The ME3 Hand Welder, known colloquially as the Cutting Torch, was a compact, handheld welding torch primarily used by the United States Colonial Marine Corps for cutting and welding whilst in the field.
The United States Colonial Marine Corps used the ME3 for many things such as sealing and opening electronic doors, such as the ones found in the colony Hadley's Hope on Acheron. It was also used for constructing barricades.
The ME3 was used by 2nd Battalion Bravo Team from the USS Sulaco in Hadley's Hope to seal the doors to the colony's operations room in an attempt to stop the advancing Xenomorphs. It was also later used by Corporal Dwayne Hicks to cut open a grate in an attempt to rescue Rebecca "Newt" Jorden.
When Colonial Marines from the USS Sephora responded to a distress call sent 17 weeks earlier from the Sulaco and later explored Hadley's Hope, they used ME3s to open and seal doors. It was also used to cut through Xenomorph Hive webbing to free cocooned Marines and levers.
Behind the Scenes
The base of the ME3 props used in Aliens was a Hama "Kameragriff mit Spiralkabel" 50 cm (5506 or 5507).
It appears that the welder may have not been directly built from a Hama grip and that the grip was used as the base the welder prototype was build on, as the screw holes on the right side of the grip have been filled in, the "trigger" has been omitted and the hinge bracket has been fixed in place and extended to the back. It is possible the prototype was then used to cast shells, which would then cover a real TIG welder.
In Alien: Isolation, the Cutting Torch appears. Despite the game being based primarily on Alien, the Cutting Torch is obviously based on the design of the ME3 — the shape is overall very similar and it features a flip-up screen almost identical to the ME3's.
- Aliens/novel (First Appearance)
- Aliens: Newt's Tale
- Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual
- Aliens versus Predator 2
- Aliens: Infestation
- Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013 video game)