[SSM's 15th Contest: Wrecks]

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“... and those Norwegians blew it up."

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by Joachim van den Heuvel

Scale: 1/200
Diorama size: 20 x 25 inch / 50 x 60 cm.
Figure size: 10mm (N-scale).

“.. and those Norwegians blew it up.” -- MacReady
Saucer crash site from John Carpenter’s “The Thing

Two scenes in the history of cinema still give me the shivers when I see them; the Space Jockey scene from ‘Alien’ and the discovery of the crash site by MacReady and crew in John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’. I always wanted to do the crash site from ‘The Thing’ and this contest gave me the extra motivation to actually do it.

I started the diorama with a cheap plastic plate and a pile of bits from armour model kits. They were going to be the center saucer section and engines. There isn’t much reference aside from film stills and I aimed at overall accuracy and feel.

The figures were N-scale railroad figures selected earlier and I made the outer part of the dish to match them. The outer dish was cut/sanded from polyurethane foam. A round piece in the middle was cut out and the center section was glued inside the gap. The entire saucer was spraybombed black and gray, and afterwards with white. All the rest of the weathering was done by brush.

The diorama base was made of polyurethane foam as well. It sands/cuts wonderful without too much of a mess. The ice cliff was painted icey blue and the flat surface was painted a couple of rough coats of white latex paint to resemble snow. DAS clay was used to give some structure to the surface. Both the model and base were given a fine misting with the white spraybomb to give the diorama a more Antarctic chilly feel. The chunks of ice were made from a flat piece of plaster broken to bits, that were painted icey blue, misted white and glued on.

When ready, both bases were stuck together with glue and wooden picks.

The figures needed some converting to make them look anything like the movie. The “MacReady” figure needed a hat and all figures needed some padding on the coats. They were painted like they appeared in the scene but without the snow goggles. Those would look like giant fish eyes in this scale. Figures were coated black, with painting applied carefully to leave some black spots for shadow.

Image: From behind

Image: Sense of scale

Image: Broken engine detail

Image: Front

Image: MacReady and company

Image: Looking down

Image: Weathering detail

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