This project was a bit of a unique experience that we had not had before. Our client had bought this Fifth Element taxi car model to us and said that he wanted a display but it was a Christmas present to himself, so he wanted to be complexly surprised. For us this is like taking a kid to a toy store and telling them they can get anything they want! He only specified that it should be a diorama style display.
Not only did this client have the taxi cab model from the film, but he also had two gas pumps miniatures as well. We chose to create a scaled diorama in a style similar to a display we made for a Dark City miniature prop. We wanted the display to feel like a scene from the film rather than a prop on a pedestal. We didn’t replicate anything too specifically, but tried to create something that felt right for the film.
Our first step was the restoration and repair of the props. Over the years a couple of pieces had fallen off and the taxi’s signature black and white checkered pattern had been lost. We carefully reattached any of the missing pieces and recreated the tiny distressed checkerboard pattern in a decal which could be applied. We also created created a custom stand to hold the taxi and make it look as though it was hovering.
While the models were being repaired, lead artist for this project Steven Richter began creating the back drop as a digital file to match the style of the doors and wall panels from the original sci-fi film. That digital file was then laser cut out in layers and assembled, painted and distressed to create the blue section. The rest of the details were scratch built by hand in a number of materials and painted with layers of weathering and aging to match the grimy look of the prop.
Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or a unique display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!