1986 Aliens Queen Arm Prop Conservation

Conservation and custom display stand for an original, screen used 1986 Aliens Queen arm prop.

This 1986 Aliens Queen arm prop was seen in the iconic Ripley versus the Alien Queen fight scene at the climax of James Cameron’s 1986 classic sci-fi action film, Aliens. This was actually the second Alien Queen arm that we have had the opportunity to conserve (and we’ve restored one of her legs as well… seems we’re getting her fixed up piece by piece!) and it’s always an honor to help preserve these foam and latex pieces of cinema history.

As always, we had lengthy discussion with our client to set the right direction for this project.  Condition dictated we would need to focus on the hand and fingers, as they exhibited the most post-production damage. The fingers were originally made completely flexible to allow puppeteers to move them in a natural way. However this movement had caused the aging foam to weaken and crack over time. Instead of completely rebuilding all of the missing material we decided with our client to focus on preventative measures and conservation, to keep the remaining material strong. We also wanted to seal all of the foam to strengthen the entire puppet arm and help slow the process of deterioration as much as possible.

Our next challenge was to come up with a way to display the finish arm in a way that would not put any pressure on the already fragile hand. During inspection of the arm we discovered a rod that ran down the length of the arm which we used to slide a support post in. We finished the display with a large metal base to balance out the weight of the prop, which was a lot larger than people might expect!  The end result now sits proudly displayed in our client’s office!

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Have an original movie or television prop in need of conservation or display?  Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!

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