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    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.

    Adam Savage Repairs Totoro Costume!

    Adam Savage and the Tested team ran a cosplay repair booth at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con, and Adam was so delighted to find another Totoro cosplayer at the show! Adam helps repair this Totoro costume, which is a different take on the character than Adam's own build. Plus, Adam geeks out over an amazing Darkseid cosplay!

    Adam Savage Incognito as the Knights of Ren!

    For Adam's first incognito costume of the year, he teams up with propmaker Darrell Maloney (aka Broken Nerd) to become two of the Knights of Ren from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Without much reference material, Adam and Darrell relish the opportunity to bring these mysterious characters to life in cosplay.

    How to Safely Organize Your LiPo Battery Storage

    LiPo batteries have been the standard type used by RC hobbyists for several years now. It's tough to beat the hat trick of low cost, light weight, and high discharge capability offered by LiPo chemistry. Every RC modeler I know has at least one LiPo in their shop. Most have dozens of them.

    For all of their performance advantages, LiPo batteries also demand particular care and attention. An incorrect setting on your charger or a few too many amps of discharge might be all that it takes to upset a LiPo. Angry LiPo batteries can reveal themselves in unpredictable and fiery ways. While LiPo fires are relatively uncommon, they are a potential danger to consider.

    Many modelers store their batteries in ammunition cans (with gaskets removed) to mitigate the risk of damage from a LiPo fire. To be clear, these metal boxes do not prevent or snuff out fires. They simply provide a way to contain a LiPo flare-up and avoid collateral damage. You can be sure that everything within the ammo can will be toasted. The goal here is to save everything outside the ammo can.

    Peak Comic Con - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 3/29/18
    As Adam and Norm gear up for a production shoot this weekend, we get together to chat about Adam's experience at the March for Our Lives, a Kubrick prop replica he's working on, and the trend for pop culture conventions over the past few years. Plus, we can't wait to talk about Ready Player One. Did you like the film?
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    Darren Moser's Life-Size K-2SO Puppet Cosplay

    We catch up with replica prop builder Darren Moser, who has finished his life-size K-2SO puppet cosplay and brought it to this year's WonderCon! Darren walks us through how he gets this 30-pound puppet to walk the floor, pose for photos, and hear about his upgrade plans.

    Star Wars T-70 X-Wing Model Replica!

    At this year's Wondercon, we check out the new prototype of the T-70 X-Wing made for eFX collectibles. Modelmaker Steve Neisen walks us through how he built this replica in "studio scale", even though The Force Awakens only featured computer generated ships on screen. From the articulating S-foils to the weathered detail, this model looks great!

    Flying an RC Airplane with Snow Skis

    It may be springtime, but there is still snow on the ground where I live. That means I'm continuing to explore all of the different options for flying RC airplanes off of the snow. One of the more popular tactics for northern flyers is to replace a model's wheels with snow skis. In fact, I recently outfitted one of my RC airplanes with skis. The hardware swap was easy and the skis work really well. Check it out.

    The Airplane

    The airplane I chose for my ski experiments is the Hobbyzone Carbon Cub S+. It is a moderately-sized (1.3M/51" wingspan) foam park flyer. It comes factory-built and can be had in a Ready-to-Fly (RTF) variant ($260) that includes everything you need or a Bind-n-Fly Basic (BNF) model ($220) that requires a battery, charger, and compatible transmitter. I used the RTF set.

    The Carbon Cub is marketed as a beginner-oriented model. With a brushless power system, ailerons, and optional flaps, this airplane looks like a sport model rather than a trainer. It all makes sense, however, once you realize that the bulk of its rookie-assisting features are derived from the SAFE+ flight stabilization system. So it actually is a sport model if you disable SAFE+.

    I used the Hobbyzone Carbon Cub S+ for my ski tests. It's a solid all-around model that adapts well to carrying the extra weight of the skis.

    When enabled, SAFE+ forgives common noob piloting mistakes by auto-leveling the airplane and using GPS to prevent it from flying too far away. I'm already an okay pilot and none of those features were necessary for testing out my skis. So I flew in Experienced Mode (which effectively disables SAFE+) for these snow flights. I will be revisiting the Carbon Cub and SAFE+ in a future article.

    Muppet Fans Talking - Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project - 3/23/18
    Adam recaps his trip to the M.A.R.S. conference, where he interacted with robot dogs, met an infamous rocket scientist, and shared his love for costumes. We also geek out about the new documentary Muppet Guys Talking, about the amazing performers behind all of our favorite muppets. We highly recommend it!
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    Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Custom Workbench LED Lamp!

    While working on a recent prop project, Adam realizes that he needed better lighting for his workshop bench, and embarks on building a custom light rig for illuminating his builds. Using off-the-shelf parts like an affordable LED light panel, Adam wires up this versatile bench lamp that can be positioned precisely where he needs it!

    Visiting the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum

    As a lifelong history buff and aviation nerd, I am always seeking out aerospace-themed museums when I travel. That's why the collection of rare aircraft at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum was like a homing beacon for me. I simply had to go. I soon discovered that the museum, much like the man it honors, is quite eclectic and diverse. Of course, I found the airplanes I was after. I also found all types of wheeled vehicles, watercraft, and other odds and ends that are attributable to the late Mr. Curtiss and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

    The museum is located in Curtiss' birthplace of Hammondsport, New York, a small lakeside town that often hosts tourists visiting the area's many vineyards and wineries. You half expect a small-town museum dedicated to one of its native sons to occupy a back room of the chamber of commerce. Not so here. The Curtiss Museum is housed in its own 57,000 square foot building. The expansive collection almost seems out of place in a town of less than 1000 residents. "We're the best kept secret in New York." joked curator Rick Leisenring. The good news here is that wine and old airplanes pair together well. The museum hosts about 30,000 visitors each year.

    Who is Glenn H. Curtiss?

    The appeal of the Curtiss Museum may not be obvious unless you know a little about the man who inspired it. It is difficult to describe Glenn Curtiss with brevity. The term "Daredevil Genius" comes to mind, but it still does not adequately capture the breadth of Curtiss' adventures and achievements.

    I walked into the museum with only a rudimentary knowledge of Curtiss. I would learn much more over the next few hours. Curtiss is known primarily for his accomplishments as a pioneering aviator and the massive legal scuffles he endured opposite the Wright brothers. Yet, even before he found fame in the the sky, Curtiss was known as "the fastest man in the world"…a title he earned atop a motorcycle of his own design.