Thanks Searun - that rail solution seemed the easiest most logical way to to it.
I've been asked 'Why eight screens across'. The blueprint by Graham Langridge has seven - as do other sources I've found, and there isn't really a clear view of the full bank of screens in the live action set but I suspect it's seven too.
So, why have I put eight in?
Going by seating, there's the driver at the front cabin, the gunner (particle beam phalanx) behind him, the commander (Gorman) at the console - that's the three minimum APC crew, echoing what happens in real APC design. So the rear bay of eight seats and two lots of two seats makes up to 12 'active' troops who could/will need monitoring when they disembark. Therefore two banks of two and one bank of eight. There are of course two screens for each squad member, one bio, one cam feed - for a total of twenty four.
One of my jobs to finish is the interior ceiling in the rear bay.
I dug out the ammo boxes I printed out and started to arrange them - sorting out how many I'd like to use. They'll be stored between retaining bars just like the ones on set (as seen behind Hudson's head in the printed screenshot).
Wiring continues to bug me, but it'll get sorted out. I'll be re-routing the switches to outside the model to avoid having to take the roof off to turn interior/exterior lights on or off.
I'd been working on the rear bay ceiling so I tested to make sure that the bulkhead lights are still working.
While I was adding ceiling detail, I routed the wiring for the main searchlight, so that got a test too.
For this update I've carried on developing the inner ceiling spaces. The rear bay in the live-action set has a ribbed look to it.
I had produced some of that effect on the back wall using styrene strips but since there's a lot more here, I thought a 3d print would be better - more regular looking and definitely quicker to produce.
I printed three copies, one for each of the three surfaces.
They got trimmed, applied, and a little primer added. I also put some 'plate' detail on the ceiling above the central section - the 4 green strips are cut from tank side-skirts.
Here's a closer look at the brass bars I've installed to hold the ammo crates in properly - just as they were on set.
This last image kinda shows what the ammo storage looks like. I'll glue everything in place once it's all painted up.
So, onward! (Probably to more lighting, wring etc).
Thank you all very much, folks. That means a lot looking at some of the builds you have achieved.
I am toying with getting a web-cam based mini-camera to get some better pics but just sticking my phone in and snapping away seems to work quite well.
There's more detail to add to the ceilings and walls - baskets of gear, winches and other devices, signage and paint variation. Plenty left to do. I have a slight worry that the whole lighting setup (including cabin lights and the seat restraint bars) might be too bright but if that's the case I'll throw in a resistor or two to bring it down a little.
I don't know if I've mentioned it yet but I was hoping to use figures from Marauder.inc but they don't ship to the UK so I'll have to think again on that.
I've been asked if there's a drop ship on the horizon - if there is, it's pretty far off but never say never.
A quick update: I've not had any time to continue with the build (very busy at work) but I've been very fortunate due to the help of our very own Epsilon on the Aliens Legacy boards. He messaged me to say that he had 1:18 scale figures that he'd like to send to me if I could cover the postage costs.
Here's what he very kindly sent me:
There's a Hot Toys Drake and Apone (or Frost?) and an unbranded Merc who will be very useful. I'll be able to repair the joints where needed and noted that these Hot Toys figures are SO much better than the newer Hiya Toys ones. Epsilon also sent me this guy (below).
With a lick of paint on the uniform this guy is a perfect Lt. Gorman! He looks very much at home in his command chair.
Another friend, a local mate who came to visit yesterday, brought me this string of cool-white micro LEDs, perfect for interior cabin lighting.
There are a ton of LEDs here - more than enough!
They light up really well - not too bright and they'll look the part when incorporated into the APC.
Here's a look at the size of the individual LEDs against a scalpel blade. It looks like there's a little blob of hot glue type stuff on each one, which makes them look like 'emergency' lights. I'll just have to scrape or burn off the lacquer coating on the wire when I solder them together.
I feel blessed to receive such kindness from forum buddies and local friends alike and I'm really looking forward to getting back to it.
Yes, the colour of the rear lights has been bugging me for a while. I made mine red, thinking logically and not even checking any reference.
Of course they're blue in the movie, so my red LEDs got dug out and replaced with blue. I needed to shave them down on the dremel to get rid of the 'dome' top.
Next step was light blocking with thick black acrylic. (I'm sure I've been here before).
There we are. It looks a little weird on camera but looks fine in real life.
Gorman got a couple of khaki base coats too.
Last up for today, I tackled the searchlight brush guard. Brass rod was bent up, glued into pre-drilled holes and given a lick of paint.
There we go. The exterior of the APC is all different shades of Olive Drab at the moment. I can't get a regular paint to match what's in the rattle can. It'll get a final overspray from that but I only have one can left, so that'll be one of the last jobs.