A Steampunk History of a World at War

Other steampunk


Dieselpunk - November 9, 2019 - 7:08pm
With Armistice Day (Veterans Day here in the States) upon us, I felt like I needed to write a post about World War 1. Not long ago I saw a trailer for a new movie scheduled to be released later this year about the Great War. That movie is 1917.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=614338571917 stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Claire Duburcq, with Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s directed by Sam Mendes and co-written by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The film is based in part on an account told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather, Alfred Mendes,

According to Wikipedia,

At the height of the First World War during Spring 1917 in northern France, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are given a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of the skirmishes soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich. The two recruits race against time, crossing enemy territory to deliver the warning and keep a British battalion of 1,600 men, which includes Blake's own brother, from walking into a deadly trap. The pair must give their all to accomplish their mission by surviving the war to end all wars.

The movie 1917 is scheduled to be released on December 25th, 2019.

Categories: Other steampunk

Jazz Age Halloween

Dieselpunk - October 26, 2019 - 6:17pm
I love Halloween. So I knew as it approached that I had to write about it. But I just wasn’t sure what. Then it hit me. I decided to write about Halloween of the Jazz Age.

According to History.com,

In the early 20th century, Irish and Scottish communities revived the Old World traditions of souling and guising in the United States. By the 1920s, however, pranks had become the Halloween activity of choice for rowdy young people.

The Great Depression exacerbated the problem, with Halloween mischief often devolving into vandalism, physical assaults and sporadic acts of violence. One theory suggests that excessive pranks on Halloween led to the widespread adoption of an organized, community-based trick-or-treating tradition in the 1930s. This trend was abruptly curtailed, however, with the outbreak of World War II, when sugar rationing meant there were few treats to hand out. At the height of the postwar baby boom, trick-or-treating reclaimed its place among other Halloween customs. It quickly became standard practice for millions of children in America’s cities and newly built suburbs. No longer constrained by sugar rationing, candy companies capitalized on the lucrative ritual, launching national advertising campaigns specifically aimed at Halloween.

I would like to wish all my readers a happy and safe Halloween.
Categories: Other steampunk

Star-Begotten by H.G. Wells

Dieselpunk - October 13, 2019 - 7:51pm
Yesterday while visiting my local crack dealer used book store I came across a novel by H.G. Wells that I had never heard of: Star-Begotten.

Star-Begotten was first published in 1937. As in The War of the Worlds, the villains in the story are Martians who are trying to survive their dying planet. Their MO, in this case, isn’t an in your face invasion. Instead, they're altering the genes of humans so as to create a new super race with the goal of achieving domination of the Earth.

I admit that I haven’t read the book yet. However, I can say that I find the year and subject of the book intriguing. One can’t help but suspect that Wells was inspired by the events in Nazi Germany in writing this novel.

I hope to publish a review of this book soon. Like so many of Wells’s work, it’s a small book so I don't expect it will take very long for me to read. It's length is what today we would call a novella rather than a novel.

Stay tuned for more.
Categories: Other steampunk

Jazz Age and Baking

Dieselpunk - September 28, 2019 - 9:59pm
As 2020 approaches it seems that the Roaring Twenties are getting greater attention. The most recent was from a highly popular British television cooking competition series.

The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) is currently in its 10th season. GBBO, which is produced by Love Productions, began in the UK on BBC One and is now carried by Channel 4. In the US it was originally carried on PBS but is now exclusively on Netflix.

Episode 5 of the current season saw a tribute to the Jazz Age with the Roaring Twenties as a theme. Each dish created by the contestants had to have a tie-in with the 1920s. However, some media critics, and some viewers like myself, thought that they stretched the 1920s theme a little far. As the web site Eater.com wrote,

The baking tests: shortcrust pastry; custard; decoration with a 1920s theme???

The two most Jazz Age-themed challenges were the “Signature” where the contestants show off their favorite recipes and the “Showstopper” where they’re tasked with making something spectacular. In the Signature challenge, the contestants were tasked with making custard pies, which was popular in the 1920s. One of the contestants went with a decidedly Lovecraftian theme with something that (vaguely) resembled Cthulhu. In the Showstopper, they were tasked with baking cakes based on prohibition cocktails, which was a reference to prohibition in the US during the 1920s.

Categories: Other steampunk

The Pink and Greens Return

Dieselpunk - September 15, 2019 - 7:20pm

In 1924 the US Army authorized what would become a legendary military uniform. Known as the “pink and green” for its tan-pants with a light rose hugh (“pink”) and it’s olive-colored jacket (“green”) this uniform was Army standard until 1948. The pink and green uniform was completely phased out by 1958.

Now, as we approach the twenties of the 21st century the pink and greens are coming back.

On November 11, 2018, the U.S. Army announced it would adopt a new uniform patterned on the pink and greens although the Army brass insists on calling the new uniform “Army Green”. The plan is for the uniforms to be phased-in beginning in 2020 and to be completed by 2028. The blue Army uniform will return to being purely for ceremonial.
Categories: Other steampunk

Tommy Gun Wizards

Dieselpunk - August 31, 2019 - 8:35pm
One of the most impressive people I know is my good friend John Pyka aka Big Daddy Cool. Not only is he a great stage magician and a fantastic singer he’s certainly an expert on comics. Earlier this month he posted on his Facebook page about a new dieselpunk comic book from Dark Horse comics: Tommy Gun Wizards.

The official Dark Horse web site describes Tommy Gun Wizards as “Mobsters, magic, and mayhem in the Prohibition era!” It goes on to say:

“Eliot Ness and his team of Untouchables work overtime taking on dangerous criminals that hide in the seedy underbelly of 1930s Chicago. Except in this world, Al Capone isn't dealing in alcohol, but in magic. With Lick, a drug that grants magical powers to anyone who ingests it, mobsters become wizards, ordinary men become monsters, and darker secrets than Ness can imagine lie at the heart of it all.”

Tommy Gun Wizard was created by Christian Ward and Sami Kivela. Sami Kivela is credited with the art while Christian Ward was responsible for the cover art.

The artwork is excellent and the storyline and characters are interesting. It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend Tommy Gun Wizards.

Issue #1 of Tommy Gun Wizards was released August 28, 2019.
Categories: Other steampunk

2020 Pin-Ups for Vets Calendar

Dieselpunk - August 18, 2019 - 12:08am
It’s here! The new Pin-Ups for Vets Calendar for 2020! According to the Military Times,

This year’s edition, which features 19 women decked out in 1940s vogue — veterans representing all five branches of the military — marks the 14th year the company has endeavored to raise morale while simultaneously shattering stereotypes about women in the armed services.

For those unfamiliar with Pin-Ups for Vets organization it was started in 2006 by Gina Elise. She had seen stories in the news about how older veterans would go long periods without visitors. Also, how veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were struggling with injuries and sickness. She remembered how her grandfather had served in World War II. So she decided to do something to help.

Elise decided she would make a calendar with a 1940s pin-up theme. The proceeds of the calendars would be be donated to help hospitalized veterans. In addition, sick and injured veterans along with those currently serving abroad would receive the calendars as gifts of appreciation.

Here’s your chance to buy a cool dieselpunk item and to help a good cause at the same time. Visit the Pin-ups for Vets web site and buy yours today.
Categories: Other steampunk


Dieselpunk - August 3, 2019 - 6:01pm
Where is the line between Steampunk and Dieselpunk? A new movie from Russia is blurring the boundaries between the two genres. The movie is Abigail.

According to IMDb,

A young girl Abigail lives in a city whose borders were closed many years ago because of an epidemic of a mysterious disease. Abby's father was one of the sick - and he was taken when she was six years old. Going against the authorities to find his father, Abby learns that her city is actually full of magic. And she discovers in herself extraordinary magical abilities.

However, the IMDb article doesn’t capture the style of the movie. According to Wikipedia,

Shootings will take place in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and in the historical part of Tallinn, Estonia. The visual image of the fantasy city will be created on the basis of ancient buildings and narrow streets of Tallinn and Saint Petersburg, and finalized with the help of computer graphics.

Principal photography was completed in Tallinn will be transformed into the streets of the fictional city Fensington, in which, according to the plot, fairy tale events take place. The scenery combining the images of the 1930s.

Filmmakers of Abigail have developed an original conception of magic and a stylistics of closed fantastic city that combines steampunk and atmosphere of the early 20th Century Fox. There were created the unique images of the suits of city residents, rebels and their enemies - inspectors of the Security Division.

Note: The wording of the Wikipedia article is odd. I transferred it exactly as it was written.

Is it Dieselpunk, Steampunk or a fusion of both? Check out the trailer and decide for yourself.

Abigail is scheduled for release on August 22, 2019.
Categories: Other steampunk

DIY Surface Grinder

Steampunk Workshop - October 7, 2018 - 1:58pm
All painted, blued, and assembled. The scrap steel came from exercise machines and mounts for a staircase chair lift. The slide is aluminum from a telecom rack and a pair of server drawer slides. The “magnetic chuck” is a door magnetic lock and the contact wheel was an eBay purchase ($75). The whole thing is driven with a dc motor from a treadmill I found at the dump.
Categories: Other steampunk

Surface grinder attachment for the belt grinder. The “magnetic chuck” is a $23 magnetic door lock.

Steampunk Workshop - October 6, 2018 - 6:36pm
Surface grinder attachment for the belt grinder. The “magnetic chuck” is a $23 magnetic door lock.
Categories: Other steampunk

Beginnings of a surface grinder attachment for the 2×72” belt grinder.

Steampunk Workshop - September 23, 2018 - 6:14pm
Beginnings of a surface grinder attachment for the 2x72” belt grinder.
Categories: Other steampunk

Thing you can do with an old school bus you can’t do with an RV: pull stumps.

Steampunk Workshop - September 15, 2018 - 5:21pm
Thing you can do with an old school bus you can’t do with an RV: pull stumps.
Categories: Other steampunk

Trying drip irrigation in the greenhouse for the first time. It’s a really late start but the rutabaga and melon seeds popped up in just three days so we’ll see if we get a crop.

Steampunk Workshop - September 4, 2018 - 3:50pm
Trying drip irrigation in the greenhouse for the first time. It’s a really late start but the rutabaga and melon seeds popped up in just three days so we’ll see if we get a crop.
Categories: Other steampunk

Road ore

Steampunk Workshop - August 30, 2018 - 7:07pm
Road ore! #blacksmithing #cyclist
Categories: Other steampunk

I hear he’s been active recently!

Steampunk Workshop - August 26, 2018 - 5:55pm
I hear he’s been active recently!
Categories: Other steampunk

Please remain still, the nozzle is calibrating.

Steampunk Workshop - August 26, 2018 - 12:58pm
Please remain still, the nozzle is calibrating.
Categories: Other steampunk


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