I’ve been following NECA‘s Cinemachines, anew line of roughly 6″ vehicles, since they were first announced last year. The line will be based on an assortment of vehicles and displays from various sci-fi and action franchises. The first series is based on the Alien film series, with future assortments set to include The Terminator, Predator and even more from Aliens. At 6″ each, the vehicles are not in scale with one another (which would be near impossible to pull off). But each vehicle shares a consistent design, and scaled model car style packaging to make for a strong display. Included in Cinemachines Series 1 are:
- Alien – Fossilized Space Jockey
- Alien – Origin Derelict Engineer/Space Jockey Ship
- Aliens – M577 Armored Personnel Carrier
- Aliens – UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship with launching M577 Armored Personnel Carrier
Each vehicle contains a mix of plastics and diecast metal. They sell for about $25 each. We have over 115 high resolution photos of the first wave. You can see them, as well as my thoughts on the line, by reading on.
NECA Cinemachines Series 1
- The Space Jockey is perfect
- Very detailed sculpts throughout
- Each has a good weight to them
- Strong use of paint and weathering effects
- Stand included with Derelict Alien Ship is great
- Some fragile pieces on a few of the releases
I was initially pretty torn on these when they were announced. On one hand, I am not a small scale model vehicle collector. Any vehicles or displays of this nature, I usually like to be in scale with figures (which isn’t possible for many items). On the other hand, these were really fantastic looking takes on one of my favorite franchises. I then got a chance to see them in person during a NJ Comic Expo, and then the Terminator HK’s were announced. I knew I was going to be hooked on the line. Each comes packaged in a collector friendly window box. The Cinemachiens themselves sit inside a snap together plastic tray, great for repacking to display or store. The packaging itself is very reminiscent of boxes you would see for scaled model cars. It’s a nice touch and works quite well with the line. Here’s my thoughts on each of the releases in the first assortment:
Easily my favorite release in the first assortment. The Space Jockey, from Alien, isn’t itself a vehicle. Instead it’s the fossilized remains of a navigator from a derelict alien ship found on LV-426. It remains one of the most iconic visuals from the first film, one that spawned countless theories about who it was, and why he was carrying a ship full of Xenomorph eggs. The Cinemachines version is pretty much flawless in my eyes. The sculpting, paint work and size is perfect for an easy display. You can still see small brush hairs in some of the close up photos, showing the care that went into painting this. It looks and feels much more expensive than it is. It captures the design, and scene itself perfectly. My only hope is that this leads to a much larger version in the future.
The spacecraft that the Aliens and the Nostromo crew face-to-face. The unique design, it’s precarious placement and organic internal structure gave birth to a generation of horror sci-fi fans. The “U” shaped spacecraft was like nothing audiences had seen on screen before. Nothing about it felt “human” as was the case for many of H.R. Giger’s visionary designs for the movie. The ship here is much smaller in scale. It contains, what feels like, the least amount of diecast metal in the assortment. However, the sculpting and paint work are still handled well here. It has a more clean look to it, compared the film, which helps this impressive display piece. The detail work on the small hatches, lines, vents and ports rivals the work on the Space Jockey. It includes a flight stand as well, which had no trouble holding the ship via the tiny peg hole.
M577 Armored Personnel Carrier
This is likely to be the most popular release in the first wave. The APC has always been a fan favorite design from Aliens. Used to transport the Colonial Marines from the Dropship to their intended destination, the APC is heavily armored, and heavily armed. This is a very heavy, solid feeling piece with some nice features. The canon mounted on the top can fold down to the back of the vehicle, the wheels allow for the vehicle to be rolled, and the guns on the front can even rotate. It looks like a small prop replica and has impressive weathering effects throughout. The only issue is the mounted canon, for me. The piece that slides through the hull is a more fragile piece of plastic, and mine cracked. I was able to glue it back on, but use care when positioning it along the back. Other than that, this is a good addition to the line that, like the Space Jockey, looks and feels more expensive than it is.
UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship
Transporting the Colonial Marines from the USS Sulaco to the surface of LV-426 was the UD-4L Dropship. This fully combat ready aircraft was built to withstand harsh climates, allowing it to land on near any surface. It’s large enough to carry a M577 APC, while also featuring numerous hidden weapons. This scaled down version features all of the great details you’d expect from a model replica. The rocket equipped wings can fold out, and the two additional rocket station net to the cockpit can extend out. On the undercarriage, a ramp can be opened, allowing a tiny APC to shoot out. Even the much smaller scale APC has rolling wheels. The Dropship is another heavy feeling release with well used weathering paint throughout. There are a ton of fine details to appreciate here. The landing gear doesn’t fold up and feels like a lighter plastic, so take care when handling. Out of all the releases, this one has the most “play” value, with the added APC being a really fun added accessory.
The Cinemachines are still a surprising addition from NECA. It feels like nothing they’ve done before, which is a huge risk. But it’s a risk that looks to have paid off for fans of the Aliens franchise. I personally hope we get more dio style display pieces, like the Space Jockey to go with the vehicles. It breaks up the assortment nicely, and wound up being my favorite piece so far.
Check out a few highlight photos below, and the full gallery after that.
*NECA provided these for review purposes.