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Tag Archives: inspiration

Our Gallery: Airship is Dieselpunk

A symbol, a trope, a hallmark, a cliché – call it by any other name, the airship is inseparable from Dieselpunk. Our alternative skies are full of dirigibles, real and unreal, peaceful transports and dangerous battleships. These giants can be seen as the ultimate expression of Diesel Era spirit and, at the same time, of contemporary retro-futuristic vision.

LZ129 Hindenburg. May 1937

The most famous airship career ended in a disaster. But the Lakehurst explosion was probably the saddest episode in a long chain of disasters, and the Hindenburg was the largest and most luxurious of many Interbellum airships, some of them well forgotten. Let’s see what we can incorporate into our Dieselpunk setting.

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in art, dieselpunk, inspiration, machines

 

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Our Gallery: Dieselpunk Architecture

Francisco Salamone (1897-1959) was an Italian-Argentine architect who lived and worked in Argentina, built in just four years, between 1936 and 1940, more than 60 buildings in 25 municipalities of the Province of Buenos Aires.
Monumental Art Deco buildings, including cemeteries, municipalities, slaughterhouses, squares and bridges.
They were forgotten until recent years and today they are revalued. (Source)

Guaminì – Municipality building by Walter E. Kurtz @ Flickr

It’s hard to define the style of Salamone – maybe it’s a very special kind of Art Deco, influenced by Italian Futurism, maybe “monumental modernism” label suits it better. Anyway, this architect (you can read more about him on Dieselpunks.org) built a perfect setting for a Dieselpunk story, dark or bright, Ottensian or Piecraftian.

Let’s enter this strange world of municipal edifices, slaughterhouses and cemeteries.

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Our Gallery: Noir is Dieselpunk

You can set your dieselpunk story in Gotham or Metropolis, Librium or Antarctica. You can build the most incredible structures and fill the streets and hangars with every kind of weird machines. The sky is the limit! But you need something more: the atmosphere. No matter how optimistic you are, the genre simply cannot do without a bit of darkness. Stylish darkness. So, what about Noir?

We won’t bore you with academic definitions. Just two quotes from a highly readable TV Tropes article:

The Anti-Hero is the most common protagonist of the Noir — a man alienated from society, suffering an existential crisis. Frequently portrayed as a disillusioned, cynical police officer or private-eye and played by a fast-talking actor, the Anti-Hero is no fool and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He faces morally ambiguous decisions and battles with a world that seems like it is out to get him and/or those closest to him.

The setting is often a large, oppressive city (filmed in dark and dusky conditions to create a moody atmosphere), with Mexico often playing a big role. Familiar haunts include dimly-lit bars, nightclubs filled with questionable clientele (including, the Gayngster) whom the lead may intimidate for information, gambling dens, juke joints and the ubiquitous seedy waterfront warehouse. At night in the big city, you can bet the streets are slick with rain, reflecting streetlights like a Hopper painting. Most of the characters (including the lead) are cynical, misanthropical and hopeless all the way through the film, and never find true redemption.

Peter Lorre in 'M' (1931). Director: Fritz Lang

Peter Lorre in ‘M’ (1931). Director: Fritz Lang

Desolation. Suspense. Dark air electrified with danger and sin. Shady spots lost between back alleys. Strong drinks and heavy smoke. Dim lights. Charcoal coats and sharkskin suits. Black gunmetal. False friends. Ladies you never can trust… Don’t get paranoid. And if you do, remember: even paranoids have enemies. They are following your steps. Now!

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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in art, dieselpunk, inspiration

 

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Our Gallery: Modern Heroes

Thanks to ShortList.com, we discovered a talented artist, Grégoire Guillemin. His portfolio presented at Behance.net shows an affection for Dieselpunk imagery. More than affection: M. Guillemin certainly knows how to merge Interbellum classics into modern reality. Here are some of his posters – along with sources of inspiration.

Gregoire Guillemin Batman

Grand-Sport by A.M. Cassandre, 1925

Grand-Sport by A.M. Cassandre, 1925


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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in art, dieselpunk, inspiration

 

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Our Gallery: Diesel Era Giants

When we talk dieselpunk, ‘megalomania’ doesn’t sound like an obscenity or a diagnosis. The genre is inspired by the Interbellum aesthetics, and no one can argue that between two world wars size did matter, the bigger the better. In this gallery there are no abandoned projects and paper designs. Only real giants.

Let us begin with an undisputed dieselpunk icon, the airship. Not just a dirigible but a flying aircraft carrier:

Flying aircraft carrier (PopMech, May 1942)

Flying aircraft carrier (PopMech, May 1942)

The concept was already obsolete when this picture was published but carrier airships existed a few years before – see USS Macon and Akron.

Another nice try to increase the operating range of piston-engine aircraft: the Mayo project:

Short S20 Mayo 'Mercury' & Short Empire 'Maia' flying boat

Short S20 Mayo 'Mercury' & Short Empire 'Maia' flying boat

The Short Empire Class S.21 Maia was not the largest flying boat of the period – but large and powerful enough to carry a four-engine floatplane.

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