Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord_k's Article – June 2011 Archive (26)

Knights of the Air: Willy, the Balloon Chaser

This Thursday, our hero is a pilot who hadn't much luck fighting enemy planes but scored a respectable number of victories downing enemy lighter-than-air aircraft.

Willy Coppens (1892 - 1986) was Belgium's highest-scoring fighter pilot during the First World War, scoring 37 victories by the war's close.

Coppens, who was born on 6 July 1892 in Watermaal-Bosvoorde,…


Added by lord_k on June 30, 2011 at 6:30am — 3 Comments

Medium Mark A Whippet

Possibly the most successful British tank of World War I, the Whippet was responsible for more German casualties than any other British tank of the war.

Its big brothers, Mark I-VI tanks, are far more famous - and deadly slow. Of course, they were initially thought of as weapons of breakthrough only, but some experts started talking about using tanks for exploitation as well, working together with the cavalry*. This, however, required a faster tank. The result was…


Added by lord_k on June 28, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

The Secret of Isotype

What's it - someone created computer icons with Dieselpunk flavor?

No, the pictures are 80 years old. They are very much alike modern pictograms, the ones we see everywhere. Office buildings and shopping malls, schools and stadiums, bus terminals and airports are full of these pictures, and there are millions of them on the Web.

Just recently I discovered the genesis of the pictogram and learned about the main proponent of the genre - Gerd Arntz (1900…


Added by lord_k on June 27, 2011 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #38. Italian Style

In the Streamline Race of 1930s, Italy was a powerful entrant full of ambitions.

The ATR 100 class of three-car diesel-motor units built by FIAT in Turin, should be seen as flagships of new streamline fleet - scores of modern, fast lightweight trains. Nine ATRs were ordered by F.S., Italian state-owned railways. The first unit, ATR 101 was ready in 1936. It entered…


Added by lord_k on June 26, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Lord K's Garage - #94. Swing Car

A little-known Streamline Saga chapter is the story of this little German car:

It was introduced by DKW in 1934 - several months later than the Chrysler Airflow. And, just as its American contemporary, it wasn't a great success. By the way, the very name of the make is true…


Added by lord_k on June 24, 2011 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Knights of the Air: Rikki, the Hunbuster

Thursday Edition is back - with Australia's highest scoring ace of the Great War.

Robert Little was to become Australia’s top fighter pilot in the First World War, an Ace pilot who claimed 47 confirmed kills before being killed in action.  Robert Little was born on 19th July 1895 in Melbourne, at Hawthorn, son of James Little a seller of medical and surgical books. He was well educated at Scotch College and entered the family business as a traveling…


Added by lord_k on June 23, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

USSR, Export Version

Hello, there's a postcard to let you know: "This is more than a pleasure trip - it is a voyage into new world!"

The poster is published by Intourist, a very special company established by the Soviet government in 1929. It was responsible for managing the great majority of foreigners' access to, and travel within, the Soviet Union. Intourist grew into one of the largest…


Added by lord_k on June 22, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Wings and Heavy Metal

Alternate universes and parallel words are full of weird warships. But reality is sometimes even more weird than fantasy.

One of the most popular althistoric concepts is the big-gun aircraft carrier. Such ships look good on paper or forum board: big enough to carry a heavy gun battery and substantial air wing, well-protected against enemy shelling and torpedo attacks, fast and…


Added by lord_k on June 21, 2011 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Varga Girls [NSFW]

It could be another Pulp Monday but I opted for Pin-Up Monday.

Seems more appropriate for this particular morning. Besides, Marcus finds the concept intriguing. And the artist whose works were enormously popular in 1940s hasn't been featured here yet. Here's his biography as told by BPIB:



Added by lord_k on June 20, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #37: Rare Bird

I'm not sure the blue geese are really so rare (ask your local poultry keeper if you're curious) but this big bird is unique.

It's called the Blue Goose and it's huge: more than 54 ft long, 16 ft 8 in tall, rolling on giant 84 in drivers, weighing 187.1 tonnes without the tender.

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 Hudson type steam…


Added by lord_k on June 19, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

S.A.M.#5: The Glorious Trimotor

This modest civil plane is surrounded by great names. Designed for routine flights, it lived an illustrious life full of adventure and heroism.

Remember Anthony Fokker of the E.III and Dr.I fame? After the war, this Dutch wunderkind returned to his native Netherlands where he…


Added by lord_k on June 18, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Lord K's Garage - #93. Chrysler Airflow

A milestone in the automotive history, this car was hardly a success. It is listed among the 50 worst cars of all time. But its place in the Streamline Hall of Fame is secured.

After making few changes through 1933, Chrysler made a major one, summoning the future with the most-radical production car yet attempted by a U.S. maker. Widely recognized as the first truly modern automobile, the…


Added by lord_k on June 17, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

The Red Factory

Of all 1920s buildings this is the most surprising:

It was designed by Peter Behrens (1868 - 1940) - an influential, multi-faceted and controversial figure often called "the father of modern design". He worked in different styles, from sheer Neo-Classicism to laconic Modernism. One of the Werkbund founders, Behrens took part in collective projects as diverse as the…


Added by lord_k on June 16, 2011 at 6:30am — 13 Comments

Renault FT Tank

When someone tells that there was no successful French tank, especially in WWI - don't you believe him!

The Renault FT or Automitrailleuse à chenilles Renault FT modèle 1917, inexactly known as the FT-17 or FT17, was a French light tank; it is among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history. The FT was the first operational tank with an armament in a fully rotating turret, and its configuration with the turret on top, engine in…


Added by lord_k on June 14, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Monochrome World of Max Dupain

No pulp today, sorry. But there is something in common between pulp covers and photographic art of 1930s and 1940s.

Max Dupain is one of Australia's most revered photographers.  His work has been collected by most of the major galleries around Australia and as well by private collectors world-wide.

Born in Sydney in 1911, he lived there all his life, photographing the city from the late 1930s through to just before his death in 1992.  There…


Added by lord_k on June 13, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #36: Hungarian Connection

Hungary is a small but proud Streamline power.

Hungarian locomotive builders started their experiments with aerodynamic designs before WWI, creating several engines with pointed front part, slightly resembling French "Windcutters". In 1930s a small class of modern streamlined tank locomotives, bearing more than a passing resemblance to…


Added by lord_k on June 12, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

S.A.M.#4: The Record Breaker

To boost this column's take-off, I needed a very special aircraft with spectacular history. Here it is:

This plane, first introduced on the 7th Paris Air Show in November 1921, was designed as a successor to a highly successful World War I light bomber, the Breguet XIV. A "trademark" of Breguet was the wide usage of duralumin as a construction material, instead of steel or wood. At that time, the aircraft was faster than other bombers, and even some fighter aircraft.…


Added by lord_k on June 11, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Lord K's Garage - #92. Italian Military Vehicles

Legendary Sahariana (Camionetta A.S.42), shown here in its full African glory, is only one of numerous special vehicles designed and built for the Regio Esercito, Royal Italian Army.

Italy, the homeland of Ferrari, Nuvolari, Bertone and Farina, produced military vehicles which can (and should!) be declared the icons of Dieselpunk. Let us begin with the venerable Lancia 1Z. This autoblinda (armored vehicle) was…


Added by lord_k on June 10, 2011 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

Soviet WWII Posters

It was not easy to prepare this entry. Too many posters generate the problem of choice.

Which one to chose? What sequence to build? And what to tell?.. Well, I could tell you about the war itself but I believe you already know enough. I could make a witty post-modernist analysis of the similarities and differences between Soviet, Allies and Axis posters. Besides, I could point out which poster is actually a remake of some Civil War or even WWI propaganda. But let's…


Added by lord_k on June 9, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Swedish Steel

To stay neutral, a nation needs strong defense. Especially if we talk of a former great sea power.

Sweden, a country that did not enter any war since 1814, was not immune from the naval arms race in the early 20th century. After the dissolving of the union with Norway in 1905, the situation was tense with the Russian Empire in the east, Germany south of the Baltic Sea, and Norway,…


Added by lord_k on June 8, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

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