Instructables
Picture of Aliens APC - Radio Controlled
“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. 




 
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craftclarity5 months ago

Just now spotted this. Brilliant build! Nice work. Very, Very, Very Nice Work.

giorjann2 years ago
it's cool
sweet as ible man!
when i start getting regular money i will be applying this method to make halo vehicles. a tad more complicated but a heap more fun :D
tinker2342 years ago
wow wonder if i could scale it up to my action fiqures scale hmm
vov35 tinker2342 years ago
I'd rather scale it up to life-sized.... what would the nieghbours think? :p
good luck with blind spots
man, if anybody's in your blind spot and you're driving a 12+ ton APC, do you really care?
tinker234 vov352 years ago
wellcould be a few complaints
jj.inc vov352 years ago
Me too, I wonder if wood would fly or if you would have to do metal just because you have to.
Wood would to heavy, fragile, expensive, and susceptible to the elements. one would want tor make a steel substructure skeleton and use a mixture of cast fiberglass and bent sheet metal
I just found out what I am going to put under it. An old aircraft tug, that's what they used originally.
Put me down for one too! Great for driving to work in! Road rage, what road rage? :)
simonhaydn (author) 2 years ago
Both turrets work and the front one is linked to the steering. The top turret doesn't slide down the back though.
I was just thinking about watching Alien tonight, shame I hadn't seen this earlier... I bet you could make a mechanism for the top turret using a loose belt drive from a dead scanner, that's how I'd probably do it anyway. The electric/hand drill drivetrain tipped this project over the edge of 'that's a pretty cool idea' to 'that is absolutely awesome' for me!
avatar_i2 years ago
Dogone! That is SOOOO Cool!
I am SOOOO jealous!
VERY Nicely Done!
Bravo!
rivencole2 years ago
i am thinking of doing a similar project.
what electronize controller did you use? i looked at their site but was hoping for a north american equivalent so i dont have to spend as much on shipping (i know, im cheap) since the site i found required payment in sterling.
simonhaydn (author)  rivencole2 years ago
I will get back to you on the specs of the controller, but since the advent of Robot Wars in the US and UK there are plenty of decent and cheap controllers.
simonhaydn (author)  simonhaydn2 years ago
Rivencole,
I've added a pic of the Electronize FR15 HVR controller. Simon.
thank you very much for answering. by the way, how heavy is this thing? i was thinking of cutting up some old computer tower panels to use for my version, both for weight and simply to use metal (more authentic i think), but was wondering if the weight saving would be worth the trouble. thanks again
Beautiful job and I loved the "Alien" series and especially that vehicle...but I was deeply disappointed that the "Transaxle" of the vehicle broke so easily. I guess that's what happens when corporations get "No-Bid Contracts" and build inferior Weapons Systems for our Marines. Ha, ha, ha! O.K. sorry, still, those movies I really enjoyed a lot...except for the last one with that weird human/hybrid Alien babything. I was actually laughing out loud when I saw it and was almost kicked out of the theatre. I build props, models and miniatures for Feature Films and Television Shows in Hollywood and I have to say that you have done an excellent job on this model. Bravo!
simonhaydn (author)  Blaise_Gauba2 years ago
Thank you and I completely agree with your comments on the Alien series, the hybrid spoilt what was an interesting film up to that point! I would love to build some of the other vehicles like the Sulaco, dropship and powerloader, but will need a better workshop first.
Where do you live if I may be so bold to ask? If you ever need small parts manufactured for any of your models...and I deem it/them not TOO time consuming, I would be glad to put stuff together for you...unpainted. I built all of the Miniatures for the "Miniature Killer" Series for the Television Show: CSI: Las Vegas. I have built many, many models, and miniatures for numerous Feature Films and Television Shows over my 29 years in the Entertainment Industry. I can also cast brass or bronze parts (if you pay the casting fees...which if the parts are relatively small...within these dimensions: 2.75" Dia. X 6" Length can cost about $50 to cast) that is a very reasonable cost for this type of work. The reason why I am offering my services for basically free (minus shipping charges) is because I do not create my own models (I have no room for display or storage) because I live in an apartment and space is precious. My webportfolio can be viewed at: http://www.artbronzehardware.com Simon...have a great day and again...very nice work on the vehicle.
simonhaydn (author)  Blaise_Gauba2 years ago
I'm based in Cambridge, England (for now), but that's a great offer and I'm sure I could make use of your skills. I never managed to sculpt, which would be handy for making a Sentinel from The Matrix and looking at your website I really like the giant Buzz Lightyear.
Thank you Simon. The big sculpts were a lot of fun to do...and a challenge to boot!
jj.inc2 years ago
Why are there no moving videos of this, you made it in 2003, the only video is looking it over, I am exited to see the video. Also, wouldn't it be awesome to have the 4 wheel steering from the film?
simonhaydn (author)  jj.inc2 years ago
Back then I never got round to taking some decent video of it, but once I've charged it up (and repaired my RC transmitter) I'll get some action shots. The APC has been sitting in a loft for way too long and there have been plenty of ups and downs since it was built.

4 wheel steering would be great and if I ever built another one, I'd add that and make it much lighter too!
vov352 years ago
This is perhaps the most badass phase of your project. Does it move reasonably fast?
simonhaydn (author)  vov352 years ago
It's not too bad in a straight line, but it's not RC car fast. It probably wouldn't suit the model and there'd also be the worry of crashing it! Think I'd cry...
rivencole2 years ago
what do you mean by key ring items in relation to use as shock absorbers? what are the "items"?
simonhaydn (author)  rivencole2 years ago
If you type in "suspension keyring" on Google and look at the Image results, you'll see what I mean. Some of the designs are fully functional and work very well as simple shock absorbers.
When I saw this in the email I thought it was full sized! what a great model and what an excellent photo of it... I think you should get a job working for a film studio model shop. brilliant.
darkbain2 years ago
This would be nice as a model alone, but motorized it's sweetness. Very very nice man.
Honus2 years ago
Awesome! The use of the hand drill is brilliant.
"Game over man! Game over."

Does this one come with a blown transaxle? Excellent job.
simonhaydn (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for all the amazing comments! They all help to encourage me to complete my other projects.
Kidgun2 years ago
can u do it with a gas Eg
zack247 Kidgun2 years ago
a gas engine would possibly make it perform better, since they can put out a fair bit more horsepower and torque than an electric motor. but torque usually depends on the gearbox.
simonhaydn (author)  zack2472 years ago
A gas engine would be nice and more authentic, but the 18v drill motor has plenty of torque. The problem area is the power required to steer the front wheels, as it currently needs a very beefy servo.
sithstalker2 years ago
does the turret work
sithstalker2 years ago
this a wicked build going to have a go
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