Monday, February 7, 2011

Far East Steampunk Inspirations


James Ng’s Imperial Sheriff

When people visualize steampunk they usually associate it with Victorian England. However, since the main gist of the genre is Victorian-era futurism, there’s a much wider spectrum of world cultures that can be looked to for inspiration.

As SteamCon II’s theme was, “Wild, Wild, West”, this year’s Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition is going with the theme, “Wild, Wild, East”. And by this they mean the “Far East” (as called in Victorian times) and not “New York” (some people I talked to actually thought this was the case).

Since Nova Albion is coming up at the end of March, this gives me about a month and half to put together something for the event. Considering my last project took about two weeks of busy nights and weekends I think if I want to do anything ambitious I better start now.

At SteamCon I picked up a professional-quality pair of grey hakama at SteamCon II, so that’s a good starting point.


Wrinkled hakama, but you get the idea

I also have a white under-kimono and possibly a dusty green over-kimino (if I can find it). Going with this basic clothing premise, the obvious choice would be: steampunk samurai! However, a full set of steampunk samurai armor would be rather… ambitious in such a short period. A more practical goal might be an armored arm gauntlet with oriental dragon ornamentation? I steampunk-inspired mempo (although a helmet would look a bit odd without the rest of the armor)?

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