This Flash Gordon costume is a perfect example of why it is so important to go with a customized mannequin to display movie costumes. Not only was this costume made for an actor of a specific height, but it had a heavy, uniquely-shaped cape which needed to be held in its trade mark wide-shoulder look, and a fragile prop sword which also needed customized support. All of which could not be accomplished with your standard off the shelf retail mannequin.
The first aspect to tackle was the height, we used photos from the original film as well as measurements from the costume itself to determine the shoulder height of the mannequin. Once we had a mannequin of the proper height we could move on to the modifications it would need to help support this one of a kind costume. We covered the body with a red bodysuit so any areas that were visible would blend well with the costume and not distract at all.
The cape itself had no supports to give it its signature square shape so we had to incorporate those into the mannequin. We fiberglassed aluminum stock extending from the shoulders to support the fairly heavy cape and to protect the inside of the costume, we wrapped the metal with ethafoam tubing.
We also had to modify the arms and hands of the mannequin for pose and size, adding larger hands than would normally be found on a retail child mannequin. Once the new hands were in place, we affixed the right arm to hold the sword upright in a more guard like stance and created a hand to hold the sword with a minimal velcro strap to help secure it. A steel post in the back of the figure keeps this mannequin upright, and a custom sized and cushioned head was added to perfectly fit and support the mask and helmet from this bit of Flash Gordon costume history!
Have an original movie or television costume in need of a unique or themed display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!