This is the third prop we’ve helped conserve and display from the 80’s movie, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend. We were thrilled when we heard from our friend James from the HSPPA again when he wanted to create the ultimate display for this original mechanical underskull from the 1:1 baby dinosaur prop puppet for the title character from the movie.
The baby brontosaurus was brought to life as an animatronic puppet by a team headed by Isidoro Raponi, a former associate of Carlo Rambaldi (famous for creating E.T.). Beneath a long-gone foam latex skin was this underskull, loaded with cables and tubes and springs to breath life into the character. We discussed display and conservation options with James and decided on a 50/50 display approach. We’d make a non-permanent skin for half the piece, allowing it to display beautifully in a way that gives context to the prop.
Baby’s underskull was primarily fiberglass and just needed a bit of cleaning and some minor crack repair. Patrick Louie designed and built a supportive mount to hold the piece at the proper angle for display. From there, Pierre Briel patterned and fabricated an EVA foam form to be the basis of our half-skin for the dinosaur prop. He then shaped the first wave of detail such as the dinosaurs eyes and larger wrinkles and forms. Magnets were installed to hold the skin in place but keep it fully removable, so the prop dinosaur remains fully preserved and original when the skin is removed.
With the basic foam forms in place, Pat then added a skin, creating the textures and smaller wrinkles and details to complete the head. With added layers of paint, Baby was brought back to life in a wonderful side-by-side display that showcases both what the piece is now, and what it once was.
Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!