Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Captain Bayley's Mechano-Perambulator

So, it turns out we might be a little bit borderline famous on the internet. When Mark presented me with the Steampunk AT-AT, I thought I might email it to one of my favourite bloggers ever - Jen, of Cakewrecks and Epbot fame, who has a definite penchent for both steampunk and Star Wars. I certainly didn't expect it to make the cut and end up on Epbot!

So, here's the full story of the IMP, taken from the email I sent Jen:

Mark is the kind of guy who will decide he has to learn how to do something - be it create zombie special effects makeup, spin wool out of cat hair (blech!), wire lamps out of duck hunt guns, build a life size mastadon head out of chicken wire and papier mache or make me a dress with no pattern and no sewing experience - and then spend as long as it takes to do it. We live in London (although I'm American), so space is kind of an issue. I assume that we will either end up on an episode of Hoarders or after we die people will start charging admission to our house to see all of the weird things. 

So, when I came home one day to discover that Mark had bought four 1980s AT ATs  with missing parts, I wasn't that surprised. He assured me that he was going to combine them and resell one or two as complete units. 'It's an investment!' he said.  

I was surprised and alarmed when one of them mysteriously became painted with orange razzle dazzle camouflage and covered in fairy lights. Equally surprising and alarming was the combination of a (my!) really nice radio and a really nice vintage toy into one, semi-functional Frankenstein's monster of an AT AT radio with a tendency to lay down it's own random, plasticky beat on top of the music (it has since been modified and now works beautifully, I have to admit). 

With two AT ATs left, he magnanimously decided that he would customise one of them in a manner of my choosing as a gift. 

'Steampunk!' I cried (of course). 

The result is, as I hope you will agree, pretty amazing. Each one of those rivets was cut out with a punch and applied with tweezers, and we both lost track of the number of coats of spray paint he used to get that gorgeous patina before washing it down and creating the stains and drips. He made the narwhal horn on the front as well. It's hard to see (this thing is a really weird shape and surprisingly awkward to photograph), but the legs and feet are covered in seaweed and barnacles - I can just imagine it tramping up and down the coastline, or standing in a harbour next to a crumbling pier. 

I was really busy at work all day Monday, and I didn't get a chance to look at the internet, until Mark woke me up in the middle of the night on Monday to let me know that the IMP had hit the big time and was featured on Epbot! 

Today was weird, the pictures snowballed and next thing we knew there were some absolutely lovely articles popping up all over the place! Here are some of our favourites:

Additionally, we've seen some really lovely comments on tumblr, facebook and twitter. So thank you, one and all for sharing, liking, commenting and posting - Mark hasn't stopped grinning!

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