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A long time ago in a forum far, far away... I designed a gizmo that I called a "dwemer steam rifle". Dwemer being the name of a race of mage/smiths from the game Morrowind.
As far as I knew, that was the end of it. Then the topic of steampunk came up, which brought out the ol' steam rifle, and one thing led to another. The rifle grew in complexity (and plausibility), and a scene grew around it. Which catches us up to today.
Basically, you've got a boiler, and a burner. It heats water, creating steam pressure. When the rifle's trigger is pulled, the pressure forces out the projectile. Then you open the chamber, jam in a new bullet, and close again. Wait for pressure. I put a decent amount of thought into how such a device would actually work: for example, the chamber opens in a forward direction, because it has to form a seal (once closed) with the back, where the steam pressure is coming in. Hexagonal twisted barrels are a historically accurate form of early rifling. Thought was put into how the weapon would be held, how it would be reloaded... Lots of thought.
Anyway. There's the final scene, and some details of objects from it. The saber hanging off the lamp post is recycled from the Cutlery section, but I made it a scabbard and sling. The props in this scene were almost as much fun as building the rifle itself. The scene itself is meant to be the inside of a campaign tent. An officer sits late at night, cleaning his equipment, reading reports, writing a letter to his beloved.
Last updated 1st November 2007