AEF Designs 1/35 Aliens Colonial Marines full squad build ups.

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Slugmedic

New Member
This is my collection of A.E.F. Designs Aliens 1/35 scale Marines. I've had these models for a long, long time. It's definitely been one of those projects I've always wanted to do but my comfort level was never quite there. At least until recently.

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The hardest part was getting started. I wanted the models to be as close as possible to how they were presented in the movie. So the first thing was color schemes. The original colors used were based off Humbrol Paints. There were many online resources to find which colors were used for the camo and armour. That presented a problem because there were a few colors that were no longer being made by Humbrol. Me, being way more comfortable with acrylics I decided to go that route and try to match from there.


With Citadel (Games Workshop) releasing their new line of paints and me having most of the original ones, I started there. Citadel added a lot more paint colors in their last release and I was quite happy with how I was able to match most colors. I had to buy a few extra here and there but it all worked out. I used a lot of online reference photos, and also used the Hot Toys 1/6 scale Models for references as well. If anyone is interested in the colors, please email me and I'd be happy to let you know which ones I used.


These are resin kits, so the quality was either perfect or not-so-perfect and required holes to be filled or parts to be sanded down. But overall I was very impressed with the quality of the models. When the prep and fitting was done I "loose" built (meaning I used a tiny amount of glue for the helmets, arms, weapons, and lamps) so that after basecoating I took them all off so I could fully paint each piece.


Another touch of realism I wanted to add was webbing and wiring. I ended up using 0.019 inch diameter black wire and 1/16" black ribbon (which I used for webbing). It actually turned out pretty well, though on some models it was hard to make the webbing "sit down."


These first few Marines pictured are Wierzbowski, Crowe, and Dietrich (left to right). They were easy enough. Wierzbowski was the first model done up and I probably painted him a total of 3 times, trying to get the colors, patterns, and washes right.



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The next models are Smartgunners Drake and Vasquez. These were the most fun, and also the most challenging. The Smartgun rig is harder to place together than I had imaged. These were also the first models that required "personalization." Drake having the "BITCH" on his Smartgun and Vasquez having "ADIOS" on hers. Vasquez also having "El RiESGO SiEMPRE ViVE" on her armor. A lot of patience went into that... The wiring was also quite tough to wrap around the Smartguns. The originals had two wires that wrapped around the rigging arms, I tried that and it looked way too crowded so I settled with just one. The batteries that power the Smarguns were also a little different. I think the original battery was based off a potato gun, the actual batteries don't have that little handle on the bottom. The kit pieces have that little handle so I just left them, if it bugs me I can always cut them off...

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The next models are Frost and Apone. Frost had a little white heart with an arrow through it with the word "HEATH" in the middle. Not possible for me so I settled with the heart and arrow. Apone was pretty easy, he just had a lot of accessories, binoculars, motion tracker, Pulse Rifle.

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Slugmedic

New Member
The next set is Hudson and Hicks. Hicks was pretty straight forward, only having a heart under the lock and clasp on his armor. Hudson, however, presented a lot more challenges. Straight up, he had a lot of personalization. The googly eyes were easy on the right rear shoulder guard. On the front he had a skull and crossbones with "or glory" underneath and on the left there was a "Louise" with a red ribbon under the "O." Yeah, that was not going to happen. There was no way I could paint that small. I tried on paper, but it was just too big for the model. So I just settled with the skull.

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The last model that I did was the combat post Vasquez. In all the AEF kits two sets of legs and arms were included (Which I think is pretty cool). I decided to go for the "last stand" pose of her kneeling with Pulse Rifle in hand.

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Well, that does it for the Marines. I'm hoping to get all the other characters done here sometime soon... Gorman, Spunkmeyer, Ferro, Burke, Ripley and little Newt. Maybe some aliens as well. Although, the Halcyon APC is calling my name.... Take care all!
 
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Robiwon

Master Member
Gone but not forgotten.
I used to have a few of those back in the 80's. Very cool little models. Hard to find and expensive back in the day. You've done a fantastic job on these. Can't wait to see these all come together.
 

SavageCreature

New Member
Wow. I'm sorta shocked to see that there are folks out there still building these! Nice job. I worked for AEF way back and had a hand in producing these. Maybe I even made the very ones you finally got around to building! Never know. In any case, it's cool to see someone enjoying them.
 

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darthsideous

Well-Known Member
Fantastic job painting these figures. I have the entire set but have gotten around to painting them. The extra wires and details you added like the screen on the motion tracker are fabulous . I will use your pics as inspiration to painting my miniatures. I'll pm you on the colors you used. These figures are extremely tiny. kudos to you on an extremely well done job!
 
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darthsideous

Well-Known Member
Wow. I'm sorta shocked to see that there are folks out there still building these! Nice job. I worked for AEF way back and had a hand in producing these. Maybe I even made the very ones you finally got around to building! Never know. In any case, it's cool to see someone enjoying them.

Yes, i'd like to chat with you too about these.
 

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darthsideous

Well-Known Member
Man. I can't believe I missed these posts 5 years ago. If you guys are still active on the RPF and still interested in having conversations about what silliness I was up to 30 years ago, I'll be happy to do it. I'm sincerely sorry to have left you hanging
Absolutely, I’m very curious as to whether AEF Designs made a complete interior for the halcyon APC? I saw it advertised in some promotional material back in the day. I looked into becoming a distributor in Canada but was too young and couldn’t afford to purchase the quantity of product required.

I still have a massive collection of these kits and am in the process of rebuilding a well known aef alien queen diorama.
 

SavageCreature

New Member
Absolutely, I’m very curious as to whether AEF Designs made a complete interior for the halcyon APC? I saw it advertised in some promotional material back in the day. I looked into becoming a distributor in Canada but was too young and couldn’t afford to purchase the quantity of product required.

I still have a massive collection of these kits and am in the process of rebuilding a well known aef alien queen diorama.

Yes, we definitely made a full interior for the APC. I remember what a pain in the ass the chairs were to cast.
I remember that queen egg chamber very well. I always felt that it shipped with too few eggs, so I always threw a few extras in the box of all the ones I packed.
It's so gratifying for me to know that there are still people out there building and painting them.
Feel free to ask whatever questions you'd like. I love talking about this stuff
 

skiffy

Sr Member
These minis look fabulous! I never knew about them. I'd love to see an example of what you did with the APC interior - that's my main build these days and I'm always keen to see how other folks have handled it.
 

SavageCreature

New Member
These minis look fabulous! I never knew about them. I'd love to see an example of what you did with the APC interior - that's my main build these days and I'm always keen to see how other folks have handled it.
Unfortunately those products were made back in the era of Film. The images weren't digital, they weren't backed up to the cloud, and they only exist as actual physical copies. I know I've got photos of them somewhere , but I really have no idea where. if I run across them I will be sure to post what I've got here
 

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YawningMan

New Member
Really excellent work you've done on these! I was either 14 or 15 at the time AEF Designs released these 1/35 Colonial Marines, I remember mailing handwritten letters to the company looking for these. It was a huge disappointment they'd all sold-out before I could act on it, but I assume they must have been extremely limited edition releases. It was missing out on these AEF pieces that was my driving force to do them all in 1/10 scale instead once NECA began releasing their own many years later. By now I've got most of the squad completed (except for Crowe and Wierzbowski) including a mostly scratch-built Drake. Really wonderful work once more Slugmedic!
 

darthsideous

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately those products were made back in the era of Film. The images weren't digital, they weren't backed up to the cloud, and they only exist as actual physical copies. I know I've got photos of them somewhere , but I really have no idea where. if I run across them I will be sure to post what I've got here
Thank you that would be so cool to see! Were all of the kits original sculpts or were they sculpted and kitbashed from other kits? Thanks be always been curious as a result. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here!

I love all of these kits, but honestly Ripley looks nothing like the character the hair is all wrong. All the others can pass for the characters they represent.
 

SavageCreature

New Member
Thank you that would be so cool to see! Were all of the kits original sculpts or were they sculpted and kitbashed from other kits? Thanks be always been curious as a result. Thanks for sharing your knowledge here!

I love all of these kits, but honestly Ripley looks nothing like the character the hair is all wrong. All the others can pass for the characters they represent.
All of them and their equipment were original sculpts. Except for the smart guns which used an existing MG-42 as a base. They were all sculpted in AB putty, so working time was limited. That combined with 1/35th scale I was always surprised that any amount of likeness was attainable.

In addition, often when you purchase the rights to create merchandise for movie properties you are not purchasing the rights to the actors likeness, which is owned by the actor themselves. Therefore your merchandise can only look close to resembling the actor, not look like them exactly. Sometimes you get closer than others.
 

darthsideous

Well-Known Member
All of them and their equipment were original sculpts. Except for the smart guns which used an existing MG-42 as a base. They were all sculpted in AB putty, so working time was limited. That combined with 1/35th scale I was always surprised that any amount of likeness was attainable.

In addition, often when you purchase the rights to create merchandise for movie properties you are not purchasing the rights to the actors likeness, which is owned by the actor themselves. Therefore your merchandise can only look close to resembling the actor, not look like them exactly. Sometimes you get closer than others.
Thanks so much for sharing your insight into the development of these kits. I’m hoping to post in a separate thread my work on the A.E.F. queen with egg chamber. By the way thanks for adding the extra eggs. As you said previously there were way too few eggs included in these kits.
 

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