By Cory Doctorow at 1:06 am Sat, Jan 26, 2008
So, by your logic my sketches in my notebook aren’t art because I’ve never taken them beyond the covers of my moleskine? Balderdash.
Steampunk is an aesthetic, not some little club for people with dremel skills alone. The gent making the stained glass computer mod
has really done something laudible, but so has this person. They took an item and owned it, shaped it and remade it. It’s simple work, but it’s more than many people do with their possessions. Further, the simplicity of this modification might be appealing to people who don’t have alot of technical skills but still enjoy the act of creation/making. Snobbery about what is an isn’t worthy of being steampunk goes against the very homespun, personal and hand-crafting nature of the movement as art.
Art is a doorway, not a doorstop.
I own a huge nerf gun and after seeing this I think I’m going to give it a facelift.
It’s an insult to real Victorian craftsmen – who spent hours of painstaking hand labor to create genuinely beautiful, precision objects that did something – that their aesthetic has now been appropriated to describe objects that have no substance whatsoever.
Tell that to William Morris. The Arts and Crafts Movement was a reaction to shoddy Victorian mass production techniques. Victorian finery is so frilly because it has to cover up the poor craftsmanship of the object’s carcass. Steampunk items are generally better made than their Victorian inspirations.
what’s the earliest reference to “steampunk” as a term? I’ve always though of it as an aesthetic exemplified in Majo no Takkubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989)
awesome i haven’t seen this type of gun ever before .
…the term steampunk originated in the late 1980s as a tongue in cheek variant of cyberpunk.
I think of it as originating in The Wild, Wild West (60s TV, not the film) and picking up a grimy patina in David Lynch’s Dune.
hmm, Looks like Jeter gets the coining credit. Remember The Abominable Dr.Phibes?(1971)
One of my dubious claims to fame is that my former landlord wrote the screenplay for that film. I think that he based the title character on a perkier, more compassionate version of himself.
hot damn! Write your autograph on your screen and I’ll quantum transfer it to my collection.
That really is remarkable, did he get any money for it?
He got money for everything. On a side note, his wife was (apparently) schizophrenic. I’m guessing that because, the one time that she visited the house with him, she was wearing a tiara over a turban. She wrote out a little mimeographed slip of paper making me a Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Humane Letters from the Humanity Research University of Beverly Hills, California, because she liked the way that the house was decorated. Sometimes, the screenplay doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Ha ha! Well Dr. Antinous, ’tis a mantle you deserve more than many others.
Wow! The top one looks an awful lot like Hellboy’s new gun “Big Baby” from the upcoming movie “Hellboy: The Golden Army” Check it out at the site:
Takuan — Kiki’s Delivery Service? Are you sure you don’t mean Laputa (Castle in the Sky)?
nope, Kikis’. Complete with airships etc. Raputa was more fantasy/science fiction.
Makes one wonder if the darts have been modded, too..
I’m waiting for the all-metal model :)
I actually did something pretty similar a couple months back:
One in the hand…
The darts are as-yet-unmodded, but my intention (once I’ve got some extras) is to try and fix ‘em up as LED throwies.
… foamy blunderbuss.
i can haz yoofemizm?
You mean that isn’t a euphemism?
Nicely brassy; they look legit yet likely won’t be confused for the real thing by trigger-happy officers of “the law.”
Here’s a whole table of guns my friends and I modded out. It’s a pretty fun weekend thing to do if you feel like just being silly.
This is one I modded out that I thought was very Star Wars like.
This is one my friend did, based off of the same gun as before’>
Here’s what my gun looked like before I painted it.
Ooooooohhh! Lust lust lust lust WANT!
Great work. The Maverick is a great piece to start from.
Here is a shot of the Blunderbassoon. A steampunk weapon I built.
This fella has an interesting take on the idea: http://hoogteziekte.blogspot.com/2008/01/maverick-nerf-pistola.html
Similar on Etsy:
What, is slapping a little metallic paint on something enough to be considered steampunk now? I thought steampunk was pointless when it involved brazing non-functional copper tubing and gears onto every surface, but these plastic toys haven’t even been modded to that extent. It’s an insult to real Victorian craftsmen – who spent hours of painstaking hand labor to create genuinely beautiful, precision objects that did something – that their aesthetic has now been appropriated to describe objects that have no substance whatsoever.
Let’s see a Nerf launcher powered by one of these
AFAIK, the first use of Steampunk was in reference to Gibson and Sterling’s THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE; given that both were arch-exemplars of “cyberpunk,” it makes sense.
Crazy! My bf and I attended Dragon*Con in Atlanta last august and we dressed as Steampunk Chrononauts. We modded and used the exact two nerf guns as these! Ours look a little less steam and more punk, but after seeing these, it does my heart proud to know we were on to something. I should link some pics from my flikr to show off!
I completely agree with you. When I saw this in my RSS feed, I’d hoped that some additional etching had been done, at the minimum. These guns do look cooler than their unmodded counterparts, but I don’t think they’re worthy of the label “steampunk.”
All of this steampunk stuff reminds me of the PC game Thief. Remember the mechanical men that come after you with a little furnace/boiler powering them that you had to shoot with a water arrow to make them shut down?
Hallelujah! I’ve never been able to explain what it is that bugs me so much about calling anything that deviates from a Victorian standard “steampunk,” that’s a huge part of it.
I had that Nerf gun pictured on top for a long time, and the one in the photo is essentially stock except for the paint job. It’s cool, but if you ask me its takes more than some paint to qualify as “steampunk.”
I just finished a few similar to these. You can check them out at:
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