As near as I can tell, there was almost no structural modifications done here:
The artist obviously painted the toy, but if you look at the original (the Nerf N-Strike Maverick Blaster) closely there’s actually a lot of steampunk-friendly detail there already. Even the nameplate is actually in the original; the paint job merely makes it obvious. It makes you wonder why Nerf didn’t simply produce this beauty in brass and brown rather than yellow and gunmetal in the first place…
A Maryland company under contract to the Pentagon is working on a steam-powered robot that would fuel itself by gobbling up whatever organic material it can find — grass, wood, old furniture, even dead bodies.
Robotic Technology Inc.’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that’s right, “EATR” — “can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable,” reads the company’s Web site.
That “biomass” and “other organically-based energy sources” wouldn’t necessarily be limited to plant material — animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they’d be plentiful in a war zone.
OK, that upgrades it slightly from Disturbing to Disturbing, Yet Slightly Awesome. Something like that would make the retro-future so actinically bright, you’d have to wear goggles.
…which may not be the easiest thing in the world, actually. More here and here, with added picture goodness.
Personally, I think that the BSG 1.0 Cylons were closer to the entire steampunk aesthetic than the BSG 2.0 ones – although in 1978 I wouldn’t have said so, being both: a, eight; and b, utterly ignorant that Powers, Blaycock, & Jeter were going to invent the steampunk genre a decade later.