05 March 2012

Steampunk Blaster Gun Prop

At the risk of biting into one of Regretsy's signature moves, can someone tell me what is "steampunk" about Steampunk Blaster Gun Prop?

Not pictured: steampunk

I see neither 19th-century firearm design (bolt action, lever action, box magazine), nor indications of steam power (coal hoppers, valve gears, eccentric rods). Instead, I see a perforated heat-shield and bell-shaped flash suppressor, which appear to be inspired by the Maschinengewehr 34 that Nazi Germany used to terrorize Europe during World War II. (During this period, histories tell us, steam power had stopped being cool, but was not yet "retro.") Also, I see an ergonomic grip and a reflex sight, hallmarks of handgun design only since the 1970s. Finally, I see no "punk," whatever that would mean in firearm-design terms. (A magazine held on by safety pins? Spiky day-glo iron sights?)

Could it be that an artist has used the word "steampunk" without thinking hard about what it means?

The goggles steam you, but the spats punk you.

And why call it a "prop"? Was there a danger I might think it was a real Steampunk Blaster Gun? Or is it a prop within the fiction of the artist's cosplay?

That is, does his real-life steampunk circle don spats and tank tops and knee pads, get into character, and then engage in meta-cosplay about a future driven by electricity and atomic power? Does Phineas T. Cogbottom, Leftenant in Her Majesty's Aërial Dragoons, spend his R&R pretending to be Frank "Rocket" Franklin, 1937 Heisman Trophy winner and leader of the band of Earthlings standing between our planet and the evil Conqueror Liu's fleet of atom-powered Jet Auk-Men? Does Cogbottom dream of a future of vacuum tubes and ergonomic handles?

<Sydow> Pathetic Earthlings. Hurling your [cosplayers] out into the void... </Sydow>

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