far.

So in Sj's defence, if you don't know how to make something from scratch, and you need that exact thing, then you'll have to spend a lot of money to get it. It's all about the character you have chosen to do, and how exact you want to be to your initial idea.

Tab


19 Feb 2009 - 12:4910928
Quote Uber-Nerd:
It really depends on the characters you're doing and the props you are doing.

Like Pierre my goblin chef is expensive, not because of the clothes, but because of all the prosthetic parts that we had to make for him.

My costume is pretty cheap, but that's only because I have the skill to make corsets myself. If I didn't know how then I would have had to pay someone £400-£500 to make the exact custom corset I needed. That's not the kind of thing you'd ever be able to buy in a charity shop, so if it weren't me making the costume I could have spent a grand on it so far.

So in Sj's defence, if you don't know how to make something from scratch, and you need that exact thing, then you'll have to spend a lot of money to get it. It's all about the character you have chosen to do, and how exact you want to be to your initial idea.

Tab


for steampunk, its more about making your own costume, rather than basing it on another character. dsigning your own character, and making whatever costume you like, dpending on what affect you want. if you did want to do a very specific character, then yes. but mostly with steampunk, as we dont do specific characters, there is no need to make anything overly specific. there is nothing specific like that needed really.

btw Nerd, i remember you from Alcon, your skit was EPIC!!!!!!!


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Disasters road has been walked by better men


Last edited by Fishyfins (19 Feb 2009 - 12:51)
19 Feb 2009 - 13:0110930
I'm with fishyfins here its all about the making and or editing for me and our small circle of fellows and ladygarments, I mean most things ive seen steampunks wearing apart from what uber-nerd was saying about the corsettes (a fine skill I would be greatly intrested in knowing how if you have a moment to give the jist) ive seen in charity shops.

*just had really good buys from charity shop today in fact ^.^ really nice lacy corsetty thing in a nice sort of tan effect if you follow ^.^ ohhhhh exciting*


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Last edited by Captain_Marvelous (19 Feb 2009 - 13:02)
19 Feb 2009 - 13:2210934
Okay here I enter with my rather newbie view on things! I've been slowly Introduced to steampunk recently (mostly helped by an article from - you guessed it- The Chap magazine ^^,) and I have to agree with the majority here. Dont get me wrong, in the defense of Sjbonner if i Had £100 to spend on some whimsical meow irregular choice ankle boots and a good £60 to spend on a corset stlye jacket off Ebay then I would! But, i just dont have that kind of cash- infact, Ive got the begginning of a nice outfit already, its probably cost me little under £10, and all id really need now are hand made accessories. I do think i depends on the type of person you are as to how you get enjoyment out of it, and i for one probably wont make alot myself. My main job will probably be applying lace. Lots of lace- oh and BOWS! But it doesnt mean i wouldnt be very satisfied with a cool looking handmade revolver and goggles And if you get into the right community of like-minded steamers (hmmm.. steamies sounds cuter ^^,) theres always someone to help you make that awesome respirator you designed!
I think some of it is talent and priorities, too. With someone who has to dedicate alot of time and money on meeting deadlines and what i will call 'educational and student supplies' and also upcoming rent, you dont have the time to make something up out of alot of surplus cash. Hell, thats what HomeBase plumbing clearance bins are for!!

...I think what im trying to say might be that money doesnt matter at all. If you have to cash to show off by all means do but in the end it doesnt make a difference because usually hard work pays off and you end up looking in most cases better. Plus who wants to buy something that theres a chance someone else could also have? I'd rather be unique and my own character


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19 Feb 2009 - 13:3910940
Quote:
for steampunk, its more about making your own costume, rather than basing it on another character. dsigning your own character, and making whatever costume you like, dpending on what affect you want. if you did want to do a very specific character, then yes. but mostly with steampunk, as we dont do specific characters, there is no need to make anything overly specific. there is nothing specific like that needed really.

btw Nerd, i remember you from Alcon, your skit was EPIC!!!!!!!


I know that it's about making your own character- I'm just unfortunate that I got an amazing idea for a specific item of clothing, so I had to make it. If I couldn't make it myself however I probably wouldn't have comissioned it from anyone though because I'm not going to chuck that much money at a costume that doesn't have to be specific.

To be honest, I love the steam costumes I'm making, because it's giving me a chance to show off a lot of skills that don't get shown when I make armour. Because while I can make armour, sewing is my favorite thing. So if I want to show people I can make corsets, I can give my characters corsets. It's rather nice to have that free feeling when it comes to making a costume, where I'm used to having to make something specifically, with a bit less creativity.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment on the skit!

Tab


19 Feb 2009 - 13:5310941
i agree with you there Uber. i much prefere to make my own stuff. and with most of my cosplays, i do make my own, or at least buy and heavily modify, and its one of the things i enjoy the most about cosplay. allowing me to be creative with fabric

thats why when it comes to Steam, i make my own accessories. tis why we raid homebase and B&Q, and plumbing and hardware shops. i really like the fact i can just string a load of random crap together and have it look loke something that might pass for steampunk (usually with a lick of bronze paint or something). for the steamy clothes though, i dunno, i just find buying is easier i guess. a lot of it is better than anything i could make myself.


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Disasters road has been walked by better men

19 Feb 2009 - 16:2910945
Like I said, it depends on what kind of character you're going for. I wrote my novel, I planned my character and he's an aristocrat.

As such, he's not going to be wearing clothing found in a thrift store or sewn together by hand. I have never worked with Victorian materials before, nor have I ever made a suit, let alone a tailcoat.

Because of this, I had a choice. Either sacrifice Count Louis de Theudubert and do something simpler, or stay true to my original plan. Like I said, my suit isn't merely a suit, it is a replica Victorian tailcoat made from the same kind of fibres they were using at the time.

The props were made from scratch, save my cutlass which was bought. And that included an analogue comptuer (wrist-mounted which was made by our Gunner as seen earlier in the topic) and also my monogoggle which was made.

While goggles aren't an essential piece of kit in my eyes, my character is the Captain of an airship and as such it made sense for him to have a pair. I decided to get some antique ones from the very early 1900's that I found relatively cheap.

My boots were quite expensive, but then, most good footwear is these days...

I think it's a bit iffy to put me down based on what I've spent. I have other Steampunk clothing that I wear, but I wear it as my usual attire, as such, it's not very grand and not something I would call a costume by any means. It still captures the Steampunk ethos without it being as outlandish as the Count.

I hope this has kind of explained my choice for THAT character and now you know that I wear neo-victorian clothing casually as well, hopefully you'll understand some more. As those items were obtained from charity shops, modified clothing and some random accessories that fit the bill.

Also, I'm never going to agree with Steamers LOL I've had this discussion on Brass Goggles and won't bring it here too much other than to encourage people to avoid it as I have known more than one person to take offence to it ^_^

And thank you to those that defended me.


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


19 Feb 2009 - 20:1510949
Hey guys, let's all be as civilised as we can get (be we sweaty steampunk pirate that hasn't bathed in days or the practised aristocrat) ^__^ It sounds like a couple men might be getting a little too steamy (no, no, not in the yaoi sense of course). I like this debate/discussion very much and I think the clothing style, culture, and history of this Steampunk world needs a lot more love and discussion, especially within a cosplay context because a lot of people outside the cosplay community don't realise that Steampunk can actually cross into the cosplay realm!

On the subject of charity store vs expensive tailor-made costumes... I don't mind. I think if the character you're portaying is supposed to be super rich then it's either going to take a lot of research, and rummaging, and altering to make the costume as desired, or a well placed order with a good tailor, preferably a historic one. It's quite right to assume that the aristocrat would have more expensive looking clothes and accessories, especially if he's a military captain. Then again, 'captain's of airships don't have to be military and therefore the aristocrat may have left his luxuries to command a more free and less-opulent ship. It's all down to the personal choice, I think. I personally like to work with fabrics and store-bought items that simply look the part rather than work with the awkward fabrics and techniques of the time. I like my modern stitching, teflon, and nylon and synthetic satin etc. However if you want an authentic tweed or pure wool you're going to be paying more, of course you are. My character, who is as of yet undebuted, is a wench-like and femenine pirate who masquerades as being a damsel to allow her crew into places they would otherwise not get. She was born into a high society family but gave that up to be free. So, some expensive-looking items may creep into her wardrobe and I'll try to keep the fabrics as authentic-looking as possible but I doubt I'll spend a lot of money on it as I have a lot of other cosplays who are my priorities! One does not have to use heavy brass when one can spray light plastic and be able to life up ones head properly! One cannot carry a weapon or tool that is so heavy and made from authentic materials around a convention for safety reasons. Props can be very imaginative but they can be done on a budget if you're not bothered about the working bits. If you want working bits, it might cost more. Again, personal choice.

A thrifty pirate or a pampered aristocrat, I think the method of obtaining the clothing and props is irrelevant so long as the image projected and the feeling of the wearer is that of the one in the character. If you're just wearing it for yourself as an everyday thing, then your clothing will always reflect you no matter where you got it, how you made it, or how much you spent on it. Don't feel put down if people are critical because you spent loads, or you spent not very much, it's about how you feel about your costume and if you think it projects what you want it to.

(Wow this is already a long post!)

As for the name, I kinda don't like the term "Steamers" but who am I to tell anyone else what to call it? I think Steampunk as a style of clothing and a lifestyle is very, very personal so everyone might call it something different. So long as we all know what we're talking about, I think it's fine. Hell, it might even give us some insight into our new friends depending on how they refer to a fashion- I've known it to be true before. I think the term "steampunk" is strange in its own evolution, as not all steampunk characters are anarchistic, or even that steamy! I'm not sure what I would call it, though, so I guess Steampunk is a good a name as any and if you want to shorten it to "Steamer" I guess that's a personal choice. I don't like being called a "Trekkie" because I like Star Trek, or a "Loli" when I wear gothic lolita clothing, but that's just my taste. I'm interested to why it's been called "Steampunk" in the first place, and why people shorten it to "Steamer" (To me, I get this image of a Sand Steamer from Trigun when people say that!)

And now I'll be quiet because I think I've just worn down my fingers to the bone ^^


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xx Tetra xx
20 Feb 2009 - 00:0810953
I do love the Steampunk clothes, I really do need to buy a pair of split lens goggles some time. XD
It's interesting to see a clothing style that manages to look good by going backwards in time. I love seeing the pretty corseted dresses and fancy military uniforms complete with bicorn hat. Also the scientist/airman/engineer stuff looks pretty awesome.
I myself have recently taken a big interest in 2 closely linked (more often than not the same), newly emerging relatives of Steampunk.
Namely Dieselpunk and Atomicpunk. Essentially it is the same principles of Steampunk comprised of WWII and Cold War (mainly military and industrial) clothing.
The whole idea is dressing like it's a 1950s world where WWII never happened or turned out differently and there is a worl0d arms race. (Very similar to Command & Conquer Red Alert
You can get alot of Diesel/Atomicpunk related things like military uniforms and gas masks rather cheaply from the internet because of the fall of the Soviet Union and all the hundreds of unused surplus Soviet and East German gear that went up for sale because of it.
I'm very tempted to write a fiction of my own on the genre actually.


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Last edited by Jeff_Kamiki_Jurai (20 Feb 2009 - 00:10)
20 Feb 2009 - 00:3410954
Oh, speaking of fiction, Flight of the Valkyrie Chapter 9 has just gone up ^_^

And yeah, Dieselpunk is actually really interesting! I don't like atomicpunk so much to be honest.

Cyberpunk is still awesome though ^_^


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CosplayIsland Staff Member


20 Feb 2009 - 12:2310961
I'm really glad the topic is back on great form ^.^ after reading everyones post I really think everyone had valid points from Riz to fishyfins to sjbonnar ^.^ even misstetra had her hand into it and am very gleeful she got a trigun mention in there *steamers does conjour up sandsteamers ^^ how i like it even more* ^,^ *she is after all my steambot chronicles buddy*

Dieselpunk is really intresting but isnt something ive had much exposure to. being extremely intrested in WW2 I would love someone to post me to some sites ^.^

I must concede with sjbonnar here im not the biggest fan of atmoicpunk in the world.

ok so going back on to topic I would love to hear peoples ideas about props. If say you were making a prop that consisted of plastic yet wanted to make it look brass/copper how would you guys go about it. Ive given my respirator a coat of black car primer and then applied a thin washcoat of tamiya brass to it, it looks really authentic and was really cost and time effective ^.^

any other ideas? could people let me in on there prop secrets?


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Last edited by Captain_Marvelous (20 Feb 2009 - 12:24)
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