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Aliens Dropship and APC


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Some info that may be useful.

I bought the Alien boxset on Blu-Ray a while back, but didn't actually get around to watching any of them. Well, I watched Aliens a few nights ago and it's quite a difference to the standard DVD. A lot of things stood out, from a modelling perspective. The interior of the Dropships cargo hold is definitely green. It's most apparent when Spunkmeyer gets back on board and closes the ramp. However, the landing gear bays and the inside of the landing gear doors appear to be zinc chromate yellow.

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Okay, I don't have the ability to do Blu-Ray screen caps, so I've resorted to just taking some shots of the TV. They've come out quite grainy, but you should get the general idea.

The forward landing gear doors appear to fold in on themselves when the gear is down and then open back up when the gear retracts. You can see the door attatched to the leg in this shot.


So when the gear is down, you can see the inner side of the lower half of the door when viewed from the front of the ship (as in this close up).


I had a scan through all the scenes with the full size Dropship. I never realised how far the gear bays extend back.





After checking the movie, I then put one of the 'extras' discs in and found a few production shots.




Finally, here's that interior shot I mentioned.


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Thats brilliant, thank you, even with them being grainy they are clearer than the screencaps I got and being abel to see the way the landing gear doors fold is excellent - goign to have to modify them now :)

Well the brass tube arrived today but the acrylic rod hasn't, so very little progress today. More tomorrow and over the weekend...

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Had some major IT issues this weekend, starting with the main PC refused to boot last night and now appears totally dead. Then my work laptop's battery upped and died. So since the old PC was about 8 years old and hadn't had a decent upgrade in the last 4 years I decided it would be as easy to go buy a brand new one than try to resurrect an 8 year old Windows XP PC, 2GB with Athlon dual core processor! So went to Novatech this afternoon, laid down 500+ notes and got a shiny new computer which a} wouldn't write the recovery disk to the DVD they gave me b} failed to reboot after I put Avast virus checker on it.... and of course the tech support line is closed on a Saturday and I'm travelling to Scotland again on Monday... oh boy ain't we got fun! The works laptop seems to have got its mojo back however...

Well back to the world of Aliens in the meantime! The various brass tubes and acrylic rods arrived over the last few days so we can finally get something done. First to arrive was the 10mm dia acrylic rod, then the 9 mm brass tube with the 8mm inner diameter. First lets sort out the brass tube which will act as the socket in the rear of the dropship like this:



I had also ordered some 8mm acrylic rod but this was taking forever to arrive (it finally turned up today!) So, fed up of waiting, I had a go at whittling down the 10mm rod to fit into the tube. Using file, sanding sticks and the trusty dremel, I was able to take enough off in an even slice so that it looked like this


This looks like progress! This morning, I got out the araldite and over an hour or two applies several layers, building it up gradually so that the heat generated by the araldite going off didn't melt or distort anything



and of course some filler around the exit hole


Next I needed to drill a hole in the base for the support rod. It was at this point I remembered why I went for an 8mm rod - the largest drill I have at the moment for the had drill is 8mm! So I then had to slim down the top of an 8mm rod to fit in the brass tube instead of the 10mm, so all the hard work I put in before was wasted :(

The base with the support rod looks like this:


So of course I couldn't resist checking things out:



Wow, this is finally coming together!!!

Next jobs are to finally assemble the last of the pieces for the dropship and prime and paint! The the base needs repainting - when the claycrete dried out it went much lighter than it looked when it was damp as you can see in the above photos. I shall proceed apace once I'm back form Scotland again later this week!

What do you mean, "*They* cut the power"? How could they cut the power, man? They're animals!

Edited by Kallisti
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Further progress... first the base is coming together, it got a good overall spraying of Humbrol matt black from a rattle can, then the roadway had a thin layer of plaster of paris smeared over it as did the ground under the landing page to represent the colonists stabilizing the road surface for traffic. In the meantime, I sprayed silver onto the metal metsh, varying the tone with some black to give it a worn look. This was then glued onto to the formers I'd laid in the claycrete. Finally, very thin strips were laid over the top of where the formers supported the mesh to give the impression that these were all joints. I added a silver conduit under the landing pag as well, just to add a bit of interest :) Then with some light drybrishing on the rocks we end up with this:


The roadway has been painted then eroded to give it a worn look.

Back to the dropship itself and with the fixing of the tube for the stand yesterday, I can finally close the whole thing up...


As you can see, LOTS of filler and dissolved putty! Still a little bit of sanding down to do and then its off for priming.

In the meantime, I primed the engine intakes and the ramp and reslised the ramp has huge ejector pin lumps and bumps which I've stuck some filler in and will sand dlown later.

We are getting there!!

We gotta get inside. It's gonna be dark soon, and they mostly hunt at night. Mostly.

Edited by Kallisti
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Back from my final trip to Scotland so back to work! While I was away, an amazing item appeared on eBay - a set of white metal missiles for the Halcyon Dropship!!! Sadly they were snapped up by someone else so I missed out on that one. Anyway following a hint someone sent me, I checked out the 1:72 Hobbyboss F84E which has missiles for the underside of the wings. This kit:


and inside each kit is a sprue like this:


which has 8 sets of missiles fins!!! 4 kits @ £5 each and I have my fins!!!!


Thats a bit of a relief!

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That's a handy tip. I'll remember that. :)

I seem to recall that there were a few bits available for the Dropship, back in the day. :pipe: The APC, which you have, the missles and then some resin replacement pods. This was all in the pre-internet days, so I have no idea what the quality was like ( a lot of it back then was utter poo), hence why I never ordered any of it.

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You are not going to believe this - I had some trouble believing it myself....


I can't fit the missiles into the pods now because the fins are too wide. The missiles are also too long now, but that is easy to fix by just trimming the front down to fit, but the worst is the fins being waaay too big to fit inside the missile pods

OMFG WTF etc etc

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Well the above was a bit of a devastating discovery! Look at this:


You can see they are obviously too long, but there is no way that 4 missiles with those fins could stack up inside the missile pod! I'm going to have to do some trimming... omg HOW MANY FINS??? (128 to be exact.. .whimper!)

In the meantime, while I work up the enthusiasm to engage that mind-numbing exercise, the work on the rest of the model continues...

Primed up:


which showed up several bad joints and rough spots, so a bit more sanding and filling were in order. Something I did discover were the huge gaping holes behind the front edge next to the forward missile pylons. These were therefore filled with some plastic card and filler:


You'll also see at the bottom of the photo the updated landing gear doors, which got remodelled after the photos posted by Smiffy. These will be added to the model once the main painting is complete.

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Now to painting... First a little bit of preshading...


and now with added Olive Drab...


Bloody hell this airbrush lark is more difficult than I thought - every time I look at it I see another patch that isn't covered or very even! The Missile pods are just pushed in, not fully attached (yet).

Now the good news is that I think I can fix the missile fin problem. Last night I took my sprue-clipper to the fins and on the 4 test missiles I clipped the in in half so now it is half the height it was before. A quick stroke of a sanding stick and all seemed well. All 4 took about 10 minutes so the other 28 should only take about an hour and a bit!

I really need to speed this build up a bit as I'm running out of time on the Hawker Hunter STGB and that is my next build for the Miss Demeanour Hunter!

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This is coming along really nicely. I feel your pain with the rockets I have 16 Brimstones that I am trying to do in yellow and black checks and having little success this may be the kick up the backside I need to get them finished off.

Keep up the good work


P.S I just started snipping plastic for a hunter aswell, can't wait to see how Miss Demeanour turns out.

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I agree with Mish. Leave the paint as it is. It gives a worn, scrubbed effect to the paintwork and makes it look quite authentic. B)

A word of caution, before you get too far. I've heard bad things about the decals. They don't like to stick and they do like to silver. Might be advisable to trim the excess film off, as much as possible and maybe use something like Johnsons Klear to help stick the decals down. :hmmm:

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Agreed Smiffy, I had already thought about that - my next job will be to give the main body of the dropship a Klear coating in preperation for weathering and decals and when it came to the decals I was going to trim off as much carrier film as possible to keep them decals as small as possible - either that or ditch the big stencils and mask/paint them instead.

Thanks to everyone else for the encouragement - I'm getting to the stage where I need it :)

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Well, I feel like I came THIS close to ruining the whole model the last two days! As you saw before I'd AB Olive Drab all over. Then I went back and picked out a few details such as the silver on the landing gear legs and so on. I did a little bit of weathering, particularly on some of the leading edged to give them a sort of streaked look as though they've taken punishment on re-entry. Then I took it into my idiotic brain that I needed to give it several Klear coats. I don't really know what I was thinking apart from I wasn't!

Anyway several clear coats and a bit of sanding down later I then realised I'd forgotten to paint the various stripes and grey panels that the instrucitons show, around the rear engine intakes, along the leading edges of the big fins and so on. Its bloody annoying. So then I masked these areas up and brush painted using Field Grey XF 65. Of course when the masking tape came off there was lots of paint creep, so thats had to be touched up OVER the top of the Klear... grrrr

Anyway, this is what its looking like currently after its received it grey stripes


The Klear does make the Olive Drab look very dark - more so without the camera flash. I'm not entirely happy with it :(

Had an issue with the right rear engine plate - as I was painting the whole plate popped inwards into the body of the model! it was a case of shake rattle and roll to get it back in view and some deftly manipulated tweezers and some fast superglue to get it back in place.

There was also some triumph plus disapointment when the canopy masks came off. Triumph that they came off nicely and produced a nice framing effect, disapointment in that I discovered that at some point during the constrcutions, some shavings or flakes of plastic had found their way into the cockpit and were electrostatically attached to the inside of the cockpit canopy. You can see them in the lower pilot window in this photo:


Apart from that the view into the cockpit looks pretty good. The headlamp masks also came off and look pretty good after a little sanding down with the sand stick to smooth out the paint ridge around the mask. Now I wonder if anyone can spot the - ahem "deliberate" mistake?

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