Every week, Adam takes a question from the Tested Premium Member community in the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answers here. This week, Adam talks about his own unfinished projects, how he finds the motivation to continue working on them, and what he turns to when he hits a wall in progressing on a build.
Adam's an unabashed fan of the Onewheel electric skateboard--he's owned every model and uses it to get around San Francisco. To learn more about how the Onewheel is designed and built, Adam visits the factory in the Bay Area where they're built and assembles his own XR board!
I like going to RC swap meets because I can almost always find some rare and unusual models--my favorite kinds of flying machines! I'm pretty sure that sellers are also happy when I arrive. That is because I tend to be lured by the hopeless wrecks that no one else gives a second glance. I'm sort of like a cat lady for model airplanes. My most recent swap meet find is a good example.
As I perused the aisles at the Sky Chiefs Swap Meet in Canandagua, New York, I spotted an awkward-looking biplane tucked under some larger models. Despite the significant dust and grime that covered the airplane, I recognized it as a Great Planes Wright Flyer. This little electric-powered park flyer was released about 15 years ago, near the 100th anniversary of the Wright brother's historic first flight. The model is a very rare find these days.
I ignored the filth and gave the airplane a quick inspection. While some foam components were damaged and others were missing, all of the plastic framework appeared to be present and in relatively good condition. I also noticed that it had both motors, the gearboxes, propellers, an Electronic Speed Control (ESC) and two Futaba micro servos. The servos alone made it worth the model's $10 price tag. I didn't even haggle.
My favorite genre of RC models to restore are those from the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was the time period when electric-powered models were just beginning to get popular. Most of the kits from this era were designed to perform well with relatively inefficient brushed motors and heavy NiCad batteries. There is often a significant improvement in performance when these planes are retrofitted with modern brushless motors and LiPo batteries. That was my intent for the Wright Flyer, although I did make some adjustments to this plan along the way.
Inspired by a Blade Runner blaster stand that came with a kit, Bill Doran walks us through the simple process of designing and laser-cutting an acrylic stand for your hand props. In this case, a lightsaber! We take our quick design to our shop's Universal Laser Systems laser cutter and piece together a stand in less than 10 minutes.
Plastic model kits often need finishing work to make the models look as good as their source material. This week, Kayte and Norm take on the task of painting a Space Battleship Yamato 2199 snap fit kit, using washes and rust effects to make the spaceship look old and battle-worn. The result is a striking transformation!
We put together a 180-piece laser-cut model kit inspired by the 1980s Honda Motocompo folding scooter. This awesome model was designed and manufactured by Kirk Shinmoto as his first garage kit with his Glowforge laser cutter. Great job, Kirk! Find this kit here.
Most of the keycap profiles we talk about have been around for many years or at least have their roots in decades past. That's not the case for XDA. This profile only came about in the last 18 months, and it offers a cool alternative to DSA for fans of flat profiles. This is an excellent time to talk about the profile because there's a particularly attractive XDA set up for order on Massdrop.
XDA keycaps are unsculpted, so there's no difference in the shape from one row to the next. Not everyone likes typing on keycaps like this, but it's something of an acquired taste. Like DSA caps, XDA makes it easy to cover even weird custom boards because you don't have to worry about row profiles.
So, XDA profile is similar to DSA in that respect, but they're otherwise very different designs. XDA caps have a less aggressive taper from top to bottom, making them a bit more boxy with more surface area on the top. The caps are also a little taller than DSA—roughly the same as a middle row on Cherry keycap sets.
We're back from E3 and give some impressions of the new Echo Combat demo we played there, along with an interview with Ready at Dawn about the mechanics of this upcoming game mode. Plus, we put our hands over the Ultrahaptics panel, which uses tiny transducers to simulate the feel of objects in VR.