Steampunk - A Modder's Guide

Written by Antony Leather

August 2, 2012 | 03:53

Tags: #steampunk #steampunk-pc

Companies: #bit-tech

Bit-tech: Have you used Steampunk as an inspiration to create anything else?

Luciel: I can't say I have no, I've always wanted to but never considered my skills were good enough for it. In fact the current project has been over two years in the planning which for those who know my work might seem hard to believe since I tend to do projects quite quickly (especially both 'Mod in a Week' projects I've done in the past) and maybe even 'wing it a bit.

Steampunk - A Modder's Guide Steampunk - A Modder's Guide
Click to enlarge - A Post-Apocalyptic Steampunk Future

The point is however that I would all previous worklogs are in one way or another in preparation for this one, trying out techniques, perfecting my painting skills and mostly aging effects. For example, different tones for irregular surfaces on Diablo, rust and general aging effects on Fallout cause sp, painting 'cleanness' on tutorial project nº2, plastic work on the cylon build, integration of parts and systems not meant for their use like on AIO AL and again Fallout cause sp and, well, you get the idea.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Bit-tech: Why did you decide to make a Steampunk-styled PC?

Luciel: As I mentioned in the previous question it's something I've always wanted to do, however, I rarely (in fact, never so far) keep a project for myself, it's either for a client from the word go, or I try to sell it afterwards.

However I knew this one was for myself and I knew I wanted to make it perfect, which is why now that the deadline for the competition I joined is over and I didn’t finish the project in time. I plan to take my time on making it perfect (or at least in my eyes of course) as I'll be keeping this one for myself.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Bit-tech: Are there any rules you followed to adhere to typical Steampunk styling?

Luciel: Yes and no. You see while the project is steampunk, it also mixes it up with a post-apocalyptic style, which as far as I know it hasn’t been done before. So of course that throws some rules out of the window.

There are a lot more aging effects on it, wear and tear in a big way, things that maybe wouldn't be as obvious on a conventional steampunk project. And of course the more challenging thing was trying to imitate copper rust just with paint.

While I like to think I've perfected conventional rust (some people still don´t believe me when I tell them the rust on the Fallout cause sp project is just paint which is quite flattering), copper rust is a completely different thing, trying to mix light tones with dark tones, and yet making them blend and at the same time making it look old, is no easy tank.

That said, I did follow many steampunk rules. My at the time girlfriend bought me a couple of steampunk books for inspiration on my birthday which I´ll be eternally thankful to her for as they helped a ton, things like, basically everything metal has to be copper, bronze or brass and if it's not, make it look like it is.

Wood has to look old, steampunk machinery was built to last so you would rarely see something brand new. Mechanics are run with clockwork, so it's convenient to integrate it somehow, that kind of thing.

Steampunk Frankenstein by Dana Mattocks

Steampunk Frankenstein by Dana Mattocks

Bit-tech: Where did you buy the Steampunk details for your project (switches, brass etc)

Luciel: Well I live in Spain so I don't think giving store names will help anyone looking for parts but basically a lot of stuff if not most, I bought in a couple of DIY stores. It's actually not easy to find and you will have to walk through the stores several times as, of course, the parts you want aren't in the sections describing what you want them for.

For example, the brass detail on the PSU is actually a door handle, the base wood vinyl was meant to go on walls (they sell it as an easy-on wallpaper), the frame I bought in a home décor store, the watches, believe it or not I bought in Claire’s Accessories.

The list goes on but you get the idea. I would say the trick is to look everywhere, don't think that just because X part is meant for X thing it means you can't use it for your means.

As for the aging effects, inks and paints, most of it I bought in my usual paint supplies store, which is actually automotive paint. As for the effects I used a variety of inks from an arts supplies store.

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