Halcyon Movie Classics

Alien "Space Jockey"


Stated scale:


Actual scale:


200IMG_3223 400IMG_3222 800IMG_3218 overhead1_IMG_3207
overhead2_IMG_3225 pilot_IMG_3219 crew_IMG_3217  

Overall length:



Number of parts:


Stand included?


Decals included?


My Source:

SMS, St. Paul MN

Cost (w/o s&h):

The first big job on this one was trimming away the vinyl pour cones. Once that was done assembly was a breeze. I did the bulk of trimming with a hacksaw, keyhole, or razor saw. I finished it off using nippers and X-acto knife to trim away the rest of the cones, and sometimes a bit more plastic, until the parts fit well together. The fit of the telescope base to the jockey's seat required almost 1/8" of extra trimming before it would fit well. If a piece was being difficult to cut - i.e. cutting out the center hole in the base platform - I put the piece in hot water to soften the vinyl.

I assembled most of the parts with superglue. There was a sizable gap in the fit of the telescope body to its mount. I used 5-minute epoxy for that. The two support struts toward the forward end of the 'scope needed filling and sanding on their backsides. I used epoxy and green putty for that. I attached them with superglue.

1/20/08 - I did the basecoat painting using black spray acrylic for the platform and Metalizer gunmetal for the scope, per the kit instructions' suggestion. And then the fun began. First item of fun - grutting and griming the platform.

 The vinyl casting is nice and smooth, but movie stills show it to be dirty and somewhat eroded / corroded. I airbrushed over the black with several coats of Testors rubber color with shaken-on coats of Durham's water putty powder in between to build up a good crud layer. I finished off the "grutwork" by scraping black chalk overall and grinding it with with a stenciling brush. I added more colors (rust, blue, and green) in a similar manner.


Next fun - I dug out the hole on the "back" side of the platform (the one Kane goes spelunking down). I used a Dremel tool to cut out the vinyl and wreck up the edges, then finished up with an X-acto to trim away most of the vinyl fluff. I smeared superglue around the opening to smooth down the edges - y'know the old "acid-for-blood" melt job.

I painted the pilot by hand with 2 basecoats of Acryl radome tan.

These two "overall" shots are after the pilot's 2nd coat of paint.

The Plan

4/6/09 – This project keeps evolving. The plan now is to re-create the scene from Alien where Kane heads down the rabbit hole. I started work on the figures of Dallas, Kane, and Lambert - and on the metal tripod that Kane will be hanging from. Yep, I decided to make use of the hole, rather than have 3 plain standing figures. D & L will be standing nearby as Kane begins his descent.

This wide shot never made it into the movie; this is a still from The Book of Alien.

The Derelict Pilot, Platform, and Telescope

Just to review – paint on the pilot and telescope platform so far is:

The rest of the work on the pilot consisted of several wash coats, first of Model Master wood, then some Tamiya acrylics: clear yellow and clear orange with touches of white and flesh. I dabbed some pale yellow and pinkish chalk dust into the paint too, and some brown chalkdust went into the chest-burster hole. There is a very light wash of Acryl pearl over some parts of the figure.

To finish the telescope I used Testor's rubber, Model Master rust and wood paints, and rust-brown and ochre-orange chalks. My basic technique was to begin with a wash of rubber, then work in some rust or wood paint and/or dab on chalkdust, depending on the color needed in that area. I'd then work the paint and dust together until it has the look I wanted. I also built up a couple “drip spots” on the platform under some of the telescope's fiddly bits.

The platform was essentially finished, however I did decide to add a little more thickness and structure to the rabbit hole. I epoxied in some balsa wood, bits of styrene rod, strip and square tubing, all of which I chewed up and meltified with a soldering iron and hot needle. I brushed over this with rubber and chalks.

Annndd.... I'm calling it done. This is the sort of work where you can just keep doing One More Thing. That way lies madness.

The Tackle

In a few shots in the movie, Dallas can be seen carrying a bundle of tubing and such. This evidently is the collapsed tripod and other tackle visible in the “Plan” photo. I broke this down into the tripod, a rack/frame, a bundle of tubing, and an air pump. Or maybe that thing in the lower right of the still is a fire-in-the-hole switch. I made the frame, bundle, and pump out of styrene rod & strip, stretched sprue, and black thread.

The tripod was more complex. I used three sizes of hypodermic needle (a great source of very tiny metal tubing!), each of which could fit inside the next larger needle. I cut lengths of needle based on measurements from the “Plan” still, scaled to the length of the Dallas figure's leg, slipped the tripod segments together, measured the lengths exposed and superglued the joints.

To assemble the tripod, I drew a triangle on an index card and pressed it onto a slab of modeling clay. I poked the legs into the clay, which held them in place as I worked them around to their proper position. I then added a styrene top piece using superglue and topped it off with a tiny reflector dish (heat-shaped styrene sheet) and a pinhead for the lamp. I dipped the leg tips into green putty to make rubber feet.

I finished up the tripod with some black paint at the leg joints, gray for the cap, and pearl for the lamp & reflector. I superglued all the tackle in place on the platform and touched up the area with Testor's rubber paint to cover the shiny superglue patches.

The Crew Figures

The figures supplied with the kit were in basic standing poses, not suitable for the 'down the rabbit hole' scene. I cut apart, repositioned, and bent the arms and legs on the Dallas and Lambert figures. I used a razor saw to split their arms away from their sides and to separate their legs. I cut out some vinyl from elbow, knee, and hip joints so the vinyl could be heat-softened and bent. I superglued and green-puttied the posed limbs prior to painting.

Kane's figure needed a bit more draconic measures to get his arms into the 'grip the tripod' pose. I cut off its arms and drilled small holes in the shoulder joint surfaces so I could insert a short piece of electronics solder. This served to let me reattach the arms and position them for his grip pose. I filled in the resulting armpit and shoulder gaps with green putty.

The basic suit colors mixes I'm using are (L-R) Lambert in Testor's sky blue / MM light gray, Kane in MM insignia yellow & light gray with a touch of insignia red, and Dallas, who must've drawn the short straw and ended up with the pink suit. That's Humbrol Polish crimson / MM light gray. Other colors on the suits are MM light gray (shinpads, etc) gunship gray (straps) rubber / military brown (packs, helmets, epaulets).

For helmet faceplates, since there's no magical “make it clear and put a face inside” paint I used a coat of MM neutral gray covered with Tamiya clear smoke and a pearl highlight below the headlamp.


  The Final Mount-Up

For the final assembly of this, I began by supergluing the Kane figure to the tripod using a short piece of nylon monofilament and then let it set up overnight.
I carefully transferred the Kane / Tripod assembly to the derelict platform and positioned it over the rabbit hole. Then I superglued them in place.

I superglued the Dallas and Lambert in place and... done!