Weta District 9 Miniature Arc Generator
Shrunk-down Prawn weapon, slightly less deadly...
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When it comes to high-end collectibles, nobody in the world does it quite like Weta. The New Zealand-based company is famous for its film-inspired replicas for good reason; it’s the same company that has done special effects for some of the most amazing films of the last few years including Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Avatar, and more! In many cases the replicas and miniatures they make are modeled directly off of the real props and designs for the films. One of the closest unions between the film and product side was for District 9. Today we’ll be taking a look at one of the amazing alien weapons from that film shrunk down to a perfect display size, the Miniature Arc Generator!
One of the breakout hits of 2009, District 9 was an instant sci-fi classic. Set against the backdrop of an alien refugee camp in South Africa, hapless bureaucrat Wikus Van De Merwe finds himself thrust into a life and death struggle not only for himself but for the very existence of the so-called “Prawns.” Weta has been doing weapon collectibles for years, with selections from films, history, and fresh from the fertile minds of their sculptors. District 9 follows on the standard of excellence Weta has proven with its Dr. Grordbort’s range of Rayguns, and in fact the creator of that series, Greg Broadmore, designed the weapons for the film. Also like the Grordbort line, District 9 replicas were made in full-sized and miniature so there’s a perfect Assault Rifle or Gas Projector for everyone.
The Arc Generator comes in a really nice box. Glossy black, it has plenty of violent background images of “Prawn” shooting range targets and anti-alien propaganda. Superimposed over that is photography of the weapon on the front and top panels, along with the title and logos for the film and Weta. The front describes the Arc Generator as a “1:4 scale cast metal replica of the props made by Weta Workshop.”
On one side of the box is the gun’s limited edition number (out of 750), and on the other are its dimensions. The back panel has a brief teaser about the film’s plot and a description of some of the weapon’s features. But that’s not all. The front panel, held in place by magnets, flips up to reveal other District 9 products from Weta.
District 9 featured incredible sci-fi designs, especially with regards to the aliens’ array of handheld weaponry. The Arc Generator was one of the most memorable of those guns, which via some sort of charged energy current literally blew up its organic targets. Wikus most memorably carries this weapon in his assault on the MNU Headquarters, and one is mounted on the Prawn mech at the end of the film. It’s a very unorthodox gun, clearly built for non-humans. From the grip two prongs extend forward, the top one composed of stacked modules and the bottom one a long post tipped with an activator pointed at the other. The top of the Arc Generator has various canisters, presumably for the different chemicals or materials used to create the directed energy charge.
Weta’s Arc Generator is a sizeable “miniature” weapon, approximately 10 inches long, 4 inches tall, and 1 ½ inches wide. Thanks to its metal composition, it also weighs a mighty 2 ¼ pounds! It may be a little too small to wield comfortably, but it’s an excellent display piece. Modeled from the actual movie prop, the Arc Generator has an incredibly detailed sculpt chock full of alien technology. It’s hard to describe what all of the parts are, but if you look closely you’ll find circuitry, piping, rivets, connectors, vents, welds, and much more.
The Arc Generator is mostly white, with accents in gray, black, orange, silver, and gold. The superstructure of the weapon is predominantly white, striped by orange. Mechanical components are gray and black, while dirty metallic gold shows up where tubes and canisters connect. The entire gun has an overall “worn” look, as the package states to make it more screen accurate since it was held by Nigerian gun runners. Finally, there are even some cool alien markings on the Arc Generator, black on each side of the top-mounted canister and orange on the one that sticks up from the “barrel.”
Especially with its unique design, the Arc Generator demands a display stand, and Weta did not skimp. The included stand is crafted to hold this gun and nothing else, with two posts: a plug that fits into the rear of the gun and a cradle for its forward section. The stand itself is black and has some cool sculpted details of its own including an “S” shape on its base. The bottom of the stand has the weapon’s name, logos for the film and Weta, and its edition number.
Collectors of sci-fi and alien weaponry have been going nuts over Weta’s District 9 line, both the full-sized and miniature guns, and for good reason. With amazing sculpts capturing the unique designs, the small-scale replicas like the Arc Generator are really nice display pieces. The Generator isn’t exactly cheap at $99, but if you like the design then you’ll be happy to pay that. Weta did offer a full-size Arc Generator replica but it’s sold out (along with the full size Gas Projector). The Minature Arc Generator is currently available for purchase through Weta's website HERE. The Miniature Assault Rifle (read our review HERE) is also available.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Sample Courtesy of Weta