ALIENS Deluxe Play Set – Customized

ALIENS Playset © 2004 by Tree House Kids

ALIENS Deluxe Playset Box Cover
ALIENS Deluxe Playset Box Back
This ALIENS Deluxe Playset features the confrontation between the Colonial Marines and the Creatures from 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi classic film ALIENS. This was the first play set licensed by Fox.
Assembly Sheet 

Play Set Contents 

The play set, out-of-the-box, contains 3 different plastic extruded floor levels with column supports, and a card photographic back wall from a ALIENS movie/film setting. Ladders, stairs, railings, and crates add to the realism. The levels have different printed metal grate floor patterns …also nicely detailed from the film. 
Seven 3 inch ALIEN Warrior figures with eight ALIEN Eggs are included.
Six 2 inch scale Colonial Marines very well-detailed from the film are included. The figure representations are Corporal Hicks, Sergeant Apone, Private Frost, Corporal Dietrich, Private Chow and Private Wienzbowski.
Also available from Tree House were mini packs of extra figures. These included ALIEN Warriors in different positions, plus the following Marines: Private Hudson, Private Valquez, and Private Drake.
Below are two photographs of the ALIENS Deluxe Play Set set-up out-of-the-box:
 Play Set as set-up ‘out-of-the-box’


Although (as shown above) very nicely created out-of-the-box as a child’s play set, I decided to customize my play set, figures and the accessories. I wanted the Marines and ALIENS positioned in a stop-action fight/battle with each other, creating a fixed ‘Action Diorama Model’.

Creation of My ALIENS Diorama Model

My Idea Steps to Give It Realism:
1. To make the card background last longer and avoid warping over time, it will need to be laminated or sealed with a coating on both sides, before securing it to the vertical plastic back supports (shown in the Assembly Sheet above).
2. The printed floor surface of the different levels would also need to be sealed.
3. All plastic looking surfaces, and accessories, such as the crates, also need to be painted, to omit the cheap or raw plastic look.
4. The molding of all ALIEN creatures is very well detailed, but they are only finished in one color – Black, so they require a re-paint and detailing for realism.
5. The ALIEN Eggs are also painted plain Black in color, and require detailing.
6. Like the ALIEN creatures, all of the Colonial Marines appear in one color – they definitely need to be fully painted.
7. As I want all figures, Marines plus ALIENS, to be in a displayed diorama fixed (glued) position, I’ve decided to remove ‘all the figures and creature’s flat stand-up bases.
8. Once all the stage, figure/creatures, and accessories, that came with the play set, have been positioned, I would add a few extra parts.
9. To finalize, I would add a ‘little greenish-copper blood’ to wounded ALIENS, and some ‘acid slime drip to floors, steps and railings. Also as part of this step I would group some ALIEN eggs together, giving it a ‘nest look’.

Note: I was able to find lots of ALIENS reference online, to help me detail all of the figures and components of this play set.

Directly below is a photo of my customized and finished ALIENS Deluxe Play Set


The background photo card panel was coated both sides in a Matte Acrylic Varnish. I also applied this to the floor levels before adding any detail. Most surfaces were scraped to the raw plastic where gluing was required. I used epoxy and super glue where suited. The ladders and rails were Red plastic, so I finished them in a darker red paint. Front and side edges of the platforms were painted, along with the floor support columns in a Middle Range Gray. 

I’ve added some more notes on the photos below:

In my battle scene there are 4 separate battle actions going on (shown above).

Lower level: 
– An ALIENS egg area, with 1 Marine and 2 ALIENS
– A Marine who has fired upon an ALIEN badly damaging it’s leg.

Middle level: 
– 3 Marines attacking an ALIEN who is retreating up a stair.
– On the other end 2 Marines have downed an ALIEN.

Top Level (small platform): 
– 2 ALIENS have entered and are looking over the railing at the battle.
– 1 Marine is ready to fire at an ALIEN climbing up towards him.

* I guess you can tell I want the good guys to win …LOL!


Above an ALIEN retreats up the stairs. I have hand painted and detailed the Colonial Marines and their weapons using colors that are repeated for all figures, example the pants and boots. There are differences in the figures wear, example: helmets and caps. Yes, I removed all of the figure’s flat stand-up bases. Nearly every figure is a different mold, which really helps the realism.


Extra parts from my recycle bin were placed around the floors to add more supplies and stored items.

Crates were painted and some of that metallic green/copper ALIEN slime was added.

Downed ALIEN shown above.

Right side view of the 3 levels, showing the ALIEN nest on the lower level, and the ALIEN retreating up the stairs on the middle level. 
I added a couple of plaster shapes into the ALIEN Egg mess here, so the egg nest protecting ALIEN could stand a little higher – making him more menacing! Bronze, Gunmetal and Chainmail Silvers were dry brushed onto all the Black ALIENS to bring out their ‘ugly’ forms!
An ALIEN guarding the ALIEN egg nest, while a Marine tries to surprise an ALIEN behind the column. The eggs were painted and detailed, and then dripped ‘slime’ was added all around. Note that I added a lot of color to the nesting material on the column tops. You can compare it to the original ‘out-of-the-box’ photos shown at the beginning of this post.
In the photos shown directly above and below, a Marine fires multiple rounds at an ALIEN severely damaging it’s leg. I cut a section out of the ALIENS leg and positioned it fallen and twisted. Another Marine works himself into the scene.

The above photo shows the conglomeration of supply/storage items that I added from my recycle bin. I added a few ALIEN eggs among these things, and a couple of crates that came with the play set. Again ‘slime’ was added also.

As you can see, with a little effort in customizing, and with extra patience painting all those figures and creatures, I think that I ended up with a nice diorama of this battle between Colonial Marines and ALIENS! Note: The play set designer(s) also deserves credit for the attention to figure and display details.

ALIENS Diorama by Murray Elliot Breen, aka surfthearts 

  1. Useful information shared..Iam content to read this post..thanks for supplying us wonderful info.Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.

  2. Jim says:

    Too awesome!
    Very nice job, thanks for sharing.

  3. bluevery says:

    Cool paint job. However, the color mix of green, yellow and red around the eggs look like melted BLTs plus mayo. Or vomit. Makes it look gross, in a food sorta way.

  4. Pingback: Tree House Kids Aliens Playset Science Fiction Comparisons - Stad's StuffStad's Stuff