This set of Ron Perlman Hellboy prosthetics arrived to our studio in need of a display worthy of such fun and unique movie props. After discussions with the client about what their hopes were for their display, we started to assemble the foam latex pieces into a lifesized full bust of the character.
We began with a life cast of Ron Perlman that was created for a death makeup for another film but served as a starting point to mount the appliances. Since its original purpose was completely different than our end goal, that resin bust required a lot of modification for both fit and expression.
It almost seems counter intuitive since life casts are an exact replica created off of an actor’s head but there can be shrinkage from casting to casting, and the lifecast process can slightly distort the actor’s face. In this case, the expression was the biggest hurdle to overcome, as Perlman’s mouth was gaping open and jaw slacked! The process of creating a statue or bust using a lifecast is rarely as simple as just gluing pieces to a form and calling it done.
Lead artist for this project, Patrick Louie, heavily modified the lifecast for expression and fit, bringing the mouth closed, adjusting the jaw and cheeks and reshaping the back of the skull. He installed a pair of custom created eyes to match the contacts worn by Perlman, and resculpted in the open eyelids. While Pat was assembling the facial appliances and the bust, Steven Richter sculpted replica horns to replace the missing ones and Pat then added teeth which we created.
When the appliances had been applied and the edges blended together, Melissa Ocampo painted the blended areas as well as the newly sculpted areas for a smooth transition between all of the pieces. The finishing touches were a full lace wig and a mix of lace and hand glued facial hair, which was cut and styled by Tom to match Hellboy’s on screen persona.
Shipping this fragile beast was a whole other process! He shipped in a custom crate that allowed the piece to have nothing touching it during transit, so that the heavy bust below could not accidentally crush or dent the fragile foam latex. It’s a part of our work that people may not consider, but it’s a crucial final step in every project!
Have an original movie or television prop in need of a unique or themed display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!