Prop Store

Poncho's Mulit-shot Grenade Launcher from Predator

Discussion in 'Production Made Costumes and Props' started by Art Andrews, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    As some of you may know, at SDCC 2014, a group of us recreated the Rescue Team from the original Predator (sadly, our Mac backed out at the last minute).

    [​IMG]

    In doing the research for that group, we learned a tremendous about the weaponry used in the film. Everyone remembers Blain’s mini-gun, but I found Poncho’s 40mm Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher to be just as interesting and unique. The core of his MGL is a AN-M5 Pyrotechnic Discharger a WWII era flare launcher used on large aircraft like the B17 Bomber. The rest of Poncho's gun consists of parts from an HK94 and other odds and ends.

    Shortly after SDCC an AN-M5 Discharger came up on eBay and while it seemed like it would be a fun project to work on, the price was just more than I wanted to spend.

    A year passed… and I have watched the seller list and relist the piece with no bites. Finally I wrote him and made him an offer, low to be sure, but since this was only one piece for the project, I didn’t want to invest too much. It was only after he accepted my offer that I really started taking a hard look at the piece and what it was going to take to modify it to Poncho’s MGL… and that is when I realized that this wasn’t just a stock AN-M5.

    An AN-M5, out of the plane looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    The AN-M5 I bought looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The barrel was completely custom (I had assumed that was how they came out of the plane) and matched relatively closely to Poncho’s gun. Closer inspection showed that the bracket on the top of the barrel to match the one seen on James Braddock’s (Chuck Norris) custom HKG3 in 1998’s Braddock: Missing in Action III.

    [​IMG]

    This in and of itself was pretty exciting as it made the piece a screen used item… but from a movie no one knows or cares about. However, further inspection of the custom barrel shows the unquestionable weld marks from Poncho’s MGL foregrip.

    [​IMG]

    This isn’t the found part that could be used to make a Poncho MGL replica. This IS Poncho’s MGL from one of my favorite films!!! Sadly, I can't screen match it positively as it has been repainted more than once and has a considerable amount of wear and tear, but the uniqueness of the AN-M5, coupled with the custom barrel and the foregrip weld marks makes me feel confident in what it is.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So... now I am looking into what it would take to restore it to its former glory, as seen in the film!
     

    Attached Files:

    jackdoud, JMSupp, Vivek and 2 others like this.
  2. Prop Archives

    Prop Archives Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    621
    I know I have already said it but, pretty * cool man. For it to sit on EBay all that time also... was just meant to be.
     
    Art Andrews likes this.
  3. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    2,455
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  4. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    Dissassembling...

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    5,035
    Hard one to tackle!

    Gonna really enjoy seeing this one come about! :thumbsup
     
  6. JoMamma_Smurf

    JoMamma_Smurf Master Member

    Trophy Points:
    2,560
    Holy **** this is so amazing. This is the stuff I miss from the old RPF.
     
    nick daring and Art Andrews like this.
  7. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    915
    Congrats on one heck of a find Art! Amazing that no one else put it together that this was in fact a screen-used piece...
     
  8. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    I'd love to claim it was some brilliant move on my part.. but it was just dumb luck.
     
  9. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

    Trophy Points:
    915
    Still good for you, you deserve it Art. Plus you did the homework, put in the time and it paid off. Congrats!
     
    Art Andrews and Westies14 like this.
  10. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    The mechanics work and that loud click you are hearing is the hammer falling on each cylinder!

     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  11. Solos blaster

    Solos blaster Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,426
    Now that is an amazing find! Stunning!
     
  12. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    Wowzers. Been looking for an ANM5 myself for ages too. Will there be any form of replication of this made available - CAD, castings, drawings or dimensions etc?

    SAS
     
  13. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    While I have no plans of casting it (would be a nightmare), if you have general questions or measurement requests, I will be more than happy to give you what I can and once I have the custom pieces modeled, I certainly don't mind sharing that info. I can't imagine many people would want to build one of these, but I am all for sharing info for those who do.
     
    Westies14 likes this.
  14. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    Well, multi angle shots of the Cartridge holder & backplate casting (bit with the gear on it) would be good also the plate on the end of the barrel. Dimensions of the major components too, the type I could scale the other dims off of the picture from, something like that. Ooh the diameter/length of the barrel too. :D

    Thanks.

    SAS
     
  15. OdiWan72

    OdiWan72 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    3,376
    GREAT FIND Art

    Markus
     
    Art Andrews likes this.
  16. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    Whew! That is a tall order. I am out of town for the next three weeks, but once I am back, let me see what I can do.

     
  17. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    Well you did offer! I know, send it to me and i'll get all the stuff I want and you can have it back after eh?

    SAS
     
  18. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    So... it has only taken TWO years to make any progress at all on this. Today I started a study of the receiver of Poncho's MGL. The biggest hurdle is that there seem to be at least three of these in the movie and all three are different. From what I can see there is

    1) a hero that has a M16 A1 style grip (hollow in the bottom)
    2) a stunt that has a M16 A1 style grip (solid on the bottom... probably a cast piece)
    3) a stunt that has an HK HK94A3 lower receiver (this also appears to be a solid casting, and non-functional)

    Worse yet... the rear receiver on all of these guns appear to be slightly unique/different and because they switch so much from scene to scene it is very difficult to tell what goes with what. With that being said, I am going to do my best to follow one of those all the way through and see where it leads.

    Without using any dimensions at all... just playing around, I designed the receiver in Fusion 360. It is just a start to see what I think and overall I THINK I like the direction, but I have a LONG way to go.

    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-study.PNG
     
    Apollo likes this.
  19. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    another thing I discovered... or at the very least, am struggling with, is the receiver alignment to the AN-M5. I thought it was very obvious, but after looking at scenes from the movie, it appears to be severely offset, centered over the crank shaft instead of on the more obvious mount points.

    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment.jpg


    It is VERY obvious in this first image that the center of the receiver it not aligned at all with the nut and threaded rod at the top, which represents the center of the firing pin.
    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-1.jpg

    This... not so apparent. Note that this receiver is VERY different in shape and even the number of ribs than the one above. It is far more rounded and appears to be more aligned with the nut at the top, but note how bent the receiver is in relation to the AN-M5... making me think this is a stunt gun.
    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-2.jpg

    This on falls somewhere in between although I feel it is closer to the first than the second.. The ribs are large and chunky like the first and the receiver appears to be offset.
    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-3.jpg
     
  20. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

    Trophy Points:
    5,035
    This is either going to make you go blind or crazy! :lol
     
  21. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,682
    It looks more like sticks of something in some kinda cloth pouches wrapped over the grip area, rather than just a solid structure.
     
  22. Neroon

    Neroon New Member

    Trophy Points:
    3
    This is a really neat coincidence and an excellent find. I'm glad that somebody who realized the history picked it up. Predator '87 was one of my favorite movies and this brings back a lot of fond memories.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your build on the piece.

    It would be interesting to see what happened to some of the other pieces used in the film. It's unlikely that this was the only one cannibalized for other productions.
     
  23. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    It is tough to say since there are multiple guns and each is different, but I think you are close to correct. I believe on the original there is a thin metal shell and they have wrapped some sort of ribbed rubber matting around it. It is the only explanation I have been able to come up with that answers all the discrepancies. From what I can see there are at least three guns in the film... all slightly different.
     
  24. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    I spent the entire holiday weekend working on this project. Made for serious headway on the receiver and the barrel.

    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-progress-2.JPG

    predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-barrel-progress.jpg
     
    Demetrius and Apollo like this.
  25. ElloAsty

    ElloAsty New Member

    Trophy Points:
    2
    Man how on earth did you initially match your item to the item from 'Braddock III: Missing in Action'? That is a niche movie to say the least.
     
  26. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    The seller on eBay mentioned it so I bought the movie and sure-enough... they were right.
     
    funboy1013xx likes this.
  27. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

    Trophy Points:
    5,550
    Some days are simply better than others! I couldn't screen match the launcher until today. The launcher you see in the most clear scenes of the movie has a unbroken weld mark all the way around the barrel (as seen in the top photo). However, my barrel has a broken weld line around the barrel. Last night, I found a screen match (bottom photo)! You can even see the matching nib of the weld and the matching curvature of the weld marks which would be unique for each gun. While I was never in doubt about what this was, being able to match it makes it all that much more special to me!

    And... this is why I went through 180,000+ frames in that movie.

    Poncho Predator Grenade Launcher Match.jpg
     
  28. Duncanator

    Duncanator Sr Member

    Trophy Points:
    1,085
    Whoo hoo! So now you know which version to restore it to.
     

Share This Page