Hellboy Makeup Display Bust

A custom display created for Ron Perlman’s Hellboy makeup VFX bust

This Hellboy makeup test bust was created by Rick Baker’s Cinnovation studios for the first Hellboy film for the VFX company, Tippett Studios, to use as reference. Originally sourced via one of Prop Store of London’s amazing auctions, it arrived to our studio with a few years of dust and age, and in need of some light restoration and conservation work. We had discussions with the client who had some great ideas to turn these Hellboy props into a fairly elaborate, 1:1 lifesized bust of the character.

The first step was to give Hellboy a good, careful cleaning! Once we removed the black t-shirt, it was very clear he’d he had collected a bit of dust! A good thing about working on a makeup test bust like this one is it comes with a perfect inner support system, a life-casting of Ron Perlman’s face. So the Hellboy makeup pieces all fit perfectly and are well supported over time.

Overall the foam latex prosthetics were in good shape, with only a few areas that needed patching around the horns and some minor cracks here and there. When they mounted the lace from hair pieces and facial hair, they had done so with pins which over time had sunk into the foam, leaving large divots around the face and head.

We carefully removed his hair pieces so that they could patch those depressions and install his eyes. We used a pair of custom created eyes made to match the  special effect contacts worn by Perlman. Then the eye lid areas were re-sculpted by hand with great care to match Perlman’s eye style. Then we in-painted all of the new material, only painting over our patches and matching the surrounding original material and maintaining as much original studio paint as possible.

This client wanted to create a display that was as close to the screen used look as possible. Lucky for us, we knew exactly who had one of the original Hellboy jackets, our friend Adam Savage! He generously allowed us to use his original costume as reference and Margret Heaman created an incredibly accurate replica partial Hellboy jacket, and even custom patches for the display.

“The Samaritan” revolver, Hellboy’s signature side-arm, was something our client wanted to incorporate into the display. He wanted it aimed to match a particular still from the film, a cool pose but a bit easier said than done. The client sent us a Side Show Collectibles Replica to include in the display and it was incredibly heavy!  It took a bit of engineering to create a mount to support that reproduction Samaritan securely.

We life cast the hand of one of our crew to stand in for Ron Perlman’s hand. To get the fingers around the gun, we had to cut off each finger have them mount with magnets. We also created a replica glove and a custom red-trimmed t-shirt. After everything we done, we spent a fair bit of time distressing all of the leather pieces and giving and gave all of the costume pieces some light weathering for realism. The finishing touch was a faux stone, carved foam base to get the look of volcanic rock.

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