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Discreet prosthetic arm: A Steampunk nonsense? Answered

I love steampunk aesthetics, in both machines and clothing (I'm meaning girls) branches... but I have no artistic talent at all, so I can't develop such a beautiful machines or decorations. But sometimes steampunk fans care a lot about clothes and less about characters. They simply dress up, and waste the chance to assume a character, especially at conventions and meetings.

There are lots of steampunk prosthetic-mechanical arms and hands, but I can't avoid think about "less are more".

I mean, a mechanical arm in brass, cooper  and leather talks about your wit and ability, but a (simple) wired frame UNDER the jacket, apparent only by bumps and tensions under the sleeve and glove, and even better with mechanical wishpers and quiet pneumatic sounds when it moves (if you are so gifted), tells a story about the character of your character (if you understand me): for example, an inventor who has lost the use of an arm, may try to recover it and keep it hidden, like a shame. You can link it with an accident, a tragedy, a heroic act or a sacrifice. It would be part of my character, If I would had one.

BUT steampunk is all about aesthetic, so... is it a nonsense? Or is it a second-level, deeper dive in the steampunk world?

4 Replies

AriedeB (author)2012-03-28

I see your point, however i do think its more Steampunk when the pipes, riffets and gears are visible.

How to make the noises when moving your arm?
If you make a hard sleeve for your underarm and a smaller one for your upper arm, you could atache them on the inside of your arm with a piston of some sort. If you use a piston thats leaky it wil probably make some noise.
if you make it more complex, lets say, using gears, you could make it drive a noise making thing like a ratle for the obvios sound effects.

just try and make it, it might be easer to do than you think ;)

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mpilchfamily (author)2012-03-22

The problem with your idea is its not steam punk. The whole idea of steam punk is to make modern items as if they came from the steam age. Steam age tech was crude yet elegant. The idea is to artistically show off the pipes, cogs and gears that would make the item work. Hiding all of that is counter intuitive to the steam punk mantra. Steam punk is an art! You don't cover Van gogh's Starry Night with a sheet and have twink twink little star playing in the background.

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infob (author)mpilchfamily2012-03-23


...but you may miss one point: if you dress a costume, you are seeking for something more than visual art, may be a little role-playing.

For theese people may be interesting to simulate a mechanical arm without make it full detailed with gears, a working elbow, etc, because it would be hidden. It is not a lot of effort, and gives consistence to a character.

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Kiteman (author)mpilchfamily2012-03-22

However, adding a hidden widget to make hissing or clanking noises as you moved would be very good.

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