Latest Stories
Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Kit-Bashing and Scratch-Building!

Adam goes back to his roots as a spaceship modelmaker in this week's build, using scratch-building and kit-bashing to make a scale model inspired by a piece of art by the legendary Jean "Moebius" Giraud. Along the way, Adam shares many tips for working with styrene to give miniatures detail that really shines on screen.

Tested Mailbag: AT-DP Garage Kit!

We've been long overdue for a Tested mailbag unboxing, and this package doesn't disappoint. Chuck from YayMonsters sends us his garage kit of the AT-DP walker from Star Wars Rebels, which he modeled using Tinkercad! We're blown away by the details he achieved using the web tool, and perform a quick assembly of the model.

Model Behavior: Acrylic vs. Oil Washes

Bill and Norm experiment with different kinds of paint washes for model figurines. We examine the differences in application and results between using a water-based acrylic washe and an oil wash for weathering. What kind of paint wash do you use for your projects?

Hobby RC: Repairing a Brushless Motor

"That definitely isn't good." I had just landed and unplugged my RC airplane, a Flyzone Rapide. As I carried the model back to the pit area and absentmindedly turned its propeller by hand, I heard and felt metal-on-metal clicking…which is not something you should ever have with a brushless motor. There had been no noticeable symptoms of a problem in flight, and the motor was not seized. So I was hopeful that I would be able to find and repair the problem without too much time or money (spoiler: mission accomplished!).

A Little About Brushless Motors

Brushless motors are very simple devices. In high-level terms, a brushless motor breaks down into two coaxial parts, the rotor and stator. The rotor is the spinning part and usually has permanent magnets attached to it. The stator does not move. It typically has copper windings that create magnetic fields when energized. Brushless motors require a dedicated Electronic Speed Control that rapidly toggles the polarity of the magnetic fields in the windings to make the rotor spin.

There are two basic types of brushless motors, inrunners and outrunners. On inrunners, the stator is integrated into the outer housing of the motor. Other than the exposed drive shaft, the rotor is fully enclosed within the stator. Outrunners are nearly the exact opposite. The rotor comprises the outer casing of the motor, while the stator is mostly hidden inside. Parts of the stator are accessible to permit mounting the motor and connecting power wires. Most electric-powered RC airplanes, including the Rapide, use outrunner brushless motors.

The main parts of a brushless motor are the stator with copper windings (left) and the rotor with permanent magnets.

The sheer simplicity of brushless motors makes them practically maintenance-free. You just need to check on the ball bearings from time to time. They also tend to be very reliable. There just isn't much that can go wrong. The most common problems I see stem from people pushing their motors too hard and burning out the windings or overheating the permanent magnets…at which point, they're no longer permanent.

Ask Adam Anything: Favorite Dishes to Cook

Every week, Adam takes a question from the Tested Premium Member community in the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answers here. This week, Adam talks about his favorite dishes to cook at home.

Assembling the 2,500 Piece 3D-Printed Sculpture!

At this year's Nation of Makers conference, Adam Savage meets up with Jen Schachter and Todd Blatt to help with their latest We the Builders project: a sculpture of Rosie the Riveter comprised of over 2,500 3D-printed parts! The parts were crowdsourced from makers all around the world, and the assembly is truly a team effort. Find out more about the process and get involved at http://wethebuilders.com

Show and Tell: 2001 EVA Pod Model Kit!

2001: A Space Odyssey fans are in for a treat! We go hands-on with the Discovery EVA Pod model kit from Moebius Models, an 1/8th scale miniature we first saw at Comic-Con. It's an impressive styrene kit that's much bigger than we imagined, and we show its details side-by-side with the 12th-scale Atomic City garage kit released almost a decade ago.