"A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality. I can't lie to you about your chances... but you have my sympathies."
I named him Al.
For the cost of one plastic Terminator you get a chunky 7-inch tall alien, an egg and a facehugger. I don't know why they went for this odd colour for the model; I would have thought black or dark green would have worked better. I was a tad disappointed to discover that Al doesn't glow in the dark.
There's plenty of detail on Al and not much in the way of flash, so I carved off what I could. The pattern on his head is a vinyl sticker, which I attempted to remove but gave up on as it's only going to end up coming off in strips. The only downer is Al's internal jaws, which are for some reason at the back of its outer mouth. I hoped there would be a button or slider on his head to push the inner jaws forward, but nope. Oh well, he's still awesome.
Given this is a cheap kid's toy, I have to give the manufacturer credit for doing a good job on the egg and facehugger. Both are well moulded and have lots of detail. The facehugger is supposed to sit up in the egg on its coiled tail, ready to launch itself into some poor sod's face. For this post I'm going to concentrate on Al and leave the other two for
an easy post later on now.
Here's Al after being primed, and he looks a lot more menacing despite standing on the spice rack thing in our kitchen. The black spray paint covered well and given him an even coat, which was a relief as I did have visions of it going wrong again.
And now for colours. Aliens have a tendency to look black/blue or black/green in the movies, and I used those schemes on my hunting horrors and cthonian during Monster Mayhem. I wanted to do something different, so I googled "alien paint scheme" and found this thread on Britmodeller.com about a repainted 20-inch NECA alien figure:
|Image from Britmodeller.com|
Surprisingly it's very brown. I'm assuming that's to make it show up better under the studio lights? Anyway, a bit more googling took me to the Vault of the Undead, where this black/brown scheme has been used to paint the creatures from the Aliens: Another Glorious Day in the Corps game. And you know what? They look great. The painter even included his recipe, and as I own four of the five paints he used and can substitute the fifth, I'm going for the same look, despite this xenomorph being from the first (and obviously superior) movie.
Here's Al in all his hideous glory. He was remarkably easy to paint, and it helped that I wasn't going to kill myself doing a high-detail job on a cheap toy. I started off with a heavy overbrush of Chocolate Brown mixed with Black, brushed in a top-down direction, to vary the base colour a bit.
After that dried I hit Al with a lighter overbrush of Chocolate Brown, Flat Earth and a touch of Black, making sure I got all of, or at least as many of, the raised bits as I could. I tried to work methodically by doing the head, then torso, then the right arm and leg, then the left arm and leg. (I usually have a kind of SQUIRREL! approach to painting where I'll get halfway through, say, highlighting a figure's left leg when I'll suddenly start doing its back.)
The last, lighter highlight was pure Flat Earth. Then came a couple of coats of my homemade black wash to tone down the chalkiness left by the drybrushing, blend the highlighting a bit and give the model a slight sheen. Al's teeth and claws were painted Neutral Grey before getting a coat of Plate Metal, and then the top of his skull got four layers of Ardcoat for that classic glossy look.
Christ on a bike, look at the missing paint on his ankles. And I double-checked him before taking the pics.
Anyway, the drool. An alien without drool is like bacon without eggs, or beans without toast. I was stuck for how to make it; for the goop on my monster egg I used E6000 glue, but I'm not risking possibly buggering up Al at the last minute by using something so sticky and hard to manage. After doing some googling it seems that using superglue and fishing line works well. Luckily I bought a reel of fishing line on a whim at Walmart months ago in a kind of "that'll probably come in handy some day" way.
I cut some shortish lengths and dribbled superglue down them, trying to tease out a drop at the end. The technique actually worked really well and was pretty easy to do. Before attaching them I daubed some gloss Mod Podge over Al's chin to make it look wet, then superglued on the drool and used more Mod Podge to try to blend them in. I think they worked OK, given my terror at knowing all was lost if I screwed this bit up.
Looking at his finished form, I'm so glad I decided to wander down the toy aisle in Walmart. He's turned out looking fantastic, even if my usual crappy photos don't totally do him justice, and I underexposed them to make Al look a bit more menacing... as if he needs the help.
The egg and facehugger are being worked on, and so far look good, so stay tuned for their appearance.
THe ALien's diretors cut, extended version (probably with bell , whistles and nobs on too) was ddefinetly the best version of the original film and one of the best Sci-film films ever imho - they should have stopped after that one too !ReplyDelete
For a toy, I'm hardly suprised that it's such a good model (even if the extras are a bit twee (they're still well done though). The drool really does make the model that bit more believable - it may have been an 'easy' job painting it but it still had to be done well. Great model all round.
Thanks, Joe! It was a pretty easy paintjob but I still had to get it right. The drool was a kind of last-minute idea, and if it wasn't for the fishing line I'd have never tried it. Happily it worked. And yes, the Director's Cut is superb and really ups the horror.Delete
Great work Matt, it has turned out really well, and your added effects elevate it further.ReplyDelete
Surprisingly I don't have a warrior model, as I have the other Xenomorphs, and I just have to add Aliens Rule ! LOL
Cheers, Dave! I had a lot of fun painting him, and even thought the drool was a bit of a pain to do it was still instructive. I'm heading back to Walmart to check if they have any warriors in stock, so here's hoping!Delete
O I do like this one! Very nice colour choices too. Keep in mind, a lot of scenes in the films were very low lighting so those alien carapaces could well have been brown or purple or something other than plain black.ReplyDelete
That drool is appropriately acidy and dissolve-y.
Thanks, Dai! There's a few photos of actual Alien suits from the movies online and they all have this brown look. I think it's just the lighting that gives them the blue or green tint. Either way, I really like this look, it's almost bronze.Delete
I think the Aliens from the movie aren't as easy to paint as one might think. I've got AVP by Prodos games and have been thinking of painting them up, but trying to decide how has driven me to shelve them again. This technique has some legs and has got me interested again, as you've done a great job here - I think it would look awesome on the smaller figures. I've also seen some nicely painted ones using a selective drybrush of Vallejo's Metal colour Steel over black, which looked good. Post saved to favourites for later investigation, thanks Matt.ReplyDelete
Cheers! Aliens really aren't that easy to paint because there's no set colour except black. I've seen the metallic look and it's good (Keith over at angrypiper.com did a really good job with that scheme) but I don't think it would have worked on a model this big. I guess you could drybrush metallic bronze if you wanted a brown tone?Delete
This creepy mini came out well, Matt! I've seen people paint up toys to great effect and that is certainly the case here. You can't beat a sculpt for $10 either :DReplyDelete
Thanks! Talking of cheap toys to paint, the local Dollar General has dinosaurs for $2 each so I am tempted lol. And $10 for this guy was a pretty good deal.Delete
Very nice work Matt, he has come out a treat, I'd call it a tie between the first and second movies, and I don't feel I need to choose between them as they are completely different types of film (I did slip after those two though.ReplyDelete
I had that 20inch Alien toy on my windowsill as a child (It had a luminous head! I got it before I knew there was a movie with it in (I wasn't old enough to see it anyway), funny thing was I mum bought me a "pack" with three sci/fi A4 books in for Christmas that year, one was the behind the scenes of "Close Encounters of the third kind", the second was an anthology time line of all the ships in the Star Trek federation universe from the space shuttle to the Enterprise, and the third was the comic book version of the Alien movie, now I started reading this and suddenly thought, "hey, that's the thing stood on my windowsill!", and that's how I "found" the Alien movie. Wish I still had that toy but I seem to think the sun effected the glue and bands he was held together with and I think it fell apart, so my mum in her infinite wisdom threw it away! If she only knew what they go for now!
Thanks, Roger! I have read that that 20-inch Alien was notorious for falling to pieces. Apparently the repainted one I linked to is a re-release which is much better at staying in one piece.Delete
I remember seeing a 12-inch Alien kit in Beatties (remember them?) but never bought it as back then, teenage me had no idea how to highlight and especially no idea how to highlight black...