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Teenage Mutant Ninja Restoration!

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Tom Morrow, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    Not sure exactly what category this fits in, but since this was a Henson creature shop piece, I figured fellow Henson/Muppet fans would enjoy seeing photos and reading about the project.

    Below you'll find photos of a recent head-to-toe restoration and display project that has just been completed.

    Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had spent many years stored away. Our client felt that this Henson Creature Shop piece used in the 1990 film, deserved better and sent the costume to my company for an evaluation.

    Condition on arrival is shown in the lower picture. Overall condition was generally "good", but it had a great deal of cracking and some areas/components were extremely brittle. Further, some areas, like the neck, crotch/inner shell and inner thighs, had major tears and areas of missing material.

    A customized display body was created to support the piece and fit it properly in a dynamic pose. The costume was mounted to the body and most of the restoration work was performed on the form. Some areas were repaired and sealed (cracks and such) but others needed to be rebuilt, then retextured and repainted to blend into the surrounding areas.

    At the client's request, the snout was repainted and blended to the paint style on the rest of the head. This was to improve upon repainting/repair that had been done many years ago which had left the snout too yellow. The head was also repaired around the neck, corners of the mouth and lips as part of the restoration process.

    A custom manhole cover display base was created to give the display a little extra pop.

    Last but not least, artist Kelly Delcambre and I recreated the missing the elbow & knee pads, the wrist wraps, and his belt & straps to complete the display.

    As always, the entire project was discussed at length and in extreme detail with the client. The goal was to make it look "good for its age" and not "brand new". Great care was taken to ensure paint touch ups matched the surrounding, aged areas and any skin repairs or recreated accessories were visually consistent with the rest of the piece's "feel".

    This was a long, difficult project but both the client and I are extremely proud of the completed display.

    Enjoy the pics. There are more photos and information on http://www.TomSpinaDesigns.com



    Nasubionna likes this.
  2. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    Man talk about shell rot! I'm glad they were all fixed up and repaired! I loved the Gremlin too!
  3. CoOKiE

    CoOKiE Well-Known Member

    SWEETNESS! That must be an honor to have worked on him
  4. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Indeed it was an honor to help preserve and display a piece originally made by the creature shop!

    Just to clarify (as it doesn't look like I can edit the first post), this was a single costume in a private collection... the work was done for a collector who's had the costume for quite some time and not the Henson company.

    Not sure what became of the other costumes from the first two films, but no doubt many of them could use a little attention.

    I've now restored a few pieces that were used in Henson related productions and it is ALWAYS an honor to do what I can to help preserve these pieces of history.

  5. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle Well-Known Member

    Nice job, can be lots of fun rebuilding, and refurbishing old puppets
  6. TheJimHensonHour

    TheJimHensonHour Well-Known Member

    man thats amazing who ever owns that bad boy sure is lucky!
  7. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Thanks James... definitely was a great project to work on!

    To the JimHensonHour, indeed the owner's a lucky one. I'm just glad I was able to help him get this thing better preserved and displayed with a bit of life :)

  8. Teenager's

    Teenager's Well-Known Member

    Great Job fixing it up Tom! Looks Great!

    I remember that 5 or 6 years ago the original Michelangelo and Splinter were on ebay for $6,000 a piece.....it was a great deal & I always kick myself that I passed it up....
  9. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    my second love the tmnt...man im am so jealous of who ever owns that
  10. Redsonga

    Redsonga Well-Known Member

    OMG, I never knew Henson made them..TMNT was the first movie I ever went to see :3.
  11. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

  12. Redsonga

    Redsonga Well-Known Member

    My favorite part has always been the muscles on their legs, so realistic. I think they had a look that no CGI can ever match :)
  13. Laszlo

    Laszlo Well-Known Member

    Great as always Tom!

    Any chance you cast those props after repair?
  14. Punch'n'Judy

    Punch'n'Judy Well-Known Member

    Superb work Tom. Congrats.
  15. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much to all for the kind words on this project. :)

    No, the focus was entirely on rebuilding the original pieces and not creating reproductions. (and frankly, I'm not sure the costume could've survived the process).

    best regards,
  16. Beakerfan

    Beakerfan Well-Known Member

    Wow! Awesome! I've loved those movies since I was like, seven.
  17. RealMissPiggy

    RealMissPiggy Well-Known Member

    All is work is completely brilliant!

    Did you se the resteration of Sir Didymus?

  18. muppetmania1980

    muppetmania1980 Active Member

    i am glad that someone decided to restore the ninja turtles....i grew up with them though i didnt watch them much..lol now i am lucky enough to show my nephews the old videos that i have of the movies and they get to watch what i was watching when i grew up......so i guess it is deffinately safe to say that we needed a restoration of the ninja turtles.......thanx
  19. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much! :D

  20. muppetmania1980

    muppetmania1980 Active Member

    sir didymus?

    no i havent what was it about? this might sound bad but i have never even heard of it

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