As with the Scar bio, I bought a P2 disc which was claimed as 1:1 life size prop replica as used in the second
film. It looked good on the web site, and looked good when it arrived however when the Predator 2 Special Edition DVD came out, with
extras which included pictures of the film used one, you could see just how lacking in size and detail it was. While the basics were
there, is was undersize and missing the underside outer edge recess totally. So again I decided to make my own version trying to incorporate
as much detail as I could.
I drew up plans but didnít have anything to base size on. Luckily another predator
fan came to my aid after posting a request on a predator message board, and now with the correct size known, I started work.
I then started work on the disc. Unfortuanly I leant my camera to my dad so have very few pictures of this
stage. The actual disc was a disc of resin machined roughly to shape. While machining gets it to the basic shape, it needs sanding
by hand to get the proper shape. With the correct shape I then set about adding the finger grooves. I modelled this on my hand, I
had spaced it for a human hand, then realised the one on the special edition dvd was modelled on a Predator hand which was bigger
than a human hand. The quick way to remedy that was just to cut the disc and space it out further, then add a bit of filler and sand
it smooth again. The second attempt came out much better and it looked more like the film used one. While it still fits a human hand,
itís now the proper size.
With the top shaped and finger holes put in, I started on the bottom. This was flat
to start with, and then I added ridges round the finger holes on the underside and carved out the groove near the outer edge, something
the one I bought, and most discs you see around are lacking. They stop just after the finger holes, and have no edge detail I also
added the end points which needed to overlap, so the lower one on each side was added, then a piece of plastic film was laid on top
so the upper one could be added and overlap perfectly without fouling.
I then stuck the then centre ring bits I
made earlier on to the disc, but couldnít find a bit of ribbed pipe that looked right. My solution to this was to turn a short length
on my lathe, to do the job. I then took a silicon mould of this one bit, and cast as many as I needed to go in the disc.
With one side done, I aligned the two sides together, and stuck the rest of the surface detail on the underside, then added the small
teardrop shaped bit round the edge on the upper side.
I started off making the bits that the one I bought was lacking. The proper disc had two centre rings
on the underside, where the one I bought had one. The easiest way for me to make these bits was doing what I do well, so I set
about machining the larger centre ring from a solid lump of resin. I started off by machining it flat and round then started
adding detail. The next thing was the four main holes which were oval in shape. Luckily things like this are easy to do
on a milling machine with rotary table and soon the centre ring was starting to take shape. I then marked out and drilled out
the notches round the edge. With the holes drilled I made up a small square tool to cut the round holes square. With the
outer edge done, I returned to the centre oval holes and finished cutting them out, also making sure to incorporate the lip.
With the centre ring done, I started on the twin rings on the actual disc, which were small round bits of
resin machined to shape, then bits of plastic kit added for effect. These were finished and put to one side to be added to the
finished disc later.
Now the fine detailing was done, I set about making sure the sliding mechanism I had made worked. While
it not only needs to slide in and out, it needed to hold the two sides together and stop them wobbling around. On top of that
it also needed to hold the two centre rings centrally in position while open and closed. I overcame this by having a multi section
sliding system, which does everything it needed to, while be nice and simple in operation.
With the disc finished I set about painting it. I started off priming it in grey, and then added the
flat gold base colour. I then airbrushed dark grey into areas which I wanted to look shaded or dirty, and then airbrushed a
lighter grey into areas I wanted to highlight. With the highlighted and shaded areas done, I then sprayed heavily over these
areas with humbrol metalcote paint, and then lightly sprayed the entire disc, to give it a shine. This paint gives a very good
finish as once dry it can be polished to a shine. However when only lightly sprayed over another colour and polished the base
colour still shows through, but now with a tarnished metal look to it. With the paint left overnight to thoroughly dry, it was
carefully polished with a soft cloth, to give it that old used look.
So thatís how I made my disc. However just remember when making things like this, use whatever skills
you have. Some people can sculpt in clay, while others can carve stuff. I can sculpt in clay, but I am not very good at
it, while I can make almost anything on a lathe and milling machine. If you want to try and make something like this make it
the way you feel you can with skills you possess. Of course you will pick up new skills as you go, and improve on old ones, thatís
all part of the fun of it. Also remember most times the first thing you try will not come out as well as you might have hoped.
Donít give up, try something else and perhaps go back and improve on your other attempts in the future when your skills have improved.