Tag Archives: Steampunk

Steampunk Vocaloid Headphones

26 Jun , 2012,
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Awhile ago, we showed you how to build steampunk goggles on the cheap. Today, we’re going to take steampunk a step further by building a pair of headphones; not just any headphones, but a pair inspired by Vocaloid.

This tutorial will take approximately 60 minutes to complete.

Stuff you’ll need:

1. A pair of old headphones

2. Some mounting board or card stock

3. Sink stoppers

4. Gears (you can get some from model kits or old clocks)

5. Metal scraps

Of course, you’ll also need contact glue, some craft wire, white glue for priming, paint and lacquer for the finish.

Step 1:

Carefully strip away the wires and electronic components from your headphones until only the base structure is left.

What you want is a bare bones setup for you to modify, like so. XD

Step 2:

Next, using sink stoppers, create two ear pieces.

You’ll be surprised just how useful this innocuous bit of kitchenware can be.

First, apply some contact glue to the back of the sink stopper to get it ready for pasting.

Next, pass craft wire through the spokes in the sink stopper, and secure the sink stopper to the headphones base structure.

Craft wire’s great for securing the sink stopper to your base structure.

You’ll end up with something that looks kinda like this.

Step 3:

Using some pencil and paper, draw a cluster of gears onto mounting board or card stock. Next, cut out the shapes carefully with an X-Acto knife. You’ll end up with two sets (one for either ear).

These are essentially embellishments for your headphones, so be as creative as you like. Be sure to paint them a steampunk-y shade too! Bronze or chrome gold is usually a good choice.

Be careful! Those X-Acto’s are sharp!

In our case, we’re cre!ting steampunk ‘wings’ for our headphones. ^_^;;

Paint those wings a golden shade! ^_^

Step 4:

It’s time to put everything together.

First, stick on gears and metal bits to your headphones using contact glue. These lend detail to your headphones, andkgive it a more steampunk-y feel.

We used some metal scraps and gems we had lying around, but you can use anything, really! XD

Complete the look by pasting on the ‘wings’ (you’ll want to tuck these behind the sink stoppers), and decorating them with more gears.

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And we’re done! Steampunk Vocaloid Headphones!

Vote for us in Singapore Blog Awards 2012!

If you liked this cosplay tutorial, and the many other guides and tutorials on our blog, please do vote for us in the Singapore Blog Awards!

We’re dedicated to creating more quality cosplay and pop-culture related content, and your continued support will go a long way towards helping us realize this.

You can do so simply by clicking on the Vote icon, or on this link now.

Girl Genius (Omnibus Vol. 1)

5 Apr , 2012,
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Girl Genius Omnibus Vol. 1 - Cover Art.

Steampunk lovers will be no strangers to Girl Genius, the seminal, award winning comic series created by the amazing Foglios.

Since its inception in 2001, Phil and Kaja’s amazing world of gaslamp fantasy has captured the hearts and minds of readers around the world, introducing them to a spunky heroine whose coming of age story propels her across a continent of conspiracy, conflict and MAD SCIENCE!

Girl Genius is a great read (I’ve been a fan for the past five years),  and if you’re looking to start, then there’s no better place than this Omnibus Edition, which collects Books 1 to 3 of the series.

The 319-page hardcover charts Agatha Clay’s growth as a Spark (that’s Genius-speak for super powered inventor types), when she awakens to her power following a rash of unfortunate events.

It’s a journey that has her traipsing through the interior of an airship city, dodging deadly bugs from another dimension, and evading pursuit from people who either want to use her, or want her dead, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Foglios sure know how to tell a story.

The art’s drawn and colored in the Foglio’s exaggerated and vibrant style – an eclectic brand of cartooning and coloring that complement to the fantastical nature of the story, and the script’s pretty sweet, so readers who’re in it for the meat won’t be disappointed.

Check this omnibus out at Harris Planerds. You can also keep track of Agatha’s adventures at the official Girl Genius site

Our part-time warrior's a Cosplay Girl of the Week!

8 Nov , 2011,
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We just got wind that our part-time warrior Joey’s been featured in Otakus & Geeks website’s weekly Cosplay Girl column.

Here’s a screenie.

Woohoo~! You go, Cosplay Girl! ^_^

The Three Musketeers

28 Oct , 2011,
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The Three Musketeers - Poster Art

Never mind what critics are saying.

It’s high time someone outta Hollywood gave Alexander Dumas’s classic The Three Musketeers a steampunk twist, and director Paul W.S. Anderson (who did Event Horizon, and a whole buncha Resident Evil movies)’s take on it is bloody brilliant.

I was already pretty impressed when I saw the movie trailer several months back (Airship! In 17th century France!), and by the end of its 110 minutes, The Three Musketeers had me completely sold.

The plot’s a fairly faithful rendition of the original, at least up to hickboy D’Artagnan’s encounter with the titular trio in Paris (if you discount the crazy awesome hijinks Athos, Porthos and Aramis get up to in the first 15 minutes of the film), but where it deviates, it does so in a good way.

In terms of casting, Milla Jovovich proved simply stunning as Milady, falling into the role of cunning temptress and witty rogue with easy grace, while Orlando Bloom was suitably slimy as Lord Buckingham.

It was nice to see him playing a decidedly unpleasant part for once, and he delivered it with panache, poofy hair and all.

I wasn’t entirely impressed with Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson)’s performance as D’Artagnan, but Matthew MacFayden, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans were great as the core three.

One thing that really stood out was the music. It was beautifully composed, and appropriately paired with the action on screen. And speaking of action, the sword fights were breathtakingly spectacular – it’s hard to describe the choreography in mere words.

Admittedly, calling it a steampunk film might be something of a misnomer. It’s at best steampunk inspired, if the airships and gadgets are any indication, but the real elements of steampunk – the fashion, trappings and stylistic elements were few and far between.

Still, that’s just one minor detail, and it’s a detail that’s easily overshadowed by everything else on screen. The sets – from the dank, underground vaults of Venice to the palace grounds in Paris – were designed to almost faultless perfection and the wardrobe, while not entirely suffused with cogs and gears, resonated with enough period chic to be charming.

A truly fine feat of film making, and great fun all round, especially if you’re a geek.

All Agog Over Goggles

21 Sep , 2011,
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If you’ve read our Steampunk Goggles Tutorial, and if you’ve actually tried your hand at crafting a pair of your own, we’d love to showcase your work on The Neo Tokyo Project.

Simply post a picture of it on the wall of our Facebook fan page, label it “My Steampunk Goggles – by <YOUR NAME HERE>”. What’s more, the creator of the pair of goggles voted most awesome by our fans and readers will waltz away with a spanking steampunk prize.

This contest closes on 31st October (that’s when voting begins), so get to designing and crafting if you haven’t!

To start things off, here’s an idea from our part-time warrior Joey.

My Steampunk Goggles - by Joey Lim.

Good luck, folks. Cheerio!

Time Lincoln

2 Sep , 2011,
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Time Lincoln - Cover Art

Abraham Lincoln’s not exactly a cultural icon here (we’re more likely to identify with Lyo and Merly than the 16th President of the United States), but when I spied Time Lincoln on the shelves, I knew I had to find out more.

I mean hey, it’s like chemistry. Some elements out there just *click* in the genre blender – like time travel and steampunk (as opposed to cowboys and aliens), and Time Lincoln promised that in tons.

And when I looked at the blurb on the back, and the little footnote that said Story & Art by Fred Perry, I was sold.

The story of Time Lincoln begins in the opera house, on the night of the titular character’s murder.

Communist dictator Joseph Stalin has somehow acquired time traveling powers fueled by “Void” energy, and has traveled into the past to take out his biggest adversary – Ol’ Abe himself.

Unbeknownst to Stalin, this very act proves to be the catalyst which sends Lincoln spiraling into the time stream, starting him off on the path to becoming a true trans-temporal hero and our villain’s greatest foe.

Fred Perry’s manga-inspired style, the same style he’s perfected in Gold Digger,  is evident in Time Lincoln. It’s all incredibly detailed.

Great variance in panel sizes.

...and the use of colors heighten the dramatic qualities of the page.

I especially loved the character designs, which were sleek and crisp, and the accoutrements – the steampunk gadgets and accessories – were sheer genius.

Judicious paneling, coupled with the inventive use of backgrounds and solid colors, also helped heighten the drama and story flow.

And since we’re talking about story, it’s one that doesn’t disappoint.

It’s always hard to write good time travel fiction, yet Fred’s managed to do a decent job of it without any nightmare plot holes or gaping loose ends.

Sure, there’s bits that could have been beefed up, but overall, it’s  solid.

It’s entertaining, in that pulpy sorta way and what’s more, there’s plenty of humor and pop culture references, so be prepared to be tickled.

Give this graphic novel an hour or two of your time. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Steampunk Goggles: On the cheap

5 Aug , 2011,
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If you love steampunk as much as I do, then you’ll know that a pair of Steampunk Goggles are an indispensable part of every discerning adventurer’s wardrobe.

This week, we’ll create a pair of ready to wear steampunk goggles, on the cheap!

This tutorial will take you through the process, which will take approximate 1 hour to complete. You’ll need some extra time for paint to dry and glue to set though, so that’s going to take a good several more hours.

Stuff you’ll need: 

1. A pair of swimming goggles. Available on the cheap from most sports stores. I got mine for $5.

2. A can of metallic finish spray paint in your preferred color. Krylon’s great for this.

3. Glass paint. I defaulted to the bottle of red glass paint I used in my Warlock tutorial.

4. A buncha  cogs and gears. I picked apart a toy car I got from Sungei Road for these. You can also get cogs and gears from hobby stores.

5. A length of leather cord. Also from a craft or hobby store.

You’ll also need a brushes, craft glue, a pair of scissors, needle and thread.

Step 1:

First off, let’s start on the base of your Steampunk Goggles. Take the swimming goggles out of the case. Do NOT remove the plastic film over the lenses of the goggles (you’ll find out why later).

Don’t get rid of the plastic film! You’ll see why later.  ^^;;

Instead, remove the plastic clips holding the goggle strap in place, and remove the strap.

Carefully remove the clips and the strap from your pair of goggles.

Next, take out the rubberized portion of the goggles. You’ll end up with 3 sets, like so.

After dismantling the goggles, you should end up with these.

Step 2:

Using Krylon, or any other a metallic spray of your choice, paint the components you’ve dismantled and the gear parts. Make sure that you spread the color out evenly.

Here’s what we’re using to achieve our golden finish. XD

Spray! Spray! Spray! XD

Loads of gears. See how they shine when you paint em? XD

It takes approximately 3 hours for the paint to dry. Once it’s ready, carefully peel off the plastic film on the lenses.

Peel off the plastic film very carefully.

You’ll end up with something like this.

Step 3:

You’re essentially done with the goggles, but nothing beats giving it a touch of customization. We’ll start by giving the lenses of the goggles a red tint. This effect is achieved with red glass paint.

Eventually, you’ll get something like this.

Finished product. Kinda. XD

Step 4:

Thread a leather strap  through the sides to create a headband. Tuck the ends of the strap into thick pad. Using a thin needle and thread, make a few quick stitches to hold this pad together.

With this ‘wedge’ in place, your headband should be securely attached to your goggles, and won’t slip off easily.

Thread the leather strap through the sides.

Fold the ends of the strap into a thick wad before you sew it up.

Step 5:

Next, we’ll add some steampunk embellishments. You can create these by joining several gears together.

Use craft glue to join them together. You can use computer parts too! XD

Finally, affix these parts to the sides of your goggles, and voila~! Steampunk goggles! ^_^

The completed project, ready to wear! ^_^

Win a pair of hand-crafted Steampunk Goggles! 

To join this Steampunk  giveaway, all you need to do is:

1. Like our Facebook fan page.

2. Share a link to our Facebook fan page on your Facebook wall, and get your friends to like our fan page too.

3. Post a comment here linking back to your Facebook wall post.

4. We’ll do a raffle at the end of next week, and one lucky reader will get to walk away with a pair of Steampunk Goggles crafted by Crimson.

How cool is that? ^_^

1000 Steampunk Creations

22 Jul , 2011,
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If you’re as crazy about steampunk as I am, then you’ll probably fall instantly in love with 1000 Steampunk Creations, showcasing the best in steampunk from around the world and the web.

I was sourcing for inspiration for my latest costume at Planerds – a re-imagining of my Victorian vampire garb, when I chanced upon this title and flipping through the pages just totally blew me away.

It’s hard to describe what’s in this book (since it’s full of pictures) save that it aggregates everything from steampunk home appliances (like that crazy re-skinned Mac computer) to fashion and accessories. What’s more, it covers all aspects of steampunk so there’s plenty to ogle at. Vintage aeronaut, adventuring gear, chic Victorian couture and dystopic togs – it’s all in there.

Just take a look at these awesome examples:

It’s really cool isn’t it? XD

This Sucker Packs A Real Punch!

22 Mar , 2011,
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Sucker Punch - Poster Art

Put five beautiful lasses in leather and latex, arm them to the teeth with two tons of firepower, sic them on a horde of movie mash up monsters, and you’ve got Zack Snyder’s winning formula for a geek wet dream.

I’m talking about Sucker Punch, people, and thanks to the awesome folks at Movie Mania, I was able to get my mitts on a pair of tix to the gala screening tonight.

Sucker Punch combines the best elements of action and pulp fantasy.

It’s the tale of Babydoll, a young girl wrongfully incarcerated in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather, whose only recourse from her cruel and unusual fate is to retreat deep into her imagination, where she finds the inspiration, and courage to plan a bold escape before she gets lobotomized.

Aided by four other girls – the spunky Rocket, earnest Amber, crafty Blondie, and Sweet Pea, who serves as the voice of reason, they attempt a bold plan to steal four items from their captors – a map, fire,  a knife, and a key, which when used together, would set them free.

Perception vs. Reality much?

From the get go, you know that Sucker Punch is gonna be a movie with style.

The curtains go up to a very apt rendition of Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams and a montage that makes bleak and gothic blanch a shade or three.  As we transit into the asylum, we get a healthy dose of foreshadowing – Snyder puts all the elements of the quest on the table in the first 20 or so minutes, and then begins to play God with diagetic reality.

The world peels away in layers – the asylum bleeds into a bordello, and then into a crazy, mashed up and war torn landscape. It’s a transition that’s almost seamless, always underscored by thematic music, and as danger in the real world mounts, Snyder ups the ante in the virtual world, with increasingly complex missions and monsters to face.

In fact, the music and sound engineering is amazing. Top-notch, even. All too often, Hollywood movies focus on the graphical element, and forget to touch on the aural, but Sucker Punch manages, above all else, to not only play it up, but to play it flawlessly.

I got my tix! XD

The world of mash ups is one spanking homage to pop culture after another – there’s giant samurai zombies wielding oversized swords, undead nazis in trenchcoats and gas masks, orcs and armored knights, an aerial dogfight between a dragon and a B-52, and mirror faced goons that look like they popped outta Terminator.

The choreography, camera angles, and CG effects are done tastefully. I didn’t mind the flagrant use of bullet time, slow motion, POV shots, and all the usual tricks in the book. Snyder didn’t shy from using such conventional elements, and they worked. Rather well.

Furthermore, there’s a distinctly surreal quality to Sucker Punch (lending even more weight to the whole imaginary element).

Sucker Punch is almost akin to Alice’s adventures  in a steampunk Wonderland, except Wonderland’s way, way darker and grittier now.

The action is violent and visceral, yet there’s not a single drop of blood on screen, and while the visuals aren’t entirely Dali-esque in the whole melting clocks sort of way, it’s chock full of dream imagery, and the effects just work. Check out the nuked out shell of the Sagrada Familia, and the vorpal bunny, and you’ll know what I mean.

I’ve been singing nothing but praises for Sucker Punch, but one flaw did stand out to my writer’s sensibilities.

It’s a film marred by weak characterization, and the clever premise of imaginary worlds stacked like an onion actually detracted from the storytelling component. The too seamless blending of the real and the virtual blurred the lines too closely, making it hard to get a glimpse of the  girls beyond what is obvious and apparent on screen.

Movie Mania's peeps (and Joey) hamming it up for the day. XD

I would have liked to explore the backstory of the supporting cast a little more, instead of just listening to one liners about how they ran away from home (or worse, nothing at all).

The twist ending, too, seemed a bit rushed. Rather than ending on an Inception moment, it felt like a bit of a cop out, and that didn’t sit well with me.

Still, this film’s deserving of at least a 4 out of 5.

It’s a geek’s guiltiest pleasure, and if you’re a pop culture fan, you will definitely not be prepared for just how many tropes and genre conventions Snyder’s managed to cram into this movie.

And as for the girls on the set, hey, they can punch my lights out anytime. XD

Sucker Punch opens in theatres this Thursday, 24 March, 2011.

Mystery, mayhem, Mechanika, oh my~!

19 Jan , 2011,
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Lady Mechanika Issue #1 - Cover Art

I’m a sucker for steampunk. There’s something inherently fascinating about Victorian glamor, and how it gels so well with clockwork contrivances, wind-up killer robots, flintlock pistols affixed with laser scopes, and welding goggles as fashion accessories. Which, of course,  accounts for why, even before my copy of Joe Benitez’s Lady Mechanika shipped, she’d already got her hooks in me.

I first discovered this gem of steampunk coolness in the pages of Previews magazine two months earlier, during one of my routine visits to the comic store. Of course, the first print of this new Aspen title had already sold out by then, and I had to wait for the second print, which hit shelves only a couple days ago.

Set in 19th Century England, Lady Mechanika is a tale about its namesake character. The big M is a lass whose traumatic past has left her bereft of her memories and her limbs, and armed with a whole lot of new hardware (it’s a pun, get it? XD).

Like other good, old fashioned Victorian protagonists, she works as a private eye, tackling crimes and mysteries run-of-the-mill bobbies shy away from. Very Holmes-y, really. She’s aided by Littleton, her Watson, and you can imagine there’s a Moriarty’s lurking in the shadows, up to something nasty.

As it turns out, her adventure begins with a thread to her past – another girl with mechanical grafts turns up in the city, dead.

Benitez's dynamic art and paneling are obvious from this page...

... and this page, for example.

Character hook’s in your face, and the plot’s just as straightforward. Villains are (presumably) introduced nice and early, and you instantly get the feel that there’s something rotten going on (as if shady, masked characters toting guns and running a poor girl down aren’t obvious enough).

The story picks up from there, and leaves off with a sort of a mini cliff-hanger (also involving shady figures), but no real surprises there.

Whenever I read Benitez’s work, I get the feeling that he’s better at character and world creation than at storytelling, and I get this same vibe from Lady Mechanika.

Still, while he might not be a genius storyteller, he’s an incredibly talented artist. The penciling and inking is top notch and reminiscent of his work on The Darkness and Magdelena. The characters, especially, are gorgeous, and the costumes really evince a strong, Steampunk feel.

Colors are vibrant, the use of splashes, like reds and blacks, deliberate, and the backgrounds are generally impressive. The paneling is clean as well, which contributes much to the overall readability of the comic and its visual appeal.

I’m definitely looking forward to more Lady Mechanika in the weeks to come, that’s for sure. You can bet your pocketwatch on it. XD