Aliens M577APC Full size build discussion thread

Rick H

Well-Known Member
As the title says, there has been some discussion on a few threads with members looking for plans, referance materials, and about the possibility of actually building a 1:1 scale (full size Aliens APC.)
http://www.therpf.com/f11/aliens-m577-apc-208162/
http://www.therpf.com/f10/aliens-apc-plans-45129/
So I thought I would make a central thread here to get others ideas and views on if building a full scale APC would feasible, or could be scaled and built as a faithful representation.
Feel free to jump in.
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
So my thoughts on a possible chassis to use would be a Bus or mini bus chassis. Any type that has the driver located forward of the front wheels.
As far as aircraft tow vehicles a couple of alternates may be the Douglas DC12 or the Paymover T-500
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
Mining vehicles are a good idea. Low profile.
I was thinking on this while out running errands today. There two mind sets for a build like this.
1. I have a large budget and can outsource to others to help do this.
2. I have to do this on a tight budget and will do it myself.

I would have to go with the second option. That’s why I tend to think that a chassis from a scrap yard would be my starting point. Ever if it needed to be widened and heavily modified.
 

noble

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What part of socal are you located?

I work near several airport equipment yards + heavy equipment scrap yards in south central LA.

They do have APC-sized vehicles.

One day I saw a baby blue tug perfect for an APC getting towed on Firestone Blvd.
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
I am near the Covina area.
I guess the jump of point for this would be, what type of build is this?
A movie accurate build. Which would need to be moved by a transport from place to place due to the width. And the best can tell from my sources is that the movie APC was 11 foot 6 inch at its widest point at the rear.
Or. A scaled down street legal version. This would also mean mounting cameras and mirrors to meet the DMV code.
 

OldSkoolEffects

Well-Known Member
Who would be doing the majority of the work? Costs tend to skyrocket when other people are doing things like welding and fabrication, and unfortunately it tends to be in areas you don't want to cheap out on.
 

zorg

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
i was lucky enough to pick up a set of blueprints a few years ago, they are in my garage somewhere.

i guess you have access to these already?
 

Jon Kelley

Active Member
i was lucky enough to pick up a set of blueprints a few years ago, they are in my garage somewhere.

i guess you have access to these already?
I now have the USCM Tech Manual - any chance I could convince you to part with a copy of your 'prints? With 30-odd years in straightforward automotive work, and 20-odd years in design and modification, I'd be happy to take the lead on doing plans for scale (as I've said before, this is probably going to be reduced slightly in scale to make it easier to move - and, hopefully - drive about.)

Per USCM Tech Manual, they're saying the original was just over eleven feet across - and there's no way you can get something like that moved about easily on roadways (driven, towed, or hauled) without some heavy permit action. I'd have to check, but I'm sure FMVSS limits to somewhere between 84" (seven feet) and 96" (eight feet) OAW, I'll verify this.

That's the dimension that will determine final scale (Spec width is 338cm/3.38m, or 11' 1.172" - or about 11' 1-3/16".) That's going to drive down to a scale of bout 13:20, which gives an OAW of 86-1/2" or so - which should fall within FMVSS guidelines.

I'll have to see what parts of FMVSS would then govern things like rearview mirrors (would cameras be acceptable? Easier to hide the pickups) and how any signal lamps need to be hidden (I know the headlamps can be "exposed" - but what about taillamps? Side markers? With an overall body length of just over 28' original, about 18' 4" scale, side markers would be indicated. Tyres would present their own difficulty.)

Suspension? Wouldn't need a lot, but some would be necessary, and I still think a Dieselectric drive would be most efficient in terms of drive power relative to package size, and I'm sure most - if not all - of the components that would be used could still be COTS items (difficult to find - but not impossible.) I'd have to do some digging on specifics, so I'd need to dig up more information on tyres, rotating masses, rotational inertia, and the like.

Ditto steering - probably a ram setup.

As far as the basic chassis - I can't think of anything that would work COTS that would manage a correct installation and still be street legal - so that would likely have to be designed as well. The upside is that, with the reduced weight of false armour plating and efficient drivetrain packaging, coupled with no need for ballast, it would probably cost less to build the frame from scratch than to buy something.

I'd need information - but this is something I've been kicking around for years anyhow, so it's already half-designed in my head. Just gotta put it all on paper and start crunching numbers to make it all work... (Honestly, I've wanted to build one of these since I first saw the movie - back about 1988 or so...)
 

Dynofiend

Well-Known Member
Wheels and wheelbase will be your starting point. The rest of the build will be based around that. I'd be tempted to start with something cheap(ish) and simple like a bus chassis that already has the wheelbase you want, powerplant, suspension, brakes, drivetrain and steering mechanism ready and working. Forget things like 4 wheel steer. Then slap on your wheels (tractor or similar?). The rest of the build would just be the mainly cosmetic elements of the body and cockpit. Youd at least have a chance of making that sort of build road legal.
 

Jon Kelley

Active Member
Wheels and wheelbase will be your starting point. The rest of the build will be based around that. I'd be tempted to start with something cheap(ish) and simple like a bus chassis that already has the wheelbase you want, powerplant, suspension, brakes, drivetrain and steering mechanism ready and working. Forget things like 4 wheel steer. Then slap on your wheels (tractor or similar?). The rest of the build would just be the mainly cosmetic elements of the body and cockpit. Youd at least have a chance of making that sort of build road legal.
I somehow doubt I can find anything COTS that will work - much less be adaptable to even electric drive, and who knows how much something like that is going to cost?

Doesn't mean I won't look - but I do need to be able to figure out what would be needed first.

(The biggest problem would be that the front end of whatever would have to be modified to lower the driver, and the rear end - if a pusher chassis - to drop the engine, (Maintaining scale, the roofline + rear turret track would end up about 4'8" off the ground...)

The more I can find out, the more I can work out, and the closer we can get to figuring a viable footprint (which is where this whole project will start.)
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
Jon Kelley, heres waht I found. You may have already seen it.

35100. (a) The total outside width of any vehicle or its load shall not exceed 102 inches, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, safety devices which the Secretary of Transportation determines to be necessary for the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles shall not be included in the calculation of width as specified in subdivision (a).
(c) Any city or county may, by ordinance, prohibit a combination of vehicles of a total width in excess of 96 inches upon highways under its jurisdiction. The ordinance shall not be effective until appropriate signs are erected indicating the
streets affected. Amended Ch. 1452, Stats. 1988. Effective September 28, 1988.
I know we have had construction come in over 10 foot on trailer. And we moved tracked equipment over 10 foot on the highway while I was in the Army in the 70's. With permits
 

zorg

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
i'll dig out the plans soon and have a look at what dimensions are on there.

getting the footprint of the wheel base would be the make or break of any replica, get that wrong and the whole thing won't look right.


-z
 

Jon Kelley

Active Member
Jon Kelley, heres waht I found. You may have already seen it. 35100. (a) The total outside width of any vehicle or its load shall not exceed 102 inches, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, safety devices which the Secretary of Transportation determines to be necessary for the safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles shall not be included in the calculation of width as specified in subdivision (a). (c) Any city or county may, by ordinance, prohibit a combination of vehicles of a total width in excess of 96 inches upon highways under its jurisdiction. The ordinance shall not be effective until appropriate signs are erected indicating the streets affected. Amended Ch. 1452, Stats. 1988. Effective September 28, 1988. I know we have had construction come in over 10 foot on trailer. And we moved tracked equipment over 10 foot on the highway while I was in the Army in the 70's. With permits
Izzat from 49CFR? I may have been thinking of CVC then - I recently had to do a job lot of research there for someone building bikes (tangential information for basic vehicle limiting parameters,) and I may have gotten my wires crossed. 102" is still 8'6", and you'd want to keep it a bit narrower than that, so I'd probably cut it down to 8' even (96") still in order to save trouble. So, the 13:20 scale still looks viable, and should still result in a workable end product. The more information I can get to start, the more I can break things down to draw them! Post here, PM to me, or PM me for email address, and I'll do what I can with them. Gotta go through my Archives myself to pull together whatever else I may have into a working file as well, now that I think about it...
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
Jon. Thats from the 2014 California vehical code. they have a download pdf here http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/veh_code.pdf
Caltrans handels over sized loads. Caltrans Transportation Permits Homepage
I am not sure about 49CFR. Is that the federal transportation code?
I have what I believe are accurate height, width and length measurements and am working on what going from 11 ft. wide to 8-5 wide would do to the height and length in the scale down. Just off the top of my head it seems in order to meet the CVC, then the whole build would need to be scaled down 28%

Edit:

OK, I did some rough numbers scaling down to make hull around 8 foot wide.
Width 8 ft.
Height 4ft. 8inch Hull only not including tire or gun.
Length 20 ft. 1 ¼ inch.
 
Last edited:

Jon Kelley

Active Member
Correct - "49CFR" means "Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations" - Title 49 governs Transportation. 49CFR Part I is the FMVSS - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. State Vehicle Codes are allowed to be /more/ restrictive, but 49CFR Part I is considered the minimum. (The emissions regs are primarily codified elsewhere, I just don't recall where offhand.) FMVSS is a good guideline, but if we're going to make this thing street legal, and it will likely tour Sci-Fi cons, it should be built according to the most restrictive regulations for sizing and suchlike - which are, I believe, California (but I'd have to make sure.) Scaling of 7:10 would be a 30% reduction (obviously,) while a 13:20 scale would be a 35% reduction (sizing it at 65% makes it easier to avoid O/S permitting, and the reduction in size should also allow a reduction in weight, meaning it's less likely to get classed as a Class 5 (or larger!) truck, and therefore be operable on a regular driver's license.
 

Rick H

Well-Known Member
My reduced numbers (-26-28%) are the height at rear. Reducing the driver’s compartment by 35% drops the driver siting height down to around 3ft 6 inch. I believe a reduction of 27% would be the max I would go. I can work up some rough drawing tonight and PM you if you like.
 

Jon Kelley

Active Member
Sure - although you probably do have more basic information to work from than I do. Somehow, I doubt that there's much articulation in the suspension of the original, or ground clearance (most armored vehicles don't need much anyhow. ;) )
 

wasili

Sr Member
The blueprint has the following dims on the full-size vehicle.

Width: 10' 3"
Width at rear flaps: 11' 1"
Length: 28' 3/4"
Wheelbase is not mentioned on the blueprint, but i think it was very near to 15'. The ATT77 thread on Aliens Legacy has a picture with specs of the ATT77 Hunslet vehicle on it. Go check it out there.

Please note that the driver space is very narrow. The space behind the window up till the bulkhead of the front wheel well is something like 1' 9". Scaling it down doesn't make it more comfy..

I used to own a 27ft long prop vehicle, width of 14ft. I can tell it was not fun to move it. Just a small distance on the lowloader would cost a fortune. So scaling it down sounds like a good idea.

Best of luck with it. :thumbsup

Cheers,
Wasili
 
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