Monday, February 25, 2013

M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier

One of the most elusive 1/72 diecast models has fallen into my clutches, courtesy of Mandarake. It is the M577 APC from the film Aliens, made by Miracle House for release by Aoshima. I was surprised that the model had never been opened, but a couple of the corners of the box were slightly damaged, so perhaps a perfectionist collector dropped it by accident and then sold it off in a fit of disgust.

It is a nice heavy diecast model with rubber wheels. The forward turret rotates, but the gatling cannons the are not detailed, and merely represented by a pair of plain cylindrical barrels. The plasma cannon turret on top of the hull rotates, and slides on its mounting rails.

Many have commented on how it would be a very tight squeeze to fit a dozen fully equipped Marines into the APC. It's about one and a half times the size of the Micro Ops Warthog, so it is relatively small.

The set also comes with a pair of Colonial Marines. The pair on the right are Gorman and Vasquez. A pair of Micro Ops figures are on the left for comparison.

Two other models of the M577 APC exist in 1/72 scale. The first one is a resin model produced by Gonzoid Models. The casting is barely adequate, and the wheels and tread pattern do not appear to be very accurate. It is fairly expensive, and would have cost more than the actual diecast model at one point in time.

The other model is produced by the infamous BamBam Model Productions, and it is essentially a pirate version of the Aoshima APC in resin. Apparently, even the screws in the bottom of the hull of the diecast version are replicated in the copy. From what I can tell from their website, the casting seems to be much crisper than that of the Gonzoid APC. Nevertheless, it is a pirate, and BamBam models have a pretty poor reputation.


Gowan James Ditchburn said...

must say despite its apparent design as a APC it looks very, well, crap. the shape is poor and its armement is not suitible.

give me a BTR-80 or 90 any day. the model looks nice but the design is poor. I'd prefer to have a BTR-80 with the futuristic armour... but they can keep the style. and vulnerable vertical sides.

EY said...

Hi Gowan,

The front also seems made to funnel shots right into the driver's window, but Hollywood designs follow "the rule of cool" rather than anything practical.

I think that the interior layout is even more poorly thought out, since there's no way it can all fit into the stated dimensions of the vehicle. But then maybe it is fitted with some primitive form of TARDIS technology...

Sean said...

Still a very cool and iconic model to have, if not at all practical. Thanks for sharing.

EY said...

Hi Sean,

Cool trumps reality on the gameboard any day of the week. Still Gowan does have a point about the BTRs - 8-wheels are cooler than 4.

Jiaqi said...

Woah. Practicality purpose aside, this M577 APC brings back good memories of Aliens. I for one particularly like the shape of the APC.