This one is a restoration we
did (after-hours during Austin Powers 2) for a collector in Burbank,
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!
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
to Display Mannequins