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Original film used Landstrider restoration project

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Tom Morrow, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    I don't post here all that much (and usually in the puppetry forum when I do!) but I've just completed a restoration project I think you'll all enjoy.

    Probably best to send you to my site for the pics and details: http://www.tomspinadesigns.com It's currently the top item on the news/updates area.

    When this arrived it was in VERY rough shape. Dry and crumbling and very fragile. It did, however have the original fiberglass underskull which was a great asset when it came time to rebuild the missing areas. It's also likely what kept this piece from crumbling completely over the last 20 years.

    The "nose" section is mostly original, though it needed considerable repair. There's a shot on my site that's a collage of "before" pics, including a shot of the misc pieces that were included, but had fallen off over the years. The upper face was completely recreated by me and blended to the existing textures. There was also a lot of patching, repair and touch up paint. Paint was especially difficult because of the unique blend of colors and pearlized look originally used.

    I'm really proud of the way this one turned out and just thrilled to have been able to work on such an important and unique piece.

    Anyway, I'll let you go look at the pics rather than listen to me ramble on. Hope you all enjoy,
  2. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your post, Tom. I didnt know there was such a service.I thought once latex melted, it was time to say goodbye.I hate latex and try to advoid it, but I have got a Garfield cat from the movies and was wondering what I could do to protect him.I was told to keep him in dark storeage and dont touch him.so do I just let him collapse before restoration or can I treat him with something.I have heard about latex oil that they use on clothes but I think that would mess up his fur.I am also getting a Miss Piggy head from 1984.I am thinking of getting her head painted in a few layers of resin to seal the foam and then re flocking it.What do you think?
  3. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Hi Eric,

    You scored the piggy head, eh? Pretty nice looking piece.

    It's difficult to give a "diagnosis" or anything beyond the basic sure thing suggestions (such as avoiding UV light, or hand oils) w/o having a first hand look at something. These projects are almost always unique in some way and there is no magic bullet.

    There is also a good bit of difference between latex, foam latex and poly foam. I'm not sure which the piggy from 1984 is, (likely either foam latex or polyfoam) so that makes it very difficult to suggest anything. Each deterioates at a pretty different rate. Thickness of the material can also make a huge difference in it's overall life. I've had pieces where the thin spots went crunchy but the thick areas felt like they had just been pulled from the molds!

    In general, I will say that if it looks good and still feels flexible and soft, I would NOT do anything rash. Some precautions can be taken to minimize aging, but it's a natural process. Keeping the item supported in the proper shape (if it's thin, keeping it stuffed with an inert material so that it holds it's shape or fitting it over a custom sculpted support), keeping it out of UV light, keeping it dust free, keeping heat and humidity reasonable... those will all help make a piece age as slowly as possible. Having cracks repaired is also important, as those generally form in areas where gravity is causing stress (making that kind of part of keeping it properly supported).

    IMO, drastic steps should only be taken when a piece is showing real signs of damage and is at a risk of being lost. This Landstrider head would've turned to dust if I didn't work on it...

    If anyone would like to discuss specific items or potential projects, you can drop me an email (tomspina@mac.com) or visit my site at http://www.tomspinadesigns.com

  4. muppetperson

    muppetperson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input, Tom.By the way, did you make Rizzo in the pic, or is he actual? Looks screen used.
  5. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    I wish it were screen used!

    That was a puppet I made about 12 or 13 years ago. Thanks for the compliment though :D

  6. crazed gonzo fa

    crazed gonzo fa Well-Known Member

    That was amazing what you did to the Landstrider! Awesome job!
  7. Infinity Sirius

    Infinity Sirius Well-Known Member

    Wow! How did you get the Landstrider piece? Lazlo is another sculpter who has some pieces from Labyrinth like the Monstro cast and a Skesis head from Dark Crystal.
  8. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    thanks guys!

    unfortunately I didn't get the Landstrider, a client did. I just got the job of trying to breathe a little bit of life back into him and then had to send him home! (sniff! was tough letting this guy go!)

  9. edible eye

    edible eye Well-Known Member

    Wonderful job! I'm glad these gems can be restored. I wish the lost luggage people would send you their rotting Hoggle.
  10. Infinity Sirius

    Infinity Sirius Well-Known Member

    I plan on buying that Hoggle from them one day should I ever when the lottery.
  11. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    thank you very much.

    IS: when you hit it big and snag that Hoggle, just drop me a line and we can talk about what can be done ;)

  12. Infinity Sirius

    Infinity Sirius Well-Known Member

    Will do! I just need to get the money first.
  13. ToastCrumbs

    ToastCrumbs Active Member

    Great job on the restoration, I am very impressed with the outcome.
  14. ToastCrumbs

    ToastCrumbs Active Member

    I happen to have some props from Dark Crystal and various other Muppet projects. They are 100% authentic, and I can almost say with absolute certainty that the fact that these are still around is an extremly rare find. Most of these are one of a kind items. I will entertain only serious offers, so please do not contact unless you are a truly interested.

  15. Infinity Sirius

    Infinity Sirius Well-Known Member

    What pieces do you have ToastCrumbs? Tell us what you have and post pictures and you may get a better response.
  16. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    Hi Tom,

    thanks for posting this awesome project! I saw this piece on YOURPROPS.COM and already wondered about the great shape this piece is! :)

    You did a perfect job on it! Wish I could have a casting ...

    I had 2 Skeksis heads rotting away. But luckily I casted them in resin.
    The originals are gone though.
  17. Giar Fraggle

    Giar Fraggle Well-Known Member

    Beautiful restoration job, it does the old heart good to see a prop from such a wonderful movie saved from oblivion.
  18. Land Strider

    Land Strider Member

    THANK YOU for sharing your project with us! It is so wonderful to see these pieces from the films I love get beautifully restored. I wish there would be a large display of these things -- it would be amazing to see the Land Strider up close! Although, I feel lucky enough to have gone to the Academy exhibit in LA where they had Fizzgig, a skeksi, Augra, and Didymus. (I think I misspelled half of those, but I did love seeing them and getting photos!)

    To others with original pieces -- Yes, please send us links to images. We do love seeing all these things! I am very happy that they are in the hands of people who will take care of them.
  19. Giar Fraggle

    Giar Fraggle Well-Known Member

    They had Fizzgig?! *whines*

    That exhibit isn't still up, is it? :confused:
  20. Land Strider

    Land Strider Member

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