I came up with the idea of recreating these beer cans from Alien some time ago. I held off posting about the build because I wanted to surprise our friend Rich with one at this year’s Dragon Con. Now that he has been presented with his beer, I can add this to the blog!
It just goes to show how large a corporation Weylan Yutani is that they even brew the beer the crew drinks. This was a pretty straight forward build once I found good reference for the can label. It all boiled down to recreating the label in Adobe Illustrator so that I could then print them out on blank water-slide decal sheets. I got the ones meant for laser printers and used the white film version since the design uses white in the sheaves of wheat and I am unable to print white since I don’t have access to an ALPS printer. Our printer was trying to convince me to buy more toner by claiming that all of the color cartridges were depleted, so I had to fool the thing into actually printing these. I didn’t want to spend almost $200 on toner to make a few beer cans, so a little searching on the internet showed me how to fool it into using ALL of the toner in a cartridge before making me spend money. They ended up with some minor streaking which I think had more to do with the printer not being completely clean, but even so I am very happy with the results.
The cans themselves are Monster Energy drink cans from which the printed labeling was removed with some judicious application of steel wool. It took some scrubbing, but once down to the bright aluminum the cans were ready to be re-branded. The cans in the movie were of a different design, opening with a “press button” top where two holes were pushed open to get at the contents. Since these are no longer made I had to settle with the modern opening mechanism with which we are all familiar. The printed decals had to be cut out as close to the edge of the design as possible so that the white film of the decal wouldn’t form a border. This was accomplished with a little careful application of an X-Acto knife. The decal film is a lot thicker than I remember using on plastic models as a kid, so even though they are large they were fairly easy to apply to the cans without tearing. A coat of clear gloss sealer was sprayed over the decals to protect them and these babies were done! Cheers!