March 1999

This one is a restoration we  did (after-hours during Austin Powers 2) for a collector  in Burbank, California.

He came to us with the suit (shirt, pants, & vest) , ammo sash (bandolier), mis-matched boots (without buckles), no gloves, and a headless fiberglass fashion mannequin!  UGH!*.

The face consists of a casting of the James Daly Gorilla Sculpture.  We know, we know! James Daly played Honorius, an orangutan, but the make-up lab team at FOX used everyone's lifecasts for generic characters.  Rumor has it that there is even a Chuck Heston Gorilla  floating around out there, somewhere. The head form we used for this display is a generic from our lab (possibly Jim Carrey). The eyes are prosthetic glass.  Call us coconuts, but we even added lashes to the lids!

For this display, our leather craft department made gloves and gauntlets patterned from the originals in our archive vault.  We added the buckles to the boots, painted all parts to match, and threw in a club and a security police whistle (for good measure).  Then we added the (ape-ropriately named) "Fullers Earth" for that "just rode in" touch.

It was hard to let this piece go when it was finished.  You really expect it to move when you're looking at it.

3 days after we delivered the display, the owner brought in an original holster and wanted us to add it (and the handle of a pistol) to the ammo sash (bandolier).  We ended up making the whole dang gun AND the triangular holster mounting plate (that you never see, but was part of the real ones) for him.  We find that we just can't do it "half-aped".  He wanted just the handle of the pistol, but we had to make  the whole dang sidearm!  Just wouldn't be right otherwise.  The owner then decided to shoulder the rifle and put the pistol in the soldier's hand, proving that the display is versatile as well as just plain pretty!  The owner eventually replaced the pistol with a snare stick when he redecorated his office.

Apemania enjoys SPECIAL REQUEST projects such as this and we encourage collectors to GO APE with  more awesome display ideas.  Contact the Apeman for more information.  And stay tuned to the AUTHENTICs section of this site for new display projects that are nearing completion as we speak!

*NOTE:  "UGH!" is right!  We hate working with fiberglass "fashion mannequins".  None are made in classic "ape posture". You really can't do much with them.  This was the first, and last time, we will ever customize one for a client.  We chopped up the arms and wrists, and replaced the static fingers with fully articulated heavy-duty fingers. We reinforced all the joints in the elbows, wrists, and ended up completely fabricating new hands so the display could hold (and support the weight of) the background rifle.  It's more work than just making one of our basic felixble mannequin forms from scratch.

Return  to Display Mannequins

Home | Cast & Crew | History | Current Events | Artifacts & Collectibles
Family Albums | Interviews and Tributes | Junior G-Man | Links | Contact Us