Latest StoriesMakers
    3D-Printing the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Messenger Droid Helmet

    To wrap up our build of the Star Wars Battlefront II Sentinel cosplay, Frank walks us through how he and his team made all the hard parts of the costume, including the helmet. Using references from the game, the helmet was 3D-printed and finished. But making the dome was a bit trickier. (This video was sponsored by Electronic Arts. )

    Tested Mailbag: Surprise Christmas Tree Ornament!

    Just in time for the holidays, we receive a mystery mailbag from our friend and Tested contributor Dave Goldberg! Dave's an accomplished modelmaker who recently completed a studio scale replica of the rebel Escape Pod from Star Wars: A New Hope, which makes the contents of this mailbag timely and appropriate!

    We Need Your Input and Feedback!

    Hey everyone! If you have a spare moment, we'd really appreciate it if you could fill out this short survey. It's not for ads and you won't get any emails about it, but it'll help us learn more about what you like about Tested and what kind of content you'd like to see more of. Thanks, and happy holidays!

    Making a San Francisco Sutro Tower Scale Model!

    Norm uses the office's Universal Systems laser cutter to make a gift for an upcoming white elephant holiday party. Using a design found online, he constructs a scale model of San Francisco's Sutro Tower, but with a sci-fi twist.

    Tested Live Show 2017: Mechanical Pong!

    Tested's own Jeremy Williams and Sean Charlesworth devise a mechanical version of the classic game pong for this year's stage show! It's a celebration of classic game and the venerable stepper motor with a twist: the game is played using audio from the entire audience!

    Making a Body Form for the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Messenger Droid Cosplay

    For our Star Wars Battlefront II Setinel cosplay, we had to make the cloak and gloves perfectly fit our performer. Frank and his team used their new CNC to make a body form that could be used for fitting the costume, and we discuss how materials are tested and chosen for the best visual effect. (This video was sponsored by Electronic Arts. Star Wars Battlefront II is out now.)

    Adam Savage's LEGO Han Solo Blaster!

    Adam adds to his LEGO-themed armory with this replica of Han Solo's DL-44 blaster, built entirely of LEGO bricks. We found these fan-designed kits online, and talk through the build to show some of the clever ways the pieces are assembled to resemble the parts of the iconic Star Wars blaster.

    Building a Studio Scale Model of the Escape Pod from Star War: A New Hope

    The shot of an Escape Pod dropping away from the crippled Rebel Blockade Runner during the opening sequence of Star Wars: A New Hope has always been a favorite of mine. The imagery is perfection in its simplicity. Reminiscent of a NASA film of booster separation on the Saturn V rocket, this iconic moment conveys an important story point with images that are both new and familiar.

    Image credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

    This shot was also a historic one as it was the first visual effect completed by the fledgling Industrial Light and Magic team. The story is that executives from 20th Century Fox were growing increasingly concerned over the amount of time and money being spent on the unproven visual effects department which had so far failed to deliver any footage. Fox threatened to shut them down if they couldn't show some progress.

    Led by visual effects supervisor John Dykstra, model shop supervisor Grant McCune and visual effects cameraman Richard Edlund, the ILM crew hurriedly assembled the model of the Escape Pod, suspended it from the ceiling of the stage over a plain black backing below and filmed it dropping away from the camera in slow motion. A few flakes of mica were tossed in to recreate the look of ice crystal sparkles seen in the NASA footage and a classic film moment was born. The shot was what is referred to as being done "in-camera", no motion control, no composites, just shoot it and done! The execs at Fox must have liked what they saw because the rest is history!

    I've recreated a model of the Escape Pod in what is known as Studio Scale, the same size as the original filming model and using parts from the same vintage model kits for the detailing.

    Tested at the BALLS 2017 Rocket Launch Event!

    Simone heads to Black Rock Desert to take part in the annual BALLS experimental rocket launch event! We meet with amateur rocketeers who've come around the country to test their homebrewed rockets. This is going to be fun! Thanks to Clay Reynolds for inviting us out! Find his rocket launch videos here.

    How To Make a Simple LED Work Lamp

    I recently decided that I needed a practical work lamp. The overhead lighting in my workshop is adequate most of the time, but not always. My ideal lamp is something I can place near my workspace and orient in different ways. I experimented with some desk lamps and battery-powered portable lights. However, all of the units that I tried produced overly-harsh light that created glare and strong shadows. Some were also limited by insufficient positioning options and the constraint of being tethered to a power cord.

    There may be a suitable commercial unit out there, but I decided to take the DIY approach instead. I was inspired by a friend's light board that he created using LED light strips attached to foamboard. He uses his contraption for studio lighting when shooting photos and videos. Since it runs off of a common 3-cell LiPo battery for RC models, he can take it anywhere. I created a downsized adaptation of this idea that works well for my needs.

    Making the Creature Costume for "Yoshua"

    Adam welcomes costume designer Patrick Glendening to the cave to check out a creature costume made for the short film "Yoshua". Patrick talks about how a costume like this is made, from character design collaboration with the director to the fabrication suited for on-screen performance.

    The Making of Adam Savage's Chewbacca Mask!

    What's underneath all that Wookiee fur? We visit Tom Spina Designs, the workshop where Adam's beautiful Chewbacca mask was crafted, to dive deep into the mask-making process. Adam and Tom walk through the many parts of Chewbacca, going over little-known details about how the original mask was designed and fabricated by Stuart Freeborn for Star Wars.

    Garner Holt's Animatronic Abraham Lincoln!

    This incredibly lifelike animatronic Abraham Lincoln is the work of Garner Holt Productions, which has been making robots for theme parks, museums, and other attractions for 40 years. We get up close to this robot and chat with its creator, Garner Holt, about the state of animatronics you see in places like Disneyland and what's to come.

    Adam Savage Explores Star Trek Costumes and Props!

    Star Trek has had a long history of iconic costumes, and the uniforms designed and made for the 2009 film reimagined Starfleet uniforms for fans and new audiences. At Prop Store's US headquarters, Adam Savage gets up close with some of these beautiful film-used costumes and props, examining how they were constructed and appreciating the nuanced details that make them look so good on screen. Find out more about these costumes and props up for auction here.

    Regal Robot's Awesome Star Wars Furniture and Art!

    While Adam was at Tom Spina's workshop, we learn about Regal Robot, Tom's company that makes officially-licensed Star Wars-inspired furniture, art, and decor. We take a look at these beautifully creative pieces, including the famed Han in Carbonite desk, and learn how Regal Robot's team painstakingly puts them together with fabrication technologies both old and new.