Aliens Costume Restoration

Started by Corporal Hicks, Jan 04, 2022, 09:16:23 AM

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Aliens Costume Restoration (Read 1,133 times)

Corporal Hicks

Corporal Hicks

http://www.tomspinadesigns.com/restoration/science-fiction-props/aliens-costume-restoration-display/

QuoteThis screen used costume Aliens costume from James Cameron's 1986 classic sci-fi action flick came to our shop to be restored, proper mounting on a custom mannequin and for a themed display. It had previously been on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida, as part of an exhibit of original props and costumes from a number of key films.

When this rare, full costume arrived to our NY studio it was showing its age and the mannequin it was on was awkwardly posed and not supporting it properly. Over the years some of the pieces of the costume had become loose or separated from the rest of the costume. We began this project by giving the entire Aliens costume a careful cleaning, to help us get a clearer picture of any damage or areas of concern.

We discussed the details of this project and the client's hopes for the final display before any work begins to make sure we are all on the same page. The goal was to get the piece looking "good for its age" and better supported while being being cautious to preserve as much original material as possible and help conserve the piece's value and history.

Over the years many of the latex body armor pieces had lost flexibility, as that natural material is prone to do. Getting the stiff costume pieces off and then onto a body form was very tricky. Mannequins do not bend the way that real humans can and it can be very risky to a fragile costume to put it on a form. This is why we prefer custom forms, not only can we get the perfect fit, but we can modify the assembly of the mannequin to work with that specific costume's restrictions for dressing.

While the mannequin was being fabricated, we began work on the restoration of the rest of the costume. One of the hands (the alien's left hand) was unsalvageable, so we turned to digital technology to create a replica one to complete the display. Using the existing hand as the perfect visual reference, a new hand was sculpted digitally by Tony Cipriano and then 3D printed in high resolution resin. With some hand finishing (pardon the pun), that new left hand was painted and aged to become nearly indistinguishable from the other, and completed the figure nicely.

To finish this display, we created a themed base using some of the details that featured throughout the film. We created a faux metal base, with grating, yellow hazard stripes and heavy weathering. We also added hidden casters to give our client the ability to more easily move this large and heavy display.








xeno_alpha_07

xeno_alpha_07

#1
I first watched Aliens when I was 9 years old, VHS, of course, lol, and for a number of years, I had no idea that the suits for Aliens were black spandex with pieces layered on or that they were a sepia colour.  When I first read about how the suits were done I was impressed at how simple a design was so effective.  Awesome. 

Nice to see the suit being preserved and cared for I so want one lol.

Elmazalman

Elmazalman

#2
Quote from: xeno_alpha_07 on Jan 04, 2022, 09:44:25 AM
I first watched Aliens when I was 9 years old, VHS, of course, lol, and for a number of years, I had no idea that the suits for Aliens were black spandex with pieces layered on or that they were a sepia colour.  When I first read about how the suits were done I was impressed at how simple a design was so effective.  Awesome. 

Nice to see the suit being preserved and cared for I so want one lol.
I wasn't impressed (at all) with the black body stockings and foam appliances, worn by the creature performers in ALIENS. I preferred (still do) the much more detailed heavy rubber suits (sectioned) used for ALIEN.

I do like the 8-ft-tall Warrior puppets used in ALIENS for the action sequences. 

StrangeShape

StrangeShape

#3
Hope theyll put it out in some exhibition so people can see it

xeno_alpha_07

xeno_alpha_07

#4
QuoteI wasn't impressed (at all) with the black body stockings and foam appliances, worn by the creature performers in ALIENS. I preferred (still do) the much more detailed heavy rubber suits (sectioned) used for ALIEN.

I do like the 8-ft-tall Warrior puppets used in ALIENS for the action sequences.

With DVD & Blu Ray you can spot/see the black suits whereas on VHS it wasn't noticeable.  Well, for me anyway at the time.  Giger's Alien suit is not just impressive but a work of art and will never be reproduced IMO.  For the suits in Aliens, for me, I'm more impressed with how I was fooled into thinking they had the same sort of detail but don't.  A simple trick helped by lighting, camera shots, and editing, etc.

Kradan

Kradan

#5
Quote from: Elmazalman on Jan 04, 2022, 01:44:58 PM
I wasn't impressed (at all) with the black body stockings and foam appliances, worn by the creature performers in ALIENS. I preferred (still do) the much more detailed heavy rubber suits (sectioned) used for ALIEN.


StrangeShape

StrangeShape

#6
Material aside, their body design and all the details are the same as in the first film - http://www.jamescamerononline.com/AlienWarrior.htm

Dont mind if its latex or plastic, as long as its a great design, especially since we almost only see silhouettes in the film

Kradan

Kradan

#7
Quote from: StrangeShape on Jan 04, 2022, 05:51:53 PM
Material aside, their body design and all the details are the same as in the first film - http://www.jamescamerononline.com/AlienWarrior.htm

Thank you, that was a great read  :)

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