Latest StoriesArt
    Discovering New Tools for RC Projects

    Whether it's building model airplanes, refinishing old furniture, baking banana bread, or anything else, I think that most of us tend to stick with tools and methods that we are comfortable with. It's human nature to seek familiarity. With my RC projects, I like to think that I am open to using new tools. At the same time, I recognize that I rarely expose myself to any alternatives. That all changed recently due to my cross-country move.

    Many of my commonly-used project supplies are still in boxes, waiting their turn to be unpacked. Consequently, my workshop is in disarray and I've been forced to improvise somewhat. That has turned out to be a good thing because I've stumbled across some new tools that I actually prefer using over my old methods. You'll probably laugh because none of this stuff is newly-developed. I'm pretty sure it's all been around for quite some time. I was just blind to anything outside of my usual processes.

    Disposable Pipettes

    As I was preparing to detail my 'Apocalypse Now' boat, I realized that I would need to do some paint mixing. The only trouble was that I couldn't find my stash of small mixing cups. I went online to buy more and also stumbled across listings for disposable pipettes. Why had I never thought of that before? Some model paint sets even come with pipettes. I just never realized how useful they could be. I usually find myself trying to pour small quantities of paint into the mixing cups. Pipettes would allow me to dispense precise volumes of paint and thinner.

    I recently discovered that disposable pipettes allow me to mix precise amounts of paint. I used to pour directly from the jar!

    My only problem was that I wasn't sure which size pipettes would be best for my application. I ended up choosing a package that included 100 each of 3 milliliter, 1 milliliter, and .2 milliliter sizes. It turns out that 1 milliliter is the ideal size for my paint-mixing chores. The only downside to using the pipettes is that model paint sticks to the inside. If you need more than one pipette's worth of a certain color, the residue from the previous load can mask how much paint is in the pipette on the next squeeze. I didn't run into that situation often, so it wasn't a big deal for me. The worst case scenario was that I would have to use a new pipette for each transfer of paint. At less than 3 cents per pipette, I can handle that.

    I quickly found other uses in my shop for the pipettes. One particularly useful application for the .2 milliliter units is applying thin cyanoacrylate glue (CA aka "super glue"). This CA runs very easily. So it's often difficult to keep the glue only in the area that you want it. Anyone who has ever accidentally glued their fingers together knows exactly what I'm talking about.

    How To Use Spray-On Chrome on Resin Castings!

    For the towering Lich King armor made for Blizzard's Comic-Con event, Frank's team used a chemical spray-on chroming process that silvers resin parts wtihout plating them. Frank demonstrates this transformative process on a prepped casting of the Lich King helmet, explaining along the way how to get the best looking results.

    Adam Savage Gets Scanned and Replicated in Foam!

    While we were recently overseas in England, we visited the studio of effects and fabrication shop FBFX--the talented artisans who build some of our favorite spacesuits and superhero costumes for film. Adam visits their scanning studio, where he chats with FBFX co-founder Grant Pearmain about how actors are scanned for digital costume and prop fittings. Adam meets his own scanned clone, made out of foam!

    Michael Westmore: Excerpts From Makeup Man - Episode 75 - 8/28/17
    On this special episode of CreatureGeek, Frank and I welcome the legendary Michael Westmore who reads sections of his new book Makeup Man. There are some great stories in this ep including ones about Star Trek, The Munsters and an infamous Pink Lady painting. Thanks to Mr. Westmore for coming in and reading from his book and listen in to find out how to get a signed copy of it. If you're digging this podcast, please head over to and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
    00:00:00 / 45:57
    Shop Tips: Storing 3D Printer Filament

    Frank runs many 3D printers at his shop, and goes through a lot of filament for this big fabrication projects. But when using big filament spools, he needs to properly store and maintain print material to keep print quality consistent. Here are a few ways to do that.

    Inside Adam Savage's Cave: $30 Blade Runner Blaster

    Adam shows us his newest Blade Runner blaster replica--and one that only costs $30. This model by Elfin Knights is actually a water pistol, and an impressively modeled one at that! Replica prop builders and cosplayers have already started modifying this toy to give it some heft and realistic paint finishes. And of course, Adam has to test its water blasting capability!

    Making a Large Laser-Cut Dymaxion Globe

    We're enamored by this project by Make Magazine's Gavin Smith: a laser-cut dymaxion globe. After making our own small scale 20-sided globe, we tweak the files to scale up the build on our Universal Laser Systems laser cutter and test using transfer paper to protect our wood sheets from scorching. Find the files for this project on Make!

    Leonard Engelman Gets Our Vote - Episode 74 - 8/18/17
    Today's guest is one of the most iconic and recognized makeup artists in the industry, Leonard Engelman. He has been working professionally for over fifty years and has lent his talent to such films as Rocky, Ghostbusters, Heat and Batman Forever, to name only a few. He has made up some of the most beautiful women in the world inlcuding Cher, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver, Faye Dunaway, Julie Andrews and many more. Leonard also gives us some insight into the Academy's selection process for the makeup category, which is fascinating. If you're digging this podcast, please head over to and support us with a few bucks. We truly appreciate your support!
    00:00:00 / 01:13:31
    Adam Savage's New Thracian Warrior Armor!

    A massive box filled with packing peanuts and voluminous zip-lock bags just arrived at the cave! That can only mean one thing: time for the unveiling of Adam's newest costume acquisition from Prop Store. This costume has it all: armor, a helmet, shield, sword, and spear--and it's all gorgeously made for a big budget film.

    Phil Tippett's Mad God and Lost Star Wars Holochess Figures

    We visit one of our favorite effects shops, Phil Tippett Studio, where Phil is working on his stop-motion passion project, Mad God. Norm and Sean get an update on the status of the film, and stop by the studio's model shop to see how the team there is remaking two figures originally designed for Star Wars' holochess sequence!

    Napkin Ring Problem - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 8/15/17
    Adam, Will, and Norm talk about Adam's recent visit to Jack White's Third Man Records, analog music recordings compared to digital, stories from a space show at our local science museum, and the most recent One Day Build with VSauce's Michael Stevens. Plus, Adam tries to explain the Napkin Ring problem.
    00:00:00 / 32:19
    Laser Cutting the Maker Puzzle, Part 3

    Sean and Norm tackle the third piece of Jen Schachter's maker puzzle design. The theme of this piece is engineering, and Sean picks out some interesting materials to test with our Universal Laser Systems laser cutter to give the puzzle some highlights. Plus, we try a technique to reduce the scorching on the edges of cut pieces.

    Adam Savage and Vsauce's Michael Stevens Build a Kendama!

    Adam is joined by Vsauce's Michael Stevens for a special One Day Build in the cave. Michael has recently taken up playing the Kendama, a Japanese cup and ball toy, and Adam helps make one from scratch that helps optimize his play. This build engrosses both into topics of machining, knot tying, and geometric conundrums. See Adam and Michael this fall on their Brain Candy tour!

    Adam Savage Incognito in the Alien: Covenant Spacesuit!

    In this very special incognito walk through Comic-Con, Adam puts on one of the actual spacesuits from Alien: Covenant! This beautiful suit was made by FBFX, and is packed with incredible detail, digital displays, and lighting that makes it look believable on screen. Of course, we can't help but scrutinize every inch of this suit, from the soles of the boots to the inside of the helmet!