View Full Version : Steampunk soldier

08-01-2010, 06:09 PM

I've been trying to put together a steampunk soldier costume, and have been having a bit of trouble figuring out where to start. Any feedback on where to look or advice on putting it together is much appreciated.


"the thing is to find a truth that is true for me, to find an idea for which I can live and die" -Søren Kierkegaard

08-01-2010, 08:06 PM
Well, and I'm by no means an expert, first off a soldier from where? Start with a military uniform of the country you want to be a soldier from and start steamin' it up. And then what type of soldier are you? Infantry, sniper, medic, army, air, navy, submarine; what is your job as a soldier? Then, what rank are you? Cause lets face it you could really add anything you wanted if you're a general, but a basic grunt? Gonna be sorta sparse. All of that will also decide what sort of accessories and weapons you have.

Not sure if that helped, but that's all that first sprang into my mind when approaching that basic idea.

08-01-2010, 08:15 PM
american, army, medic, and sgt. And thanks much, any advice is helpful. Any sites you recommend?

08-01-2010, 09:57 PM
I'd recommend starting off with a civil-war era uniform and going from there.

08-01-2010, 11:22 PM
Sticking with the civil war idea that Kaoshima threw out, here's a cool site where you can get those outfits:


That being said, I'm not sure you'd be able to do something with your stated idea around the American civil war. I could be mistaken but I don't think there were field medics during the civil war, that didn't really start until WWI. The civil war had many more nurses then medics, and a large number of them were women. A quick search led me to this:

"most primary care was administered at field hospitals located far behind the front lines. Those who survived were then transported by unreliable and overcrowded ambulances-two-wheeled carts or four-wheeled wagons-to army hospitals located in nearby cities and towns. "

If you still wanted to play with history a bit (which would probably be just fine considering what steampunk is to begin with) I would suggest watching the movie Master and Commander and seeing the tools the ship's doctor used. From that link above it sounds like while the era of the movie is during the Napoleonic war and the civil war was far later it doesn't really matter since medicine didn't really change during those times. Lots of amputations and whatnot. So the tools he uses could be slightly modified to fit the steampunk mold.

08-02-2010, 01:04 AM
the union actually hired young physicians and doctors to act as field surgeons, who pretty much acted as medics. If you ever get the chance visit the amedd museum on Ft Sam houston. gives you a good break down of medicine in the military. And thank you for the links, I'll be sure to look into them.

08-02-2010, 11:51 AM
Whether or not there were actually field medics isn't all that important (although apparently there were--bonus for you!). Historical accuracy is nice because it helps you put together an outfit that has internal consistency, but you can easily get that without it, especially if you have a concept in mind. Like you do!

So. Civil War uniforms are a great place to start and there are heaps of resources for that. McCall even has a costume pattern (http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m4745-products-7030.php?page_id=493) out right now that would work well. You can have a lot of fun with the insignia, if you're inclined that way--does your sergeant get a certain number of bars, or chevrons, or pips, or does rank follow a more Southern scheme and show in how much and how complex the trim on the sleeves? What's the symbol for "medic" in his world? Has he earned medals for merit? (I love making up medals so much.) Does his particular company have a crest or a color? Oh MAN, the possibilities of just the uniform's trim. I nerd out on that stuff like crazy, though, so don't get the idea you have to create an entire world to justify some gold braid. You don't have to. But you CAN! :D

Anybody doing work in the field can also carry around all KINDS of stuff. Get a nice sturdy belt so you can attach things to it. I think a really cool thing would be a pouch or bandolier of corked vials, all sorts of fun powders and potions with aged labels (or no labels at all, patient beware). What you do for gadgetry can depend on the kind of medicine you want your guy to practice. Have mad scientists in his world advanced the frontiers of medicine to the point where he might, for example, have some kind of arrangement for re-attaching limbs?

The sky's really the limit here, and you can also keep things pretty simple if you want (i.e. "This bottle makes you hurt less if you're gonna live, and this bottle makes you care less that you're gonna die"). A doctor's bag should do you as a basic thing, and those are fairly easy to find in antique stores. It'll be handy for carrying around normal things like a cellphone too. A leather or heavy canvas satchel would do the same.

08-02-2010, 07:32 PM
sounds good, I'm probably going to stick with the traditional sgt stripes. And I've always enjoyed coming up with background stories for my characters, so I'll be sure to develop a decent history. Now any idea where I could get designs for a clockwork pistol or something similar? I can't see a medic of the era carrying a rifle, but a personal sidearm wouldn't be too strange.

08-03-2010, 10:15 AM
There are no 'designs' as such for steampunk weapons; they're largely custom-made from whatever the creator can get their hands on. Brassgoggles's "Tactile" board (http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/board,2.0.html) should have plenty of images for inspiration and plenty of tips on how to make your own.

08-13-2010, 03:22 PM
There are no 'designs' as such for steampunk weapons; they're largely custom-made from whatever the creator can get their hands on. Brassgoggles's "Tactile" board (http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/board,2.0.html) should have plenty of images for inspiration and plenty of tips on how to make your own.

True. A lot of the influence of the Steampunk aesthetic comes from the idea that it comes from a time when mass-production wasn't economically practical. Thus, many of the items associated with it are custom-made, one-of-a-kind, and what have you.

Imagine a tinkerer assembling his newest invention out of parts and pieces lying about his lab/workshop or possibly even salvaging previous creations.

08-25-2010, 09:49 AM
"tinkerer assembling his latest invention out of old parts and pieces lying about"

Sounds like how I make props now. lol

You might want to replace the uniform jacket with some sort of doctors coat/duster. I remember a John Wayne movie that had the calvary surgeon wearing one. It might have some stains from a previous patient on it.