While the logical follow up to my essay last week would be a work of steampunk art I had created, I have only the one mechanical dog that I’ve shown you before (the artwork for my article is a celebration of my love of gears more than intended as steampunk). Instead, I’m going to share something my husband created that falls right into the territory of the article.
He’s a long-term Nerf collector from when he used to roam the streets as a teen playing “Killer” to now when he falls in love with Nerf automatic machine guns at yard sales. A few years back, though, a buzz started in his brain about how one of his Nerf pistols could be steampunked using little more than miniature paint. I can’t remember how long it took, but I think it was at least a couple of days as he lovingly embellished, enhanced, and tweaked existing characteristics on this matte black gun to give it a flourish characteristic of the steampunk aesthetic. It has no visible moving parts, and the modifications are in paint only, but in keeping with my comments last week, it inspires.
My steampunk-addicted son loved it, as did I, so I asked Colin for pictures to share what he’d done. Here’s the real kicker, though. I planned to set up this post a week ago. I’ve spent the time between sick as a dog (never quite understood that phrase) and wasn’t able to do much about it. This morning, I finally started feeling human again (first step so I’ve got a ways to go) and instead of writing up this post, I started mumbling about how sad that this kind of functional ornamentation had no place in my steampunk world. Sam is very much function over form. Then I remembered a steampunk story idea set in early America that I have notes for where it would work perfectly. Before I knew it, off I was writing a short story (or maybe a novella) in that world. I don’t have time or space in my schedule for a new series just yet, and this world has a couple of big stories in it already planned so it’s not a one off, but sometimes you have to follow your muse.
The point, though, is that this lovely piece of aesthetic-only art inspired me to explore questions big and small that can only be told in my second steampunk world. That’s the power of steampunk, and why I’m thrilled to see so many people getting caught up in it.
So, with no further delay, Nerf turned elegant steampunk: