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A.T.A.C. APC by Scotia Grendel – a review

June 7, 2013

There are several things people tend to associate with the movie Aliens – the pulse rifle, the power loader, the sentry gun, the drop ship…and the armoured personnel carrier, or APC for short. Just in case you don’t remember what I’m talking about, it’s this:

aliens-apc

image © Twentieth Century Fox

Since you already have a bunch of Colonial Marines (right?) or other suitable near future military types, you’re going to want to have a sweet ride for them. Originally this review was supposed to be a comparison between various models, but I’ve had some trouble acquiring other APCs. I’ll take this time to offer my apologies to Scotia Grendel for taking a very long time in getting this review out!

With the preamble out of the way, let’s get down to the real beef – the review of Scotia Grendel’s A.T.A.C. APC.

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Click for a larger version

Retailing at £17.00 (~20€ at time of writing), the model is very reasonably priced. The kit contains the APC hull itself, seven wheels, a turret and the turret’s mount. There are three additional metal bits too: a minigun for the turret, an antenna (which I didn’t attach) plus a top hatch.

There’s plenty of nice detailing on the model, with jerry cans and baggage stowed and the surfaces lovingly greebled. In addition to the turret mounted minigun, there’s a baby minigun (aww!) in the front of the vehicle.

The resin is heavy and hard, but not too brittle. On some parts – the hull especially – casting quality leaves a lot to be  desired. I needed to take a knife blade and a file to the model, and while this wasn’t too much work, on some parts the model has been disfigured by the casting process and would need a lot of work to fix completely. All this said, the casting is mostly very crisp and overall the model looks nice if you’re willing to overlook some dodgy bits. I understand that this is quite an old model, which both makes it more impressive in my view and may contribute somewhat to the quality issues. Also, it could just be that I had the misfortune of simply receiving a subpar casting.

With the parts cleaned, the model was very simple to put together even with no assembly instructions. I pinned the wheels in place, but you could probably just use glue.

Size wise, there has definitely been scale creep throughout the years, so the A.T.A.C. is very much on the small side. In my opinion it’s not too small to be used alongside your average 28mm stuff, and with smaller 28mm ranges such as 1st Corps or Denizen it’s even more fitting. I’ve mentioned before of course, that I’m not particularly picky when it comes to size issues, so I don’t have a problem with it, but I appreciate the fact that for some people it might be more important. I’ve included a size comparison picture with common 28mm ranges to help you make your decision. Note that you could also base the APC to compensate for the minis’ bases.

Click for a larger version

L to R: Hasslefree, em4, Denizen, Copplestone, Defiance, 1st Corps. Click for a larger version

Of course there’s also the big question of how Aliens-y it is! While it’s clearly a completely different vehicle and there are some APC on the market that are much closer to the movie ride, there’s something about the A.T.A.C. that keeps reminding me of the movie APC. Whether it is the sloping front of the hull or the shape of the turret, I was immediately reminded of the iconic Colonial Marine transport. The fact that it’s not a 1:1 match has actually turned into something of a plus in my book, as it means it’s more readily usable with a wide range of scifi models.

Overall verdict: Apart from some casting and size issues, the A.T.A.C. APC is a very nice find for its price. It’s not perfect as a model or as an Aliens APC proxy, but if you want a little armoured power for your troopers, you could do far worse – especially if your minis collection is more 28mm than 30mm.

You can find the A.T.A.C. APC at the Scotia Grendel webstore.

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9 comments

  1. Personally I used the !.48 model from these guys needed a bit of work but it is nice when finished
    http://www.bambammodelproductions.com/blog/


    • I’ve had my eye on those for quite a while. How much was “a bit of work”?


  2. I bought one for my Colonial Marines army but found it too big for the miniatures (Kryomek marines). It takes up far too much room on the table for what it is being roughly the size of a 1/50 Challenger MBT.
    I realise this probably isn’t an issue for people used to GW vehicles but for a humble wargame rlike me, used to realistically scaled trucks and armour I eschewed this for the old GFG scout cars sold by daemonscape, who also do a matching dropship, which are slightly too small but look good enough and have a better footprint.
    There’s a pic of mine here:


    • Thanks for the comment Matakishi!

      Horses for courses, I think! I based my “smallish” comment on movie stills like this: http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/M577_Armoured_Personnel_Carrier?file=Ap.jpg in which the Aliens APC is pretty massive. When you add the interior shots (with a lot of movie magic in them) I think the A.T.A.C. as a whole is smaller than its counterpart in Aliens, hence the comment on the APC being small.

      Lovely work on the marines and their support!


  3. Thanks for the review, and the vocabulary lesson! (Greebled)


    • Thanks for the comment! “Greebled” has become one of my favourite words 😀


  4. a bit of work was choosing the main gun style I wanted and adding a platform under the turret + pin, so it sits in the tracks provided, also a little smoothing with green stuff for the main barrels next Fixing a bit of the front gun minigun barrels due to unlucky molding bubble turret (and again adding a pin, so it moves) also pinned the main wheels into place these looked alittle small but have since grown on me and look good once painted) any hand grips (not important) I added to the spots marked with a bit of bent paper clip, not necessary though it does add to the look)
    also found out the model is mostly hollow which saves on weight, though it is still sturdy enough, alot of work maybe but it is the Iconic APC at an average price and it is a nice size 2.5″ wide and 6.5″ long,2.8 inch to top of turret at back!

    alot of work perhaps for someone dabbling but if you want the APc its the one to get 🙂


  5. Are you aware that Khurasan Miniatures have recently released their existing15mm Caiman APC in 28mm? As seen here : http://khurasanminiatures.tripod.com/28mmscifi.html

    Fingers crossed that their Space Demon range also makes the jump to 28mm…


    • Thanks for the comment! I’m aware of the Khurasan APC, and will hopefully review it sometime in the future, as it’s really nice. The Space Demon stuff would be wonderful to have in 28mm, true! You never know…



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