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Alien's Refinery

By Matt Dillon

This is my scratch build of the Refinery being towed by the Nostromo from the original movie ALIEN.

I used plasticard for the basic shape of the platform and built up roughly what the shape of the towers are.  The recourse pictures I used were the ones we've all seen before; however, these vary from the studio model and the finished version on screen. After reading into the making of the original, I learned that the crew had completed the ship and refinery and it was covered in antennas and spires - almost cathedral-like.   Ridley Scott came to view the finished masterpiece and shook his head.  To the horror of the SFX crew he picked up a hammer and chisel and started knocking off all the finely detailed spires and antennas. The result was what you see on screen - the basic platform with the four towers at each corner minus the spires.

Once I had made the basic shape I just began to build up the details using various household bits and bobs:  Electrical fuses, paper clips, parts from cigarette lighters, wardrobe fittings, cable ties, buttons, etc. You name it and its probably on there. For the silo domes underneath I used Christmas tree baubles or different sizes, cut in half.

Finally, once the basic shape was finished I covered it with tiny cut out squares of plasticard just to give it some detail.  The ship looked like a pile of junk until the first coat of paint went on.  Then the ship just appeared. I gave it a good weathering down and mounted it on the base.

The base is a block of 3/4" MDF which I covered in string then paper mache to give it the look of the floor that the egg sits on from the movie poster.

It's not the kind of model you can get any kind of exact accuracy - so I didn't even try.  I just made a few sketches and conjured up the basic shape and tried bring out the feel of the movie version.  

Image: Bottom

Image: Rear Right

Image: Assembled

Image: Paint

Image: Top

Image: Underside

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