Nostromo Emergency Destruction System. The big build

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Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Alien is one of my favourite films and the Destruction System is just one of many fantastic props that I’ve always wanted to own.
Last year a great replica of the lid was built by Mr Webber, and his article has encouraged me to have a go at building the entire unit!

As always he got some great help from the people here, notably stromo who recreated the detonation instruction graphic – beautiful piece of work, and Spike who provided some quality HD screen caps.

I’ve been in contact with Mr Webber and stromo and they’re both agreed that building the entire mechanism is the next major step. Stromo has also kindly agreed to allow me to use his artwork.

The original prop was destroyed at the end of the production, so accept for the original photo novel; there hasn’t been much to go on.
Then I got a break.

Profiles in History auctioned of the original bolts in 2010 and the catalogue gave their dimensions - so this is where I began.

Using the bolt dimensions I’ve been able to scale everything up and produce drawings of all the components.
It’s never going to be millimetre perfect but I don’t think I’m too far out!

The bolt was the obvious starting point, so after creating the drawing I produced a simple prototype which would help me to judge whether the other things I’d drawn looked correct or not.

At this stage I’m producing everything in acrylic and modelboard and then if everything is successful I may progress to metal later on.

The sudden appearance of Bill Pearson’s spare bolt and its reproduction by russrep helped greatly.
I don’t know if Russ has any of these left but they’re stunning pieces of work!

So far I’ve made the bolt and its locking collar, a small section of the case structure and one of the chrome tubes that rises up.

I’ll post more as it evolves.

Phil
 

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Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As well as standard drawings I've produced a 3D model in sketchup as part of the design process. This allows me to see how all the components work together and to check the positioning of each piece.

This is still a work in progress so if anybody spots anything please let me know.

The lid has yet to be finalised and I’d quickly put something together to see how it looked in relation to the base.
 

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Fuzzual

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am incredibly excited about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek :eek
 

Mr Webber

Master Member
Great work so far Phil.
I was wanting someone with the time, skills and tools needed to do this prop justice and from what ive seen youve got it by the plums. Let me know when you get to the Letraset part, can help with that.
 

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Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Fred,

Thanks for your kind offer.
If you’re able to provide any photographs of the key pad symbols that weren’t in Mr Webbers thread I'd appreciate it.

Doing the artwork for the keys is the only thing I haven’t started yet on the design side.

I've just printed full size drawings of parts of the unit (it's bigger than you think) and I'll photograph them in the morning when the lights better and then put them on here.

By the way, would somebody please tell me how to post photographs that are larger than the thumbnails I'm posting at the moment?

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I intend to make the unit work - clamps to open and rods to rise, as well as lighting the Perspex tubes. Should look pretty interesting!
 

DS Operative

Well-Known Member
The bar of excellence keeps getting raised here on the RPF!! I applaud your efforts! I'm sure this will be fantastic!

I've always loved the self-destruct sequence in ALIEN because it was such and obvious and deliberate effort to instigate. There is no way it could ever be initiated by accident!

I'm looking forward to your progress!
 

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SKIN JOB 66

Sr Member
Hi Fred,

Thanks for your kind offer.
If you’re able to provide any photographs of the key pad symbols that weren’t in Mr Webbers thread I'd appreciate it.
Well Phil, I have the pics already posted on propsummit (and on Dennis' site) at a better rez... and I could also provide more screencaps if needed ? (Please drop me a PM with your email if interested)


I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I intend to make the unit work - clamps to open and rods to rise, as well as lighting the Perspex tubes. Should look pretty interesting!
Great news !!!!!!!!!

:love

Regarding the lid, no spring mechanism inside, it was opened thanks to... a wire attached to it ! (It's visible on one of the french lobby cards I have in my collection)

:facepalm

Fred
 

Pro Mod

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Fred,

I’ve looked over at Propsummit and they’re really useful, thanks.

Well, managed to do a bit more over the last couple of days and it’s starting to come together.

Yesterday I made the circular base plate which I machined out of some low density modelboard on my router.
The eight small holes aren’t supposed to be there, but they allowed me to fasten it to the bed. It was a little tricky as I had to turn it over to machine the other face.
The two large holes are there because I messed up the depth of cut and allowed the cutter to plunge toward the machine bed. Fortunately, I managed to stop it before too much damage was done!
Good job it’s just a prototype – well it is now!

The small walls where the hose sits were cut from the same material and just slotted into place.

This morning I made one of the chrome tube units out of acrylic tube and modelboard.
To reduce the chance of the tube shattering when I cut it on the circular saw I inserted a 50mm disc of modelboard to strengthen the area. This also serves as the area where the recessed button sits.
The door blank was simply inserted into the completed opening, marked round the radius with a pencil and sanded to shape.

As I mentioned before I’ve printed the layout full size and being so large it doesn’t quite fit on an A0 sheet, which is why you see a bare strip of Mdf along the top edge. The Mdf is the full size of the unit – it’s big!

For the base I’ve used a sheet of 12mm Mdf to give the thing some rigidity.

The last task of the day was to cut a 170mm diameter hole in the Mdf to allow the base plate to sit flush with the top surface.

Tomorrow I should receive the acrylic tubes for the section that rises out of the base - I’m looking forward to making this with its under-lighting.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do a bit more in the week.
 

SKIN JOB 66

Sr Member
Hi Fred,

I’ve looked over at Propsummit and they’re really useful, thanks.
You're welcome Phil, glad to help !
Dennis Lowe doesn't have any extra shots of the destruct system but he sent me this image, courtesy of Simon Deering...



A screencap of course, but it's better than nothing...

:)

Can't wait to see your next update, this is very inspiring !!! Keep up the good work !

:thumbsup

Fred
 

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