Alien: Building the final chestburster

Still collating

leading from

Dicken's final chestburster  (source: H R Giger's Alien Diaries)
a) Constructing the chestburster
The final thing ended up looking similar to a porpoise.

It was literally the head of the big alien with a tail on the end.

But constructing it wasn't so simple, mainly because it had to be actual size and that meant it wasn't big enough for Roger Dicken to be able to put his hand inside and operate it.

What he came up with was a curved metal rod which ran into a hand grip.

About half way along - up where the neck - was a flexible steel spring, and then the rest of the rod went up into the head area and then down underneath the jaw to give it strength.

Chestbuster Prototype, http://www.sciencefictionarchives.com

b) Mechanising the chestburster
He ran a wire through, through a series of eyelets, along the whole length of the rod and then down into a ring which fit around his finger, so when when pulled on the ring, the spring would make the front section bend over.

On the front section, were the mechanisms for making the jaw open and the little arms move out. These were just activated by air. 

He ran little air tubes through the model and connected them to rubber squeeze bulbs, so all one had to was squeeze one to activate the mechanism.


Chestbuster Prototype, http://www.sciencefictionarchives.com

c) Breathing life into it
Also to make it look as lifelike as possible, Roger installed a little bladder  installed inside the thing's chest so it could breathe and also a bladder on each side of the head so the gills would pulse.

Then he ran another tube up to the mouth and connected that to a bottle of fluid so that when one squeezed the bottle, saliva would run out.

Dicken with his Chestburster  and Facehugger creations

d) Chromium dentures
As the large alien came equipped with those huge metallic teeth, Dicken had to fashion some chromium dentures for the smaller version, which were snapped onto the monster's porpoise-like face. 

The teeth he made out of the epoxy and they were then metalised in a centrifugal vacuum machine.

e) Problems with fitting everything in a small form
Everything was really very simple but what was difficult was getting it all to fit into this narrow sausage shape.

It was also very difficult to hide anything.

Normally, if Roger 'worked on a dinosaur model, or something similar, he could slash it open and stitch it back up - because it would have all kinds of scales and folds to conceal whatever had been done. 

But this thing was so smooth, with hardly any detail, that if one made a mistake it was very near impossible to get inside again without destroying it.

The Facehugger sold to Chris De Burgh at Bonhams  on 13 Jul 2004
Source Quotes
  1. Roger Dicken:The final thing ended up looking sort of porpoise like. The head of the big alien with a tail on the end was literally all it was. But constructing it wasn't so simple, mainly because they wanted it actual size and it wasn't big enough for me to be able to put my hand inside and operate it. What I came up with was a curved metal rod which ran into a hand grip. About half way along - up where the neck would have been if it'd had one - was a flexible steel spring, and then the rest of the rod went up into the head area and then down underneath the jaw to give it strength. I ran a wire through, through a series of eyelets, along the whole length of the rod and then down into a ring which fit around my finger, so when I pulled on the ring, the spring would make the front section bend over. On the front section, also, were the mechanisms for making the jaw open and the little arms move out. These were just activated air.  I ran little air tubes through the model and connected them to rubber squeeze bulbs, so all you have to do was squeeze one to activate the mechanism. There was also a little bladder inside the things chest so it could breathe and the bladder on each side of the head so the gills would pulse. Then I ran another tube up to the mouth and connected that to a bottle of fluid so that when you squeezed the bottle, saliva would run out. The teeth I made out of the epoxy and they were then metalised in a centrifugal vacuum machine. Everything was really very simple. What was difficult was getting it all to fit into this narrow sausage shape. It was also very difficult to hide anything. Normally, if you're working with a dinosaur, or something like that you can slash him open and stitch him back up - you've got all kind of scales and folds to conceal whatever you've done.  But this thing was so smooth, with hardly any detail, that if you made a mistake it was damn near impossible to get inside again without destroying it.(Cinefex 1, p44)
  2. (Roger Dicken said)" I made it breathe by installing gills and a chest that was inflated up and down." As the large alien came equipped with those huge metallic teeth, Dicken had to fashion some chromium dentures for the smaller version, which were snapped onto the monster's porpoise-like face. (Cinefantastique vol 9 #  ) 

No comments:

Post a Comment