Adam, Simone, and guest Angus MacLane wrap up the Yellow Submarine in this week's fun-filled build, while geeking out on LEGO and animation. Next up, the Excavator!
Look what's arrived at the Tested office from New Zealand! Our friends at Weta Workshop sent us a prototype of their upcoming GKR: Heavy Hitters tabletop game, featuring awesome miniature robots designed at Weta's collectibles workshop. We check out the pieces and give an overview of the game, which is being launched as a Kickstarter campaign.
Many modelers get into the RC hobby with dreams of flying a replica of their favorite full-scale airplane. Whether you want a blazing red Fokker triplane, a shiny P-51 Mustang, or even a F-16 powered by a real jet engine, there are models to scratch that itch. For some, the need for scale accuracy goes deeper…much, much deeper. These detail-oriented hobbyists spend countless hours making their model appear as close as possible to the real thing. No nuance is too small to replicate. They also gather for competitions where their creations are judged by how realistic they appear on the ground and in flight.
Many scale competitions in the US are governed by the U.S. Scale Masters Association (USSMA). The event rules are specifically tailored to include modelers with varying skill levels, budgets, and interests. If you love to build, but you're not the best pilot, you can partner with an ace flyer to compete in one of the team categories. Or maybe you just want to test the competitive waters. There are novice classes that allow you to compete with off-the-shelf factory-built models.
Expert class scale competition modelers build and pilot their own flying replicas.
The top tier of scale competition is the expert class. These modelers build and pilot their own flying creations. They must be equally skilled in both areas to be a serious contender.
At any given event, you are likely to find a mix of military and civilian models spanning all eras of aviation. The USSMA rulebook states that competitors can use "any scale model of a heavier-than-air, man-carrying, fixed-wing aircraft that was actually built and flown". Other than blimps, helicopters, and drones, it's essentially wide open.
USSMA holds regional events all over the US. Participants who score well enough at a regional are invited to attend the annual U.S. Scale Masters Championships…a Super Bowl of scale modeling. The winner of the expert class at this national event is named "Grand Champion". To gain some insight into the realm of RC scale events, I spoke with the current US Scale Masters Grand Champion, Chris Wolfe.
Our special guest this week is Pixar director Angus MacLane, co-director of Finding Dory--and also a massive LEGO fan! Angus joins Adam and Simone to tackle a familiar set--the Beatles Yellow Submarine that's becoming an office favorite.
Sean and Norm discuss the effects of negative air pressure compared with positive air pressure in PC cooling, and test different configurations for maximizing airflow through a computer case. The high-speed camera footage doesn't lie!
Kicking off a new week of LEGO with Friends, special guest Angus Maclane visits the Tested office to share with Adam his latest project--a LEGO Blade Runner blaster! Adam brings his own blaster over to compare, of course.
Money doesn't grow on trees, and those $0.99 app purchases do add up. It's best to go into the Play Store with some idea of what's up your alley and what isn't. That's what the Google Play App Roundup is here to do. We bring you the best new and newly updated app and games every week. Just click on the app name to head to the Play Store and test it out yourself.
Your phone came with the Gmail app, and maybe you've since branched out to the Inbox app. Support for non-Google email accounts in Inbox is poor, but the new Email app from EasilyDo is a bit like Inbox for whatever email account you want to use. It's essentially an email app wrapped around the EasilyDo Assistant app.
Adding an account is very quick, especially for Gmail accounts you already have on your phone. Just select it and you're done. There's also a guided setup process for popular apps like Yahoo, Outlook, and AOL Mail. You can also plug in any other account via IMAP. Syncing and general app navigation are quite fast.
Your inbox defaults to a Gmail-style conversation view—the app doesn't try to imitate Inbox's bundling. The style is a little different, though. Instead of seeing all the emails collapsed in one screen, tapping on an email brings up a new screen with a list of all threaded messages. I don't know if I like it more than Gmail's approach, but it's something new.
One of my favorite things about EasilyDo Email is the customizable swipe gestures. Each message in the inbox can be swiped left or right. You can have those gestures do things like archive, delete, and mark read/unread. The assistant functionality is neat as well. You'll find this in the navigation panel. The app automatically finds emails that fit into categories like travel, subscriptions, and packages. Tap on any of them to get a filtered view of your inbox. Some of these lists will include a handy breakdown of all the relevant details. For example, flights found in the travel list have flight numbers, reservations, seat numbers, and times. The assistant seems reasonably smart, but it does miss some things.
The subscriptions section also showcases one of Email's main features; one-tap unsubscribing. You'll see this button at the top of any email it detects as a subscription with a supported method of removing yourself from the list. It seems to work on most of my email subscriptions. Simply tap the button, the app thinks, and you're unsubscribed.
EasilyDo Email is free, so check it out if you want to get a different take on your email.
One of our favorite aritsts is Melita Curphy--aka Miss Monster--who sculpts beautiful figures and masks with a distinct techno-organic style. We're thrilled to paint two of her masks on this episode of This Old FX Shop!
Time for some Star Wars prop building--Adam Savage makes an upgrade to one of his favorite costumes! Adam's never been satisfied with the original bandolier strap and satchel he made for his Chewbacca cosplay, so today he fabricates new ones from scratch with metal and leather. And of course Adam hides an easter egg into this Wookiee prop!