Jump to content

AY Mod

Hornby goes Steampunk in 2020

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, Cunningham Loco & Machine Works said:

image.png.163cd768b9c7d4f3b34659235236df50.png

Here's an appropriately steampunk locomotive, which could even be built on a stock chassis.


Nah, these are steampunk... :)

 

ba1410_cw.jpg
 

bm4024.jpg

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cunningham Loco & Machine Works said:

image.png.163cd768b9c7d4f3b34659235236df50.png

Here's an appropriately steampunk locomotive, which could even be built on a stock chassis.

The problem with steampunk is that its emulation of Victorian or Edwardian mechanical design is all too often extremely superficial and ill-informed, which results in not an emulation, but a poorly executed parody.

TB2NOgbDnJYBeNjy1zeXXahzVXa_!!3301220119.jpg

 

I blame Back to the Future III, which is generally wheeled out as an example of steampunk that everyone's seen and includes a locomotive that just has stuff stuck all over it. Now, in fairness, there is a legit reason for this in the film, but it's not exactly the Victorian aesthetic.

 

A very well-researched steampunk work is William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's novel The Difference Engine, which imagines that Charles Babbage perfected his Analytical Engine and so brought about a technological revolution. Consequently, the world is a very different place technologically, sociologically and politically

  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still trying to get a grip of this, as a non-Steampunker. 

 

It seems to me that Steampunk is probably an over-used and often inaccurately applied term, but that Steampunk is nevertheless a very varied genre, both in stylistic interpretation and quality.

 

How well the "Basset Lowke" range scores in terms of its stylistic interpretation and quality is for each customer to judge for themselves. 

 

Unlike a model based on a prototype (or prototype practice) there is clearly a far greater degree of subjectivity in any judgment one might make.

 

It comes down to whether it's to your taste. Rather like tea, different flavours suit different palates.  

 

And Steampunk strikes me as in any case hard to define, yet I feel that I know it when I see it. Am I seeing it here?

 

Well, while it's pretty hard to rule the Basset Lowke range definitively in or out as Steampunk, my feeling is that it's locos are more dystopian grunge sci-fi/diesel-punk, whereas the rolling stock and accessories are simply poor steampunk of the just-stick-some-gears-on-it-and-call-it-Steampunk Ebay tat variety.

 

Quite apart from questions of stylistic interpretation and quality, is the range even internally consistent and coherent? To me, the locos seem to follow a different aesthetic to the buildings, stock and figures.  Watch the promo-video posted a while back; the 1:1 scale Steampunkers and their shiny brass equipment do not seem to inhabit the same world as Hornby's locos.

 

We are told that the loco design is based on Laurie Calvert's work.  I like Laurie Calvert's work, and I think the concept of layouts such as Cato Pass is fun, refreshing and welcome. I like "non-literal" railway modelling. I'm a fan.

 

It appears to me, however, that Cato Pass is undeniably a sci-fi layout, apparently set on another planet.  This is not Wellsian or Vernian Victorian Sci-Fi, but a futuristic Warhammer 40K sci-fi, or "space opera", world.  I like it, but, to me, there is nothing Steampunk about it. Why the heck Hornby Execs thought it represented Steampunk, I don't know.  What, I wonder, do they think Steampunk is? I'm reminded of Mr Kohler in that TV prog, fumbling around virtual reality tech, feeling he should do something with it, but apparently not having much of a clue as to what.

 

Still, some may love it, and more power to their wallets!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Edwardian
spelling!
  • Agree 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

I'm still trying to get a grip of this, as a non-Steampunker. 

 

It seems to me that Steampunk is probably an over-used and often inaccurately applied term, but that Steampunk is nevertheless a very varied genre, both in stylistic interpretation and quality.

 

How well the "Basset Lowke" range scores in terms of its stylistic interpretation and quality is for each customer to judge for themselves. 

 

Unlike a model based on a prototype (or prototype practice) there is clearly a far greater degree of subjectivity in any judgment one might make.

 

It comes down to whether it's to your taste. Rather like tea, different flavours suit different palates.  

 

And Steampunk strikes me as in any case hard to define, yet I feel that I know it when I see it. Am I seeing it here?

 

Well, while it's pretty hard to rule the Basset Lowke range definitively in or out as Steampunk, my feeling is that it's locos are more dystopian grunge sci-fi/diesel-punk, whereas the rolling stock and accessories are simply poor steampunk of the just-stick-some-gears-on-it-and-call-it-Steampunk Ebay tat variety.

 

Quite apart from questions of stylistic interpretation and quality, is the range even internally consistent and coherent? To me, the locos seem to follow a different aesthetic to the buildings, stock and figures.  Watch the promo-video posted a while back; the 1:1 scale Steampunkers and their shiny brass equipment do not seem to inhabit the same world as Hornby's locos.

 

We are told that the loco design is based on Laurie Calvert's work.  I like Laurie Calvert's work, and I think the concept of layouts such as Cato Pass is fun, refreshing and welcome. I like "non-literal" railway modelling. I'm a fan.

 

It appears to me, however, that Cato Pass is undeniably a sci-fi layout, apparently set on another planet.  This is not Wellsian or Vernian Victorian Sci-Fi, but a futuristic Warhammer 40K sci-fi, or "space opera", world.  I like it, but, to me, there is nothing Steampunk about it. Why the heck Hornby Execs thought it represented Steampunk, I don't know.  What, I wonder, do they think Steampunk is? I'm reminded of Mr Kohler in that TV prog, fumbling around virtual reality tech, feeling he should do something with it, but apparently not having much of a clue as to what.

 

Still, some may love it, and more power to their wallets!

 

 

 

 

 

Indeed.

 

A diesel really doesn't work in what I think of as steampunk.

 

However....suppose Hornby saw the popularity of Cato Pass and the like, and wanted to bring out a range inspired by it...what else would they call it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Coryton said:

Indeed.

 

A diesel really doesn't work in what I think of as steampunk.

 

However....suppose Hornby saw the popularity of Cato Pass and the like, and wanted to bring out a range inspired by it...what else would they call it?

“Battlespace” of course! Which would tie in with, but be distanced from, the mainstream Hornby centenary releases...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Coryton said:

Indeed.

 

A diesel really doesn't work in what I think of as steampunk.

 

However....suppose Hornby saw the popularity of Cato Pass and the like, and wanted to bring out a range inspired by it...what else would they call it?

 

I'd say you could get away with a diesel in steampunk, as long as the aesthetic and feel are still suitably steampunk.

 

The term "steampunk" is, I think, slightly misleading. There are a lot of steampunk works that don't necessarily revolve around steam-powered technology. For instance, the Nautilus of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is powered by electricity (nuclear energy in the 1954 film). The technology in the comic Scarlet Traces is an unknown power source derived from the Martians of War of the Worlds, steam having been superseded.

 

"Steampunk" is derived from "cyberpunk." Cyberpunk describes a dystopian future where advanced technology co-exists with criminal anti-heroes and heartless corporations and a grimy noir aesthetic - think Blade Runner or Judge Dredd. "Cyber" represents the advanced technology, "punk" the rebellious low-life aspects. In the 1980s, the term "steampunk" was coined by K W Jeter to describe a small group of Victorian-set sci-fi and fantasy novels. Steam was simply used as it was a technology that revolutionised the 19th century in much the same way that computers would revolutionise the 21st century.

 

As the term has become better known, it's broadened somewhat. But basically this is a longwinded way of saying that it doesn't have to be steam to be steampunk, just to have that Victorian/Edwardian aesthetic.

 

Incidentally, other -punk terms with varying degrees of acceptance in sci-fi fandom are dieselpunk (Art Deco, 20th century aesthetic), clockpunk (Renaissance to pre-Industrial Revolution), sandalpunk (Classical), swordpunk (medieval) and dungeonpunk (classic fantasy).

  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, sandalpunk also comes together with beardpunk and cableknitsweaterpunk to form realalepunk :jester:

  • Like 1
  • Funny 16

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, HonestTom said:

"punk" the rebellious low-life aspects

 

I had a long argument more than a decade ago about the "punk" bit, as UK steampunks back then (and as far as I can see, now) rather embraced the class-based version of steampunk, rather than the rebellious aspect. Witness the number of suddenly-titled people, the number of Majors, Sirs, Ladies, etc., or the number lady-/gentlemen-explorers.

 

The other thing - the steampunks I knew ten years ago largely only bought stuff they could wear or carry to events. The number of people decorating their houses in the steampunk style was very small in number, small enough to be remarkable. Have things changed much? I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, HonestTom said:

Cyberpunk describes a dystopian future where advanced technology co-exists with criminal anti-heroes and heartless corporations and a grimy noir aesthetic...

I think the future is here, then. :scratchhead::help:

  • Agree 1
  • Funny 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What can be said but that we were warned? "Some things that, once seen, cannot be unseen."

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of American stuff, and assuming that the toolings still exist, I am somewhat surprised that the Wild West loco and stock from Hornby's Toy Story set have not been used as the basis for this range.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I come across terms like dystopian (or post-apocalyptic) I know I am out of my depth. 

  • Like 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, papagolfjuliet said:

Speaking of American stuff, and assuming that the toolings still exist, I am somewhat surprised that the Wild West loco and stock from Hornby's Toy Story set have not been used as the basis for this range.

I presume there would be legal issues with that.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, eldomtom2 said:

I presume there would be legal issues with that.

 

And I think the Toy Story train was rather poor quality too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, eldomtom2 said:

I presume there would be legal issues with that.

 

True enough. As I recall Bahmann got into a spot of bother for using its Thomas and Percy models for other purposes.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

I think the future is here, then. :scratchhead::help:

 

 

Steampunk is the future as seen from the past. The tech presented has to be feasible future design as seen from the current past era and critiqued from the future present. Fetch t’inter-web info on Heath Robinson and Emmett as simple viable examples.

 

Sticking a few cogs on something is not steampunk. Hornby chose the wrong ‘consultant’ for this venture. A little basic research would have immediately flagged that up to them before committing to their poorly presented idea of this complex genre.

 

Try this...

https://pin.it/jmnnwg2uanyxl4

 

and compare with the German DRB19.10 real loco.

 

For steampunk real tech look at this ...

https://pin.it/6kmaylpbdhqeg7

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally! I had a flash of memory only to find that Snitzl had for some reason deleted his account and nuked all his rmweb blog posts. Finally tracked him down on a blogspot site.

https://snitzl.blogspot.com/

 

I think that Snitzl's 'fun town' is quite steampunk, featuring old style grandeur, market stalls on tram tracks, an overhead monorail, a docking station for a flying machine, and much more.

 

It's gorgeous modelling IMO.

 

327154069_19-FunLayout-Part4.jpg.53c694f94be51ce4de89ce8f389a55a5.jpg

01-WagonStalls2.jpg.39b3e1d3f5e7f6480d254c46e2d71a76.jpg01-VernesTower.jpg.65f403a13a333b7c880e838f10db8f51.jpg

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3
  • Informative/Useful 2
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That by any standards is superlative modelling; and it's well worth following that link.

 

The imagination is first rate, as is his grasp the essence of a Steampunk rooted in a Victorian aesthetic, such as we recall from those Jules Verne film adaptations from the '50s.  

 

I did say that Beattie's designs for the SW looked pretty much there in Steampunk terms, and he's done a Well Tank in original condition, in blue! 

 

Superb modelling and real craftsmanship. Great model engineering; plenty of cogs, but they're all doing something!

 

Thanks for sharing.

  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Corbs said:

 

Hurra! Thanks for the heads up Corbs, I have been missing Snitzl's posts.  As James says it is world class modelling. A unique combination of technical skills and creative thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, RAF96 said:

 

Sticking a few cogs on something is not steampunk. Hornby chose the wrongconsultant’ for this venture. A little basic research would have immediately flagged that up to them before committing to their poorly presented idea of this complex genre.

 

 

I think that comment is somewhat unfair and not a little rude.

If you listen to Laurie's interview with Jenny (link posted earlier) he does explain about the limitations he was working to, be that time or using existing models.

He also says what he would liked to have done. So to just post a comment saying they chose the wrong consultant is harsh to say the least.

 

I for one will be ordering a set of the locos as I think they are actually pretty good, the kids at an exhibition would love them on a suitable layout.

Steampunk seems to be a broad term, this range looks to be a starting point.

We all are aware that we need to bring new people in to the hobby this could be a great start.

 

Cheers

 

Ian

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3
  • Friendly/supportive 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the greatest respect for Laurie Calvert, firstly for taking the plunge with 'Cato Pass' and creating an epic sci-fi layout that doesn't resemble anything I'd seen before, for then taking that out on the exhibition circuit and having the gumption to pull it off. I hope he's a trailblazer for more people pushing the envelope in different ways.

Secondly, for taking on this challenge with Hornby, which must have been a daunting task to say the least! It's not a challenge to be taken lightly and to throw yourself into it and put yourself on the line, so to speak, takes a lot of courage.

 

So I would say well done Laurie, this particular kind of Steampunk isn't totally my bag, but like you I do hope it encourages people who may not have tried out new things before now.

In fact, I'm inspired to make something myself along Steampunk lines, and I would otherwise not have been, so thank you.

  • Like 3
  • Agree 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Q1 would be a great starting point for Steampunk options ...

 

Al.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Corbs said:

I have the greatest respect for Laurie Calvert, firstly for taking the plunge with 'Cato Pass' and creating an epic sci-fi layout that doesn't resemble anything I'd seen before, for then taking that out on the exhibition circuit and having the gumption to pull it off. I hope he's a trailblazer for more people pushing the envelope in different ways.

Secondly, for taking on this challenge with Hornby, which must have been a daunting task to say the least! It's not a challenge to be taken lightly and to throw yourself into it and put yourself on the line, so to speak, takes a lot of courage.

 

So I would say well done Laurie, this particular kind of Steampunk isn't totally my bag, but like you I do hope it encourages people who may not have tried out new things before now.

In fact, I'm inspired to make something myself along Steampunk lines, and I would otherwise not have been, so thank you.

 

I think that sums up my thoughts.

 

I benefited from watching Jenny's interview, which provided a number of insights.  I admire his work and think Laurie Calvert has been a great ambassador for "non-literal" modelling, and I'm always up for seeing more of that, be it Sci-fi or Steampunk, Disc World or the Shire, Emett or Forest of Boland!

 

I note that the interview made the assumption that anyone who didn't embrace the new Basset Lowke range was some hidebound traditionalist who didn't get it, whereas I would say that it is perfectly possible to like the idea of Steampunk model railways yet not actually find that this range is one's particular cup of tea.  Steampunk is a broad concept, after all.

 

Like Esteemed Brother Corbs, I, too, have found this announcement nothing but inspirational.  I had sketched out a steampunk layout idea some years ago, but the impetus and enthusiasm that this topic has provided means that it shall have to be dusted off and realised in some form.  All credit, then, to Laurie and Hornby for getting our creative juices flowing and exposing the market to new and challenging ideas.  

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

I note that the interview made the assumption that anyone who didn't embrace the new Basset Lowke range was some hidebound traditionalist who didn't get it, whereas I would say that it is perfectly possible to like the idea of Steampunk model railways yet not actually find that this range is one's particular cup of tea.  Steampunk is a broad concept, after all.

 

 

I didn't get that impression - and I did like the comment about some people complaining about it being the same ones who want Battlespace brought back...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.