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The Steampunk Adventurer's Guide: Contraptions, Creations, and Curiosities Anyone Can Make Paperback – November 15, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Willeford (aka Lord Archibald “Feathers” Featherstone), a Steampunk enthusiast, is an artist, mechanologist, inventor, and the proprietor of Brute Force Studios. He has been creating unique and beautiful corsets and all manner of striking Steampunk gadgetry for more than 20 years. Thomas is the author of the critically acclaimed Steampunk how-to book Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos (McGraw-Hill Professional). He and his products have been widely featured on television (MTV, BBC, Castle, and Oddities), online (Wired, Forbes, and Popular Mechanics), and in print (The Art of Steampunk, The Steampunk Bible, and Steampunk: An Illustrated History). Satisfied customers include musician Rick Springfield, director David Silverman (The Simpsons Movie), and actresses Patricia Tallman (Babylon 5) and Virginia Hey (Farscape). Thomas also contributed to the design of Alchemy Gothic’s “Empire Collection,” a line of Steampunk jewelry and accessories.

Thomas’s artwork has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions worldwide, including Penn State’s “STEAMpunk!,” Dr. Grymm’s “Steampunk Bizarre,” the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation’s “Steampunk: Form and Function,” and the Ashmolean Museum of the History of Science at Oxford’s “Steampunk,” “20,000 Leagues” at Patriot Place, and “Mobilis in Mobili” at The Wooster Street Social Club (home of The Learning Channel’s NY Ink). His clockwork spider “Arachnae Mechanica” is currently housed in the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is currently a consultant and prop master of the Steampunk television series, Bruce Boxleitner’s Lantern City.

Phil Foglio is the coauthor, with Kaja Foglio, of the Hugo Award–winning Girl Genius graphic novel series and the novels Agatha H and the Airship City and Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess. Phil has been writing and drawing comics since the 1980s, with work that includes Buck Godot, the adaptation of MythAdventures, and work for DC and Marvel Comics.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education TAB; 1 edition (November 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071827803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071827805
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a great, great book! I've been following Thomas' work for awhile. I've seen it on Castle, in League of S.T.E.A.M. videos and Abney Park videos. He does incredible work, but while I'm very smart, I'm not very handy....to say the least. I bought his first book and while it was chock filled with great ideas and explained how to do them, I didn't have the tools or the skillset to build any of the things, even the simple things in his book.

THIS BOOK IS DIFFERENT. It's very simple projects that you can make with crafters foam, foam core boards, exacto knives, small things that cost just a few dollars at any crafts store and DUCT tape! That, I can do. One of the projects uses two liter bottles spray painted for jet packs. My daughters and I have started on these projects and found that we can start AND finish these projects. They're crazy good projects with step by step instructions, a storyline to go along with it and great illustrations by Phil Foglio.

One of the projects shows you how to build a harness so that you can put steampunk wings or a rocket pack on it. Another project is steampunk wings. After completing the project, my daughters want to do NEW wings in pink and purple and other bright colors for non-steampunk projects. They're very excited about this. (While they love steampunk, unlike Daddy, they don't think *every* project needs to be steampunk).

If you're new to steampunk and want to try your hand at building instead of just buying things, this is the BEST book out there. These projects are realistic, can be completed and really, really look great.

I'd write more, but my daughters and I are going back to building something new now.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having already purchased his previous book I was wondering how this book would be. It has projects aimed at either younger readers (teens or smart pre-teens) and/or adults with limited skills. (his previous book is more adult types of projects ... as far a skill sets) It is well worth the money and a valuable book in my collection. I've been collecting "parts" and one of these days will actually make something.

Rather than work with real leather he shows a way to make imitation leather that is quite believable for projects that will not see heavy use. Instead of real rivets he shows you how to use paper fasteners to get the same effect. There are complete patterns in the back of the book to help you along, and (of course) complete instructions for the non-technical among us. Some of the projects will need to be re-sized if made for an adult.

As a "starter book" for steampunk projects this is an ideal choice.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fun read, with lots of good projects for kids! We were somewhat disappointed that the wings won't actually let your child fly (we'll miss that one, but hey, we have two more!), and it turns out that fueling the rocket pack is very difficult to do safely (oh well, one left but he's our fav anyway), but overall the projects are fun and the boys...er.. boy loves his new gear. Thanks!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say, this is one of the most engaging and approachable how-to books for kids I've seen. The blend of story and project was both seamless and brilliant and goes far in immersing both the kid and the adult into Willeford's steampunk world.

The projects are EXTREMELY easy for children and adults and offer enough basis for even an accomplished prop builder to embellish and expand upon while still staying...again very approachable for children. My own nephews 11, and 9 easily grasped both the processes and the story with an enthusiasm that rivals their Minecraft addiction...no small feat there!

Having played a small part in the production of this book I had an inside view of the creative process and I truly think Thomas has some real creative gold here. The wonderful illustrations by Phil only add to the magic. I see this book becoming a staple in our family's activity library offering hours and hours of imaginative play, and perhaps even sparking a long running creative process in the little minds of my nephews and niece that no video game could ever hope to match.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steampunk Adventurer's Guide is geared to a wide age range, which makes sense since Steampunk attracts a wide audience, including kids. The chapters are tied together with an adventure story (Phil Foglio is involved in that part) that draw you into an alternate history world based on steampower. You might think the projects wouldn't be of interest to adults, but you'd be wrong. It delves into making goggles, nerf gun conversion, armor, and much more -- all sorts of projects of interest to Steampunks of all ages -- but made accessible to younger minds as well as adults -- all without being dumbed down. This is an excellent introduction to the world of making.

The discussion in Chapter 2 and various bits of commentary throughout the book on materials and tools are useful not for just Steampunk projects but could easily be applied to other types of projects. The instructions are clear and the hints invaluable. I've always appreciated people who were willing to explain not just how, but why.

There's also some nifty stuff at the end of the book, like the measurements conversion table, as well as reading and viewing recommendations for folks who are new to Steampunk and would like to learn more about it. Definitely a worthy addition to the library!
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