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Aliens pulse rifle replica M40 grenade props DIY

Aliens pulse rifle replica M40 grenade props DIY

“Don’t touch that, it’s dangerous honey”, one of the many ‘throwaway lines’ in the movie “Aliens”. Upon deeper inspection it isn’t just a throwaway line, it’s character building for both Newt (still inquisitive) and Hicks (fatherly and empathetic). I always loved that scene, caring in the midst of such a bleak situation.

The scene is built around one M41A Pulse Rifle grenade, the M40 round, a high explosive fragmentation grenade. It’s a cool little prop and it is that device that was the inspiration for this latest step by step Nerfenstein prop build guide post. Now this isn’t an exact replica, because this is cheap and simple, though making one that is almost exact shouldn’t be too difficult using this sort of process. The cool thing about this little prop is, it works! (well it doesn’t explode‚Ķ that’s not nice! but it has a little fake trigger for if you’re doing a little indie movie and want something with a bit more to it for that all important closeup).

Aliens Pulse Rifle Grenade accessory the M40 push grenade prop parts

These are the main prop build bits you need! Bottle lid with pressure cap, 2x regular screw cap lids and a short length of PVC piping. Vasquez -> “You always were an asshole Gorman!”

What you need for your M40 el cheapo movie prop grenade:
First up you need one of those drink bottles with the little bit on top that pushes in sealing it and pops open like a sports bottle for you to suck juice out of it. I went for a “Pump” flavored water (Australia), but any is fine if the lid is regular twist bottle size.
A couple of regular sized twist bottle lids (Coke, Pepsi etc.)
A short length of PVC pipe these lids fit over perfectly when the screw thread is removed
Plasticine / clay if you’re weighting it.
Sandpaper, paint, glue, decal etc.

All up cost wise (drinks aside) you’re looking at ‘negligible’ cost for this little prop, pretty great right? This will also only take you a few hours max. That’s why I decided to go to the trouble of doing images and writing it all up for you guys!

M40 Aliens Grenade prop – Getting started:
You need the PVC pipe to fit in your hand and be cut straight top and bottom. Cut one of the bottle lids so the top is gone (like a ring) and discard the flat part, carefully remove the screw thread (Stanley knife, dremel, whatever you chose). slip it onto the pipe for later gluing. Glue the regular screw cap to the bottom of the pipe and when dry, fill pipe with the plasticine / clay (or anything heavy you have to had that won’t rattle). Glue the valved lid to the other end (the top), now glue the center piece in place, slightly above the bottom lid. When dry, sand it all down ready for painting.

Aliens M40 Grenade prop WIP painted

Making an indi movie and need cool scifi grenades? Save your drink bottles!

M40 Aliens Grenade prop – Finishing Touches:
Once it’s all sanded and cleaned, prime it. I did a black base and dry brushed metal, but you could spray it silver / aluminum as per the actual aesthetic of the original grenade in the movie “Aliens”, maybe you’ll do a nice steampunk one, I think I will.

I added a decal I made with Vasquez on it, totally up to you, it looks cool without the decal also. And there you have it, your finished push top Aliens inspired scifi grenade prop. The cool thing is it’s got its little clear safety cap that you can clip on also.

Aliens M40 inspired DIY grenade prop with cap and decal

Here we go, all finished! Great little prop for display on your Aliens shelf or for your scifi indi movie!

I know I shouldn’t need to say this, but just in case.. PLEASE use your smarts with this prop, don’t go waving it around outside, leaving it out in a space where stupid people won’t know it’s a prop. This tutorial is so you can make your own cool display prop or to help you budding movie makers who might need something like this. Essentially.. heed the word of the great Wil Wheaton and.. “Don’t Be a Dick”.

If you use this tutorial / idea, please give me a link.. or at the least a mention.. that would be the cool thing to do. If you desperately want one and would like me to do it for you, just email me ( and commission me to do so!

Till next time funsters…. “Is this gonna be a standup fight, sir, or another bughunt?”

Post written for home blog of Nerfenstein… the geek you can catch up with on her Facebook page, or if you Tweet… there’s always Twitter!

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  1. Nerfenstien, thanks for the tute! Can’t believe I never thought about my bike bottle like that before, must learn to look at things around me with eyes wide open ROFLOL

    So great you did this, please do more mini tutes for us beginners wannabees!

  2. Right on! Love to see props made from stuff that’s usually just thrown away!

    Well done.

    • Hey Steve,
      thanks a bunch for taking the time to comment!

  3. This is such an awesome idea and really enviromentaly concious! Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

    • Wow that’s an oldie! Glad you found it interesting James, thanks for taking the time to drop a comment.


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