Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Steampunk Transformers and Pac-"not-so-gentle"Man

Well it's been a most adventurous few days I must say. A quick jaunt through the æthyr with some good friends resulting in hours of dodging large steam powered machine/men, avoiding the ghosts lured hither by a not so gentlemanly gentleman, and helping thwart conspiratorial plots against with crown with one Detective Holmes and his man, Watson.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

World of Steampunk? Steampunk of Warcraft?

The other day the good captain paid an unannounced visit to a dear friend and caught them in the middle of a most time consuming pursuit. Said friend was elbows deep in a video game. Perhaps you might have even heard of it, it's called World of Warcraft. Now I was aware of this game seeing as how as captain and gentleman I must be up to date on all scientific, avionic, social and cultural trends lest I fall into the most horrible of categories...the uninteresting! Back to the tale however, as I understood it the game was set in a fantasy world with orcs and elves and other mystical creatures fighting each other for glory and profit. Imagine my shock when I discovered steampunk wonders in this world flying high in the skies and even tooling along down streets in fantasy cities!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sillof's Stunning Steampunk Action Figures

It does seem that I've been posting a fair bit of toys and action figures lately, but today I show you the cream of the crop, a true king among men when it comes to sculpting action figures. The mighty Sillof has created entire lines of one of a kind steampunk action figures that are just simply stunning. I'd even dare call them works of art! Pulling from our favorite childhood inspirations he has delved into the realms of Star Wars, Justice League, Dune, and even more.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vampire Hunting and Steampunk Cthulhu

The good captain is most fortunate to have been invited to a live action Call of Cthulhu game taking place this weekend in the "Greater New York Area." I've had more than my fair share of encounters with Lovecraftian terrors in the æthyr to know one must always be prepared for such things, and so as I assembled my various kits for detecting and fighting such horrors I decided to fire up the Anomaly Obscura Engine and see what additional instrument and tools were out there to aid me.

Now I've shared a great deal of steampunk wonders designed for dealing with various supernatural entities before, in fact the good captain holds a special place in his heart for such alternate scientific devices, but a recent article I just saw caught my eye featuring an actual vampire hunting kit from the early 1800s. Truly, some forward thinking scientist thought best to be prepared for the inevitable encounter with the nosferatu and his carefully collected tools were recently sold at auction for an unbelievable $15,000! It warms the captain's heart knowing such value is still placed on personal security against the night terrors.


The kit comes complete with stakes, mirrors, a gun with silver bullets (because as we all know, where there's vampires there is undoubtedly werewolves as well!), crosses, a bible, holy water, candles, and even garlic - though I doubt the garlic is truly original to the set - and it is all contained neatly in an American walnut case with a cross carved on top. Surely at only $15,000 this was a true value! If nothing else the sheer beauty of this collection of vampire thwarting conveniences should have some value as a conversation starter if left conspicuously left lying around one's workshop.

"Why yes Virginia, that is a vampire hunting kit, how kind of you to notice. Just a little something I brought back with me after my fateful expedition to an ancient and forgotten Peruvian temple we thought had long been abandoned..."

For those who believe $15,000 for a little peace of mind might be steep, here is another lovely vampire hunting kit also from the 19th century, though a bit later than the first.

This one is was a veritable steal at auction, going for a paltry $12,000. And if a gentleman isn't willing to spend $12,000 to ensure the safety of his family's eternal souls, then how could he dare be considered a gentleman!

Needless to say, the good captain will show up to face all manner of monsters, but vampires in particular should beware. In addition to a fearsome collection of tools designed for their destruction, his goggles have a built in spectroccilascope to facilitate their identification and classification prior to their dispatching!

Surely friends and family will have nothing to fear from such creatures of the night. The good captain is, after all, a gentleman!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Steampunk Medicinal Art for the Sick

I bring unfortunately news, the good captain is not feeling up to his normal self these last few days. A wicked combination of atmospheric changes coupled with what appear to be some poisoned food has left him wanting for better days. Fear not though, for the best in modern medical treatments have been proscribed and already I'm feeling the turnabout in my condition take place.Over the last couple of days a veritable parade of doctors and medical experts have passed by the good captain's bedside proposing their very own diagnosis, remedies, and homemade medicines. I have a natural distrust of someone who is more curious of getting to know me on the inside in a literal way, over the more figurative, but perhaps that is just me. Regardless, I eyed these quacks up with suspicion and at each opportunity attempted to sneak a glance at their medical journals, manuals, and textbooks for an idea of what they truly thought and how! The resulting images come from these very sneak peaks, and while terrifying in medical application, at least to a sick captain, they are oddly interesting in an artistic way.

First was a page from a manual on heart conditions. This struck me as a fearsome image and leaves me wondering exactly how such a quack could possible diagnose any symptoms aside from a scraped knee as anything other than a problem of the heart! At least it is a very interesting image to look at, perhaps in a butcher shop.

The next image was from a doctor specializing in the brain. Now it seemed unlikely to me that my sickness stemmed from a disease of the brain as I was still coherent enough to realize this doctor was crazier than a sack of weasels, however the images in his medical journal seemed to indicate that craziness was a prerequisite for this field of science.

The final picture I managed to acquire was from the personal journal of a skeletal expert. Clearly my headache must certainly be caused by a shrinking skull putting pressure on my brain, obviously! I'm starting to think all doctors are lunatics and in this skeletal expert's particular case, a bit deviant as well. After all, there seems to be a surprising amount of woman wrapped around some of those skeletons wouldn't you say.

Now while my caring crew gets back to work I think I shall burrow into my blankets and attempt the best cure I know of for an ailment such as mine, sleep! Pip pip cheerio and all that.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Civil War Steampunk

Starting my day off with various news and tales from around the world I stumbled upon an interesting story at the not very steampunk site called CNN that truly captured my imagination before my delectable java brew had even set in! The article is 7 Civil War stories your teacher never told you and while I had honestly known no less than five and one quarter of them, the three quarters of the one tale I'd not heard saw me crank up the Anomaly Obscura Engine and set off for an early morning jaunt into the æthyr for more information.

Here's the abbreviated tale from CNN:
The Union used hot air balloons and submarines

The balloons, directed by aeronaut Thaddeus Lowe, were used to spot enemy soldiers and coordinate Federal troop movements. During his first battlefield flight, at First Bull Run, Lowe landed behind Confederate lines, but he was rescued.

The Union Army Balloon Corps got no respect from military officials, and Lowe resigned when he was assigned to serve, at a lower pay grade, under the director of the Army Corps of Engineers.

In all, the balloonists were active for a little under two years.

In contrast, the paddle-powered Alligator submarine saw exactly zero days of combat (which is why it can't officially be called the U.S.S. Alligator).

It suffered from some early testing setbacks, but after some speed-boosting tweaks, it was dispatched for Port Royal, South Carolina, with an eye towards aiding in the sack of Charleston. It was to be towed south by the U.S.S. Sumpter, but it had to be cut loose off of North Carolina on April 2, 1863, when bad weather struck.

Divers and historians are still looking for the Alligator today.

Did you know Aeronauts served in the Civil War!? Aeronaut was their actual rank in fact. The good captain was shocked! Shocked I tell you. And of course, being the gentleman that he is, our captain has returned from the æthyr with more to share than just this, for he has found dagguerotypes as those daring Aeronauts and their amazing balloons in action!

Civil War AeronautsThaddeus Lowe in the Federal observation balloon Intrepid

The Union Army Balloon Intrepid being inflated from the gas generators for the Battle of Fair Oaks

Finally, an illustration of the submarine Alligator courtesy of the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum, as to the best of my investigative knowledge no known images of it exist.

Simply fascinating is it not. To think, during the Civil War the orders could have conceivable been issued, "Aeronauts, man your airships and get to the skies!"

My heart flutters at the very thought....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Steampunk Action Figures! Where were these when I was young?

This morning, a cold and rainy one, I decided to brave the weather and take the Anomaly Obscura Engine on a wee test run through the æthyr just to keep on eye on various elements and ensure all the new gears get a good grind on when nothing extraordinary happened. That's right, the engine performed as well as I could hope and the æthyr was all quiet despite the weather. Something was surely amiss!

Returning to my workshop to give the old girl a once over, I discovered something most unusual! There was a distinct ticking noise coming from a part of the engine that should not normally be ticking. Bravely ordering a nameless crew member to investigate, she returned from a dark corner of the cogs with this little fellow, happily ticking away as if counting down to some terribly explosive event. It seems I had picked up a stowaway during my not as uneventful as I'd first thought trip.

steampunk toys 1
After some quick screwdriver work stopped the ever more annoying ticking, I proceeded to search around and promptly discovered several more small yet adorable automatons that had hitched a ride back with me from the æthyr. Normally the good captain does not abide stowaways, but their steampunk cuteness was too much to bear and now they adorn my favorite work table, happily helping me visualize various situations with a bit more clarity (read - the good captain still enjoys some quality time with his toys!)

Here's a glimpse of the other mysterious passengers I picked up this morning. I'm sure you'll understand why I couldn't bring myself to return them to whence they came and instead adopted them as sort of workshop mascots if you will.

steampunk toys 2
steampunk toys 3
steampunk toys 4
steampunk toys 5
Adorable are they not! If you want to see these and more visit PopGive and feast your eyes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some...work...I need to tend to in the workshop.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The New Steampunk Exclamation? Damnation!

It might not be a true steampunk exclamation yet, but after what the good captain shall unveil before you today it might very well be! Behold ~ Damnation!

No no, I'm not trying to start a controversy using such colorful language in proper company. It's a new video game coming out that is styled in the ever-so-wonderful imaginary era of steampunk. In truth, the good captain does not know what the game is about but the trailer is very interesting and has a wonderfully realized airship that is most pleasing to the eyes. But please don't take my word for it, see for yourself. Afterward I have a surprise for you, but first...

Should you feel so inclined to go out and purchase this game you could easily imagine yourself as the daring and handsome captain, traipsing through one of his many adventures should the actual storyline fail to live up to your obviously sophisticated taste in quality adventures. That, or imagine the main villain is the good captain who you might actual best by the end of the tale. I know, it's nigh impossible to see our dear captain as a villain but it is a fantasy after all!

What's that? Oh, right you are old bean! The surprise I mentioned! As a promotion for the game, artist Jake Hildebrandt created a steampunk computer which is truly one of the most beautiful I've seen. I suggest you take a deep breath before proceeding and those with heart conditions should put on their goggles now.

steampunk damnation pc
Now here is where the true surprise comes in, as part of the game's promotion they are giving this computer away! That's right, this beautiful steampunk pc can be yours just by showing the fine folks at Destructoid your love of steampunk! See here for more information, and best of luck to those daring enough to enter!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Good Captain has Returned!

Greetings and welcome back on board! I know how trying the last few weeks have been without the steady hand of the good captain to guide through the chaos that is the æthyr, but after the catastrophic mishaps that had recently taken place, I had no choice but to cancel all amazing adventures in light of the depth and complexity of the necessary repairs. Fortunately, all such calamities are behind us and naught but adventure awaits those daring die-hards ready to set sail!

As you are still here reading, I find you must be a die-hard. In fact, you look familiar...didn't you serve in the engine room previously? No matter! I invite you all to come along as I attempt to find a new hat to replace the one which was so unceremoniously sucked into the grinding hat-eating gears of the engine assembly in the midst of our little disaster recently. Fear not, the torn and dirtied material formerly considered, at least in the technical sense, to be my hat was offered proper services and a formal burial so no weary spirits shall haunt us on this little outing. Naturally the good captain can guarantee this provided it doesn't happen and if it does, it was a non-binding guarantee. You might want to bring a spectro-scope to be certain.

The first hat I was considering not only covers your head but it has the added benefit of informing those you might be confabulating with of the time they were so honored as to speak with you, which I'm sure they would greatly appreciate.

steampunk clock top hat
Also note the mesh covered hole on the side. This allows the hour and half-hour chimes to be heard clearly by all and not be muffled up under your hat. Another great courtesy to your conversationalist partners. Indeed, if one word could sum up this hat it would be courtesy! And truly, have you ever seen a more courteous hat? Of course not! It's proud creator, Sassygeek, is a veritable fountain of courtesy spilling forth I dare say.

This next hat I am considering would have been wonderfully helpful during the Trials and Tribulations of May, as they've come to be known amongst the crew.

During the very heights of mayhem that ensued the good captain was running full steam ahead, and as any engineer worth his cogs knows it's best not to stand in front of anything running at full steam, sometimes not even to the side! This hat, complete with those gauges and gears would have been a convenient indicator to the crew that to good captain is about to boil over and perhaps that request for some shore leave might best wait for another day. This is truly an commendable example of form and function, for which SteamPunk Creator should be lauded.

Quite a difficult decision to make, so while I ponder this for a while why don't you get back to the gears! Lord knows there's still a lot of clean up that needs to be done before the Anomaly Obscura Engine is back to her old self again.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Disaster aboard the Anomaly Obscura Engine

Greetings friends, I bring somber news and a short tale today of the disaster aboard the Anomaly Obscura Engine that did occur some three weeks ago. Apparently non-Newtonian liquids should never substitute for water in a steam engine as their pressure compounds significantly faster and Anomaly Obscura Engines are quite explodable!

In layman's terms, my motherboard died thus preventing me from anything of use recently. It is safe to rejoice however, as it seems the Anomaly Obscura Engine has been patching up and pounded back into shape at least roughly enough to allow me to share wonderful news and tales of adventure with my loyal crew and adoring fans.

For now there's still work I must tend to before the Anomaly Obscura Engine is fully æthyr ready, so for a change of pace why don't you all sit back and relax while I get into the gears and try to work this out.