Steampunk Style book review

Steampunk Style book cover
Front cover of Steampunk Style

Steampunk Style: Introduction
If you’re like me and haven’t got a clue where to start when it comes to building new, exciting instruments and contraptions, you’re more than likely going to be interested in having a nose through a book such as Steampunk Style. It’s a glossy, soft-back illustrated reference book aimed at guiding you through the construction of simple steampunk watches to full body armour. Steampunk Style is priced at £16.95.

Steampunk Style: Features
The Victorian age was one of elegance and refinement; of etiquette and charm, but it was also an age of innovation, industry and creativity. Arguably, one of the reasons why steampunk is so popular is because of the endless scope of what you can do within the genre. There are simply no boundaries and no black and white. You can do whatever you want. Another wonderful point about the Victorian age is that it affected different parts of the world in different ways. For the British, it was top hats, bustles and canes while in the developing sprawl of America it was guns, cowboy hats and boots. But what about other parts of the World? How has steampunk forged their creativity?

Steampunk Style exhibiting work
Part of Mac Nakuta’s private collection. A phone case built from a 1950’s Twin Lens reflex camera and case

Steampunk Style is a versatile book. It covers Japanese steampunk inventors and is a showcase of their talents. Leafing through the glossy pages, it’s apparent that they certainly do have talent. The creativity pours out of the pages and my mind immediately started whirring with the possibilities.

Split into two distinctive sections, the first half of the book is a display of the best contraptions that Oriental steampunk has to offer. It covers all sorts of inventions from steam powered animals to delightful watches and clothing. The items are designed and built by multiple inventors and they each have a section in the second half of the book which goes on to explain how to make some of them. There are some astounding features, such as the full body armour that is made from Polythene sheets but makes the wearer look like a Japanese fighting robot maid. Yes, it has an apron and is supposed to be used by a house maid.

Steampunk Style robotic armour
Would your maid wear this robotic armour?

There are works from 17 different inventors such as Toshiyuki Kimura, Akihito and Mac nakata. Not all are featured in the “How-to” section at the back, but that’s ok, because there’s a works index at the back of the book that gives full contact details of any artist that has contributed to the book.

Steampunk Style "how to" pages
Plenty of pages instruct on how to make items

Steampunk Style: Conclusion
The quality of Steampunk Style is high. The photographs are to an exceptional standard and there’s just enough writing to keep you entertained. If you’re a complete newcomer to steampunk and want to learn more about it, or if you’re established but have friends that want to learn about it, there’s a chronology of steampunk at the rear. There are a few spelling errors and grammatical issues with the book, but it’s written by Japanese researchers, so not only do I have to give them a degree of leeway, I also have to tip my hat in respect of the amount of knowledge that has gone into the articles at the back then successfully translated into English.

Steampunk Style fashion
Many areas are covered including fashion

For the price, I think the book is a great investment for aspiring steampunk makers that, like me, can’t quite figure out the intricacies of how to make certain things. The book will even teach you how to make leaf apertures for your goggles. Some of the items that need building are very small and will require practice, skill and patience. The inventors in the book start with base materials and that’s what they teach you in the book.

If you get this book, expect to have to spend more money of other items, such as source materials, a small Dremel and associated accessories because once you’ve seen the possibilities this book can produce, you’ll not be able to stop inventing.

Steampunk Style: Ratingssteampunk_journal_editors_choice_250px

Features 5

Build quality 5

Value for money 5

Overall 5

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