Getting Cosy

I am getting very excited about the new über creative design and build a Tea Cosy for your Rig category, for the SteampunkNZfestival at Oamaru, Queens Birthday Weekend.

In this category I hope you, even if you’re not racing, can make a tea cosy that ‘could’ either cover your own/partners/friends/ assorted small children and Snark’s Rig (imaginary).

Let your imagination run wild, theme it fantasy, Victorian, modern or steampunk.

Here is a bit of inspiration for you.

I can’t wait to see you there with your creations.

The first Seven

I think it is usually the first eleven, but we have our first seven entrants in, for the Splendid Teapot Racing Event at SteampunkNZ Festival Oamaru!!!


A couple of people were so excited that they have entered twice!!!

Well done Tepoti!

Of note, no tea cosy entries yet – 50 bonus points to the first tea cosy entry!!!

Keep up the good work – only 6 weeks to go!!!

Here is the link to register, you can still enter on the day.


The Ramp of Doom Blaster or the Stephen Chapman Device

It appears once in a while, ok, I’m telling fibs, maybe more than that, such a jolly good idea as to make life much easier. On the same level as quantum theory and pull top tab tins, and other things which you just simply fall in love with it and have to have it.

What aStephenm I referring too??

The Stephen Chapman Device.

What is this gizmo?

A supercalifragilisticexpialidociousness of a handy aid for conquering the Ramp of Doom!!!! Believe me, we all need a hand with that monster, from time to time. Who would have thought? The ingenious pleasure of a simple wheel or washer located in such a strategic position.

I really want to thank Stephen for this aid and his championing of Splendid Teapot Racing and his recent success at the International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati. This culminated in him knocking out the course in 24 seconds. Wow!!!!! Impressive.

So a giant thank you to Stephen. Huzzah!



I will let the videos tell the successful tale.

You can find them on Stephen’s page and here . Enjoy.




Tea Cosy design Award 2016 at Steampunk FestivalNZ

Announcing a new category for you wonderful and creative people – The Countesses CoozyDoozy Award: design and build a ‘tea cosy’ to cover your rig, it must cover your rig in the standard manner (but does not need a bottom). You don’t have to be racing to enter this category. It will be judged on Saturday 4 June at the Splendid Teapot Racing event @ the Oamaru Club in conjunction with Steampunk Festival NZ.

There are totally no rules it can be as far out or as traditional Victorian as you like – surprise and delight me!

It can be glued, electric, painted, knitted, stitched, welded, laser cut, paper mache, foam, quilted, feathered, camouflaged, fluffy, hard, angular, copper, metal, kinetic etc.


I look forward to seeing all the creations at the Splendid Teapot Racing @ Steampunk Festival NZ, Oamaru .

You can enter here.

Oamaru 2016 International Splendid Teapot Racing Pre Registrations

Here’s the news you’ve been waiting for: registrations are now open for International Splendid Teapot Racing at this year’s Steampunk Festival NZ at Oamaru.

We haven’t completely finalised the time – we’re hoping for the afternoon of Saturday 4 June at the Oamaru Club – but we should be able to confirm that very soon.

The registration form itself is here or go here to check the rules first.  Register early – we’re hoping to  give Oamaru’s 2015 record of 24 entries a nasty fright.

And may the best teapot win.  Huzzah!!

Stanley – Fastest Splendid Teapot in the World.

I was in Wellington recently, and was privileged to enjoy the hospitality of Mrs Hudson (the younger) and  Colonel Hawthorne from Capital! Steampunk NZ. I took the opportunity to have a ‘chat’ with Stanley, the Oamaru speed trophy winner 2015 for the fastest Splendid Racing Teapot.  At a subsonic  sound barrier shattering .43 seconds for the entire Official Course. We (the royal we)  were very impressed.

1 Drag race line up

I asked Stanley what was in his innards to make him go so fast?  “I beg your pardon, that is a very personal question! But I can tell you I am made from a ‘Thumper’ which is a Jaycar vehicle.

I asked how Stanley felt about this transformation? “I feel far more intelligent and I can see better!” he stated.

I was interested and enquired why Stanley only had one tentacle? “Thats all I can fit down my spout, but I may have others I am not talking about!” This did have me very perplexed.

Stanly was mischievous even as a baby

Stanley is sponsored by Brunel Engineering, Babbage Computing – ‘We make the difference.’ Bazalgette Plumbing, Stephenson’s Rocket Works and 100% Positively Wellington.

Stanley’s first race was at Cuba Dupa, he explained to me that for ethical reasons Colonel Hawthorne couldn’t race  him so he was raced by Aunty Donna. Stanley confided to me that, “We didn’t do so well in the obstacle course, but we won the all out drag race.”

Aunty Donna
Aunty Donna

I asked Stanley to explain the Oamaru experience, “I was very excited about Oamaru 2015, it was my first overseas trip and I had my own box in the car. I wasn’t squashed in with the hats and skirts. I was tempted to get out and play on the ferry but I decided it might not be a good idea.”

What special preparation did you do? “I did lots of brainstorming and eye rolling exercises, I did a few tentacle press ups and that was about did it. My first time on the course I felt very confident, some peppy self talk and a few stern word of encouragement form the Colonel sorted it.” It is alleged that the Colonel was overheard to say, “Play fair lad, lets show the blighters! And show the blighters we did! I did it in .43 seconds and I entered World Teapot Racing history”

1 Stanley - Jo NZ
The winning start

For Stanley’s stunning efforts he was awarded the GT Subatomic Venom Trophy – dedicated to the Cog of Speed.

Stanley’s Hints and Tips

  1. Charge your Battery
  2. Don’t rely on speed, its about agility.
  3.  Good control and a good controller.
  4. I do think my low chassis could be a disadvantage but a low center of gravity is good

We have heard a rumor that you are retiring? “The Colonel is putting me out to stud, so I am looking for a Mrs Stanley now and to have some little teapoti.”

The last words of wisdom: “As my creator, the good Colonel says – I just like to wizz!”

The Colonel and Mrs Hudson (the younger)
The Colonel and Mrs Hudson (the younger)

The Surrey Steampunk Convivial races Splendid Teapots

Having been very pleased that the  Surrey Steampunk Convivial  now held twice a year,  had made the wonderful decision to incorporate Splendid Racing Teapots into their events, I caught up with Ben Henderson a musician and a ‘chief bottle washer’  at the Convivial.

ben henderson school top hat

Ben confided that he has been into steampunk perhaps even before it became ‘a thing’, as evidenced by this photo of Ben in top hat.

Ben was not sure how he heard about Splendid Teapot Racing, but he was very much impressed by the idea and the ‘sophistication’ of the course’s obstacles. Ben explained to me that at the Convivial which has been going now for 4 years, they race remote controlled vehicles, but racing the teapots “put a slightly different spin on it” which Ben liked.

ramp of doom

A Ramp of Doom was duly constructed and lived up to its name, with a few spills and manual assists. What I particularly liked was the Ben innovatively constructed a ‘See saw of Indecision’ which worked very well. A bit of jolly good ingenuity was occurring, as toilet seat hinges were used as the pivot point. I can see that this obstacle will be incorporated into the grand plan. Thanks Ben for trying that out for us 🙂

A enthusiastic lineup turned out in fine form for the inaugural race.  Included in the line up – a pirate themed teapot – The Black Tea Spot, Barnabas – the Elephant in the room ( Ben’s rig) and a disguised or distressed Dalek were amongst the contestants. Unfortunately Barnabas had to concede defeat to a “teapot with fearsome tracks” and Ben concluded that “Barnabas is an awful pilot.”


I was very impressed with the line up of wacky events that the Convivial offered, Battle Croquette, Parasol Duelling, and wait for it…… Bazooka Teddy (Just look at the photos – no explanation required)

teady canonteady cannon 1

To sum up the crowd was suitably entertained and showed their appreciation with cheers,” they ooooh’d, they spluttered into their beers, they coo’ed!” at the rampaging teapots. Impressively, even in the negotiation of the death defying obstacles, not a single piece of china was damaged in the process – nearly unheard off.

see saw

Well done Surrey Steampunk Convivial – I hope to be there next year if all goes well.

For further information on their next event check out this link – The Nonsuch Christmas. It will have Christmas Pudding races…… But, rest assured there shall be more Splendid Teapot Racing at The Surrey Steampunk Convivial – Barnabas is in training, and – may the best teapot win!

Photo credits Cecile Dubuis

The First Lady of Splendid Teapot Racing -USA

It gives me great pleasure to introduce  to you the ‘First Lady’ of Splendid Teapot Racing: USA Lois Wallace. It also gives me great pleasure to state that her rig ‘Little Bird’ is the first recorded teapot racing rig in the USA.  Little Bird was made in response to Lois viewing a video on Dave Lee’s page, after he came back from the Oamaru Steampunk Festival NZ in June 2015.


In our interview today, a giggling Lois confided to me that “she had never laughed so much in her life and couldn’t stop laughing”, and she knew that she wanted to have a go, so she built Little Bird. Even in our interview  Lois’s  great sense of humour shone through – so I can see how this appeals to her – a bit like the Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks.

bullet case

Lois is a manufacturing jeweler, she has lots of handy bits and pieces and also makes steampunk jewelry which she sells in her shop, Victorian Magpie. Lois also made the medal for the first racing. She has also taught soldering to the Virginia group, “so that their teapots will stay together on the course!”

Little Bird

Her rig has lovely details, a steering wheel, a stick shift ( gear lever in NZ ) and even a tiny gauge. Little Bird – we might have to call Big Bird, unfortunately can’t get around the nasty Ramp of Doom, a bit heavy for the unit, so is undergoing a ‘chop’. I am really looking forward to seeing Little Bird Mark 2.  Lois loves the tea party theme and thinks it’s a great fit with steampunk. Lois was attracted to steampunk because, “there are not really any rules,” – it is a personal interpretation of a theme.

the Alice hat- Lois

Lois met Daniel Lee Hawk at an art exhibition that he was in and they have struck up a great friendship. Lois has been very involved in the organisation of the Virginia Chapter, but was unfortunately overseas – in France ( so we will forgive her)  for the very first USA event hosted in August by the Virginia group. Lois has been successfully working behind the scenes to get Splendid Teapot Racing to the Steampunk Worlds Fair  in May 2016 – so look out for this event.

Bette's medal

Thanks  Lois for your mahi (work) and matangareka (enthusiasm) in establishing Splendid Teapot Racing in the USA.

“Gracie’s tea time table” – The first official USA Teapot winner of Excellence

Congratulations to the first winner of the Splendid Teapot USA Racing and a Lady Driver!  “Gracie’s tea time table” built and raced by Bette Cornette Smith from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  It was Bette’s first time ever racing her rig.  Bette who loves having fun, built it a week before the race with her granddaughter in mind as her inspiration.

Gracies tea time table

I chatted to the lovely Bette today, who confided to me that she is a pirate. She has a pirate shop and designs hats, jewelry and clothes! How cool is that! She did not really know what steampunk was until her grandchildren commented on her creations as steampunk. ‘Aunty Peaches,’ they said, ‘this is steampunk!’ Bette said, ‘Whats that?’ and went off to do some research. Unbeknown to me, Bette found Countess Simona’s site and then the Splendid Teapot Racing site. Bette befriended  Daniel Lee Hawk at a Comic Con and over several afternoon tea parties the subject of Splendid Teapot Racing came up and Daniel explained that he was going to host a race event. To which Bette duly attended, apparently with bribes for the judges. Yes, we are impressed!

Bette's medal

Bette Cornette Smith said  that she is in it for the fun and the friendship. Dressing up and meeting others is what motivates her and she didn’t set out with any competitive thoughts at all. When it was announced that she had won the overall award Bette was not expecting it. The beautiful  medal   was made  by Lois Wallace of Victorian Magpie! She said she can make them for $30 USA shipping included, please contact Lois.

Winning words from Bettte – ‘Remember to love what you do. And share that love. Always be kind and gracious.’

Bette sitting

We have the pleasure of adding that Bette’s beautiful photos were taken by LJ PHOTOS   by John Hudson – thank you John they are fantastic photos.