Steampunk the teardrop

Timeline note: I started writing this after the ‘walls up’ post, thinking I was close to being done… Ha! Little did I know what the electrical system had in store for me. I’ll be posting about that experience later, so this one is out of chronological order. But it is just an introduction to some of the decorative touches I’ll be going into more detail about later. For now, I’ll try to go back to a time when I thought I was almost done…

Now that we’re getting close to the end of building the functional parts teardrop, we’re thinking about style. The whole 50s thing has been done, and besides I’d have to find and restore a Hudson Hornet or Packard Clipper tow vehicle, find fuzzy dice, etc. Maybe next time…. 
We both like the steampunk/industrial look, so we’re going with that. Maybe not quite this far though. But I do like the radiator pipes for the fridge behind the wheel…

See more pictures of this teardrop

What I really like about steampunk is the exposed mechanisms. But it can pretty quickly go over the line for me – gears are not supposed to be bent! And they really should be driving something! Besides, I don’t think I could pull off a winged top hat… maybe a nice bowler though.









So, we want ‘functional steampunk’. So the question is, what would steampunk explorers need?

  • Navigation tools – lat/long, elevation, distance traveled. Sextant, compass, sundial? The measuring instruments would be props, but the position info should be real. Not ‘learn how to use a sextant’ real, but something.


  • Weather instruments – temp, wind speed, rain, humidity. A portable weather vane/anemometer/rain gauge combo. The display should be inside, the weathervane assembly would have to be outside some distance from the teardrop. And the weather vane needs to be a zeppelin. 

OK, this is a ‘zeppelin’ like non-Kleenex tissue is ‘kleenex’, but still cool.

  • Systems monitor – battery voltage, AC voltage, trailer level. This one’s pretty easy, just a cheap panel meter like this, in a decorative panel

  • Lights – we bought some LED lights, but these are way too modern looking. Of course you could always stick a gear on it and call it done.


  • Soft goods/decorations – notebooks, maps, illustrations of animals/plants – you could really go crazy with this.

Check back for more updates…

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