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    Star Trek Tricorder with Working Display!

    At this year's Replica Prop Forum showcase, we meet up once again wtih Brian Mix, who brought his new Star Trek TOS Tricorder. This beautiful replica captures the weight and finish of the filming hand prop, and Brian has taken it one step further with some modern-day electronics!

    James Bond "Moonraker" Prop Collection!

    We meet Alan Stephenson, who has one of the largest private collections of James Bond memorabilia and film props. Alan shares with us a selection of his original props and filming miniatures from Moonraker, showing off the beautiful production design and practical effects aesthetic of the 1979 film.

    Adam Savage needs your help for his next build!

    This June, Adam's going to the first ever Nation of Makers conference in Sante Fe! And while he's there, he'll be working on a unique build: a 6-foot tall statue of Rosie the Riveter, comprised of over 2,500 3D-printed parts. We need your help printing those parts! Find out how to contribute to this build here!

    What's Adam Working On?

    I was just in Adam's shop and he's hard at work at his lathe. Any guesses as to what he's working on? (Side note: He has black smudges all over his face, too.)

    Nintendo Labo Variety and Robot Kit Review!

    We assemble and review the new Nintendo Labo Variety Kit and Robot Kit! With the help of Tested-alum Will Smith, we put the kits together in under 4 hours to show you how each game works and what we think of each Toy-Con accessory. Building with cardboard is a lot of fun, and Labo utilizes computer vision and Switch sensors in some very clever ways.

    Rise of the Black Panther - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 4/24/18
    In our final pop-up podcast recording from Silicon Valley Comic Con, we welcome Evan Narcisse, senior writer at io9 and writer of the current Marvel mini-series Rise of the Black Panther! Evan talks about how he went from being a fan to writing comics, his take on the origin story of Black Panther, and collaborating with artists to tell this new story.
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    The Creature Art of Akihito

    Makeup effects artist Akihito shows us his latest sculptures and makeups at this year's Monsterpalooza show. From his incredible take on a samurai Predator bust to a Maleficent makeup, we find Akihito's art spellbinding to behold.

    3D-Printed Sculptures Made in Virtual Reality

    Artist Gio Nakpil from the Oculus Medium team shows off a massive 3d printed figure he sculpted using the virtual reality tool. We what with Gio about his process and the features that make VR sculpting appealing to professional 3D modelers.

    Mike Hill's Realistic Frankenstein Monster Sculpture!

    Mike Hill--the award-winning creature designer for The Shape of Water--unveils his newest sculpture at this year's Monsterpalooza. It's a portrait of Boris Karloff's monster from the 1931 Frankenstein, along with little Maria from the film. Mike talks about how he made these striking life-sized figures and talks a little about his work on The Shape of Water!

    Turning Art into Collectible Statues

    We chat with the team at Level 52 Studios about the process working with artists to turn concept pieces into fully-realized statues, collectibles, and resin model kits. We love putting their kits together!

    The Concept Sculptures of Simon Lee

    Concept sculptor Simone Lee always brings some interesting pieces to Monsterpalooza. This year, he bought several sculpts he uses to teach students how to tackle two different types of characters in an action scene. We chat with Simon about his role as a concept sculptor and how his work helps directors visualize and storytell their films.

    The Creature Model Kits at Monsterpalooza 2018!

    One of our favorite things about the creature effects show Monsterpalooza is finding awesome resin kits and limited-run figures made talented artists. For those of us who couldn't make it to the show, here are some of the artists you should check out and find their kits online!

    Designing Wolverine's Costume from X-Men 2

    Ironhead Studio brings a costume out from their archives--Wolverine's costume from X2: X-Men United--to show how designer Jose Fernandez gave the X-Men their evolved look in one of the best superhero films of all time. Jose talks to us about his design approach to this costume and shows us aspects not seen on screen. Plus, we check out one of the helmets Ironhead Studio made for Netflix's Altered Carbon!

    Quantum Creations FX's Fallout Pip-Boy Prop

    We meet the prop and costume fabricators of Quantum Creations FX, who have worked on films like Watchmen, Tron: Legacy, and Ghostbusters. One prop that caught our eye is this Pip-Boy piece, realistically stylized for use in a Fallout commercial. Quantum Creations FX's founder details the making of this prop and original spacesuits showcasing their costume-making talents.

    Ghost in the Shell and Warcraft Props from Weta Workshop!

    Weta Workshop made some truly incredible costumes and props for the recent Ghost in the Shell and Warcraft films. We get up close to some of these pieces coming up on auction at Prop Store. From full suits of armor to sci-fi robots, these pieces are full of intricate details that look great in person!

    Pat Magee's Creepy Minion Costumes!

    Effects artist and creature fabricator Pat Magee makes incredible costumes for his twin boys every year. For this past Monsterpalooza, he unveiled his twisted take on creepy minions! We chat with Pat about the costumes he makes for his kids, as well as a Beetlejuice snake sculpture to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film!

    Towing Micro RC Gliders, Part 1: The Tow Plane

    During WWII, large gliders laden with troops and supplies were sent into combat zones. There were many instances of this tactic being used throughout the war. One of the more famous examples occurred on D-Day in 1944. American C-47 transport planes departed England while pulling WACO CG-4A gliders on long tow ropes (two gliders per C-47). The British added their array of gliders and tugs as well. This aerial armada flew across the English Channel and over France, where the gliders were released to disgorge their loads of soldiers, guns, and jeeps into the fields of Normandy.

    Several years ago, I designed a simple RC model of the CG-4A with a 65" (1651mm) wingspan. I also have a C-47 model of the same scale (about 1/15.5) that I modified to use as a tow plane for the WACO. Of course, each airplane requires a dedicated pilot. So, a lot of my flying buddies have had an opportunity to control one model or the other. Flying this aerotow rig is a little challenging, tons of fun, and always garners a lot of attention from onlookers.

    Downsizing

    When I saw a press release for Flyzone's new micro-sized C-47, my first thought was that it would be fun to shrink my WACO design to this scale as well (about 1/50). The wingspan of the C-47 model is 23" (584mm). This results in a comparable glider having a wingspan of just over 20" (508mm).

    I've flown lots of micro RC models before. However, this project reflects my first attempt at doing aerotow with tiny airplanes. To be honest, I'm still not sure that it's going to work. Micro models tend to have some idiosyncrasies that may render aerotowing impractical. There's really only one way to know for sure. So I'm forging ahead!

    The C-47 is a fun little bird. It flies at speeds much faster than scale.

    I began work on the WACO model before my C-47 arrived. In the next article, I'll cover my techniques for creating this little green glider. Perhaps I'll also have a favorable flight report to share. For now, I'll focus on the C-47 in its box-stock form and also after being modified for towing.