Latest Stories
Making an Aliens Power Loader Suit for Ripley the Puppy!

While at this year's DesignerCon, Frank Ippolito and Bill Doran (Punished Props) take on an impromptu build project: making a foam power loader costume for Ripley the Boston Terrier puppy. Working fast with foam, glue, and paint, Frank and Bill turn around a great puppy cosplay in less than a day!

Inside John Chambers' CIA Make-Up Kit!

When Adam Savage visited Peter Jackson's collection of cinema props, costumes, and artifacts, they opened up legendary Hollywood make-up artist John Chambers' CIA make-up and prosthetics kit. Chambers supposedly used kits like this to help the CIA disguise its agents!

Rescuing a Toy RC Hovercraft

As I stumbled through my attic to retrieve Christmas decorations, I came across an unmarked box that seemed out of place. I opened it up to find a stash of old RC gear that I had packed away years ago. There were a few odds and ends, but my attention was immediately drawn to a hovercraft that was hiding at the bottom of the box. Score!

This hovercraft is at least 10 years old (an eternity for electro-widgets). I think I paid $20 for it at a surplus electronics store. As RC models go, this one is definitely toy-grade. But that doesn't mean that it can't be fun. I've owned tons of really cool toy-grade RC gadgets. Their only real drawback is that you usually can't buy spare parts or upgrades like you can with hobby-grade equipment. I brought the hovercraft down the attic ladder along with the next load of ornaments and decided to get reacquainted with this long-forgotten toy.

Assessing Condition

Aside from being thoroughly dusty, the hovercraft appeared to be in good shape. My biggest concern was the rubber skirt that forms the perimeter of the vehicle. Any punctures or dry rot on that vital part would have been an immediate deal-breaker. I was pleased to find no discernable damage whatsoever. Press on!

The hovercraft's proprietary transmitter was also stashed in the box. Thankfully, I had removed the 9-volt battery from this unit before packing it away. So I didn't have any leaky alkaline battery issues to deal with…another potential deal-breaker.

I found this abandoned toy hovercraft in the attic. It was in pretty good shape overall, but still needed a little attention before it was ready for action.

I gave the hovercraft and radio a quick wipe down to remove most of the grime. It appeared that all of the necessary parts were accounted for and there was no obvious damage to be found anywhere. It looked like I would only have to tackle two minor issues. First, one of the two control sticks on the transmitter didn't move freely. Secondly, the onboard battery had problems that would need to be addressed.

Highlights From Adam Savage's Reddit AMA on Dec. 1, 2016

In case you missed it, Adam (aka "mistersavage") had another epic AMA on reddit, answering questions for hours. We've gathered some of our favorite answers below; to read the full AMA, go here!

SpooktaculusDraculus: With MythBusters finished, do you ever see yourself working on movies again, like you did prior to MythBusters?

mistersavage: I actually designed the crossbow prop for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Max Landis is a good friend and asked if I wanted to design a steampunk taser crossbow for his show. So I sent him a foam-core master with color layout and design hints written all over it, and at the end of production, they sent me the hero prop. That was my fee. I design the prop for free in return for the prop when they're done with it. It's great. I want to do more of that.

Funnily enough, that's how I started gathering what I needed for the shop. I'd make local theaters the following deal for some jobs: I'd build the prop for them for free if they supplied all the materials, and I got to keep the prop when the show ended. It helped me build a lot of stock, and also it's a great relationship builder. People remembered that. It got me a lot of work over the years.