“Independently targetting particle-beam phalanx. Whap! Fry half a city with this puppy. We got tactical smart-missiles, phased-plasma pulse-rifles, RPG's. We got sonic eee-lectronic ballbreakers, we got nukes, we got knives...sharp sticks…”
You know the rest and everybody loves the scene where the top turret rotates and drops to the back. The APC from the film Aliens doesn't appear often enough and it's a shame we don't get to see the vehicle's weapons in action. This is a project I'd been trying to do for years and this was my second attempt. It was originally intended for a model in a month idea, but life had other ideas so I had to put it on hold. It was built over 4 months in 2003, during which time I lost my workshop and had to settle for a kitchen instead!
Like most scratchbuilds certain parts dictate the scale of the model and for this it was the wheels, which I obtained whilst in a hardware store in Norway. The scale became roughly 1/11 and it really suits the vehicle, not too small and just right for turning into a radio-controlled toy. I'd already bought the 1/35 Halcyon version and used that as my template, along with drawings and photos obtained from the film and the internet.
The majority of the vehicle is made from scrap wood, but plenty of wall filler was also used. The covers on the wheels come from CDs and the grill mesh I found in a hobby store in the embroidery section! Virtually everything has been tailor-made, including the front Gatling guns and the muzzles of the main turret. It was surprisingly quick to build the main structure, but the fine detailing like the rivets on the door and windshield took a while. Simon.
Step 1: Research!
Most of my scratch-builds are bigger models based on smaller ones that you can buy in the shops. The 1/35 Halcyon model was pretty accurate and served as a template to help me draw the floorplan and side views, which went through a number of modifications. Years later I did buy a set of blueprints for the original film version and that would have saved a lot of time! Once I was happy I cut the floorplan out of the flap of an old writing desk.