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Old 06-04-2009, 10:10 PM
Benjamin Benjamin is offline
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Default Statting an Interesting Vehicle

I got my birthday present in the mail today. Coming all the way from Hong Kong, costing more than I've ever paid for a collectible before and matching the 1/72 scale of the rest of my in progress Twilight: 2000 meta diorama... I now have a UD-4L Cheyenne dropship. Yes, that wicked cool aircraft from Aliens.

Given that its the same scale of the rest of my vehicles I can't resist incorporating it into my upcoming Twilight campaign.

The back story that I've developed is somewhat similar to the story behind the U.S.S. Constitution in Gateway to the Spanish Main.

In 1991 James Cameron, coming off the success of Terminator 2, decided to support an effort to continue the Alien and Terminator franchises. Teaming up with several actors, notably Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigorney Weaver, and directors he formed Timestorm Entertainment. After a year of legal battles, Timestorm finally won the full rights to Aliens, Terminator and oddly Predator. Production on Alien: Awakenings began in early 1993 to star Sigorney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Viggo Mortensen (as Hicks' younger brother), Lance Henriksen and Mark Valley (as Hicks' youngest brother). Although Cameron did not direct the film he over saw every detail of the production.

On a whim Cameron and his friend, Richard Branson, decided to fund the building of three full scale mock-ups of the ubiquitous UD-4L Dropship for the film. In order to do so they approached Boeing Aerospace and McDonnell-Douglas, which were just beginning work on their entrance into the Joint Strike Fighter Program. Flyable, but unarmed and lacking high-tech electronics, mock-ups were finished in mid-1994. Several scenes including these aircraft were added during post-production, thus delaying release until the Christmas season. Although rated R and lasting over 2 1/2 hours the movie had the second highest opening of the year just after Forrest Gump.

Interest in the UD-4L didn't end after the completion of the movie. As money was moved away from the JSF Program and towards upgrading the existing F-15 and F-16 designs, Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas looked for a way to profit from the increasing military build-up. Concerns over the viability of the V-22 Osprey worried some executives in Boeing, and they with their MDD partners turned to the ailing Fairchild Aircraft for assistance in building a workable assault aircraft based upon the UD-4L airframe. After obtaining permission from Cameron and Branson work was begun in earnest. Four working prototypes were completed in early 1996 and two were accepted by the Marine Corps for testing. A further six were completed by July and four of them were purchased by the Pennsylvania National Guard, which was in the process of converting its 28th Infantry Division to a mechanized division. The other two went to the Coast Guard and were tested at Cape May.

By August, Fairchild's Hagerstown, Maryland plant was completely re-tooled and full scale production of the dropship commenced by late August. The first large scale order was by the Republic of Singapore Navy for twenty-four Cheyennes. This was soon followed by orders from Australia, Bahrain, and Ireland. Further orders also came from the Pennsylvania National Guard, Delaware Air National Guard, Hawaii Air National Guard and the US Coast Guard. Although, the US Marine Corps liked the Cheyenne it had invested too much in the V-22 program.

Type classified as the UV-40 Cheyenne the aircraft remained in continual production until the plant was abandoned in January 1998. During this time approximately 260 UV-40s were built.

Stating the UV-40
Speed and range: comparable to the A-10 Thunderbolt II

Payload: 16,000 kg

Obviously not able to reach orbit or anything of that sort; the UV-40 is a VTOL assault aircraft also used for SAR and special operations insertion.

Benjamin
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:45 PM
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Aliens was my favourite movie of all time. Heck, as part of my contribution to Gunmaster there is my drawing of the Pulse Rifle from Aliens in the first edition Gunmaster rulebook. That is a really odd write up of how the Aliens drop ship came to exist in real life Benjamin but hey, if it works in your campaign good for you.

There are stats for the drop ship in the Aliens RPG rulebook which is based on Phoenix Command. Some of the vehicle creation rules from various editions of Traveller should work for creating workable vehicle in T2K, I'd go for Fire, Fusion and Steel personally. I'm pretty sure that if you use those rules you'll end up with something that is compatible with v.2 T2K's rules.
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Old 06-05-2009, 12:33 AM
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I should be able to organise some interesting info from the Colonial Marines Technical Handbook for you as well. Obviously written from the perspective of a few centries in the future, never the less it should prove interesting reading....
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
I should be able to organise some interesting info from the Colonial Marines Technical Handbook for you as well.
Never read that but I'd love to. Hard to get hold of?
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:54 AM
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I have the 1.72 plastic kit version of it. Never got round to build it and its languishing in the box with all my other kits - including a 1.72 B52 that I really must get round to building, although God knows where I'll put it when its built

Benjamin, this might have been a cheaper option for you
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/9570

I like the back story that you've given it, but if you're sticking to Canon (and the Irish Army/Airforce have them in service) the civil war here might be over a bit quicker Although it might give me the option of pinching one....
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Never read that but I'd love to. Hard to get hold of?
Out of print for a long while now, but used copies show up on Amazon occasionally.

- C.
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:55 AM
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I have the Colonial Marine guide and the Leading Edge Aliens game, which I thought was crappy, but I figured I'd scale back the UD-4's performance and make it a bit more realistic.

As for the aircraft itself I figure it would be powered by at least two Pegasus II VTOL engines and have the armor equivalent to an AH-64.

I'm not sure how in love I am with the back story as written. I think I'll cut back on the overall number of aircraft produced before the nuclear exchange and make it a bit more hard to find. I do like the idea of Cameron and Branson getting together to build the initial UD-4.

I'll work on the stats some more this evening using the V2 system in the Nautical/Aviation Handbook.

If someone can give me a quick run down as to post a picture not from I web sight I could probably post a pic or two of it next to a same scale M1, AH-64 and A-10.

Benjamin
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:58 AM
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FYI - There are some Colonial Marines Technical Manuals available on Amazon for as little as 18.00 USD.

http://www.amazon.com/Aliens-Colonia.../dp/0061053430

Benjamin
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin
If someone can give me a quick run down as to post a picture not from I web sight I could probably post a pic

The FAQ was missing a step. I added it and the explanation/instructions are below. If you still have questions let me know (post or PM).
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What Are Attachments?

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Old 06-05-2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin
I have the Colonial Marine guide and the Leading Edge Aliens game, which I thought was crappy, but I figured I'd scale back the UD-4's performance and make it a bit more realistic.

As for the aircraft itself I figure it would be powered by at least two Pegasus II VTOL engines and have the armor equivalent to an AH-64.
Why am I now picturing a gunship based on the AV-4 from Cyberpunk? ....
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:51 AM
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I liked all the AVs in Cyberpunk (I think I have all the Cyberpunk 2020 books ever written). The dropship from Aliens was a much bigger vehicle than an AV4 though. Remember it could carry (completely internally) a wheeled APC.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:20 AM
Benjamin Benjamin is offline
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Yes, the vehicle is pretty big. It also has a ramp that opens on the bottom and I think I may be able to fit a LAV-25 or maybe an M113 in it if it lacks a turret.

Benjamin
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