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    Adam Savage's Maker Faire 2018 Talk!

    Adam Savage gives his annual Sunday sermon at the 2018 Bay Area Maker Faire. Adam talks about an essential aspect of making and maker culture: generosity and sharing. With examples from his own experiences and the world at large, Adam talks about why the more we share, the more we have.

    Paint Masking Using a Laser Cutter!

    Tested contributor Bill Doran (aka Punished Props) is in our shop this week and experiments using our Universal Laser Systems laser cutter to make a quick paint mask for a helmet. This can be done with standard painter's tape or a large sheet of masking tape, and we learn some lessons about masking complex curves.

    Adam Savage's New Warcraft Armor!

    Adam is obsessed with movie armor, and he finally has a full set of armor made by the incredible craftspeople of Weta Workshop. This Alliance Knight armor was made for the movie Warcraft, and is part of many pieces of armor and beautiful props going on auction. Adam is awestruck by the detail here!

    Hands-On with FPV Remote Controlled Cars!

    We check out the RXWave/RASKL, a system that pairs a standard PS4 dualshock controller with an FPV RC car. Using the same camera and transmitter technology we've seen in FPV racing quadcopters, this lets us zip around our home and office from the car's perspective, like a real-life video game. Here's how the prototypes work.

    Dave Goldberg's Studio Scale Y-Wing Model!

    In the making of Star Wars, there are few model miniatures more detailed and beautiful than the Y-Wing made by ILM. Modelmaker Dave Goldberg shares with us his masterful studio scale build of the rebel starfighter, alongside his builds of the Tantive IV escape pod and Tatooine moisture vaporators. Dave's scratch-built models are a true labor of love and a sight to behold!

    Simone's TED Talk: Why You Should Make Useless Things

    Simone's TED talk is online! "In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions -- designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more -- rarely (if ever) succeed, and that's the point."

    Building a Hobby RC Plane with Balsa Wood

    The vast majority of modern RC airplanes are factory-built to some degree. It is no longer mandatory to spend long hours cutting, gluing, and sanding pieces of balsa wood to create a flying model. But for many, the process of transforming lightweight lumber into a flying machine is their favorite aspect of the RC hobby. There is certainly an enhanced sense of pride when your hand-built creation takes to the skies.

    Building from kits is now a niche segment of aeromodeling. It was still the norm, however, when I got into the hobby as a kid in the 1980s. So, I learned basic building skills by necessity. I still use those skills today when building a modern kit or repairing a factory-built ship.

    Some aspects of building balsa models can appear rather intimidating. But don't worry. It's all pretty easy once you break it down. In this article, I will walk you through the basic elements of what is involved.

    About the ElectriCub II

    Like so many other aspects of RC, balsa kits have benefitted from new technologies. Most new airplane kits are designed with CAD software and manufactured by laser cutting. This produces clean, sharp edges and parts that fit together perfectly (well, usually).

    Not so long ago, kit components were produced by die-cutting. A cookie cutter-like tool would stamp the parts from balsa sheets. This process works fine so long as the die is sharp. But it was not uncommon to find parts with crushed or unfinished edges.

    Flying any RC airplane is fun. But there is a heightened sense of pride when you've built it yourself.

    The example kit here, a Great Planes ElectriCub II ($100), is a bit of a hybrid. The design dates back to the 1990s and it was originally produced as a die-cut kit. The version you can buy today has most of the legacy die-cut parts, along with some updated pieces that are laser-cut.

    Electric-powered models from the 90s are my favorite genre of airplanes to build. Power systems of the time used brushed motors and Ni-Cad batteries. The brushless motors and LiPo batteries of today can output significantly more power at far less weight. Upgrading to a modern power system often requires a few airframe modifications, but the performance boost makes it worthwhile.

    How Could Alien Communication Work? Offworld episode 6: Arrival

    This week on Offworld, we look at the science fiction film Arrival and its depiction of communication with alien life! Ariel is joined by cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Teon Brooks and Dr. Douglas Vakoch, President of METI (Messaging Extraterrestial Intelligence) to discuss how we might try to decipher verbal and visual language or alien origin.

    Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Snub-Nosed Blade Runner Blasters!

    Adam puts together a beautiful Blade Runner-inspired snub-nosed blaster kit! Both Norm and Adam both work on their kits, each taking a different approach to the paint and finish. Adam goes one step further by adding machined metal parts to his blaster, giving it a brilliant look and some real heft. The blasters turned out amazing!

    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.