One Day Builds: 1/6th Scale Cosmonaut Model Kit

In this episode of One Day Builds, Adam Savage spends a day at the shop assembling and painting a beautiful 1/6th scale garage kit, based on the fantastical characters of artist Derek Stenning. Adam and Norm each work on their own kit, and Adam teaches us some painting and weathering techniques to bring out the intricate details on this sci-fi cosmonaut figure.

Shot by Joey Fameli
Edited by Tom Crenshaw, Circa Digital

Comments (109)

109 thoughts on “One Day Builds: 1/6th Scale Cosmonaut Model Kit

  1. Watching this on my new 4k TV is amazing! I love these videos, could watch like a 6 hour video not just the hour. As everyone else is saying, more, more more! These and podcasts are why I come to tested everyday!

  2. This is fantastic, and so fascinating! I’m really inspired to try my hand at model building again right now, it looks so fun. 😀 I’d LOVE to see more in-depth kit building vids like this please! Great video guys.

  3. All of the things that I love about Tested, all wrapped up in this single video!

    Thank you for doing this ‘One Day Build’ video, Duders! 👍

  4. That was so cool. Must have been a lot of work for everybody involved but it was most appreciated. Please do more like this.

  5. Great work the weathering on Norms statue is amazing just like an old bronze statue saw Norms photos and at firs I thought it was actually a bronze miniature statue.

  6. So I’m looking for an airbrush to use on model kits (1/24th cars and 1/48th planes). What should I be looking for? Should I just buy a cheap one on eBay and use it until it breaks? Should I pony up for a “good” $300 model?

    I’ve looked at a few guides but I’m still not sure what I should do. Adam suggested in this video that double action isn’t important, which is different than what I’ve seen in other places.


  7. this was really entertaining to watch. Adams model turned out great, and when he turned on the light for the first time in the helmet I was amazed. I was skeptical of Norms idea at first, but the end product was really cool, I love the detail, especially the droppings. Awesome work you guys!

  8. I think Adam has some pretty good ventilation in his shop, but it might have been good to include a disclaimer for the viewers that are not familiar with spraying/airbrushing paint.

    What people should remember is that most of the solvents used in paints are toxic, with the possible exception of water based paints (although sometimes these are diluted with alcohol, so still not entirely safe). If you do the kind of painting that is shown in this video, do it in a very well ventilated area or outside (when it’s dry of course) and if you want to be completely safe use a respirator mask (like a disposable one from 3M or one with replaceable filters if you plan on doing a lot of painting).

    Or make a spray booth, which will extract most of the fumes for you, like this very simple one on instructables:

  9. I really enjoy the One Day Builds and this has been my favorite one so far! I’d really like to see more model building videos!

  10. This was the perfect thing to watch while waiting to get on a delayed flight. I don’t know why, but I find those little sounds during crafting of various kinds to be very calming. Thank you for the lovely video and convenient timing.

  11. I love these videos for all the tips and tricks that Adam does without a second thought but totally blows my mind.. For instance.. Using calipers to figure out what drill bit to use.. are you kidding me.. That’s amazing! Thank you!

  12. It sounds as if they were pulling the mold. That makes for a lot more work. I had a kit I literally spent months cleaning up.

  13. BTW. If you have any Floquil hold on to them like treasure. Floquil was taken out of production by Rustoleum last year or so. many of us were rather pissed at that.

  14. This is why right here why I became a member…not the computer reviews, not the cell phone reviews, or not even the google whatever review crap…This! The model making and related detail painting….this video took me back to model building days of my youth…great video keep it up…already went and bought the book..i hope they do a second run of this kit…

  15. While I’m not the biggest non-fiction space fan there is, I do love me some bizarre cosmonaut artwork. Not 10 minutes after beginning the video, I had already ordered this guy’s book. And once I get more hobby money in, I’m diving into a kit. Holy crap this guy’s stuff is amazing!

  16. Awesome vid gentlemen. I’ve seen silly putty used instead of tape for masking. Maybe try it out for those fiddly bits. Love watching you guys do what you do. Thanks heaps!

  17. This was amazing to watch. I don’t remember the last time I just sat and watched a 1 hour video. I’m typically doing something else alongside the videos here. I was mesmerized by this one. Adam’s skill and willingness to share techniques, both with Norm and the viewer, made this one of the best Tested videos so far.

    I do have to say, watching Norm with the X-Acto Knife, I was wondering if he was going to cut himself. Then I saw a bandaid on his thumb later in the video. It left me wondering…

    Great one day build. Yes! Do more!

  18. This was a great one day build. Lovely to see the end result, taking the same kit and turning out two different results. So great to see the skills of Adam, and the novice of Norm and being mentored by Adam. So much win in this video.

  19. i find it hard to express how cool this video was. i was having emotional reactions to watching guys build a model… it may sound silly but its real and hard to describe.

    fyi the industria mechanika owner (the company that made the kit) posted a lovely comment on the youtube inviting to a chat or something… i would love to see / listen to that.

  20. Adam and Norm, do you guys work in silence when doing projects off camera or do you listen to music or maybe something else?

  21. I’ve been in touch with Michael Fichtenmayer, the owner of Industria Mechanika for a while, really nice guy and he wanted me to pass this on:

    “Thank you so much for doing this! (made an otherwise miserable week end pretty amazingly!) I started, own, and manage Industria Mechanika (literally out of my garage) so really appreciate the publicity and the love for our releases since as a garage kit company, we don’t have any advertising budget. (we also pay the artists half of our profits to make it fair to them… every artist deserves to be paid for their work.) If you ever want to chat and find out more about how I do all of these releases and started this, Sean knows how to get in touch with me. I’d love to talk shop! Thanks!!! –Michael Fichtenmayer (”

    I hope to collaborate with him on an Ocotpod kit somewhere down the road.

  22. Definitely do more of this. Great job for such a fast turn around. This kit reminded me of Ma.K (Maschinen Krieger) models. They seem to be in Adam’s wheel house for sure. Keep it coming!

  23. Easily THE MOST ENTERTAINING article! And that’s an achievement as all your videos, podcasts and articles are great.

    Where did the last hour just go!?

    Thank you for sharing this. Definitely need more one day builds!

  24. If you want a good general purpose airbrush you can’t do much better than this:

    The place to spend money for a return on your investment is a compressor with a tank:

    The tank kills the pulses from the compressor and gives you smooth flow.

  25. Very cool. I have one model from the 70’s that I never put together and now Adam and the TESTED crew has inspired me to give it a shot.

  26. Great vid and great results Norm! I would have loved to seen video of that process. The leached out colors and drips from the liquidy paint and alcohol looked fantastic, as did the bird droppings. Impressive piece!

  27. The One Day Builds are (by far) my favorite part of TESTED. It’s one “Aha” moment after another. I love that you show and explain the materials, choices & methods used. It would be cool if you created a list of Amazon links for the key items/brands that Adam loves. After so many years of use, just him saying “This is my favorite airbrush” is really meaningful.

  28. A really fun build. Probably my favorite of the series. It might help to mention a bit more about primer and the different kinds available. Someone new to the hobby might easily buy filler primer and bury much that beautiful detail in a single pass.

    Krylon has many primers, I couldn’t tell from the video, maybe someone from Tested can share? It looks like its simple ‘Krylon Grey -Aerosol Primer’ which seems a good fit.

    There are plastic primers that seal as well as etching primers for bonding to metals, both of which would be poor choices for model making.

  29. Sweet vid… I love the rapid fire brush in the mouth, to a quick swap with that wipe off towel, slung over his shoulder, you can really see that Adam has many years in as a model maker, & a pro one also. Time is money in any pro shop, & producing Good stuff is expected, & doing it fast is too!! The final products… So good, the little details looked GREAT… Both models turned out very well, Norm nice job, the finish on yours was spot on,(No pun) I’m in Central Park pretty often & so many statues have a “Sweet Spot” that pigeons literally flock to… & ya nailed it! Both will show really well, even up close I’m sure.

  30. My God, Norm! I think I like yours better! It looks really awesome!!

    Adam is a great teacher, isn’t he? How was it being tutored by him?

  31. Watching this reminded me of many techniques acquired putting together Warhammer models. Flash lines over details were so frustrating in what was otherwise a relaxing task.

    Been looking forward to a video about model making and customising ever since the Show & Tell in which Norm mentioned putting LEDs into his 1/6 scale Imperial Probe Droid. Seeing the preparation, different approaches to the painting and the various bits of technique advice from Adam made this video so Zen to watch.

  32. Funny you should mention that! I had no idea garage kits were even a thing, but once Adam and Norm started talking about that I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if this is something Sean would do with any of his prints…”


  33. & I hope to make it happen. Have talked to Michael about it and the catch is while the Octopod is completely printable, it’s not laid out well for molding, so a lot of it needs redone. I have also learned a lot since then and would change certain things. There’s also the rubber tentacles which I haven’t figured out how to mass produce yet. Will keep everyone posted.

  34. Great to see you guys enjoying my hobby, although my subjects are usually 1/35 or 1/48 scale tanks etc. I don’t wanna be the guy in hi-vis with a clipboard but… Resin dust is toxic/carcinogenic so a dust mask when sanding is a must. Also, I have experienced laquer thinner eating it’s way out of its own steel container so some kind of protection while spraying is probably a good idea as well.

  35. Very enjoyable video. Adam getting excited as it came together was funny.

    Norm, great job on your kit as well. I like the creativity of your idea.

  36. You guys are really knocking it outta the park lately. Amazing content high on knowledge and inspiration. This one brings me back to my youth when I used to build Gundam and other mecha models and sell them as display pieces. It paid for my Badger, Testor and Iwata airbrushes, compressors, Tamiya model tools and paints. Like Adam, I also loved weathering the kits. I remember using lit incense sticks to make burn marks in the plastic. Much to the dismay of my parents smelling burnt plastic in the apartment.

    As mentioned by an earlier commentor, I was also thinking you guys should build a Master or Perfect Grade Gundam kit. Maybe even a Five Star Stories one.

  37. Swoon. Is that the right word for my feeling on this video? More, more – watching Adam work is art in it’s self.

  38. I’ve had that kit working its way slowly through my hobby process for a couple years now, and was incredibly excited to see Industria Mechanika showing up here.

    I usually work in a much smaller scale (28-54mm miniatures) using primarily acrylics and significantly more hand-brushing, and it was interesting to see Adam’s work flow on this project. It certainly has me looking at finally getting around to buying those Alclad lacquer metals that I’ve been pushing off purchasing for a while.

    The one thing in this video that really drove me crazy was Adam just blasting lacquer thinner off to the side like that. An airbrush cleaning pot costs all of fifteen dollars and keeps you from making a mess of your workspace, setting aside entirely health and safety concerns from filling the air with lacquer thinner. A dust mask/respirator wouldn’t hurt either, but airbrushing is messy enough as it is without spraying down your shop every time you switch colors.

    Lastly, since I just finished painting this model, figured I’d throw it in here, it’s an Umbra Legate from Corvus Belli’s Infinity line, and is about 2.5 inches tall. Painted entirely with acrylics, primarily from Vallejo’s range.

  39. I just spent an hour watching two dudes build models, and it was everything I hoped it could be. Norm, AWESOME JOB on the weathering! Is there any footage of that? I would love to see the process. I’m currently planning a venture to my haunted attic to pull out a bunch of old model kits from my youth. Thanks for reigniting the spark, dudes!

  40. If i had the budget I would be sending a welcome to Gunpla gift kit. But hey maybe if we make a long thread about Gundam models, we may spike their interest.

  41. Norm went a very different way with his. I wouldn’t have thought about make it a statue. (bronze would be interesting) I think the loops on the sleeves should be filled up though. Concrete wouldn’t have open spaces.

    I like the look of the model but the helmet is distractingly too big to me.

  42. Now that’s what we’re talking about! That was a great episode in an always entertaining series. More painting, airbrushing and weathering techniques episodes please. In fact a whole series of videos detailing these processes start to finish would be wonderful.

    It was fascinating to see the techniques Adam used to build and combine the layers of paint on his model, and then see how beautiful and effective the final version was. I would have loved to see them weathering Norm’s model. The finished model was amazing. It really showed how the painting/weathering separates “the men from the boys”. No offense Norm, but Adam is in a whole other league!

    I got a real kick out of Adam’s moment of pure joy when he finished the model. The fact that he still gets that jolt of satisfaction from the creative process itself, while working in a very demanding industry, says a lot about the man and why he’s been so successful.

    Finally, it was really nicely shot by Joey Fameli and cut by Tom Crenshaw. Creating an entertaining and educational one hour program documentary style, molding a coherent narrative out of a ream of material captured on the day, and having it play so effortlessly is not nearly as easy as they make it look.

    Great work!

  43. Great stuff, I like the Idea of having Adam already started and bouncing between him and Norm. I would love to see Adam’s approach to a piece off the Printrbot!

  44. I would be down. I just have a couple of the High Grade kits now. I don’t have steady enough hands for the PG ones. I’ve watched a few youtube videos of people building them and weathering them and just drool. I had a ton of HG kits back in like 02 when Walmart started randomly stocking them but those were destroyed in moves/lost.

  45. I think they should do a full kit build. Start with the sculpt, Breaking it up into sections, Mold making, casting , cleaning and then painting and finishing.

  46. I liked that burst of creative happiness too. I feel like that when I program something complicated and pretty, and it’s fun to see it in somebody else 🙂

  47. Outstanding work for one day! Can Adam suggest a good matte varnish suitable for covering oil paints? I’ve been searching for one for ages!

    Also enquiring minds NEED to know the story behind those Millennium Falcons in the background! I would pay money to see Adam paint and weather those puppies.

  48. Fichtenmayer is an incredible modelmaker, he posts films up on the Youtubes under the nom de plume Fichtenfoo. Followed his stuff for a long time and learned many techniques from him, I was really happy when I saw what kit Adam was building ^_^

  49. This is a great video, which it spent a little more time on the washing techniques, crazy how it came alive after that process.

  50. Watching now. Here’s hoping Norm didn’t drop his usual f-bombs or my kids will have to miss out on this one too…

  51. Watching this reminds me how much I miss painting Games Workshop models!

    I’ve been thinking about buying a model or two and getting back into painting. Not GW though, their stuff has apparently gone down-hill, and I remember them being expensive ten years ago. I’ll probably find something else that I can paint that I’d like to have in a display case or something.

    However, one thing I’m curious about is airbrushing vs painting with brushes. I can already tell that airbrushing is quicker for doing base coats. Are there other advantages? I know that for detailed character models I’d want a nice fine brush for the small details — how detailed can you get with an airbrush?

  52. I think the next one could be even longer. The silent building and hearing the fan made my body relax.

    Yeah, build more models. And get Adam to the tested office and build some legos please 🙂

  53. However, one thing I’m curious about is airbrushing vs painting with brushes. I can already tell that airbrushing is quicker for doing base coats. Are there other advantages? I know that for detailed character models I’d want a nice fine brush for the small details — how detailed can you get with an airbrush?

    It depends on your airbrush, your skills, and your patience, mainly. With a super fine (something in the .18mm needle range) airbrush, you can lay down very fine lines, but they won’t be as sharp as you can get with a super-fine traditional bristle brush without significantly more time spent masking. On the other hand, airbrushes are much faster at producing smooth gradients, though without some care they do tend to look rather distinctively airbrushed (whether that is positive, negative, or neutral is up to the viewer). Regardless, when it comes to fine detail work with an airbrush, I’d actually disagree with Adam’s recommendation of a single-action. For the work he’s doing in this video, it’s absolutely fine, but when it comes to working small, being able to control air flow and paint flow independently is absolutely invaluable.

    If you’re looking for people who use airbrushes a lot in their miniature work, look up stuff by Javier “Arsies” González, Angel Giraldez, and Rafael “Volomir” Garcia Marín. All three are pretty open with their processes, González and his associates via their website, Giraldez via his facebook, and Garcia Marin via his blog linked previously and his work with Painting Buddha.

  54. tsk tsk Adam teaching Norm dodgy shop safety. Haha. When drilling please if at all possible rest your part against the table and hold steady with fingers well away from drill bit. Or better yet, use some of those nifty clamps Adam has with some padding to protect the plastic.

    Also gloves when painting. pls.

  55. Adam, your model looked so shiny, did you go over it with a clear coat or something similar?

    I really enjoyed this video btw 🙂

  56. That was great, Never really did models as a kid but that would be a cool class if everyone had the same model and worked through it with the right tools and guidance. So happy you tacked on the final version of yours Norm

  57. Adam, do you ever work with music playing in the background? I always enjoy having something playing in the background even if really quiet…I know, I know, completely ADD of me!

    I understand for the video’s sake that background music may be distracting or have copyright issues, but wow did I have a hard time watching the quiet portions of the video!

  58. Norm, Have you considered having a contest, or possibly a raffle for charity where the prize is that the person gets to have a one day build, making a model with Adam? I know he is super busy and all, but how great would it be to be able to spend even part of a day hanging out in Adams shop as you both put together a model and you get to pick his brain for his years of model making wisdom.

    You don’t know how lucky you are Norm!

    Also, great one day build. I liked this one because it was reasonable and something that most people could do. I like watching other builds that Adam does as well, but I doubt I will ever get around to making an exact duplicate of the maze model from the shining or anything like that. This video had a lot of real good info and ideas for you average interested hobbyist.

    Hope you do more of these!

  59. This looks incredible, I actually like Norm’s better than Adam (sorry Adam). Is ~$200 the average price for models like these, or is there something cheaper someone like me can get for their first time to get familiar with models?

  60. Great video and I’m intrigued by the LED strip in the helmet, it looks like the answer to a problem I have been strugerling with on my current project. Adam said they are from Amazon, does anybody have more details?

  61. As a builder/maker myself, I Love when Adam builds things and model kits are the best! Watching a master like Adam make things and problem solve in the process is grade AAA+ viewing. I love to learn new techniques as well as see Adam use some that I use myself. And to hear him explain the whys and thought process’s he uses is wonderful. PLEASE more builds and models!

    P.S. Adam, please finish and release your modeling book!

  62. I would love adam to do a video on what brands he uses when making models, like airbrush and paints.

  63. This video is basically what brought me back to model making. Starting with the USS Voyager with lights inside and a sort of panelling effect. Loving it.

  64. That’s awesome! I just signed up for premium this week and in one of the videos Frank was talking about doing a gundam kit too.

  65. Thanks, Adam, for your shop/cave videos. I’m going through some RL stuff and haven’t been able to make it to Techshhop in DC in over a month, and between your videos and Steve Neill’s, I’m getting in just enough vicarious making to keep my shakes to a minimum. That plus explaining to my wife how Aaron Douglas is building one of his offspring while you’re painting Aaron Douglas is all the fun I’ll need for a while. 🙂

  66. Hello, I’m Loving this model. Great work.
    Question: I have a model very similar to this ( Alien Executive Officer Kane ).
    But I have never done any lights or soldering before How do I do this?
    What’s the best place to start?

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