Sometime in 2015 we wanted to try something a bit different than the styles we've been doing. Steampunk offered a number of interesting variations on designs and it became decided to try our hand at a steampunk battle mech. The idea goes that somewhere there's a secret laboratory in a cave, where a genius scientist is building an army of robots to take over the world. Maybe GI Joe or Acid Rain figures stumble across this lab and are about to shut it down when all hell breaks loose: a giant, iron mech lumbers from the depths of the lab, firing machine guns and cannon at the heroes. The idea was to make a scene of the figures retreating from this armored, mechanical nightmare. But to do this we had to design the mech.
The steampunk genre offers some interesting visuals for both photography purposes and general story telling. The history of the world is remade with technology exist powered by steam. Common story themes include airships sailing the atmosphere, or submarines exploring the deepest depths of the oceans. Steampunk is not limited to Earth, but can also take place on other worlds or even alternate timelines. For our purposes, a steampunk battle mech could easily fit in with a number of action figure toy lines. What works really well is Acid Rain World.
The inspiration for the DioWarriors steampunk mech comes from Jules Verne, especially "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Old Victorian diving bells came to mind when we were determining the overall look. We wanted something that looked like it could be made in the Victorian era, limited by the technology of the age: barrel-like, boiler drums, metal beams, and gears. In following with Jules Verne, we left exceptions of super-technology. In novels like "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Master of the World" the inventions of the antagonists are super-technology either powered by electricity in some way, or capable of amazing speeds on both land, sea, and air. In much the same way, the steampunk mech is a super-technology machine.
The mech would be powered by a hybrid of electricity generated by steam. Rails from a rail road would form the length of the legs. Things could be attached to the rails: armor to protect the body, guides for tubes delivering pressurized steam to turn the gears for moving the legs, and rubber coated feet pads. The diving bell-like body would be segmented into two halves, with a geared ring dividing the center where weapons are mounted. The front of the body having sensors that resemble a WWII era radio triangulation device or early RADAR as seen on some ME-262 -- the world's first combat jet -- for night missions. An "electronic eye" mounted in the center of the body would get attention when painted in evil red. The rear of the mech would have the steam engine, looking vastly different than traditional engines. Above the engine, external capacitors store electricity that powers the primitive electronics of the mech.
The weapon systems are part of the exception involving super-technology. Both machine guns and cannon are not Victorian, but WWI or Crimean War. The water cooled machine guns are certainly WWI inspired, but the cannon inspired by the Crimean War, with, of course, some liberties. The cannon is a revolver type, which in the real world, was actually attempted. Real revolver cannons were a failure: the kick from the first shell firing was enough to set off the other shells. However, in this mech the genius scientist who developed the mech has also perfected the revolver cannon.
As it stands, the DioWarriors steampunk mech is a work-in-progress. There are times we get a creative block and can't think of a design that looks right. Other times other projects need to worked on, and the mech gets pushed back. But it's coming along and nearly complete.
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The Hell Screamerz Kickstarter
Hell Screamerz (HS) is an Action Figure line from Sunok Studios, LLC. with a science fiction theme and a unique background story. But the way we're looking at the line in DioWarriors is how well HS can interact with the existing toy lines of GI Joe, Star Wars, Marauders Task Force, and the Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS, and even Acid Rain World. After all, those lines have become a backbone to most of our own collections, and (most likely) yours as well.
It is important to know that the Hell Screamerz themselves are interdimensional and can therefore cross over into any other toy line. It is within the scope of the HS toy line to cross over into Transformers or Acid Rain World just as easily as it could with a cowboy line or GI Joe. A dimensional fissure opens up and the Hell Screamerz come through, eager to invade regardless of what universe your primary collection is. So, with that in mind, we'll skip the details about the background story and just focus on the potental of crossing Hell Screamerz into these other toy line universes.
Simply put, there are two sides: the Divine Hammer (the good guys) and the inter-dimensional forces of the Hell Screamerz. With the Divine Hammer, there's a crack team of specifically named characters and generic troopers for army building. The same thing with the Hell Screamerz. There is General Harkn, Lt. Thragon, and a host of generic troopers and pilots. For whatever reason -- fallout from a superweapon, a natural phenomenon -- a dimensional portal opens and the Hell Screamerz come through to invade. As a stand alone story, the Divine Hammer is Earth's response to stem their attack. But as a crossed over story, the heroes strong enough to stop the Hell Screamerz is up to you.
Take Acid Rain World, for example, which makes for a very interesting possibility for many action figure lines. What's nice about the Acid Rain universe is the unknown of the world where it takes place. There are deserts and wastelands inhabited by nomadic, tribal-like people, but so much has happened in the Acid Rain history that surely there's long lost civilizations, laboratories buried in the desert or hidden in one of the countless city ruins. All sorts of story potential can be made from this -- anywhere from hidden labs with lost technology to some sort of weapon side effect that ripped open a time/space fissure enabling the Hell Screamerz to come through.
With Vitruvian HACKs, Hell Screamerz work well with the "temporal" notes. How does a Gorgon from Greek Mythology enter into a universe for GI Joe? A magic portal from an Oracle, perhaps? Fallout from one of the gods during their ancient war against the Titans? These things are unexplained and left up to the collector's imagination. At DioWarriors we just made props and explained it as alien tech. But Hell Screamerz works well with this and even enables a viable explanation: at some point the Hell Screamerz had crossed into a universe where Greek Mythology is real and from there crossed into modern day Earth. The dimensional crossing weakened the Space/Time fabric enough that the Gorgons and some Greeks could cross. Or perhaps General Harkn wanted to have some fun and enabled the Greek Mythology universe to cross with the Joe universe. It will be interesting to see what can be done with crossing over the Boss Fight Studio fantasy series with Hell Screamerz. Perhaps there will be a wizard figure by which using dark and forbidden magic inadvertently opens a portal.
Even with Marvel Universe with the attention to tesseract's enabling space/time and even dimensional travel, the Hell Screamerz line works with this. After all, It's a dimensional toy line. Parallel universes, time travel paradox's, it's all there.
But our (DioWarriors) largest collection consists of GI Joe, so every diorama we take photos of tends to revolve around the Joes. Integrating the Hell Screamerz with the Joe universe could possibly be done in the following way:
The Hell Screamerz toy line is designed to be adaptive to your primary toy collection. How you integrate the line is up to you, obviously, but what makes the line so appealing is however you integrate it, it is within the scope. Even if two collectors got together, each integrating Hell Screamerz differently, it works. It's all dimensional.
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