Tom and Adam have known each other for some time, tracing back to the RPF prop forum. Adam’s mentioned our studio’s restoration work a few times over the years, and we’re quite grateful for that! We’re even more appreciative that he dropped us a line when he wanted to plus up his Chewie costume, with a new Chewbacca mask to go with his Empire Strikes Back cosplay appearance for Silicon Valley Comic Con.
Chewbacca is a very, very challenging beast, and our studio’s commitment to accuracy and detail meant many hours of research and development to be sure our creation was as close as possible to the vintage, original trilogy style masks made by one of Tom’s idols, Stuart Freeborn. We worked with our good friends at National Fiber Technology to create the blend for the hair on this mask, also using hand blended hair to capture some of the subtleties of the face. The skin would be made from flexible silicone, to hold up better over time than the original mask’s foam latex skin. Beneath the skin, an articulated underskull (fit over Adam’s lifecast) allowed for actor-driven movement, much like the original mask. Adam can open and close the mouth and the lips curl and snarl as he does.
Steven Richter did much of the heavy lifting in our studio, creating numerous molds and sculpts throughout the process, and doing final fabrication on the underskull. Tom worked out a slightly modernized (in materials only) version of the mechanics to use, and, as always, art directed all elements of the project. Michelle Nyree does much of our hand punched hair work and she brought her skills on for Chewie’s face. Tom did some additional hair work and did the final cut and style personally.
Frequent TSD collaborator, Gordon Tarpley worked on another aspect of the costume, creating a lifesized C-3PO “in pieces” for Adam’s backpack so that his Chewbacca would be from the Empire Strikes Back Cloud City scenes. Adam came by our studio to do a fitting and pick up the mask and spent the better part of the day with us. The entire crew had a wonderful time! Adam was thrilled with the mask and if you check out the video below, you’ll see that everyone who saw him loved it too! Big thanks to Adam for having us help with his costume and congrats on another great incognito Comic Con appearance!
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