A hero Ugnaught mask that was used in the sci-fi classic, Star Wars, the Empire Strikes Back. The screen used mask was originally created by the legendary Stuart Freeborn’s team for the film. When this prop was sent to our New York studio in 2006, the mask was in fragile & misshapen condition. Preservation of shape was achieved with a customized display head and careful internal support patches. The client requested a conservation approach, so rather than patching the holes, we used a neutral colored fabric to bridge gaps. The fabric blended nicely with the color of the mask’s foam latex skin and bound the formerly loose pieces in place. It created the impression of a complete mask without adding material.
In 2012, the Star Wars movie prop’s new owner asked us to take the restoration a little further, closing the gaps in the original foam latex Ugnaught mask. As always, the degree and style of restoration is something that collectors have varying opinions about. We often have in depth discussions with our clients to find a direction and approach that suits their desires and balances with what the often fragile, aging movie props can safely bear. As always, we carefully matched the textures and aged look of the existing movie prop. The completed movie prop mask features new patches that have been perfectly matched to the aged paint of the mask and disappear before your eyes.
It was fun revisiting this hero Ugnaught mask and, as he was the sort of “lead” of his species seen in the movie, the choice of a full restoration does seem to have been a good one. We’re such fans of the Freeborn family legacy as well… and it’s an honor to be the go-to source for collectors looking to faithfully restore their treasured bits of Hollywood history!
Do you have an original movie or television prop that is in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!