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Suit for 2019 Steampunk Fest, Port Adelaide Railway Museum, SA

Started by Melrose, September 15, 2019, 04:59:30 AM

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A whole year since my steampunk costume debut! This time I did some building and modding myself. My phone cam only gave me blurry shots indoors, so all I can put up is just a few outdoor shots of me. (So if this is in the wrong place - mods feel free to move it!)
I began with a photoshopped composite image of the concept. Right up to the moment we left I was still patching stuff together with cloth tape.

Finally, it seemed to work. It held together all day, even if it was like walking around in a sauna.

FB pages for Steampunk South Australia, Adelaide Steampunk Festival etc. will eventually show more photos. Suitcase Photography's FB page already has some good shots up, right now. Steamkittens also does some great pics of such events, and will no doubt progressively publish over coming weeks.  


Nice outfit, Mr Melrose, sir! Your good self and bicyclebuilder should get together and compare suits!! ;D



Thank you both. Bicyclebuilder's helmet was a work of art, scratch-built, to his great credit. I cheated.  In brief. I went shopping online for the cheapest motorcycle helmet I could find that had a promising line to it. I thought under $90 was good where $300-$400 seemed common, but afterwards a cycling acquaintance told me he replaced helmets every couple of years and would have let me take my pick - so there's a lesson!

I intended to drill places to mount hoses, but in the end there were no places suitable, so the hoses just linked to a garden fitting under the chin. A quick summary - first, the basic helmet, which had ridges fore to aft which looked Jules Vernish to me. (They show up best after it's painted.)

The faceplate needed steampunky frames with rivets. I used the thin plastic base liner from shopping bags - two thicknesses - and roughened the faceplate with sandpaper where I would be gluing. I used epoxy (Araldite) to fix the frames. Hot glue set too fast for the size of the job.

With the framework in place, I added "rivets". Everyone will have their own method. I bought a sheet of self-adhesive domed pearl buttons from a craft store, peeled off the adhesive and hot-glued them in place. I glued on a pair of classic brass drawer handles to break up the outline of the visor in the ear region, and added more rivets over the screw holes.
I probably don't need to tell anyone that soft drink bottles can be used for air cylinders. I made a sleeve (plastic from inside shopping bags again) to strengthen the join. Also slapped a thin layer of copper paint inside to hide any wear to the outside paint. Covered the join with cloth tape. It's rough - running out of time! But the rough bit is turned inwards on the backpack ;)

Slapped together a crest and mounted an LED torch on top. It's held in place with cloth tape so I could remove it and reuse the helmet later if I needed to. Shaped the tape to look like deliberate flanges and added more pearl buttons, this time using just their adhesive backs. I hoped a couple of layers of paint would hold them, and it did.
From left, some modern German army webbing bought online, the drink bottle air tank, and of course the helmet. The spear gun wasn't finished in time. The second shot shows the tank with garden irrigation valve and mounting plate (temporary coat-hanger wire hook, onto the harness), the helmet and webbing. The black straps holding the tank were cut from the plastic "fabric" of the shopping bags left over from the earlier work. The copper paint is brushed on. Advice from painters suggested this wears better than spray-on. I lightly sanded areas which were to take paint.

If you refer back to the first pics in this thread, the suit comprised;-
- Khaki overalls (mine were a local brand, 'Yakka', with a tag on the chest I covered with a chest pack)
- Cheap canvas jungle boots, lace-up, bought online
- German army webbing, bought from an outdoor supplier, because the broad belt looked appropriate and the harness provided attachment points.
- Leather gorget and segmented spaulders (the black armoury things around my neck and shoulders) from online cosplay shop, marketed, I think, as "dark elf" armour
- My rough back-plate and air bottle - drink bottles, garden irrigation fittings and discarded washing machine hose.
- Gloves from a hardware store
- And of course the helmet.
Accessorise to taste. I added a generic foam LARP "diving knife", a string bag with plastic crustaceans, and a canvas shoulder-bag, slung round my neck to hide the tag on the overall, and to carry a water bottle, camera, repair kit, snacks etc.
A black roll-neck, or black scarf, would have hidden the bare skin around the neck. Fortunately I didn't go that way - the costume was very hot to wear in 24º weather, never mind full summer.
There are paints available to add a verdigris effect, which would have been nice, but I ran out of time. Also, I might want to convert the helmet for "First Men in the Moon"!
And at this point mods might rather move this post in among the costume stuff! :D


Like! Like! Like! Oh, and did I mention - like!

Really nice build and great result; it would look absolutely at home on the Nautilus.

Yours in admiration,


Quote from: Miranda.T on September 15, 2019, 08:10:41 PM
Like! Like! Like! Oh, and did I mention - like!
You have exquisite taste and flattery will get you anywhere!  ;D
But seriously, thank you!


All looking good, but I imagine it will be a little warm in the coming Antipodean months. I think you need to give it an underwater trial with haste, good Sir! Let that cool you down.


Sorontar, Captain of 'The Aethereal Dancer'
Advisor to HM Engineers on matters aethereal, aeronautic and cosmographic


 :D I am unable to get a permit. There seems to be some concern it will distress the sharks.
But yes. Hot.

Cora Courcelle

Lovely outfit, and I salute your ability to wear it in warm weather.
You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...


Thanks for all the kind comments. In fact the suit wasn't quite finished. The air bottle was a rush job, some trim not added, the helmet lamp also rushed, and I should have come up with cover for the bare neck that wouldn't have made the suit more uncomfortable. I am left wanting to complete it properly, but also having an idea for a simpler, more comfortable costume for next year. Perhaps we need more steam-fests throughout they ear.