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You are here: The Archives Science fiction Science fiction: 1980's Aliens Hero Screen-Used Drop-Ship Filming Miniature With Activating Weapons Pods From Aliens

Hero Screen-Used Drop-Ship Filming Miniature With Activating Weapons Pods From Aliens Featured


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Jul 30th, 2012
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Profiles in History - Hollywood Auction 49
HERO SCREEN-USED DROP-SHIP FILMING MINIATURE WITH ACTIVATING WEAPONS PODS FROM ALIENS - (TCF, 1986) This hero 1/12th scale Drop-ship filming miniature was constructed at Pinewood Studios in 1985 for James Cameron’s Aliens and comes from the collection of the Visual Effects Supervisor who won the Academy Award for his work on this film. There were two primary hero filming miniatures made in full detail to appear in various scenes depicting the Drop-ship in flight, landing, rescue attempts, etc., and this is one of those two models used for all of those shots (four or five less-detailed “shell” versions were made and completely destroyed for the dramatic crash sequence). These two hero models were frequently used interchangeably to represent Drop- ship 01 and Drop-ship 02, with the hull graphics and mi- nor surface details often being swapped-out on any given day as determined by the demands of the daily shooting schedule.

This model was used principally in a number of flying shots of the ship coming onto the planet’s surface, breaking through clouds, etc. and at several other key points earlier and later in the film, such as inside the Cargo Lock and the Atmosphere Processor. This model did have to perform one specific action the other hero model could not – it was modified late in the effects shoot to allow its armament (missile) pods to “splay open” while in flight, a shot achieved in a notable motion control shot as the ship approaches Acheron’s Colony Complex.

Interior of cockpit is fully detailed and painted, including pilot figures and control modules. Rear landing gear is detachable and fully detailed. The model was photographed over a period of approx. 8 months on an almost daily basis and was exposed to fire, dust, falling debris, fog juice, etc. which meant it underwent various, mostly minor repairs each day, including cleanup, touch-up, etc. Some of these “battle scars” are evident, though some minor restoration had to be done and it remains approximately 95% all original and “as-shot/as-left” from last day of shooting. The front two retracted landing “pads” were replicated from the original molds by the Visual Effects Supervisor since the filmed versions were destroyed during shooting.

This filming miniature includes working (new) halogen lights with original wiring. An opening beneath the V-tail allows access for mounting onto a metal pole—the means by which the model was held up and manipulated for shots of the ship plowing through “chop” in the upper atmosphere as well as the series of “turbulence” shots prior to landing. Measuring approx. 81 in. long x 47 in. wide (with weapons pods open), the body is fabricated in fiberglass over a metal substructure with resin and styrene elements; the rear leg is constructed of ABS, brass and styrene and “Perspex” (Plexiglas) cockpit elements.

Missiles remain as last shot and are principally cast in resin, plus numerous individually handmade missiles consisting of styrene, ABS plastic tube “fuselages” and end-caps. This Colonial Marines Drop-ship remains as the finest piece any collector could aspire to find from this revered science fiction franchise. Special shipping arrangements will apply.

Estimated At:80,000.00 - 120,000.00 USD

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