Reviving the Aliens Cheyenne Dropship: Epic Restoration Journey

Reviving the Aliens Cheyenne Dropship: Epic Restoration Journey

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Restoration Journey Begins
    1. Assessing the Condition
    2. Dealing with Join Issues
    3. Smoothing the Finish
  3. Interruptions and a Trip to Japan
  4. Back to the Restoration
    1. Boring Holes for LEDs
    2. Adding Eyelids for Lighting Effects
  5. Sanding, Priming, and Painting
    1. Correcting the Bodywork
    2. Choosing the Original Color Scheme
    3. Painting Techniques
  6. Adding Weathering and Distressing
    1. Highlighting and Distressing Areas
    2. Chipping with the Classic Sponge Trick
  7. Experimenting with Acrylic and Water-Based Effects
  8. Applying Rain Streaks and Overall Wash
  9. Installing the Lightning Rig
  10. Addressing the Cockpit Window
  11. Cheap and Cheerful Visual Effects Shots
  12. Conclusion

The Great Restoration Journey of the Aliens Cheyenne Dropship

Have you ever had that one special item that you purchased years ago, sat in a box, broken and in dire need of restoration? Well, that was exactly the case for me with my Aliens-themed Cheyenne dropship replica from the movie. This iconic piece had been gathering dust for five long years, waiting for its moment to take flight once again. In this article, I will take you through my exciting journey of restoring and reviving this treasured model.

1. Introduction

Let's start at the beginning. I initially purchased the prodos AVP Cheyenne Dropship as part of a sale a few years ago. It was a steal at 50% off its original retail price, roughly 150 pounds. Little did I know that its value would skyrocket, with similar models now selling for up to 500 pounds. Instead of selling it to pay off some debts, I decided to embark on a restoration adventure to bring this beloved piece back to its former glory.

2. The Restoration Journey Begins

2.1 Assessing the Condition

When I finally took the Dropship out of its box, I was devastated to find that it was badly casted and poorly put together. It needed serious repairs, restoration work, and finishing touches. I knew that my skills would be put to the test, but I was determined to bring this iconic piece back to life.

2.2 Dealing with Join Issues

One of the first challenges I faced was addressing the horrendous joins in the bodywork. While some of the flaws were undoubtedly my own doing, it quickly became apparent that the larger cast pieces from the Promenos range were of subpar quality. Armed with a milliput and sheer determination, I began filling the gaps and smoothing out rough edges. My goal was to improve the overall finish and reduce the amount of sanding required later on.

2.3 Smoothing the Finish

As I progressed with the restoration, I also took the opportunity to test LED lighting features on the Dropship. However, just as I was getting into the swing of things, life threw an unexpected curveball. I had the opportunity to embark on a month-long honeymoon in Japan. While it was an incredible experience, it resulted in a two-month delay in my restoration project. But more on that later.

3. Interruptions and a Trip to Japan

Before diving back into the restoration, let me take a moment to share the incredible experience I had during my trip to Japan. From the beautiful countryside to the lively shopping districts, Japan offered a perfect blend of tranquility and geeky treasures. I couldn't resist bringing back numerous items, some of which I had completely forgotten about by the time I returned home.

4. Back to the Restoration

4.1 Boring Holes for LEDs

Upon my return, I wasted no time in getting back to work on the Dropship. The first order of business was to bore holes through the front and into the cargo area to install LEDs. However, I wanted to ensure that the LEDs wouldn't blind people when playing games. To address this, I added eyelids to the body, allowing the light to cast but not directly illuminating the source. This small modification would greatly enhance the overall gaming experience.

4.2 Sanding, Priming, and Painting

With the electrical components in place, it was time to tackle the most time-consuming part of the restoration process: sanding, priming, and painting. I had to sort out the remaining imperfections in the bodywork before moving on to the paint job. Utilizing my trusty sanding tools, I meticulously worked to create a smoother surface. Once satisfied, I proceeded to apply a layer of gray primer, preparing the surface for the desired paint scheme.

4.3 Choosing the Original Color Scheme

To achieve an authentic look, I delved into my collection of reference books, hunting for the original color schemes used in the movie. While the books were sparing in color photos, I managed to uncover the elusive Brown Bess, a discontinued paint shade manufactured by Humbrol. This distinctive brown color was prominently featured on the aliens' props, creating a dark and foreboding atmosphere. Armed with my new shopping list, I applied the first coat of primer, followed by a gloss coat, and another layer of primer, creating a solid foundation for the final paint job.

Stay tuned for the rest of the article, where I will delve into the weathering and distressing process, experiment with acrylic and water-based effects, install the lightning rig, and address other essential aspects of the restoration. Join me on this epic journey as we breathe life back into the Aliens Cheyenne Dropship!