Chapter 10. – Behind the Scenes

In this week’s chapter of A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters, The Werebeast of the Wild West, our hero, Percy, is hired by a group of ladies to protect their Wild West town from a werewolf. I wanted to share a behind-the-scenes look at the costumes, props and photography of the chapter!


Percy’s Costume

Here is a look at Percy’s costume for this chapter:

Percy in the Wild West
Percy in the Wild West

It features a brown coat, black silk cravat, white shirt and a custom made chest belt, this steampunk outfit mixes hand-made and purchased elements.

A close-up of the coat and chest piece.
A close-up of the coat and chest piece.

The chest piece is made out of an oversized watch clock, a pendant and leather pieces cut by my costuming assistant Catey.


Thunderboy’s Costume

Songwriter Alberto “Bert” Malcom stepped into the role of Thunder Boy, a character who replaced the Steampunk Samurai after numerous failed attempts to set up a samurai shoot.

Bert brought life and energy to this character, and he rounds out the Monster Hunting cast quite expertly, and heroically.

Bert Malcom as Thunder Boy, the third hero in "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters." Thunder Boy has a fox wearing goggles that Bert named "Justin Bieber."
Bert Malcom as Thunder Boy, the third hero in “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters.” Thunder Boy has a fox wearing goggles that Bert named “Justin Bieber.”

Thunderboy’s first costume features many vintage Wild West pieces including red cowboy chaps that I splattered paint on, a traditional Indian Thunderbird Belt buckle (seen above), a black leather vest, some dreamcatchers and a fancy antique fox pelt that I made little steampunk goggles for. The costume includes altered goggles and a custom necklace by Jen Driver and a beat-up felt hat.

Thunderboy hat with gear detail.
Thunderboy hat with gear detail.

Bert took a liking to the fox pelt, and he named it “Justin Bieber”

Below you can also see a clearer view of the goggles which have a Thunderbird detail in the center front.

Steampunk Thunder Boy's first costume is a Native American influenced Steampunk outfit.
Steampunk Thunder Boy’s first costume is a Native American influenced Steampunk outfit.

The wolf belt buckle was purchased for a different character, but was replaced by a Thunderbird buckle in the final costume.

Steampunk Thunder Boy costume, with fox and necklace detail.
Steampunk Thunder Boy costume, with fox and necklace detail.

Bert continues his adventure as Thunderboy in numerous costumes influenced by steampunk throughout the book. Stay tuned for more posts, and be sure to subscribe!

Bert Malcom as Thunderboy in this final image from "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters."
Bert Malcom as Thunderboy in this final image from “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters.”

The Skinwalker’s Costume

The werebeast of the wild west turns out to be a Native American skinwalker. When Alisa Kester was helping design costumes, she produced the first sketch of the monster which you can see below.

Skinwalker sketch by Alisa Kester for "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters."
Skinwalker sketch by Alisa Kester for “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters.”

I also did my own version trying to add more steampunk elements.

Skinwalker sketch by Tyson Vick for "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters."
Skinwalker sketch by Tyson Vick for “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters.”

Using these sketches, I started to build the creature in real life. I used a real coyote face for the mask.

Steampunk Skinwalker mask made by Tyson Vick out of a real coyote face.
Steampunk Skinwalker mask made by Tyson Vick out of a real coyote face.

I also used dozens of railroad themed pieces for the costume, such as ties, padlocks and badges.

Railroad ties used all over the monster's costume.
Railroad ties used all over the monster’s costume.

Bert Malcom also took on the role of the Native American monster who is Thunderboy’s cousin in the story. Covered in body paint, gore-fx, steampunk tech and furs, Bert had quite a challenge to play two characters in one chapter.

The only thing he didn’t seem to like was when we were molding the fangs to his teeth, which took a long time and tasted unpleasant.

Bert gets his scary make-up put on and then dresses up in the steampunk wolf costume.
Bert gets his scary make-up put on and then dresses up in the steampunk wolf costume.

One model playing two characters is not new to the project. Kat has played both a ghost and mummy. Lizzie has played both a witch and a monster hunter. Jake has portrayed a Mad Doctor and Genie.

 

Bert as Steampunk Werewolf in a picture taken on his phone.
Bert as Steampunk Werewolf in a picture taken on his phone.

The fun with Bert will continue for quite a few chapters!

Bert Malcom as the monster in "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters" final image.
Bert Malcom as the monster in “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters” final image.

Thunderboy’s steampunk Native American Indian props

Recently I shared a tutorial about the Steampunk Axe I made using craft foam. That was not the only weapon that has been made for “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters”. Our Native American hero, Thunderboy, has quite an arsenal including a Thunderbird themed hatchet, a spear, goggles, a shield and a sword.

Thunder Boy's Steampunk Hatchet from "A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters."
Thunder Boy’s Steampunk Hatchet from “A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters.”

The hatchet or tomahawk was originally a toy to which I added craft foam. It was given a Thunderbird theme to reflect Thunder Boy’s supernatural ties.

The hatchet has a faux fur bottom and is wrapped with natural fiber rope.
The hatchet has a faux fur bottom and is wrapped with natural fiber rope.

Thunder Boy’s spear was an upcycled fantasy spear that I purchased. I added copper leafing to the handle and findings to the blade.

 Steampunk Spear for Thunder Boy featuring feathers and dreamcatcher.

Steampunk Spear for Thunder Boy featuring feathers and dreamcatcher.

In this close up you will see the metal wings and steampunk-gear that I added to the spear’s blade.

Steampunk Spear Blade with metal wings and a gear detail.
Steampunk Spear Blade with metal wings and a gear detail.

The native hero also has a steampunk themed shield that he wields.

A steampunk native american indian shield used by Thunder Boy.
A steampunk native american indian shield used by Thunder Boy.

The shield is made from a wood circle, craft foam gear and real feathers.

I also added a thunderbird to the center of some purchased goggles.

Thunderboy goggles.
Thunderboy goggles.

Saloon Girl Costumes

Steampunk designer Alisa Kester provided many costumes for the photos in the book. Some of her most delightful costumes appear in this chapter on the Saloon girls.

Alisa created a velvet birdcage themed showgirl outfit which we used.

Alisa Kester wearing her red velvet birdcage Steampunk Outfit.
Alisa Kester wearing her red velvet birdcage Steampunk Outfit.

She also provided a fantastic steampunk saloon girl outfit.

Alisa Kester in her Steampunk Saloon Girl Outfit.
Alisa Kester in her Steampunk Saloon Girl Outfit.

Below you can see our models from the book wearing the outfits.

Steampunk Saloon girls pose in Nevada City Montana.
Steampunk Saloon girls pose in Nevada City Montana.

Philomena’s Costume

Alisa also provided the costume for the heroine, Philomena. We used various bits and pieces from the costume she provided.

Alisa Kester wears her steampunk costume which we restyled for Philomena Dashwood.
Alisa Kester wears her steampunk costume which we restyled for Philomena Dashwood.

Below you can see the various pieces I changed. I bought a hat, and made some suspenders.

Brin Merkley as Philomena Dashwood.
Brin Merkley as Philomena Dashwood.

Photographing the Heroes

Our photoshoot took us to Nevada City, Montana, a wonderful museum with a very friendly and helpful staff. They allowed us to shoot in the famous ghost town which is actually a collection of some of the oldest abandoned buildings in Montana which were gathered together to preserve History!

Steampunk saloon girls.
Steampunk saloon girls.

Nikki Ice and Leah Stembler modeled as the Saloon Girls.

The models pose in Nevada City.
The models pose in Nevada City.

The Nevada City staff was very friendly, and opened buildings for us to look in and shoot in.

The ladies like Percy, but Philomena is jealous in the background in this funny outtake.
The ladies like Percy, but Philomena is jealous in the background in this funny outtake.
Percy with the Saloon girls.
Percy with the Saloon girls.

The also allowed us to use things around town, like the benches and swings and the coffin!

Leah hides in a coffin.
Leah hides in a coffin.
Nikki Ice and Leah in the coffin together having fun.
Nikki Ice and Leah in the coffin together having fun.
Nikki Ice as a steampunk Saloon girl.
Nikki Ice as a steampunk Saloon girl.
Nikki Ice with her steampunk gun.
Nikki Ice with her steampunk gun.

Brin spent most of this shoot looking dejected.

All the models pose in Nevada city, MT.
All the models pose in Nevada city, MT.

Thanks to the staff of Nevada City for making our shoot so pleasant!

All of our models out hunting werewolves in this final image with Jeremy Fornier-Hanlon, Nikki Ice, Leah Stembler and Brin Merkley.
All of our models out hunting werewolves in this final image with Jeremy Fornier-Hanlon, Nikki Ice, Leah Stembler and Brin Merkley.

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Chapter 10.  The Werebeast of the Wild West!

Image from chapter 10, Werebeast of the Wild West from A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters by Tyson Vick.
Image from chapter 10, Werebeast of the Wild West from A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters by Tyson Vick.

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