Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Mortal Engines Hand Cannon!

Adam has just returned from New Zealand, where he met with some of the prop makers for the upcoming film Mortal Engines. Using their designs, Adam makes a replica of the character Anna Fang’s striking sidearm, showing paint and weathering techniques to make this piece look at home in the movie’s striking world!

Comments (49)

49 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Mortal Engines Hand Cannon!

  1. I posted already on the Youtube page, but thought I could also paraphrase here my dissapointment recently.

    This video was paid for as promotion by the studio and the movie. Is the fandom genuine? Or is this “fake” based on the money? Would you have created this prop, flown to WETA, done those interviews and videos WITHOUT getting paid for it?

    I admit I could be totally wrong about this but this whole thing feels “icky”. The video is done EXACTLY like other “One Day Builds” in the past which usually are based on a love for the inspiration. This however is based on an undisclosed “contract” from a studio and movie production to promote a film.

    I point back to Ghost in the Shell (awful movie), and the last Blade Runner. Both heavily promoted by Tested but I neglected entirely to check the descriptions more carefully to see if there was a payment involved based on the fact that both of those movies were not that good and as soon as the release passed so did Tested.com’s die hard fan status.

    Another movie also promoted by Tested recently was “Alien Covenant” also a fan flop. Once again, I never checked if all the promos and videos here were paid and not based on genuine fandom.

    I could be wrong, but there’s no way to know. This site use to be based on honest product opinions. One Day Builds were based on a love of the topic not just a check from a studio. Did Tested get checks for Barbarella or The Fifth Element? Or the first Blade Runner with all the gun replicas?

    I have ZERO PROBLEM with you guys getting paid. SAY IT UP FRONT THIS IS A COMMERCIAL!!!!! Don’t disguise it as a legitimate “fan” video when it’s a paid promotion.

  2. Hey Sean here – did the model prep and printing – here’s some more info on the prep and printing process. It was a polygon model most likely done in a traditional production program like Maya or ZBrush – they obviously were thinking about 3D printing as the model was almost print ready. We had a very short turnaround time so I had to print it at home using 3 Ultimaker filament printers. I believe the original was 3D printed in powdered titanium. For our version I had to chop the hand guard off the handle to make everything printable and do a little mesh repair as some of the engraving bits were floating and not fully embedded in the handle. Otherwise everything on the model was in really good shape and looked great. 95 hours of printing at .1mm layer height.

    The barrel was an interesting problem – normally I would print this faceplate down so there would be no supports. But since the first layer gets smushed the engraving turned out terrible so I had to suck it up and flip it and have supports all the way up the inside.

    The original layout of the model as well as the engraving really lends itself to a ‘powder print’ such as SLS or metal sintering as the surrounding powder which isn’t sintered will support all the little overhangs on the engraving. I was a little concerned at how well a filament print would turn out due to all the little unsupported areas of the engraving but it looks great.

    Originally the guard and handle were all one piece but I had to make some modifications and seperate it in order to get all the details to print properly on FDM printer.

  3. Can you imagine that gun in metal with all that engraving!!! WOW! Beautiful!

    I would be afraid to touch it as I might drop or scratch it. And shot it…….no way!!…I would get it dirty!?!?!

    Very nice video.

  4. Was kinda puzzled when Adam said the main body was an SLA print around the 10:48 mark in the video, given the size of it and knowing you have a Form 2, so thanks for clarifying! Those pieces came out pretty spectacularly for FDM print.

  5. Regarding the smushing of the first layer if you were to print it faceplate-down, have you tried using soluble support material to get around that? We recently got a ridiculously overpriced Stratasys F170 at work, which is just a (admittedly decent) dual extrusion printer in an expensive 220kg cabinet, but it does a really good job of printing embossed logo text if printed face-down with a soluble support interface.

  6. I was worried that the pearlescent blue was too strong, but once it was finally weathered I saw why it had to be that vivid at first. It’d be completely lost otherwise.

  7. yes, could have used PVA supports but didn’t want to mess with it. The supports required for the other way didn’t add much time. The pivot hinge also printed better in this orientation

  8. So you’d prefer a giant blinking banner superimposed across every single frame to compensate for your inability to decide whether or not you want to watch a particular movie?

    Talented craftspeople work on terrible movies. It’s arguable that terrible movies are the only thing that allow them to feed themselves on a regular basis, biding their time and building their skills until another good movie comes along for them to work on. You can admire their work without memorizing the screenplay. Well, maybe you can’t, but a healthy person can. It’s not like you paid anything to watch this and I’m pretty certain nobody’s paying you to rage against the machine here, so maybe find something more productive to do?

  9. Great video, and I bet that paintjob (whilst being pretty flashy under bright shop lights) would look great on camera with more dramatic lighting.

    As for the paid promotion. I have no doubt that the Tested crew have been extremely excited to work on videos promoting Ghost in the Shell, Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049 regardless of how those movies did as movies, because their fandom is just as much related to the creative vision of the prop and costume departments, and their craft (even though I seem to remember that the whole Tested crew were very enthused by BR2049 as a movie as well).

    And honestly, I’m not sure exactly why anyone’s enjoyment of a build-video of a cool prop that teaches techniques and tools would be impacted by whether or not the builder loved the finished movie. When it comes to disclosure, regardless of whether anyone notices those “Contains paid promotion” labels, Adam is very clear in his closing statement that he has only seen a portion of the film, and that his enthusiasm is entirely based on the creative vision outlined in its art direction. Nowhere does he claim anything about whether or not it is a good movie.

  10. I’m impressed by the Ultimaker, you really have to zoom in to see the print lines :O

    Did you do any sanding or clean-up before giving it to Adam?

  11. Sweet build and print! I’d like to second jmprops question if you will be able to make the files available somehow, or are there copyright problems?

  12. Interesting video. I especially liked the blending of the 3D printed parts with the metallic ones. Seeing the paint get layered over the course of the video really gives the sense that Adam is bringing a lot of his skills to the piece.

    This wasn’t addressed in the video but wouldn’t the printed parts have been sanded down and preped for painting? Adam seems to just start putting paint as a first step.

  13. very little cleanup on parts was done. Some where the supports touched the model. Due to the nature of this print most of the layer lines weren’t very noticeable. If this was a sleek, shiny prop more cleanup would be needed. A side note – I have seen many screen-used props that you can totally see the layer lines on – they didn’t bother to clean them up since you would never be able to see them on camera. Generally on stuff that doesn’t get a lot of close ups.

  14. To get around the “Smushed” First layer could you have added a sacfrificial layer that Adam could mill or sand off afterward to get to finished height, therefore keeping the nice engraving right to the end? I’m sure the finishing would have hidden the milling marks afterward. Just a thought.

    And for those wondering – engraving like this in steel on a gun holds up fairly well, but it does depends on the quality and hardness of the steel for longevity. Some of the less expensive guns engraving can wear off with years of use, but the German ones for instance that are machined from spare Panzer axles hold up to nearly anything.It’s quite impressive.

  15. So you’d prefer a giant blinking banner superimposed across every single frame to compensate for your inability to decide whether or not you want to watch a particular movie?

    Talented craftspeople work on terrible movies. It’s arguable that terrible movies are the only thing that allow them to feed themselves on a regular basis, biding their time and building their skills until another good movie comes along for them to work on. You can admire their work without memorizing the screenplay. Well, maybe you can’t, but a healthy person can. It’s not like you paid anything to watch this and I’m pretty certain nobody’s paying you to rage against the machine here, so maybe find something more productive to do?

    Well said Orangekay! 🙂

  16. Big fan of the one day builds and I’m so so close to getting my 1st 3D printer. I think my favorite thing about this build is the triggers Adam rebuilt in aluminum. They were spot on but the finish did not work for me too green. Why is this exciting to me? Because its always daunting what Adam pulls off. This was a nice win some loose some moment for me LOL Makes my goals seem closer 😉 Well done, loved the blue I have to try that.

  17. Great video. Fun seeing Adam in the shop again. Tested inspired me to get back into replica prop building after a 15-year hiatus. I particularly enjoy seeing the tools and products you use in your builds, which is why I’m curious whether , are you sure Adam used Alclad clear coat? I wasn’t aware it came in a spray can. Also, would it be possible for Tested to post materials list for premium members?

  18. Would’ve been nice to see you make the catch to hold the barrel locked in place . I guess that will come later on. Hopefully. Thing turned out gorgeous.

  19. I know he typically uses Alclad clear for sealing the Moltow – he may have been using some other stuff at different stages.

  20. Just want to say that I missed most of this video because there are so many cuts where Adam is not talking. I really didn’t understand why he was doing half of what he was doing in most of this.

    I recognize that Adam’s skills progressing really far, but please don’t leave me behind! Tell me why you are painting blue discs!

  21. I HATE HATE HATE this one-day build. Adam used to build things that us mortals could build. Now I’m just watching a machinist machine crap. There are hundreds of YouTube channels for that.

    I no longer own even half the amazing tools you have, so I cannot follow in your footsteps.

    kim_a and the other apologists, have a blast…

    But for me, Adam, please come back! You used to be a crafter!

  22. Haha, I doubt you’ll get much pushback on that one, frustration at not having all of Adam’s cool tools is rather universal around here 😉

  23. So you’d prefer a giant blinking banner superimposed across every single frame to compensate for your inability to decide whether or not you want to watch a particular movie?

    Yes, of course. That is exactly what I said and what I meant. Wish I knew all the “false arguments” terms, this is top on the list I believe, “appeal to extremes” or something like that.

  24. it says at the start includes paid promotion.

    “This video was paid for as promotion by the studio and the movie. Is the fandom genuine? Or is this “fake” based on the money? Would you have created this prop, flown to WETA, done those interviews and videos WITHOUT getting paid for it?”

    Yes Adam would. If you know Adam well enough about his love for Peter Jackson and the work that WETA does then that point is moot.

    “I point back to Ghost in the Shell (awful movie), and the last Blade Runner. Both heavily promoted by Tested but I neglected entirely to check the descriptions more carefully to see if there was a payment involved based on the fact that both of those movies were not that good and as soon as the release passed so did Tested.com’s die hard fan status.

    Another movie also promoted by Tested recently was “Alien Covenant” also a fan flop. Once again, I never checked if all the promos and videos here were paid and not based on genuine fandom.”

    Disagree. New movies or models are coming out all the time. There is only so much the Tested team can do to keep everyone happy (apart from yourself who admits to not reading the start of videos).

    If all the awful movies out there didn’t have fans then why are there so many cosplayers designing their costumes? Why do we see 40/ 50’s and onwards B movies at so many events? Just because you don’t like the movies doesn’t mean nobody else does. Perhaps they grew up watching them with their parents or grandparents and it gives them something to remember them by. Maybe It’s the tech side that people like, the futurist look?

    I could be wrong, but there’s no way to know. This site use to be based on honest product opinions. One Day Builds were based on a love of the topic not just a check from a studio. Did Tested get checks for Barbarella or The Fifth Element? Or the first Blade Runner with all the gun replicas?

    Hell man, everyone knows about Adams love for Blade Runner. How many guns has he done never mind the case build? Barbarella? Heck I wish I could have made that rifle (and pref have Jane model that cover for me with it LOL). And finally, 5 feckin years for a zf1? I am pretty sure that’s fandom mate.

  25. I have ZERO PROBLEM with you guys getting paid. SAY IT UP FRONT THIS IS A COMMERCIAL!!!!! Don’t disguise it as a legitimate “fan” video when it’s a paid promotion.

    Then when you play a video start watching from the beginning, It’s normally on the screen or Adam will do a disclaimer. There was this problem with both Adam and Frank Ippolito’s vids.

    Why are there Dewalt tools always in the background in shot? Because they are the tools they use.

    Why does Adam like WETA? Because Peter and WETA (Richard Taylor and Tanya Rodgers) are the proverbial dogs bollocks when together.

    Hopefully after reading this bub you will go back, watch the vids then think about how wrong you sounded.

    Eveyone else I apologise for the long post.

    But not you

  26. You know what you should do Adam? Sell some cheap tickets, say $5.00 a pop. Then YOU make a model like this gun. And every month do a drawing to see who wins the model you made. Sign it and send it to them. I know I would buy a bunch of tickets to get one of your models.

  27. Yeah, if this were to be made as a real life firearm it would be something like a Holland and Holland. There would be no mass production, but it would be bespoke to the owner. It would also be extremely pricey.

  28. It’s a shame. I’ve discovered there is absolutely ZERO room for any “discussions” on most forums or comment areas of the web. If everything you say isn’t absolutely positive or all “puppies and kittens” people attack you viciously. Even THEN you get slammed by puppy and kitten haters.

    I made a legitimate observation and expressed personal disappointment on how marketing and promotions are disguised as original content recently with several of the “Daily Build” videos. I said this because I love these videos as much as anyone and they are definately taking a shift to paid endorsements over actual content.

    It is clear to me that whenever a huge big budget movie has a video here of any kind it can’t be trusted for the quality of the film stated or even anything else about it. Adam is endorsing and promoting these movies based either on friendship or money or probably both. It’s not based on how good the movie is.

    As far as I know Tested.com has always received endorsements of some sort and used their reputation to promote small start up creators and have helped many get known. I applaud that. Even the pod casts they do here are clearly stated up front that they are paid for and supported by a sponsor.

    My issue with this specific video was the difficulty in seeing any disclaimer.

    On my very large screen the disclaimer was in very tiny text at the bottom left. Very tiny and only visible for a short time. if you blink and miss it you’ll never see it.

    Mortal Engines was a bomb just as I predicted after getting my ass handed to me here simply for expressing an opinion about the direction the site is taking with sponsorships and paid content.

  29. It’s always fun seeing 3D printed garage kits on tested. I hope to find similar plans, or heck even might just use this video as reference for getting in to digital sculpting. Either way, love these builds. Model making like this is what got me into making in the first place!

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