Archive for November, 2010

Runcible-Sterling’s Armoury

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

No gentleman should ever set foot on foreign shores without some form of experimental weaponry to ward off foreign-ness.

I have a couple of weapons, this one being ‘The Disrupticon’.  I made it from some aluminium (but brass coloured) stair rods, plywood, 22 – 15mm plumbing converters, a metal vase, a red dot laser pointer, some photo realistic woodcuts (same as my wooden badges) and a hacked up BB gun.

I etched the brass plate on the side with a car battery and a laser printer and held it all together with pop rivets and evostick Impact adhesive.

Those kind people at the Bradford playhouse are showing ‘Mandrakes Magnificent Machine’ as their Christmas Panto this December.  I have provided some props either for the show or as part of the display in the foyer.

I dropped them off today and bought my tickets for the Saturday Matinee so I can take my daughters to the show – they will of course be dressed appropriately and so will I. Bowler…topper…bowler…topper…can’t decide.

They have also kindly allowed me to trade at the event so I am busy making stuff again.

The weapon at the bottom was made by my big brother (Baron Von-Edelweiss) for my 40th birthday party.  It appears to made from a Fridjj bottle, some flexible tap connector and copper plumbing tube.  It features a realistic sounding cocking action.

The control panel was made with 6 vintage gauges I bought from an antique shop, some cut-outs were made on a big sheet of MDF and covered with green leather from a sofa shop sample book.  Looks kind of Steampunky and so I also lent this to the Playhouse for the show.  I etched a brass plate giving a fictional history of it coming from the wreckage of a downed airship during some fantasy aerial engagement.

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I think it’s against the law to wear medals you didn’t earn..

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

These won’t be for sale because a friend of mine already sells these and they weren’t my idea – though it’s a bloody good one.  I don’t think he has any for sale at the moment but you can check out Andrew and Helen’s great stuff at http://www.etsy.com/shop/vivelareine?ga_search_query=vivelareine&ga_search_type=seller_usernames

I’m certain he would make you one if you asked nicely

Andrew had an excellent range of Steampunk medals that he made himself.  Mine are but a pale shadow but they are great fun to make.  There are only a few simple steps

1) Go into an antique shop, explain to the militaria curator that you need some ribbon and then watch his dawning look of horror as you try to explain Steampunk to him.

2)  Watch him squirm in embarrassment as he sells you the ribbon off some American medal you get for being first to the canteen for a quid or something

3) Drill through a broken pocket watch, clock face and then your left ring finger

4) Wear proudly on your chest like you really earned them and invent an imaginary campaign to justify every single one

5)  Promise Andrew you won’t sell any because that was his idea, not yours and they are only for personal use on your Airship Commander Uniform.

I dusted off this old thing and I’m debating whether to give it another go

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

Last year, I stumbled across Jake Von-Slatt’s Steampunk Keyboard  http://steampunkworkshop.com/keyboard.shtml

I wondered if this was as easy as it looked – of course it wasn’t.  I struggled to find the IBM ‘M’ series clickety-clack keyboard so a kind donation from Mr. Buglass of the York Astronomy Society was substituted.  The important thing with the keyboard you use, is that it has individual micro switches under every key.  Modern keyboards are not individually switched, they just have a membrane affair – not really suited to this type of project.

I photocopied the keyboard at full size and used that as a template, laid it over a large sheet of green leather (from a sofa shop sample book) and knocked out the individual holes with a 9mm belt punch.

I removed the case first of course (having carefully mapped out which button was which).  I spent about £200 on 4 full sets of various vintage keys and made my own inserts for the keys that didn’t exist on the typewriters of the time (Page up, Pause/break etc.).

In the end, I was defeated by my inability to a)  Stop the keys sticking in the down position and b) set the keys level with a decent enough adhesive.  Von-Slatt says to use gunge gun silicone but it didn’t work for me – maybe they have better stuff over there.

I also didn’t think I could cut the brass carefully enough for the frame – I abandoned it for cost reasons.

The keys ended up recycled in lots of my jewellery so at least I got most of my money back…..not sure if I want to try again, I’ve learned so much more since but involves another big capital investment in vintage keys..

Quick Restoration Project

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

I enjoyed a short trip to Tewkesbury earlier in the week and then on to the lovely town of Warwick with its big castle and old ladies.

Madame did her usual shopkeeper distraction while I stole stuff and came away with lots of cool things like these two suitcases.  They are cardboard lined and smell really old, but they are leather covered.

They are not from the same set but If I wanted to date them, I would say they are around the 1950’s but I thought they would be good for taking jewellery to shows…all right, it wasn’t my idea (I saw Miss Brackenbury with a much nicer vintage set, check out her one-off Steampunkery at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emma-Brackenbury-Costume-and-Jewellery/279769800667 ) but nevertheless a good idea all the same…

I did a quick restoration on the clips – used my Dremmel 300 with a brass brush at mid speed on the metal latches (check out the before and after) and buffed up with some brasso.  I think they are just a mixed alloy of mostly zinc which shrieks austerity,  reaffirming my thoughts that they are almost immediately post war.  They came up alright considering, I shot some WD40 down the hinges and catches and polished the rest up with some leather cleaner I got from the pound shop which deepened the colour significantly.

Its still cheap leather glued onto cardboard but I like ’em.

Wait till you see what else I made today…….

I’m bored. Lets get the tools out.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

I’ve got a week off work and not really missing inhaling Buprenorphine dust and being sticky with spilt Methadone but I am bored.

I have some new ideas involving resin encasement but I need some mould release first and it looks like a high cost ebay from USA and probably not ready by Christmas.  Atompunk will be the theme…have salvaged a lot of decommisioned military components from a secret location.

I don’t really know what to do with myself in the meantime so thought I might get the tools out and make a few bracelets.

As you can see, anyone with a little bit of wire wrapping ability can make these, its getting the bits is often the hardest bit (tip:  Bother your local horologist).

The rhinestones come on a chain and is about a tenner a metre (tip:  Better off buying finished ones from Primark for 2 quid).

I think I may have webshop in the next week or so, watch this space.

The Island of Doctor Geof (yes – I think it really is one ‘f’)

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

Now these are actually hung straight on my wall, they look slightly off kilter but I assure that is just user error on the way I am holding my magic lantern.

I had the pleasure of parting with my hard earned cash for these two prints, signed by the good Doctor himself – sorry Geof, to fit in the frames I had to slice that bit off.

This is my attempt to try to convince Madame that we can have a Steampunk home without all that brassy shit and coal.  I love the good nature and warmth about the poster and I wish we had artists as good as the Doctor drawing for 2000AD back when I read it in the 1980’s – I hated the way Carlos Ezquerra drew Judge Dredd. Like some Neo-Latino one man death squad.

I digress – check out some more of Dr. Geof’s work here:

http://www.islandofdoctorgeof.co.uk/

Be sure to email him, these prints are great value – I think I paid about a tenner each with a discount for two – and signed.  He had quite a few left – email him won’t you??

All that glitters is a mare’s nest…..

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 by Clockwork Zeppelin

I decided it was time to tidy up the Brassworks yesterday afternoon.  Cogs costing what they do….you have a tendency to sweep your floor and go through the detritus very carefully…..

These were the loose bits I found on the floor and generally around the place.  There is a necklace I never quite finished from the ‘Steampunk People’ range – I wasn’t happy with the colour of the beads – just a bit too brown for my taste.  I think I have a bit of an eye for this kind of thing, so if I don’t like it, I doubt a customer will.  The dial behind is from a vintage stopwatch – they are in many ways much nicer than a standard clock face – they aren’t enamelled in the same way, they are usually just painted metal.  This means they don’t crack and split like clock faces do when you drill them.  They have an exactitude to them with the markings much more clearly defined and dense in an engineering sense – proto dieselpunk if you will.  I think I will get this one right shortly and I look forward to finishing it.

The shell casing is a 7.62 GPMG round (deactivated of course).  I bought a huge bandolier of them from a York antiques shop on Bishopthorpe Road last summer.  I cut slots on either side and passed a set of brass wings through them and tried to pop rivet them secure.  Didn’t quite work – couldn’t quite get enough purchase on it so they flopped about a bit ineffectually.  Needs just a little bit of packing, it’s another one I’m looking forward to getting right.

The delightful Miss Kent of Empires Ghost did me a great service by bartering some fine Clockwork Zeppelin product in exchange for the wonderful cartridge bandolier.  I later returned and purchased the black 3 pocket ammunition pouch from them.

Find Empire’s Ghosts at: http://www.facebook.com/empiresghosts

The diameter of the slots on the bandolier are unfortunately too wide for my 7.62 rounds (I think it was designed for 20 guage shotgun cartridges) however I have some vacuum tubes that fit and I’m going to mix it up with an idea I have to put some plastic tubes (very similiar in look to test tubes) that usually contain an injection of low molecular weight heparin we use at work – I chuck the syringes away of course, the tubes are just the outer packaging.  I was either thinking of suspending some Steampunk objects in resin inside them or perhaps just wiring them all together with coloured LED’s – like a little string of Christmas lights.

If I do it in parallel and use a 9 volt supply, I could rig the valves up with them – if I get the right terminals, I could get them to glow nicely – most only need 4 or 6 volts across them.

I’ve got a week off work now, I’m going to  make stuff.

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