'MythBusters' Star Adam Savage Spent 10 Years Making His 'Alien' Spacesuit for Comic-Con

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Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Adam Savage in his <i>Alien </i>spacesuit at Comic-Con 2014
Exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Adam Savage in his Alien spacesuit at Comic-Con 2014

MythBusters star Adam Savage is kind of the unofficial king of Comic-Con — he's got the nerd credibility from being a driving force behind renewed interest in sciences, but he also really loves to play dress up. The Con is just his stage, the Con-goers his audience, and we've got an exclusive look at the show he put on this week. 

Savage had not one but two very elaborate spacesuit costumes, both rendering him completely unreconizable to play his favorite annual game on the convention hall floor: Adam Incognito. We've got exclusive behind-the-scenes video of Adam getting ready, walking the floor, and posing with fans in his Alien replica ("That's the coolest," one girl says), along with photos showing the detail on the elaborate costume, which he says took him 10 years to build.

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"I just walked the floor in my Alien spacesuit from Ridley Scott's movie and it was the hottest and most balmy experience of my life — I think I lost three pounds just walking for 30 minutes," Savage told Yahoo TV.

After wearing a "totally accurate Mercury spacesuit from the first Nasa space program" on Thursday, Savage admitted this was a spacesuit-themed year.

John Hurt as Kane in 'Alien' (1979)
John Hurt as Kane in 'Alien' (1979)

But why the Alien homage? "The Alien spacesuit, which was designed by Moebius, is one of my favorite spacesuit designs ever, and I'm a spacesuit fanatic," Savage revealed. "I've got a bunch of replicas of real ones and fake ones. I've been working on this this particular suit over the last 10 years. It's the final culmination of a decade of obsession — it was worth every minute of labor put into it to see the responses from all the cosplayers out on the floor."

John Hurt as Kane in Alien (1979)
John Hurt as Kane in Alien (1979)

Savage, who recognizes that 10 years to build a costume might sound extreme ("slow and steady..."), detailed the process of perfecting this particular look. "When I do something like this, where the suit is supposed to be weathered and worn and torn up from years of use, putting it together is only the first part of a very difficult process. I've got to also get all the pieces to look like they've grown old together.

"That involves a level of weathering that is incredibly painstaking. Basically I finished this suit about a month ago, and it's been sitting in my shop; I've been going into my shop every day for 20 to 30 minutes and adding layers or weathering, coffee staining, metal work, blackwashes, rusted copper-finish washes. That's one of the reasons I build everything, so I can do that final paint job and bring it all into cohesion."

Take a look at all the photos here:

"What happens with the cosplayers and the other attendees on the floor is genuine kind of theater, and it's a lovely one — people get to play out this fantasy and play with these personas in a place that's both insanely public and incredibly safe," Savage said, praising the vibe and sense of community at Comic-Con, especially among those attendees who choose to dress up in costumes.

"Anyone who looks into cosplay as the sport that it is understands that there's factions of people who make their costumes completely from scratch and others that buy them. I often ride the line that encompasses all of that — I commission some parts, I make others, I buy others, and I'm very open and honest about it on our website Tested.com. That's what I really love — not only having the experience and sharing the experience, but also sharing the build and the craft and praising the people I get to help me make the suits."

The winner of his Adam Incognito contest gets front-row seats to his panel on Saturday, but as the rush of walking the floor and being found out was wearing off, Savage — who's known for throwing killer Comic-Con parties — was preparing for his event Friday night for Tested.com. "I actually have a Nasa AL7 Apollo suit which I'll be displaying at my party tonight. And in addition to that I have a surprise unveiling of a monster project that I've been working on for the last five years — it'll be on display at the party tonight, too."

He shared some scoop about Saturday's MythBusters panel as well: "One of the things we're going to surprise the fans with is a more direct approach to the discussion. We have lots to tease and talk about, with the season that's currently airing right now and the season we're currently shooting, and we're really excited about it, but we also love the conversation with the fans, so we're allocating a lot of time to do that.

"One of the things we want to talk about is the idea that a lot of people are coming dressed as superheroes. There's a lot of ingenuity and lovely craft on display — Jamie [Hyneman] and I just want to point out that, in our minds, the ability to make stuff for yourself is, in and of itself, a little like a superpower."

We couldn't agree more.