Traveler's Steampunk Blog

res ætheris exploramus

Steamfantasy – The Dwarves of Demrel

Posted By on 20. Mai 2015

Check this out:
A very dark, gritty, and slightly steampunk looking fantasy movie about three dwarves trapped in a mine. The trailer alone got me hanging to the edge of my seat. Something sinister is going on in the depth of this mountain and the dwarves have more to face than claustrophobia and possible starvation:

The Dwarves of Demrel is a crowdfunded independent production. The fundraiser still runs for a few hours on kickstarter, check it out. If you do not have the money to spare, do not worry, the funding goal has already been achieved, so we can all look forward to that one.
According to the director, he got his inspiration after watching The Hobbit in 2012. The dwarves in his movie are quite removed from the ones of Middle-earth. They seem far less jolly, more sullen and fatalistic, even when you take the dire situation they are in into account. They are more real, down to earth and far less epic and heroic in the classical sense.
All this gives an edge of realism to The Dwarves of Demrel already. I am looking forward to downloading the movie once it is ready.



Reaver – A Lovecraftian Short Film

Posted By on 19. Mai 2015

Once again, a jewel on the ætherweb was pointed out to me via a message in my ætherbox:

Reaver – A loveceraftian shortfilm about a brother and a sister being dragged into supernatural occurrences that may or may not have something to do with something their father was experimenting with. Twenty minutes of your life you will not regret spending watching this short piece:

Reaver from Len LoBiondo on Vimeo.

Here is a brief review from Screamfest:

“Reaver is a perfect example of a Hollywood style short, the SPFX are immense, the story is quick and to the point and the action and visuals do not disappoint, even a wonderful performance by Richard Burgi puts the icing on the cake of the one of the best shorts I saw at the entire festival.” Sean Evans, BACK TO THE MOVIES

And before you ask: No, there are no references to Firefly in this one.

Bollywood Steampunk: Interview with Ariel Dixon

Posted By on 7. Mai 2015

Last year, a photo of a lady in an indian/bollywood Steampunk cosplay costume made a significant splash in the scene:

Bollywood Steampunk

I had plans to find the lady in the picture for a long time and ask her for an interview, but this endeavour dropped to the back of my mind for a while. It was last week, when another she shared another image of hers in one of the Steampunk groups on Facebook, and this reminded me of my initial plan.

I have since contacted Ariel and she quickly responded and agreed to my interview request, so it is my pleasure I can present the interview here now:

Please give us a quick introduction about yourself.

My name is Ariel, also know as MakeupSiren. I am a makeup artist by day, chef by night, and cosplayer 24/7. I live to be Creative.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me here:


From the things I have picked up about you around your Indian Steampunk images you are a cosplayer, when did you start cosplaying?

I started cosplaying in 2011. I went to my first convention in 2010 and was amazed by all the costume. I told my self the next time I go to a con I will be in full costume as well.

Do you have a favorite charcter/series/film you cosplay? If so, what is the appeal of that one?

Steampunk has always been my first love. My cosplays mostly consist of My original steampunk costume. it’s only recently I starting to venture into other character, like my dragonball z cosplay.

Do you have any other nerdy hobbies?

Cosplaying is my only nerdy hobby. when I’m not cosplaying I am either at work on makeup or working as a chef at my job.When and how did you discover steampunk?
I discover steampunk in 2010 at Fl supercon. I attend an outland armour panel and was just hooked ever since. They opened my eye to the steampunk world and how amazed. The next year I did my first steampunk cosplay.

What was the inspiration behind the Indian steampunk cosplay?

I always had a love for Indian culture. my favorite being their fashion. It was when I stumble on someones Captain Nemo cosplay did the idea pop in my head to combine my love of two worlds into one. it was something I never seen done before and I really wanted to challenge myself creatively. I got a lot of my design ideas from different Bollywood films. This is mostly the reasons why I call my cosplay “Bollywood Steampunk”.

Have you done any other steampunk-inspired cosplays?

I have done many!! I have 8 Steampunk cosplay in total that I created. 3 of them are different Bollywood steampunk styles. I have even created background story to help me create the looks. I can send you pictures for your blog if you like, just let me know

Oh, that would be excellent, I get back to you on that one.

What part of your indian steampunk cosplay do you enjoy creating the most?

Creating the jewelery is my favorite part of my cosplay. when i was going over design ideas, I have always seen all the lady wearing these beautiful jewelery set with there sarees.I want to create the same kind of style with my jewelery but with a steampunk twist. This was when the gears charm idea pop into my head. I truly feel that the gear jewelry brings the indian and steampunk combination to light. I have created a jewelry set for each Bollywood cosplay I created, and plan to create more for my future Bollywood cosplay

Were you surprised about the attention your Indian Steampunk outfit got online? Has something similar happened to you before with a different costume?

Yes and no. I knew that the outfit would get attention. It was something that you don’t see too often in the steampunk community. I just didn’t know it was going to get this amount of attention. I thought it would just get a few comment and some like. it’s a great feeling to see the positive reaction to my costume that I love to much. I have other cosplay that has some popularity but nothing like my Bollywood steampunk.

Have you been in touch with Steampunk India or has Steampunk India gotten in touch with you because of your indian Steampunk cosplay?

Steampunk India and I have befriended each other through Facebook. She posted one of my first Bollywood steampunk copslay on her page and used me as an example in her panels. She was the one who reach out to me (to ask me if she can use my photos for her panels). Her work was a reference for me when creating my first Bollywood steampunk. I’m hoping in the future we can meet face to face.

Extra Info:
I have created a character to go with all my Bollywood steampunk cosplays that I have created. Doing this helped me a lot when created the different cosplays and will help me for future one too. Her name is:

Lady Sunahala Registana

bollywood_steampunk__desert_rose_by_makeupsiren-d8rxmdq (Mobil)

She is an Indian girl born and raised in Rajasthan, sunny desert of India. Her father named her after the beautiful land she was born in (Sunahala: Golden, Registana: Desert). She is a part of tribe called Rabari, a tribe that has lived for 1000 of year in the deserts of India.
She Lives in a village with her tribe that is a mix of Indian tradition and steam power living. Her father is a well respected creator of the town. He created industrial machines call sand riders, that help the tribe ride the large desert sand dunes and hill. The sand riders is important to the tribe since it help send and receives goods to and from market. They are much faster than desert horses, so it is preferred to all in the tribe. Sunahala is smart girl, free spirited, and love riding through the sand in her land.
She is a skilful swordsman and is handy with a gun. She works side by side with her father, working on new inventions and new way of improving the sand riders (her favorite toy). The tribe never wastes anything in their village. so some things that might be consider waste to others, are vital things for them. Sunahala likes to use the extra spare gear that her and her father uses to create the sand riders and turn them into beautiful and unique jewelry pieces. The woman in the Rabari tribe decorate themselves in many pieces of jewelry on a daily basis (a mix of tradition and competition). She creates her jewelry as her way to keeping tradition and stand out in the tribe.

Thank you Ariel, for your time and for the interview, it was an honor and a pleasure.

All images © Ariel Dixon and used with kind permission

Steampunk in the Highlands – The Belladrum Festival

Posted By on 4. Mai 2015

Steampunk is spreading and I am always so happy when I get a message from someone outside the well-known centers of Steampunk-activity.

This time, the æthermail reached me from Inverness-shire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) in the Highlands of Scotland!
The Belladrum Festival has an ever-growing number of Steampunks participating and so the organisers reached out to me to spread the word even further, so, without further ado, this is this year’s poster with the line-up of band playing (New Model Army! Oh my!):


Belladrum Line Up of Bands Poster

If you are a Steampunk in the Highlands, or willing to travel there and become part of the Steampunk  section of Belladrum, the organisers kindly request you get in touch with them here:


Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival – 6th – 8th August 2015


You can also find them on Facebook:

If any further updates come my way, I will share them ASAP.


Reaching Out – A Steampunk/Cthulhu Short Story

Posted By on 3. Mai 2015

I have had a bit of a writing frenzy lately. One of the results was Bird Song (see below). I am also working on a cyberpunk and a modern-day Cthulhu short story (both in German). Additionally, I remembered I still had a Cthulhu/Steampunk crossover story in one of my drawers, or rather folders on my computer. It was originally to be submitted to a call for stories for an anthology, but I never got around finishing it in time.

So instead, I gave it a little polish, tried to close as many plot-holes as I could find and self-published it with Amazon.

The story is set in a Steampunk version of Imperial Germany and concerns the sojourn into space of Germany’s first space-flight capable Zeppelin. They are heading for the dwarf planet Ceres.

Here is an excerpt:

We had been at our position for several minutes, I had sent our engineers to check on the aether-engine and the support structure, when Hartwig pointed our attention to something visible against the bubble of the Tesla-field. There is no easy way to describe what we saw. It was large, maybe 20 meters in overall length and of radial geometry. The general shape was that of a flower, but there was something wrong, alien and even evil about it. A dark denizen of the aether. It appeared to be probing the bubble. It also seemed to be tugging at my mind, at least I had this feeling in my brain that something was reaching for me. We trained the lower gun-turret on it, should it attack. This precaution proved unnecessary. It vanished again after a few minutes, during which Hartwig was able to take a few rather blurry photographs of it. My guess is, they can be found in the archives of the Abwehr, our secret service.
Concerning my strange experience, I asked Hartwig if he had a similar experience, which he denied.
Unwilling to risk attracting more creatures like it, we engaged the engines and returned to Earth. We descended from above the North Pole and flew back to Berlin, stopping briefly at Hamburg Airbase, since it had the medical facility closest to our route. We got Bauer off the Humboldt there and flew on to Gneisenau Airfield.

If anyone is interested, I am happy to send out review copies (kindle, ebook, pdf).
Also, it is available for 0.99$ at Amazon, click the image below:
Reaching Out - Cover

Feature and Self-Plug: Bird Song, a lovecraftian short-story

Posted By on 30. April 2015

It had been a while since I penned anything about the Cthulhu Mythos that was not directly related to this blog, this had to change. In order to make that change, I sat down the last few weeks and penned a short story about an idea I had a while ago. The idea involved parallel dimensions and the dangers that come if you want to explore into completely unknown.
As the great master H.P. Lovecraft himself said:

[…] but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

And this is the premise of the story: A student and a postgrad dabble in some fringe area of physics and they find out things they were actually not looking for.
No, the story is not related to From Beyond, it has a similar theme but the premise of Bird Song is a different one and, spoiler alert, nobody starts having deforming mutations or something like that.

If you are interested and want to help me out by investing a tiny amount of money, you can get Bird Song here (or click the image):

Bird Song

Alternatively, drop me a line and I send you a copy in a format of your choice.
I would also really appreciate feedback.

Review and feature: Steampunk Cryptex Flash Drive and

Posted By on 26. April 2015

So today’s post is going to be two things at once, first, I am going to review the Steampunk Cryptex USB Drive, and then I am going to talk about the website I got it from,

Disclaimer: I got the Steampunk Cryptex USB Drive from Steampunkjunkies for free, they asked me in turn to feature their website. They did not ask for a review of the Cryptex, nor did they tell me what I should write.

With this out of the way, let’s start with the review.

To give you an idea about the Cryptex, this is the feature video:

And here are two images:

The Cryptex is one wonderful little gadget. It is a work of art and definitely Steampunk, although the cryptex is a design originally by Leonardo Da Vinci, the whole contraption has a very Babbage-machine feel to it. This feel is enhanced by the fact the cryptex mechanism serves as a lock for an enclosed 16 GB flash drive, which is always a good thing to have.
The flash drive itself is a standard off-the-shelf device, not outstanding in speed and accessibility, but also not bad. The Steampunk Cryptex is also one of those things I will add to my low-key steampunk outfit, since it is classy, not in-your-face and serves an additional purpose other than just looking Steampunk.

All in all, the Steampunk Cryptex gets 10 out of 10 Zeppelins.

Now for the website is a market place for all things steampunk, fairly new but with already quite a selection of merchandise from electronics to fashion to art.
The price range is astounding, ranging from a handful of dollars to several thousand euros for handcrafted time-piece.
As a dedicated market place both for professional artists and for hobbyists, I prefer it to both etsy and tho Rebels Market, simply because if I go to, I know that the things there are all Steampunk. At both aforementioned other sites, the steampunkness is partially or totally dubious.
Also, I guess if you want to sell Steampunk material, Steampunkjunkies is a better place to go then etsy, since your offers are not being completely drowned out by the sheer mass of other people offering things there.

So, check out Steampunkjunkies and see for yourselves, if the site is to your liking.

Review: Rude Alchemy

Posted By on 24. April 2015

Already some time back, I was contacted by the gentleman Andy Wertner who humbly suggested his podcast and radio drama Rude Alchemy for my listening enjoyment and a possible review. I did in deed listen to it and will now give a review.


This is another one of those difficult reviews where I desperately avoid any spoilers, but anyway:

Rude Alchemy starts with an epic tongue-in-cheek subversive intro and then we get a wonderful old time radio commercial and then we meet the main protagonist and then we are right in the story, a nefarious plot is underfoot. The nefarious plot ends even more nefariously and the we meet a specialist in all things nefarious: Carver Cranebootom, the bone detective, a savant, neurologist, expert cook, gentleman, navigator, philosopher etc. (you get the idea)
Those two scenes set the mood and pace of the whole story and plot: It is completely mysterious and hyperbolic. No punches are pulled, no scenario is too bizarre, no plot too twisted, nothing is sacred in the world of Rude Alchemy. The plot is intriguing and fast-paced, the elements (steampunk, real world, some magic) make the world very interesting, we also get some romance (of course). On top of that, the production is superb, the sound effects are very professional and add a lot to the listening experience.
But all this greatness is stained by one thing: Rude Alchemy takes rude very seriously. There is a lot of very crude innuendo in Rude Alchemy, sometimes I thought it was rather forced, too. At the beginning, I thought it was entertaining, but at episode 3 it started getting annoying, but this is the only thing I can complain about.

Rude Alchemy gets 7 out of 10 Zeppelins.

And if you want to have a listen, go here:

Rude Alchemy (home page)


So, a competition show for Steampunks and other nerds

Posted By on 19. April 2015

Right, this is a most interesting turn-up for the books. I just received an æthermail from the production team of King of Nerds, which will soon air in the UK. For general information regarding the US original, check the wikipedia (click).
The message was thus:

We’re currently casting for a potential second series of the UK version of King of the Nerds, with the first series airing on Sky 1 later this year.

Our show celebrates nerd culture and our aim is to get a broad range of people from different nerd backgrounds and we would love a Steampunker to take part.[…]

So, this is the aforemntioned poster:

King of the Nerds Poster

If any of you are located in the UK and willing and able to participate, you now have the contact info.

The Convair XFY-1 Pogo – Wonderfully Weird and Atompunk!

Posted By on 16. April 2015

Let me introduce you to a wonderful little craft from the dawn of the Atompunk Age and the Cold War, the Convair XY-1 Pogo:

Convair XFY-1 Pogo

The Convyair XFY-1 is another of those fantastic designs which emerged just after the end of the Second Word War and the beginning of the Cold War.
An experimental aircraft, if it would have been adopted for military service, it would have provide first line of airborne defense and reconnaissance capability for ships and convois operating without aircraft carriers, as it could theoretically be launched from any ship, military or civilian that was big enough. To be able to be launched from any ship, the Pogo was designed to be a VTOL aircraft, which explains the strange and memorable shape.
Ultimately, only three Pogos were built in 1954 and only one of them flew before the project was scrapped.
The cancellation had several reasons:

  1. The design was relatively light since it had to be able to be carried by regular freighters without specially reinforced decks. The light airframe proved unstable at higher speeds
    Handling and especially landing proved complicated.
  2. Only the most experienced pilots would have been able to operate the Pogo safely, which made the planned one ship – one Pogo unrealistic.
  3. The rapid advancement in jet engine technology and the tremendous speed advantage of jet fighters against the Pogo cancelled out its effectiveness as an interceptor.

So, the Pogo remains a footnote in the anals of aviation, just like Lockeeds parallelly developed VTOL fighter, the Lockheed XFV, which I will feature next.

Luckily, there is still footage around of the Pogo being tested, enjoy!

And these are the general stats of the craft:

Crew: 1
Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.8 m)
Wingspan: 27 ft 8 in (8.4 m)
Height: ft in (m)
Wing area: 355 ft² (33 m²)
Empty weight: 11,139 lb (5,060 kg)
Loaded weight: 14,250 lb (6,470 kg)
Useful load: 13,250 lb (6,016 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 16,250 lb (7,370 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Allison YT40-A-14 turboprop engine, 5,100 shp (3,803 kW)
Propellers: 3-bladed contra-rotating propellers


Maximum speed: 474 mph (412 kn, 763 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
Range: ≈500 mi (308 nmi, 805 km)
Service ceiling: 37,500 feet (11,440 m)
Rate of climb: 9,980 ft/min to 20,000 ft (3,045 m/min)
Max. wing loading: 38.1 lb/ft² (186 kg/m²[citation needed])
Minimum power/mass: 0.34 hp/lb (560 W/kg[citation needed])


Guns: 4 × 20mm (0.79 in) cannon, or
Rockets: 48 × 2.75 in (70 mm) Mk 4 Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets

Image:Public Domain