1:6 Alien Queen Kit

1:6 Scale Alien Queen Kit
Part 3


Q: Are We Not Men?
A: We Are Dweebo!

11/13/09- I knew she was tall, but I didn't realize how tall until I posed Hot Toy's 1:6 Powerloader next to her-- the Queen towers over the Powerloader! With such a height advantage, it certainly looks like the Queen would have had no problem clobbering Ripley and her robotic forklift.

I wondered about the kit's scale accuracy, so I measured a lengthwise section of Halcyon's 1:12 scale Queen's head (assuming it to be correct) and scaled it up to 1:6: The resin kit measured up to its calculated length almost exactly. I then read on Wikipedia that Cameron's Queen was 15 feet tall, which scales down to 30 inches at 1:6th: The resin kit is 31" tall (although her head is tilted-- frankly, I don't know how you measure these things since they have such bad posture). I was satisfied that the kit was in scale, or close enough.

I didn't bother going through the same routine with Hot Toys' Powerloader since I'm not working on it, and there's not much I could do about it if it were out-of-scale. I'm mainly interested in the Queen's scale accuracy since it's relevant to the relative size relationship for all other things that claim to be 1:6 scale. If it's accurate, it lets you compare her size to other things that don't share the same frames in the movie.

Just for grins, I re-watched the fight scene to see if I could make sense of this, and as near as I can tell, the screen Queen does look more evenly matched to the Powerloader's size-- In some shots, I thought she even looked kinda puny, relative to other shots. Looking at the 1:6 versions and assuming that they were both in scale, I wondered whether it was realistic that the Powerloader could so effortlessly grab, lift, and pivot the Queen over the airlock opening, as if she were made of balsa wood. According to the 1:6 picture, I don't think so! So maybe Hot Toys' Powerloader isn't properly scaled? (If so, it might be kind of embarrassing to release a true-to-scale Alien Queen that would force the question.)

Another explanation is that I'm expecting real-world consistency from the make-believe world of film. This kind of dweebish analysis eventually leads to an acknowledgement of the limits of film technology at the time, and film's focus on making the edited scene "work". With models and puppets in film, you can and sometimes have to cheat with scale to make things work. Although the shots are put together very convincingly, the cuts and framing of the shots attempt to hide the mix of near-full figure puppet operated by rods, and close-up animatronics. You don't get to see the whole Queen in shots, and some of her movements in the wider shots seem slightly stiff, limited, and puppet-like. The screen Queen's usual pose is hunched over with her knees bent, which puts her head and face at the same level as Ripley's face in the Powerloader. She doesn't ever get out of the crouched pose, and if she did, she might tower over the Powerloader. It's possible that if one were to see a true wide angle shot, you might see puppet operators or machinery around her feet, perhaps operating below the level of the stage. I don't know; I wasn't there.

Ergo... I think that by straightening out her pose, I've made her appear taller and less screen accurate relative to Hot Toys' Powerloader. I'm not particularly bothered by this, and think it's actually kind of cool because she's totally imposing in the realm of 1:6 scale. It's not unreasonable that a Queen would be able to rear up, or straighten her legs. Even though these are completely fictional beasts, they live in their own cocoon of virtual reality: When the onscreen creature is replicated in real-world materials and becomes subject to real-world physics, the gulf is bridged, the scale is fixed, and the model becomes more real than the onscreen version. I think that's why they call it "Movie Magic".

So sez Dweebo...


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