Thursday, August 30, 2012

Copper Mike's Steampunk Shovelhead

Gravesend Cycles Steampunk Harley-Davidson
I just saw this steampunk-themed Harley-Davidson Shovelhead on the cover of the latest issue of American Iron magazine. I liked the article's tagline: "What the past would have looked like if the future had started sooner." That pretty much sums up the retro-futurist perspective of steampunk.

This machine is a product of the fertile imagination and talented hands of custom bike builder and master metalsmith Michael Cole, aka "Copper Mike" because he loves to work with that metal. The level of handcrafted detail in this bike's design is astonishing... with the small pics I provide here you can only get a hint of that, so go to the Gravesend Cycles Steampunk gallery to get a better look at and appreciation of Mike's work. Especially cool was the intricate engraving on the engine, which can actually best be seen in photos at the Kustom King blog.

Copper Mike is the proprietor of Gravesend Cycles in Lindenhurst, NY, where he builds the bikes and creates jewelry, copper art objects, and t-shirts.

A Closer Look at the Design Details
The Steampunk made its debut earlier this year at Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Show held at The International Motorcycle Show in the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Tip of the hat to the Kustom King Blog where I found more info about this retro-futuristic machine. Check it out.

Also check out the Copper Mike video feature below.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cthulhu Boots & Pumps by Pleaser, Funtasma Lineup

Cthulu Knee-High Boots
Steampunk footwear with an H.P. Lovecraft flair from Pleaser USA's "Funtasma" lineup.

Over the top...


Friday, August 24, 2012

The Steampunk World's Fair, May 17-19, 2013

Steampunk World's Fair Logo
Now is a good time to start getting ready for the fourth annual Steampunk World's Fair, which is scheduled for May 17-19, 2013 in Piscataway, NJ. Events will be held at two hotels, the Radisson and Embassy Suites. Both are already sold out! Overflow accommodations are available at the Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater in Somerset. A free shuttle between the  Hotel Somerset-Bridgewater and the two venues will be available. Might be a good idea to book travel and accommodations now.

Update: There is a big portfolio of photos from the 2012 fair here that were shot on assignment by Jim Kiernan for the article here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tony Scott, RIP

Very sad news this morning: Famed producer-director Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott, leapt to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in LA County yesterday. He reportedly left a note behind in his car, which he apparently drove to the site, though at this time no motive has been reported.

Tony Scott produced many action films, such as Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop II, and the Denzel Washington/ Chris Pine film, Unstoppable. He was also credited as a producer of his brother's latest film, Prometheus. He reportedly was most recently working on a Top Gun sequel with Tom Cruise.

May he rest in peace.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

KScan3D Software Turns Kinect into 3D Color Scanner

KScan3D Human Model
The KScan3D software package from 3D3 Solutions lets you redeploy your Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox 360 as a 3D color scanner. The 3D3 people claim that their software can seamlessly stitch together shots taken from multiple angles to capture a complete 360degree model of an object or person.   The software creatures a 3D mesh model that is automatically combined and aligned. The package also incorporates editing features for smoothing and editing the data.

The resulting model is available for output in four industry-standard file formats: .stl, .obj, .ply and .asc. The model can be used for CAD/CAM work, game design, visual effects, and 3D printing.

The package price is $299... You have to sign-up for an account with 3D3 Solutions to get pricing, by the way, providing your email address and street address, so I did that to save you the hassle. You can purchase  with a credit card or PayPal and download the software immediately.

If you own a Kinect, you can download and test drive KScan3D by taking advantage of the free fourteen-day trial.

You can see a gallery of scans here, and can download them in .ply, .obj, and .stl for examination in your CAD viewer.

If you give KScan3D a try, or are already a user, we'd like to hear what you think of the package... by all means, please leave your comments here at this post.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Steampunk Accessories from Brute Force Studios

Brute Force Studios Leather Corset
While googling around for pictures of brass steampunk goggles this morning I discovered Brute Force Studios, a purveyor of high-quality steampunk accessories, jewelry, and costumes. The product lineup is made-up of really top-drawer, professionally designed and artfully made stuff.

Thomas Willeford, the proprietor of Brute Force Studios, has been a prominent figure in the steampunk subculture and movement for two decades. His work has been featured in numerous magazines, websites, books, and television shows. I first saw Willeford's work in Art Donovan's excellent book, The Art of Steampunk, which has an entire chapter dedicated to Willeford's creations.
      Willeford's Ornithopter Backpack

Last fall, Willeford became a published author himself with the McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics title, Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts... see our link to his book at Amazon below. 

Willeford has also designed jewelry for Alchemy Gothic's "Empire Collection," a series of original steampunk-themed jewelry.

Willeford participates in steampunk events in the persona of "Lord Archibald Featherstone."


Friday, August 17, 2012

The "Brass Goggles" Steampunk Blog

Brass Goggles from Brute Force Leather
I just found the Brass Goggles steampunk blog and forum site that comes to us from the UK. Brass Goggles has been online since 2006, exhibiting some real staying power in this age of too much "blog today, gone tomorrow."

They've got some how-to pages for steampunk crafters, an active forum, and a substantial list of steampunk web links.

They also have a call out for blog submissions, so if you have anything steampunk-related that you want to call attention to, or want to submit a blog post for publication, contact Brass Goggles by email at 

The brass goggles above are available from Brute Force Studios & Fallen Angel Fashions.

You can find brass, copper, leather working tools, and other materials for your own Steampunk projects at Amazon Supply. See our product links below.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Felt Bicycles "Slater"

Felt Bicycles "Slater"
A few weeks ago I was walking around the Saturday Market in downtown Hillsboro and caught sight of a really cool, stylish bicycle on display outside the new Hillsboro Bike Company shop at the corner of Main and Second. It really caught my attention, so I veered hard to my right to get close enough to look it over and read its pinstriped logo... "Felt Bicycles." I'd never heard of them.

Joker Machine's Motorized Slater
A few days ago I encountered the brand again in an article in the latest Cafe Racer magazine... some guy from Joker Machine, the motorcycle aftermarket accessories company, put a 160cc Honda utility gas engine in the frame of a Felt Slater model bicycle. Looked really cool, what with the springer forks and fat black tires front and back... you can see a photo gallery of it here, shot at Willow Springs Raceway in SoCal. So, I finally have gotten around to looking them up on the net and thought I'd post a link to the Slater at Felt and the motorized version at Joker Machine for your enjoyment.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cafe Racers Japan Documentary Fundraiser of Indiegogo

I stumbled into the website for the Cafe Racers Japan film project while looking around for bratstyle bikes this evening. The director, Christopher Andrew Cooke, describes Cafe Racers Japan as "a documentary exploring the day in the life of Tokyo's cafe racers scene," in which the city itself is an integral part of the story.  He's currently raising funds at Indiegogo, with a goal of $5,000. As of this writing, $850 has been committed.

Check out the trailer below.

Bratstyle Bikes

Bratstyle Yamaha SR400 Streettracker
I've been looking at "bratstyle" bikes from Japan this week. Seems to be a very popular concept in Nippon, and is catching on in some quarters here in the US. I can't really define the style, except to say that it seems to be a kind of mashup of bobber, cafe racer, and streetracker based on low-cost bikes, for example, the Yamaha SR400 and the Honda CB350.

Google around for bratstyle and you'll find a lot of cool bikes that are low-cost, everyday riders... is a good place to start, and check out  this post at the Bikers Cafe Blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Solidoodle 3D Printer Breaks $500 Price Barrier

Solidoodle 3D Printer
MakerBot's former COO, Samuel Cervantes, left the company last year to launch another 3D printer company, Solidoodle. At $499, the Solidoodle 2 printer breaks the $500 barrier.

The build material is ABS in filament form, available from the Solidoodle store in natural, red, green, blue, and black. The build volume is 6"x6"x6".

Unlike some other small, low-cost 3D printers, the Solidoodle is strong and robust; the Solidoodle people claim that a 200lb. person can stand on the chassis without damaging it, even while it is printing.

See the Solidoodle in action below.

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