We turn back the clock to before Comic-Con, as Frank and his team are prepping the Lich King armor made for Blizzard. Frank walks us through how to make a silicone brush-up mold of foam fabricated armor parts. These waste molds can be used to make clay castings to give costume parts additional sculptural detail!
The Northeast Electric Aircraft Technology Fair (NEAT Fair) is a gathering of RC hobbyists who enjoy designing, building, and/or flying electric-powered models. I like all three of those things. So I've been itching to attend NEAT for a long, long time. I finally got my chance to stop in this year and experience this unique event. Since I could attend for only one day, I decided that I would leave my models at home and just observe.
The inaugural NEAT Fair was held in 2000, a time when electric-powered flying models were still a fringe element of the RC hobby. The motors, batteries, and electronic widgets available to electric-minded hobbyists were all rather crude by today's standards. Any measure of success required forethought, ingenuity, and daring. NEAT provided a rare opportunity for those early innovators to compare notes and show off their latest breakthroughs.
Things have certainly changed in 18 years! Electric-powered aircraft are now a huge facet of the hobby. The availability of off-the-shelf models with great performance means that you no longer have to be an expert just to get off the ground. Even so, there are still modelers who are constantly nudging the state of the art and trying new things. For them, the NEAT Fair remains a Mecca.
NEAT is officially a 4-day event. This year's show ran from Thursday, 9/14 to Sunday, 9/17. Some eager participants began setting up as early as the previous weekend. When I arrived on Saturday morning, the entire flightline was filled with pop-up canopies and tents. Event director, Tom Hunt, told me that more than 300 pilots were registered.
The event takes place just outside of Downsville, a quiet town in the Catskill Mountains of New York. More specifically, NEAT is held at the Peaceful Valley Campsite along the Delaware River. This location presents an interesting dichotomy for NEAT goers. Upon arrival at this event celebrating technology and innovation, participants will likely find that their cell phones and other modern electronic leashes are mere paperweights in this remote valley. Yet, no one that I spoke with seemed to mind spending a few days off the grid.
When Adam was recently in London, he visited the headquarters of FBFX, the makers of spacesuits for films like The Martian, Prometheus, and Alien: Covenant. There, we examined up-close the insane details that make up these spacesuits, and learn how they're designed and put together from sorted bins of individually crafted and weathered parts.
We're doing another live show! I can't believe that this will be fourth year putting on a stage show--it feels like just yesterday that Kishore, Will, and I were talking about what it would mean for Tested to have a live event. And every year, we've found tremendous pride and pleasure in figuring out what Tested on stage means. This year is no different. Tested: Deconstructed will be an exploration into the processes and obsessions that make up the projects you see on the site. We want to show you what makes us tick and how we make. It'll be an evening of presentations from the Tested team, including Adam and Simone, our friends in the maker and science community, and a few surprises as well!
Tested: Deconstructed will take place at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, on Saturday, October 28th, at 7pm. Tickets are on sale now, and you can find them, along with some more info, here! Hope to see you there!
Want to build a table? There's an app for that! We couldn't resist sharing this awesome adjustable table-construction concept in development at Detroit's Incite Focus. (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)
In case you missed it, on Sept. 14, 2017, 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!
bl1ndvision: What's something someone can buy for under $50 that will change their life (for the better)?
mistersavage: Fantastic question!!! A great kitchen knife can be grabbed for that much. Too many options. I don't have a definitive answer but I love the thought experiment.
adamgerken: Adam, I saw Jamie speaking at an event at our college some years ago (you were also supposed to be there but I'll forgive you) and the thing he talked about that really sticks with me is how you two aren't really friends and don't really get along all that well. Tell me it ain't so! If that's the case was it always the case or did you two just grow apart, a la The Beatles?
mistersavage: No no no, you misunderstand the relationship. We are not good friends. But we were great business partners. The fact is, while we argued about all the small stuff, every single day, we never argued about the big stuff: whether to trade our integrity for a brand, or about the money. And for that I will always treasure my business partnership with Jamie.
It's here! The Tested team gathers to put together LEGO's largest set ever: the new UCS Millennium Falcon! This set belongs to guest Tommy Williamson of Bricknerd, and we review the build and compare it to the previous UCS Falcon that was released 10 years ago. Turns out it's a very different model, both inside and out.
For today's One Day Build, we've partnered with DEWALT® to use their FLEXVOLT® tools to give Adam's cave an upgrade. In fact, Adam is showing a part of his shop that we've never shown before: the bathroom! Adam revamps this corner of curiosities to make better use of its space, doing the build in situ!
Adam sets up his shop's record player to put on the first test pressing of his 7-inch vinyl record--the recording he made at Third Man Records! This single is our 2017 gift to Premium Members, and is our way of saying thanks to the Tested community for supporting us and watching our videos. Learn more about the benefits of a membership here!
In Detroit Adam Savage stops by Incite Focus, a socially focused production and training lab, where he lends a hand building an open-source, net-zero-energy micro-cabin that could revolutionize housing. (This series and tour is made possible by The Fab Foundation and Chevron.)
Our special guest this week is Kayte Sabicer, a modelmaker who has worked on films like The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, and Hugo. She was part of the team that built the miniature batmobile for The Dark Knight Rises! And appropriately, the set we're building this week is the Tumbler batmobile! (Follow along the rest of the week by joining the Tested Premium member community!)
Let's flash back to a build that was part of Adam's preparation for this year's Comic-Con! For his King Arthur armor cosplay, Adam needed a foam sword that would be suitable for the convention floor. He turned to the LARP community to find a prop, and today's build is making that sword look better with different techniques for metallic finishing. To the airbrush!
Frank walks us through the casting of a special kit: a slimer by legendary effects artist Steve Johnson, the sculptor of the original slimer from Ghostbusters! We learn how Frank mixes up resin to make these glow in the dark and utilizes a pressure pot to eliminte air bubbles. These kits will be available at the Son of Monsterpalooza convention later this month!
If you're like me, you have an unorganized bin of loose Allen wrenches in your workshop. SAE and metric sizes coexist is this microcosm without discrimination or prejudice. Maybe you call these tools hex keys. Whatever the case, they are a blessing and a curse. In larger sizes (bigger than 3/16" or 4.5mm), they are cheap, convenient, and robust tools. The smaller Allen wrenches, however, present several problems for me.
First of all, the wrenches and the heads of the fasteners that they drive tend to strip easily. This is exaggerated by the fact that there are many different sizes which are indiscernible by eye. Selecting the correct wrench for an application can be challenging. Oh, did I mention that these wrenches are not even marked with their size?
Despite their challenges, small Allen wrenches are a fact of life in the RC world. They are used in many, many applications across the RC spectrum. In fact, most of the smaller hex keys in my bin were included with RC products. Many of the larger tools can be traced to Ikea.
I have a somewhat masochistic MO when I need to find a small Allen wrench. I reach into that disheveled bin and pull out a handful of tools that look to be about the right size. Then I go through the frustrating exercise of test fitting each wrench in the fastener until I find a good fit. If I'm lucky, I'll score a good wrench within the first five tries.
After years of this inefficient approach, I finally decided to end the madness. I set out to find a simple means of organizing my small Allen wrenches. I decided that my system would have to be easy to understand, easy to implement, and easy to maintain.
Adam and Norm reveal this year's gift for Tested premium members! Members who joined or renewed since May 31st will get an exclusive 7" vinyl record of the Brain Candy song that Adam sang and recorded live at Third Man Records. This single will not be available for sale anywhere, and is our way of saying thanks to the Tested community for supporting us and watching our videos. Learn more about the benefits of a membership here! (If you are eligible for this promotion, please make sure you completely fill out your shipping address in your Tested profile as soon as possible to guarantee delivery. If you’ve already added your shipping address to your profile in the past, please double check its accuracy.)
Back at Comic-Con, we got a preview of Prop Store's upcoming Live Auction, in which costumes and props like Starlord's hero helmet from Guardians of the Galaxy are going to find their ways in the hands of collectors. Brandon Alinger of Prop Store walks us through some of his favorite pieces from the auction, from films like Indiana Jones and Back to the Future series.