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1:18 scale APC playset


So, my resin printer is busy at the moment and I had time to work today so I though - what the heck - I'll make them up from some clear stock instead.

I've shaped the lens, left it cloudy and popped a red LED behind it. I'm making the wire protectors (brush guard type things) from 1mm solder.

Here's one complete.

On the back-side I'll be light blocking the rest of the LED.

I'm getting better at soldering but still not great. :)

It doesn't look that great when floodlit for the camera. It looks better in real life.

..and with the light off.


I did a little bit on the DSGR missiles today.

I printed out some missile tips in resin (you can see unused ones still on the base block). They just got a little dab of glue since they fit quite snug.

I cut Q-tips in half as holders while I paint the missiles. I'll be working on the bays and covers too but have to build the hinges first. More on that later.


I've painted and fitted the DSGR launchers. They pivot up and down really well.

Here they are in deployed mode. I won't be attaching the covers until the roof is painted and finished.

I've also started to assemble and permanently fix the rear exterior section. I'm stealing the genius opening method used in the Hiya Toys 1:18 scale APC.

Here it is glued up and mocked up closed and opened. I'll be working out how the hinges will function next.

This last shot illustrates something I've been keen to preserve from the start. My APC can comfortably fit 4 marines on each side of the rear compartment. I don't think the Hiya Toys one can do that - based on images I've seen.

Still LOTS to do so I'd better get back at it. :)


Work is busy but I got a little time over a couple of days. The hull has had a coat of primer and I've adapted the rear seating to allow for the hinge.

I'm cutting brass tube to bend up and create the main spar of the swing-down seat restraints. I have a test one to measure from and I'm cutting the rest adding slots to help stop kinks in the two bends.

It's tedious work but I'm getting there.

Meanwhile, I've saved images of the TOC screens (from screenshots of the movie) and tried printing them out on specially made water-slide decal paper. Unfortunately the results were very poor.

Once we're back in University I can laser-print on thin acetate instead - which will work a lot better.


I've done a little more on the seat restraints.

I've bent up all 6 main bars and the short supports that link them to the padded bits.

The smaller bits are the short central spar ringed in red.

I've had to file 18 tiny fish-mouths to make sure these all join up correctly and my eyes aren't what they once were!


It's the Easter break for me at University so I get a small respite from teaching remotely, which started as a novelty but is actually horrible. I'd far rather be in a class offering practical help and advice.

Anyway - on with the build!

Here are the seat restraints having just had their micro LED lights fitted.

I couldn't really get a close enough shot but you can just see the LED poking out of the end of this one.

I finally figured out a way to mount the bars and let them rise and fall without protruding out of the back of the chair.

After I took these shots I added a tiny (2mm x 1mm) magnet at the top of the bar near the hinge and one embedded in the wall above it so that the bars will stay in the 'up' position without falling.




I promised myself that I'd show the bad as well as the good. Not everything goes to plan or works perfectly first time, so here's an update with a couple of things that haven't quite worked.

I've been working on this gap in the roofline which is a complex form with a twist - not a flat plate. It's on both sides and I don't want to build it up with formers as I did with the one further forward.

I measured up the profile and made a copy for either side in resin.

Unfortunately the resin is far too brittle to use for this and one snapped (and was glued) as you can see.

So, I printed some out in PLA filament instead. The one on this side is almost there - but the profile is a little off.

Plus - the one for the other side had some printing errors and isn't fit to use.

I'm printing up a second set with an adjusted profile - hopefully these will fit better.

As well as that, I tested the lighting in the seat restraint bars and found that despite my earlier testing (where I got lucky) these micro LEDs have a definite front and back - meaning that one side of the bar will be lit far better than the other. The only real solution is to put two in there, back to back.

That's a problem, because I've glued all of the single ones in place. I'm working to produce one finished one to make sure it'll work, then do the rest. I have to straighten out every restraint, drill out the LED and wiring (destroying the glued-in LED in the process) and threading two in there.

In this shot you can see that there are two LED lamps in there. I'm also strengthening the T bars with a rod inside, and a hole drilled in the main bar. I can't braze these joints - they're too close together so I have to glue them.

Here I'm making swivelling clamps that I'll attach the curved pad to. Hopefully this part will go to plan. :)


3d printing is not currently my friend. I'm having tech issues to do with a system board so in the meantime I fall back on good ol' hand-built components. There's a lesson there. :)

These parts will form the padded pieces that sit in the seat restraints. the hinges are hand made and are about as small as I can work (old eyes, old hands) at 3mm x 4mm.

I managed to file these two into the same shape - pretty much. Feeling like I needed a bit of a boost I chucked some NATO green on them.

Wow - they're looking very nice if I do say so myself. 2 down, 10 to go. :)


I was happy with the progress so I did a little more tonight, including adding the new lighting idea (back to back LEDs).

They look great and will get some light blocking paint in the middle and at the edges.

I found a couple of folks to test it out for me. :) It looks good in the light but better with it off.

This worked really well so I'm looking forward to doing the rest - especially the back eight - and seeing how they all look together.


I started to give the interior rear wall some love. I've provided a gap between the inner and outer so that I can route cables through for the lighting.

The two panels on the back are in place - they'll be painted red and I think they're fire blankets. I'm making surrounds for the lights in a block of four so they're easier to work with (there's a spare there in case of a fubar).

Here I've test-fit a shaved down LED in the top slot along with checking the general fit overall.

The light surrounds are in place and I've started on the ribbing on the ceiling panels.

..and here's the finished article in place but not glued in - I've got the LEDs to fit in yet.

..and lastly, a shot of APC Central. I really need to tidy up but I'm too busy. :)


I'm making good progress while I wait for more of the micro LEDs to arrive. I've been prepping the seat restrain components.

That's a lot of seats. :)

I carried on with the back wall, installing the regular LED lights. Here they are ready for soldering.

And here are some of the connecting wires ready for tinning.

It's alive! (I'm not showing the mess of wiring on the back though - lol)

The diffusers work really well - these look quite a lot dimmer in person.

I couldn't resist priming and painting the back wall and doing a temp install with a few of my helpful test guys.


A small update today. I've done some work on the upper roof area but that's not very interesting - I'll show it later.

Today I've been 3d printing ammo boxes. I need 5 so there are 3 spares there too. One of these hit Gorman on the head. :) I thought about making them hollow, hence the 2 part build up but decided not to bother.

After sanding to give a gluing 'key' the halves were joined.

And painted olive green. I'll be adding some teeny tiny lettering to these, either by hand or decal transfer.


As I indicated before, I've been working on the roof and the exterior panelling. There are also little gaps where some of the styrene plates of the structure join together that need filling.

So here I'm filing, sanding and adding filler to smooth things out. The wheel that is masked off couldn't be persuaded to detach and I didn't want to force it and break the axle - so it's staying. :)

The other side got some love too. While I wait for supplies so I can finish off the seat restraints (more LED bulbs) I started on more of the curved pads that sit against the marines' chests. I need 10 of them.

The best way to get these to 'set' in the correct curve is to use thin styrene and laminate two pieces together.

The outer piece has a square hole in the middle to take the centre hinge.

Lots of drilling, cutting and filing. :)

.. and there we are. 20 of the little buggers.

They all need a curved profile so I bent them all with pliers.

A slow-set cyano was added to them and they were then taped to a former with the correct radius - which just happened to be a refil tube for Molotow chrome paint. :)

Then I had to make the hinges. They were formed around a section of brass tube that was the correct diameter.

Here's an overview of the primed wall/roof area ready for a final sanding.

..and lastly another 'all-up' view. The whole thing is starting to weigh quite a bit now. It's got a nice heft to it. :)


Whenever I've got a spare few minutes in the evenings I'm firing up the laptop and sitting in front of the TV working out how to build armour for print.

There's a way to go yet but I'll get there - and have fun along the way. :)


I did a little more on the chest armour tonight.

I won't be adding that much else - just the buckles/straps and the little shoulder insert bits. There's not much point adding a ton of detail for 1:18 scale.


My new fibre optics and micro LED lights arrived so I could now crack on with fitting out the seat restraint lighting for the rear-bay seating area.

The tub at the left side contains all the components to build up the seat restraints. There's styrene sheet pads, brass tube, styrene brackets, brass hinge pins, fibre optic strand for the lighting - all sorts of stuff. :)

These long, hollow white styrene tubes have 2 back-to-back micro LEDs fitted in the middle and the wiring feeds through the brass tube and out the back. Dealing with that wiring (each wire is approx 0.2mm thick) is and will be a pain. I found that the only way to strip the insulation off it is to burn it off with a lighter. I'm not looking forward to soldering it - might need a microscope. LOL.


I'm back after a very busy week at college and I've devoted some time to this build - enough to warrant an update. :)

Here I'm building the hinges that let the seating restraints pivot up and down.

The tiny wires that lead from the LEDs need soldering onto more robust wiring that will connect them to the interior wiring loom later on.

These are the components for the torso pads.

There's four all done! Next step is to add the torso pads.

Done, yay! I keep a grubby old pair of green plastic tweezers which are VERY handy for handling magnets - especially the ones I'll be adding here, which are 2mm x 1mm.

In this shot you can hopefully see two magnets glued to the base of the brass upright - right against the white hinge collar.

After matching magnets are embedded into the wall between the seats, they keep the restraints in the 'up' position.

..and here they are fully down.

Of course I had to wire them up and see how it looked. :)

Not too shabby! On to painting next, then I'll add in some troops, put the roof on and we'll see how it all looks together.