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Building the Alien Motion Tracker - Finished pics Page Three
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Building the Alien Motion Tracker - Finished pics Page Three Reply with quote

Hi guys,

This is by way of an introductory post for my build thread of the motion tracker from Alien.

Just to be clear, we're talking about this:



And not this:



And definiteley not this:




Anyway, I've had a weird relationship with this prop since my first attempt at building one in around 2003. It's boxy, it's kinda ugly, and it ain't no USCM slick gear.

But there's something about it that fascinates me. Itlooks like what it is -something cobbled together on a dirty freighter by a crazy homicidal android.

Back then (2003) the only part that had been identified was the Panasonic Ranger TV made for the the main unit. Every other detail I got wrong.

Then in 2006, Gigatron, aka Fred, started this thread on the RPF: http://www.therpf.com/f9/alien-1979-motion-tracker-questions-3492/

And a bunch of new bits were found (more later)

Another few years, and Richie got to take photos of the original (I'm sure you've all seen 'em, if not: http://www.therpf.com/f45/alien-i-have-original-motion-tracker-emergency-helmet-hand-anyone-need-pics-62829/

Then I got one of Shawn's awesome Nostromo pistol and finally got inspired to face the formidable task of building another, far more accurate tracker.


Now the legendary Bob Burns tracker we've all seen on the DVD (originally Laser Disk) shoot, and in Richie's photos, is actually slightly different from the one's seen in the movie.

Obviously a few bits like the tube that runs from the hamster feeder (see later...) and some of the knobs and switches, have actually fallen off, but the BB TRacker has some sort of grill on the bottom left of the front panel, that is absent on both the movie tackers. I'm thinking this grill gor added some time affter production (like a certain Weaver knob??)

BB Tracker:



Movie Trackers:




The tracker seen most prominently in the mvie is the one with the probe thing bottom right, with the top hole where the attenuator was exposed. The other tracker has both attenuator holes exposed.

The point of this nerdliness is to pont out that I will be replicating the version seen on screen as much as possible

On the subject of greeblies, my next post (it's getting late..) I'll detail the known found parts of the tracker.

My Buddy Stephen 210 managed to get a cast of the one of the mysterious doodads, that cover the motion tracker, so I made my first step into replication by adding a few of those fellas onto my TV:





Cheers,

Simon


Last edited by Birdie on Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mark Sheppard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW~~~~!!! THE HOLY GRAIL OF MOTION TRACKERS!

....The real Motion tracker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What an incredible thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stand aside while I do a few back flips.....




WOWZA!!!! This is incredible!!!!!!!!

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Photech
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man that was a funny scroll down Laughing
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SKIN JOB 66
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm really happy and excited to see something like that actualy happening here !!!

EXCELLENT WORK !

Can't wait to read you next posts !!!

Fred
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joberg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that prop is at the level 10 in terms of difficulties (like the VK machine)...good luck with the build.
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RICHIES ARMOR
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon

Put me down as interested. I aquired a Ranger as well and I would like to do a conversion.

Are you planning to offer the misc. details?

Richie
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, the parts. I'll try to make this not boring, but it probably will be...

Nailed

The Panasonic Ranger 505 portable TV. Can be had relativeley easily on Ebay. I think this was badged slightly differently in Europe, maybe someone can confirm....

The radar dish - This is a blck plastic 7" gully cover, made by a company in the UK called Stadium. They can be quite tricky to get a hold of, the 6" ones are much more common. Stadium still exist, but are extremeley unhelpful when it comes to getting hold of their products. Ho hum.





The metal tube connected reminds me of a hamster's water bottle feeder...

The large knob (ahem...) - it's a 45mm diameter Vernier dial. They come up on Ebay occasionally.





Slider Switches - these are pretty spot on: http://www.okwenclosures.com/products/okw/slide-knobs.htm





The key - Strictly speaking, this is a case of close enough. It's definateley from a 1970's Vauxhall car, the exact one - don't know. I picked mine up off ebay.

Richie's pic of the original:



Mine



Vents - I've been searching for these parts for years, then a couple of weeks ago, while searching Ebay for something else, I struck very lucky. They are actually vintage plastic speaker griils. I scored four, which is the amount needed for the tracker. The left hand edge is used on the back of the tracker.



Cut to size:



Richie's pic:

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Mike Rush
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's some great detective work Birdie!

How are you doing with the ice tray..? Confused
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Close but no banana (yet)

Sensor - It looks like a metal CRT cover, probably from an old oscilloscope. I have one fairly similar, but the right piece is still out there



Ice Cube tray - Haven't found the right one yet! The screen used doesn't have the dimples that every plastic tray I've seen has - did they fill them?
I'll be modifying a six-row tray to look more like the screen-used.

Richie's pic:


Nutplates -Are those aircraft nutplates? Certainly looks like it, but I haven't found any that size. I've scratch-built, molded and cast my own plates in resin.



Screen unit - Stephen has some good evidence to suggest that this is from the viewfinder of an old video camera (probably pro) viewfinder. I'll be scratch-building

Richie's pic:

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Mike Rush
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds trite, but I'm pretty sure we had two of those exact trays living in our freezer for the first twenty-odd years of my life. Rolling Eyes

Don't mean to hijack, but if you're gutting that TV would you mind seeing if anything looks familiar here?



Thanks!
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the hell is that??

Richie's pics of the speedo-looking-type-thing







I dunno...some sort of aircraft instrument? Anyone?

More grills, more headaches



Some kind of....thing



Mystery disks



Are those phone leads? If so, I'm thinking they must be threaded over something?

What have I let myself in for? Rolling Eyes
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, my TV came pre-gutted Cool
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joberg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good research so far...yeah, that ice cube tray (that's the real Holy Grail )
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richie - I have a spare gully cover, and moulds for the slider switches and the vernier dial, so I can sort you out with those parts easily Smile

I'm sending the remaining bits I have left of the speaker grills to Shawn, I'm sure he can get a decent pull from them with a bit of the old Morgan magic
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And so to the build Shocked

I should probably start by saying that I'm no metal working guy.

I started off trying to put together the radar dish assembly using metal flanged parts I bought of ebay with vague dimensions, and hoping that everything would come together on the day. It didn't.

After brief reconsideration, I decided to go with what I know - plastic sheet, Milliput for sculpting and cheap junk from local stores.

Basically, I cut a couple of disks from thick styrene sheet, lined out a plastic cd spindle case with Milliput and threw it all together with my resin cast nutplates.

Incidently, I made a single scratch build nutplate, made a mould of it, then used that to cast the 16 or so I need to go around the bottom flange - very time consuming.

I used a drill press to to make the holes in the top disk, so I'm left with a little 'kit' like this:



My protype nutplate surrounded by resin copies, up close and personal:



After a lot of trimming, sanding, glueing, priming and general pampering...





Not attached, but you get the idea Very Happy



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8th_Passenger
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Birdie

That's starting to look great. Looking forward to seeing more progress. Will you make the ice cube tray if you cant find one or will you use the closest you can find?
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joberg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking very good already! Keep up the good work
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SKIN JOB 66
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same as Joberg !



Fred
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Birdie
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys

I'm modding an existing ice-cube tray, which seems kinda weird...
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noble
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Work Birdie!

Have you thought of an old tin funnel for the base of sensor?

It looks like tin/sheet metal to me.
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