This Babylon 5 G’kar makeup test was brought to us in need of some restoration. Over the years the foam latex had dried out and in some areas even crumbled. We’ve done quite a few similar projects and a nice benefit of restoring makeup test busts like this one is they come with the perfect underlying support structure by way of the original actor’s rigid foam lifecast beneath the foam skin. With foam latex pieces, proper support can make a big difference in their longevity. So even on a piece like this, there can be large areas missing but the bulk of the material can remain stable and in place.
Like all props that come into our care, this foam latex prop received a careful cleaning. This removes any “crumbs” or dust and gives our artists a blank canvas to work on. Once the foam latex piece is clean our artists began to reinforce the material and then patch and fill in any of the missing areas. This patching not only helps the aesthetics of the piece but also helps to support and strengthen the surrounding material by bridging gaps and spreading out stress areas. They also need to pay careful attention to matching the texture of the surrounding foam latex. If the texture doesn’t match, then even once the paint is applied the patches will stand out rather than disappear.
Once all of the missing areas are blended for texture match, our artists use a technique called in-painting to fill in missing paint. This means that they will only paint those areas that they have patched and repaired. It is a more difficult and time consuming process than repainting the whole prop, but keeps as much of the material original as possible. Even a piece like this that appears to only have a few colors can take a great deal of time to match all of the different shades and tones as our artists not only match the base colors but the aging and variations within.
Once the paint is finished the piece is given several passes of clear sealers to helps to keep it looking good for years to come!
Have an original movie or television prop in need of a unique or themed display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!