Detailing The APU


As the components were manufactured, they were assembled
and any adjustments required were made. A steel support frame that bolted under
the pelvis was manufactured and fitted. Two slots were built into the upper
torso to allow a forklift to lift and place the torso onto the leg and pelvis
assembly. Components on the front and back of the APU had to be removable to
allow forklift access. Pneumatics were incorporated into the carriage console
arm, and in the shoulder link assembly to impart motion. The ammunition doors
were pneumatically operated, as were the ejection shuttles.

Once the assembly was completed the APU was dismantled and
sent virtually piece-by-piece to the paint department. Paint Department Leading
Hand Bernard Castle and his team prepared the components for painting by first
grinding, chipping and detailing the pieces to give them a well-worn look. A
base coat consisting of acrylic paint, adhesive, texture and iron paste was
applied. “Repaired” sections were achieved by applying a “weld bead” using
caulking compound.

The painted parts were then re-assembled for the final
detailing and dressing. Senior props Dresser Peter Baxter used automotive
heater hose, brass and plastic plumbing and electrical fittings and cast
components to detail the APU with hydraulic and power cables. Requirements for
filming had to be allowed for with quick connect fittings in place at assembly
separation points. Once the detailing was approved the APU was given a final
weathering with washes and highlights to simulate corrosion, fluid leaks,
impact damage and general wear and tear.