Blast from the Past – Steampunk Unicycle

I’m going to jumpstart the ‘Making Stuff’ part of this blog by talking about a project I really loved from a couple of years ago. It’s a steampunk unicycle mod!

Since this was some years back, I haven’t many pics of the work in progress but I’ll show what I can.

I used a Qu-Ax Profi unicycle for this because I wanted a chunkier flat-crown frame and also it comes with a perfect white tyre… well mine is brown-ish from age and use but hey, it adds to the theme! The restrictions of designing for a unicycle is that your legs are going to be in the way of the frame so that limits the type of mods you can have around the frame. I wanted features that were practical and not merely ornamental and settled on tail lights and a horn.

Here’s how a stock Profi looks.

profi

This is a cheap $2 plastic horn from Daiso that is spray-painted bronze, then dry-brushed with black and dark brown. I started with the horn so I can work with a smaller object to get a feel of the colors before moving onto the frame.

daiso

Before

unisteampunk4

After

I wanted a mechanical-looking way of attaching the lights and thought first of a single light jar hung from the back. However, that would mean that I can’t really make sharp turns as much as I’d like and I’d imagine it to be not quite resistant against drops. I then saw these at Daiso and figured they would work better since they would come ready with attachments.

light

These are supposed to fit on the handlebars, encasing your bike light to make it function as a torchlight (I think). Since unicycles don’t come with handlebars, I improvised a little. I got a BMX stem for cheap and clamped it to a short plastic pole.

unisteampunk3

The completed lighting unit consists of

  • The aforementioned parts
  • Battery-powered Christmas LED lights
  • Bubble tea straw to slot the lights in and to diffuse the light through the unit
  • The bendable portion of a fish tank water pump to hide the light connection between the units.
  • Velcro tape to attach the battery unit to the side for easy removal

Steampunk Unicycle

Here’s the same unicycle with lights on.

unisteampunk2