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1:18 scale APC playset

skiffy

Alphans
I've not finished for today by any means but... I had to post this now.

I taped up the build so far to help me gauge some of the top panels and this is the first time I've been able to pick the whole thing up as one unit. As you can imagine - I had a grin on my face like a kid at Christmas. This thing is huge!

It actually doesn't look massively oversized either - which is a pleasant surprise seeing that the full interior - as filmed - will fit inside.

More to come but here are pics of how it looks today. :)











 

skiffy

Alphans
I realise I'm talking to myself on here but.. lets crack on! This is a purely personal build anyway and it's good to have it documented.

I'm working on some of the interior fitments at the moment. I want the screens on Gorman's console to be back-lit so I'm making sure there'll be room for that.



I'll be doing another round of screen-grabs to look at placement. I'll also hopefully be getting a couple of genuine Hot Toys Aliens figures soon so I can do some final checks on seated height, shoulder width etc.



The rest is getting sketched out so I can start properly on interior bulkheads and seating.
 

skiffy

Alphans
I love this time of year!

Ready built lighting kits complete with battery boxes and switches for under 2 bucks.



I can hide the battery boxes in these vertical spaces and have one for each side, then add one in the back and one in the front. :)



For anyone doing the same - try to ensure you buy cool-white LEDs. :thumbup:
 

skiffy

Alphans
Our last local model supply shop has closed down without warning this week.

That means all my future materials will have to be ordered online, since I'm on an island in the middle of the Irish sea (Isle of Man).

It's a pain in the arse since I love to browse and get inspired by seeing what materials are available and how I might combine them. Just looking for scale tread-plate online took me an hour last night, and I'll have to wait to build a combined order to save postage.

Anyhow - there's lots to crack on with in the meantime!
 

skiffy

Alphans
Some more progress pics. I've been concentrating on the integrity of the shell. Everything is now glued up except the very back panel and the nose section. I'll leave those off for now so I can detail them separately.







I think the shell is going to be pretty sturdy as is (it's mostly 2mm styrene).

 

skiffy

Alphans
As I work through builds like this and gather reference I'm constantly amazed when I dig up new facts like the following:

The donor vehicle for the APC, the ATT77, was manufactured in Hunslet, Leeds (UK). I was born in Leeds and lived a couple of miles away from that facility. When I was growing up in the sixties and seventies my father was a contract steel fabricator working in that area and may well have worked on that vehicle. Sadly he passed away decades ago so I'll never know for sure.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Well, I got a couple of Hiya Toys 1:18 scale Colonial Marines from my son for my birthday so here's Hicks!



"I like to keep this handy, for close encounters."



"Somebody wake up Hicks."

Sadly Hudson had to be returned to medical - his right leg won't attach properly. Hopefully he'll be back with us soon.

Overall these guys are 'OK'. I actually think I can do at least as good (and definitely more robust) figures using existing 3.75 in (1:18 scale) custom jobs.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Okay, time for an update. I've bought and built a new 3d printer to help with some of the trickier assemblies like the wheels. I'll hopefully get stuck in to some progress this weekend.

Here's the printer.



.. and a test print - looks pretty good.



.. and an APC wheel prepared in Cura. I'll add the hub cover and detail with styrene.



Finally here's a test wheel printed at roughly 50% scale - sat on a 1:18 scale card mock-up wheel. It's 'OK' but I'll work on the print file a little before trying one at 1:18.





 

skiffy

Alphans
I did a little work this morning - doing some of the repetitive stuff while I'm not quite awake.



I've had a 2-seat sub-assembly fairly complete for a while now so it was time to make a start on the other 2-set and the 4 seater benches.



The Dremel setup is really handy for sanding profiles on seat cushions.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Today's bit of work - adding seat-springs and handrails.



So many handrails.



'Pack 'em in, marines'.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I added a wire loop at the top of each seat and threw some primer on to see how they looked (more of a morale booster really). Size in proportion to a generic 1:18 figure looks good.



Gorman's console (and the other major pieces) will be removable like this for ease of painting, lighting etc and to check fitment. I'm just trying out desk height here and checking that I have enough space for lighting.



So, this is where I'm at as of now.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I printed my first 1:18 scale wheel.





I knew the top face wouldn't be finished well enough for me - that's just the FDM process, so I cut a disc in thin styrene sheet and applied a 3d print of the hub detail onto that. With a little filler-primer and sanding it'll look fine.





To be honest I'm considering not posting here much after this. I'm not bothered about getting replies to my posts - it's great to be able to share - but with the state of the bot-spammed forums as they are today it looks like they're not curated much at all, which is a shame. If I'm wrong and things pick up - then I'll happily carry on. I've been a member here for a long time and made some good friends through these pages.
 

KevinD

Alphans
This is phenomenally impressive and I'm not even a fan of the Alien stuff! I share your view on this forum, it does seem a great shame.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Well, this place has had a face-lift and a half, eh? I think I should start posting progress with this build on here again as I indicated above.
 

skiffy

Alphans
Right - I've gone a long way since I first posted this thread so, let's dive in with a big update. I'll trickle these posts through until we're up to date. Here we go:

I've always wanted to see real practical strip-style lighting on the seating restraint bars but never seen it done on a model. I did some experiments and finally sorted a solution with a micro LED, a small section of white 2mm tube and a couple of short lengths of 0.5mm fibre optic to enhance the effect.





It works fine and I've tested using some thin brass sheet to block the light from half the 'tube' as in the full scale version.

Next up with this piece is producing a full moveable prototype attached to the seating.

 

skiffy

Alphans
I got some tiny magnets (2mm diameter, 1mm thick) to use as door closures and for fixing weapons to racks, hands etc.



You can see one of these in the door edge and a corresponding one in the cabin shell. I had to dig out and reverse the one in the door. :)



The tiny magnets hold the door closed just fine. Here you can see the side running light temporarily installed too.



The running light is a shaved LED glued onto a shaped section of clear sprue.



The headlights have been a little tricky since the filming vehicle had circular lamps behind a rectangular opening. Here's what I have.



The white will be light-blocked and painted dark. The donor lamps are from stick-on push-lights, for cupboards and such. I cropped down the boards they were on and soldered/made good the connections, keeping the resistors attached to help extend the life of the lamps.



I kept a switch from one of the push-lamps and this will be painted and installed in the cabin, disguised as a greeblie.

Here are the left and right side lamps temporarily placed. The batteries (3 x 1.5v) will go on the right side and be hidden from view.





Here are the headlights switched on. I didn't realise until I lit them both together that one of them is a warm white, and the other one a cool white. I'll eventually swap one out.





Well, that's it for now. I think next up will be wiring all of this stuff in properly but we'll see if anything else jumps to the front of the jobs list. I'm still waiting for supplies to get going properly on the seat-restraint modelling/lighting.
 

skiffy

Alphans
REMINDER - THESE POSTS ARE FROM A WHILE AGO. YOU'LL BE UP-TO-DATE SOON. :)

I had some time off so because we're in lock-down what else is there to do, eh?

The searchlight ref I was looking at was way off (a CG source) so the build was totally off. I have better pics so once I realised that I remodelled the light housing properly.

Here's the new light housing in pieces. I bent some styrene sheet around a knife handle and used boiling water to set it in place. I used baking foil as a light blocker (glued with contact adhesive).



It's all installed and temp dry-fit to check everything.









..and a lighting test.


APC_21011306.jpg

Checking what the lamp looks like when the roof is on (and checking that it's straight).







Yup, that looks OK so it's glued in place. There's a slight light leak at the back but I reckon the paint will sort that.

I'll think about handling the grille in front later. There's probably some teeny-tiny brass-work in my future. :)
 
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