Adam Savage Builds A LEGO Han Solo Blaster

I'll say it, Han Solo's DL-44 blaster is the coolest weapon of Star Wars (fight me!) and besides one of the screen used props or truly accurate prop replicas the coolest form of DL-44 has to be in LEGO. Adam Savage and Norm Chan think so too, and recently picked up kits from DemonHunterBricks on Etsy. In this video from Tested they build them, after showing off some other cool LEGO prop weapons, you might recognize one of them.

Back in September when I visited the Tested headquarters to build the Millennium Falcon I gave a phaser to Norm. Seeing the disappointment on Adam's face I promised him one too. And last month when I went to see Tested: Deconstructed I was able to meet up with Adam after the show and present it to him, with a nifty little display stand.

I was delighted to see it at the start of this video.

Building The Falcon With Adam Savage And The Tested Team

This week I had the distinct pleasure of building the most awesome LEGO set of all time with the most awesome group of people of all time, Tested.com. We spent two days building, shooting, sharing stories and having a load of fun geeking out on this spectacular set. 

We also had the classic UCS Falcon on hand for a direct comparison during the build. We were continually surprised and delighted at not only the upgrades from the original, but how vastly different they were. Besides being the same size and of the same ship, they're two very different builds.

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We worked out a great system of teams of sorters, knollers, feeders and builders. While it did necessitate the dismantling of the instructions, it made the build quite a bit quicker, resulting in a build time somewhere around 12 hours. And that includes time that the team needed to break away and do their normal Tested.com content, like podcasts. 

Tested.com is one of my favorite websites and YouTube channels, and of course Adam is the protonerd, so just spending time with the team was an absolute pleasure. Combine that with pretty much the greatest LEGO set of all time, and it was a memorable two days I will never forget. Check out the video on YouTube and for the extended editions consider becoming a Tested.com premium member (I am). I'd like to thank Adam, Norm, Sean and the rest of the Tested crew for welcoming me into their domain. And of course a huge thank you to LEGO for providing this review copy of what is sure to be a legendary set.

Angus MacLane On Tested

I'm a maker at heart. I don't just build with bricks, I'm just as comfortable with an X-Acto in my hand as I am with a brick separator and I've been building something out of nothing as long as I can remember. So naturally I'm a fan of Tested.com, where the overlap of that venn diagram is squarely in my wheelhouse. They love LEGO too, and this week they're kicking off another "LEGO with friends" with creative powerhouse and all around swell guy Angus MacLane. He shows off his work in progress Blade Runner gun with Adam and Simone. I should point out this is premium content, you have to be a subscriber to see it, but in my opinion it's money well spent to virtually hang with like-minded individuals and see some amazing stuff get made and reviewed. 

Nerdvanna

Yesterday as many of you know I took a break from my family vacation at Disneyland to make a one day pilgrimage to the holy land, San Diego Comic Con (leaving Disneyland to go to SDCC, #FirstNerdProblems). It was a whirlwind tour of just the exhibits, no time to see any panels or stand in line to buy stuff.

The first significant stop was happening upon the legendary Bill Plympton, who was kind enough to sketch me an addition to the BrickNerd Art Project. He was ultra cool and it was a pleasure to meet him. You can bet this is going to get framed and hung on the studio wall as soon as I get home.

I continued my long trek, weaving up and down the aisles of the show floor after that, which is no small endeavor, especially with already tired legs from two days of theme park walking. If you've never been to SDCC, there's really no way to describe or explain it. It's absolutely enormous, and there's so many enthusiastic nerds from all over the world collected in one space that it's almost overwhelming, almost. There's SO much love there, so much joy for so many things. From comics to movies and from toys to fine collectibles, there's something for literally everyone there.

The next significant event needs a little setup. Back in 2005 I worked on Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece film Pan's Labyrinth. After principal photography was done, I was cleaning and organizing the camera gear we used at CafeFX and I ran across the insert slate, the little board you mark with what scene/shot you're filming. Normally I would have just wiped it clean and got it ready for the next gig, but by then we were far enough into the film I knew that we were working on something important and special, so I set it aside. It sat on a shelf in my office for several years after that, and when the company folded in 2009 I kept it as a memento. Fast forward to a few months ago and I was digging around on my workbench in the garage and I happened upon it. Just days earlier I was watching a video tour of Adam Savage's man cave on Tested.com and saw that he has a special GDT shelf among his amazing collection. He has props and mementos from many of his films. So my first thought was "this needs to be on that shelf, on display where it can be appreciated, not collecting dust in my garage".

I tweeted a picture out, but got no response from Adam. While packing for this trip I happened upon it again, and thought "what the heck, there's an incredibly remote chance I'll see him there and can just give it to him" and tucked it into my backpack. Fast forward again to yesterday, as I continued my way across the hall. I made to the Prop Store booth, one of my favorite stops every year to look at all the props and fun stuff from movies I love. While admiring an insert slate from The Empire Strikes Back I remembered the slate in my backpack and recalled that Adam usually makes his way to this very booth during one of his famous Adam Incognito videos. Not 45 seconds later, while admiring a full body prop from Terminator 3 I see Kylo Ren in my peripheral vision. Just last week Adam posted a video about making the neck piece for that costume and I thought "no way". Then I heard him talking and it sounded like him so I said "Adam?" It was him. I washed back and forth between giddiness to have found him, and utter shock to have found him. I told him I had something for him and dug it out of my backpack. It took a moment for him to realize what he was holding, and to register that it was for him. But his reaction after was great, I couldn't see him smiling under his mask, but I could tell by his body language (and huge hug) that he was pretty stoked. He needed to get get going so we snapped a quick pic and he was on his way. I wandered off too, content that I had just won comic con, mission accomplished.

While I did make several stops at the LEGO booth, it was always wrapped with people hungry to collect their convention exclusives (I was not among them, no special sets for me) and an absolute mob scene. I would have taken some pictures, but you all know what a bunch of people look like, just imagine that with a large LEGO sign hanging above them. I did duck in to say hi to LEGO master builder Erik Varszegi while he was building a giant Batgirl, always nice to see him.

After that it was just a lot of wandering, napping Nerdly selfies (he's so narcissistic), short chats with old friends I ran into and sweating (SDCC is always hot, always). Content I had seen and perspired enough I made my way back to the Amtrak station to catch my train back to Anaheim, SDCC 2016 was over for me. Time to start planning for next year, maybe this time I'll mark the calendar and not plan a Disney Vacation to coincide with the same weekend, duh.

Tested: JKBrickworks' Sisyphus Kinetic Sculpture

This just in...Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame may have just exited his "dark ages". He was so taken by JK Brickworks' Sisyphus kinetic sculpture that he contacted Jason to get his own. He and Norm then built it on the online series Adam Savage's One Day Builds (an awesome series for you makers and tinkerers out there). Although I sort of understand their knolling organization, it's a bit too OCD even for me and it's a little amusing to watch it bite them in the butt during the build.  The best part of this is watching Adam's genuine giddiness as it slowly takes shape.