Tested's Sean Charlesworth steps in to join Simone and Angus to tackle the LEGO Excavator set--finally, progress! But even Sean isn't prepared for the level of LEGO geekery that Angus brings to the build table.
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.