Before the conservation process began on this Baby dinosaur puppet maquette, we discussed with our client their thoughts about what their end goals for the project. This particular client wanted to make sure that the piece would stand up over time but loved the idea of leaving much of the piece as original as possible and maintaining a genuine and aged look. Essentially, he wanted to find a balance between restoring this movie production prop and conserving it. Something that is our specialty!
Since this “Baby” prop maquette was in fairly stable condition, we focused our restoration efforts on repairing and larger damaged areas, and coming up with a supportive display. Making sure any changes we made would have the most positive effect on how the small brontosaurus would display. Movie prop restoration artist Maria Teran patched just a few of the larger areas that were missing skin. Not only does this look more appealing, but it also adds a bit of strength to the surrounding material. Similar to a tear in fabric, leaving these damaged foam latex areas exposed can leave the piece more susceptible to future damage.
She also sealed the exposed foam and then painted (only the small patches we made) to match the surrounding material. The paint matching process is always meticulous because if the patch does not match the surrounding material perfectly, the repairs become obvious and can distract from the piece. A generous coating of archival sealer was applied to the whole dinosaur puppet to help the piece retain stability longer into the future.
Once the repairs were completed, Patrick Louie created a pair of custom acrylic posts along with a black laminate museum base, to help distribute “Baby’s” weight and support him (and especially his long neck!) over time.
Have an original movie or television prop in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!