Which effect do people like better?
Which effect do people like better?
I’ve been really pleased with my Steampunk Top Hat so far, but it really needed to have ventilation holes in the front and back as well, not only for Aesthetic Reasons but for airflow.
I had a good friend who does amazing leatherwork make me gear-shaped gaskets for the front and back to add some pinache, and I dyed them the same dark brown as the other gaskets, shown here prior to installation with and without the brass mesh:
I’m really happy with the final results!
I’m really pleased with how my Steampunk stuff is progressing!
Last weekend was Phoenix Comiccon…and while it wasn’t the 60,000 attendees that San Diego Comiccon is, it was a respectable 25,000!
The major improvement to my outfit was my hat), but I also updated the buttons on my vest and coat with handmade ones by a local artist. I added a number of forums, including steampunk weapons and clothing, and had a great time running into quite a number of friends. I avoided the SCA booth and the glares I received from it.
I saw a lot of great outfits and have a tons of ideas…stay tuned!
My regular steampunk attire hat is just a Top Hat from Wild West Mercantile (go buy from them, they are an awesome company!), but it lacked any steampunk elements…
I originally had an idea to add a fan (I live in the desert, after all) but it hasn’t worked out quite right yet.
First, I cut holes in the sides…
…and cut, punched, and dyed a leather “gasket” to go around it, held in place with decorative brass bolts from Ace (btw, brass bolts are EXPENSIVE! Around $0.40 each!):
Then I found a guy on ebay who sells bronze/brass “insect screen” for a great price (link to his ebay store), and bought some 6″x6″ pieces (on sale for $1.99 each!):
For the top, I’d originally wanted to do a fan (now relegated to v2.0), so I’d cut a hole that fit a 40mm fan. I decided that the top needed more than just the wire screen like I did on the side (to protect the top of my head from the sun) and found some nifty decorative screen at Home Depot, and duplicated the same leather gasket and brass bolts look:
There is no way I could have done this without regular input from The Artist Wife, from making templates to helping me mark the right spot for the holes. Thanks, Babe!
(Edit: I realized some of my picture links were broken…fixed!)
The Artist Wife and I went to Darkcon this last weekend, and wore v1.0 of our Steampunk outfits. My sole “steampunk” bit was my goggles, but I’ve got lots of other things planned…buttons from my friend Epaul Fisher are in process, I got a couple of nice walking sticks from a dear friend to just round out the Victorian Ensemble, and a few other things.
Nicely, we both got lots of requests for pictures, which is a sure sign you’re doing things right! I also got lots of comments on my goggles, and I have a few changes to make (mostly gluing the loupes in place so they don’t move).
The Artist Wife also got lots of compliments on our watch chains (her Etsy Store – BUY THEM!) and sold one to a passerby. 🙂
I’m finally an Amazon Prime convert. What did it? The fact that during the trial I ordered a Pith Helmet (and the ubiquitous $8 Goggles) for The Artist Wife’s Steampunk outfit at 7pm on a Thursday night…and it arrived the next morning!
The Artist Wife quickly painted the goggles and I added a leather strap:
For Christmas, a friend got me a nifty little pocketwatch from Amazon. The chain it came with was designed for attached to a belt instead of a waistcoat (apparently that’s more common…)
The Artist Wife quickly added various watch chains for me to wear. Here is the watch with a “double Albert” chain (double meaning it uses both pockets and Albert after Queen Victoria’s husband.)
So I’m pretty darned set chain-wise!
(Note: in looking at the pics, I’m wearing the button pin too high, its supposed to be even with the button at the top of the pockets. I know better now!)
Suddenly even more eager to finish up the goggles project, I stopped at Tandy Leather and picked up a package of 1/2″ saddle strap, which is a nice thick but flexible latigo leather in a nice dark red color. Adding a brass buckle and brass smash rivets brought the total to less than $10!
The Arist Wife came up with a great suggestion to replace the ugly ball chain nose piece with some brass compression fittings she had bought for jewelry, and I added the double 5x loupe set I bought to fit using a 90 degree grease zerk which worked perfect!
Then today we went to Wild West Mercantile, a Old (and Modern) West store thats got a great online presence (and good prices!) as well as a huge local storefront!
I found the perfect Top Hat with just the “John Bull” style I wanted for very reasonable ($35).
Without further ado, the completed project: goggles and top hat, for about $55 total! Vivat!
The goggles I ordered from arrived!
For modding to steampunk, they are very nice…the cups are shaped heavy plastic held together at the bridge by a ball chain (so the nose bridge width is adjustable) with loops for elastic to hold them to your head. The sides feature a small removable plastic bit to provide ventilation.
A closeup of the eyecup, disassembled and ready for painting. The open cross-shaped piece is where the ventilation cover was removed:
They come with plastic clear lenses that protect the thick tinted glass lenses, so that works well…but be warned the clear plastic ones appear to scratch pretty easily! The cups unscrew so you can remove the tinted glass and for ease of painting.
A few bits of masking tape to tape off the threads of the eyecups (just to be sure) and I was ready to paint:
I used Ace Hardware brand Metallic Spraypaint in the Brass color. Its a great color and I’m pleased with the results!
Still To Do is replace the elastic band with leather and figure out what to replace the ball chain bridge piece with!