During the recent Thanksgiving Holiday, I celebrated this annual event by doing what most people across the nation would do....that's right, clean out the closet in my den. Buried under a stack of canvas duffle bags was a large, unmarked box containing pieces of a resin statue clearly alien in nature. As I unwrapped the first of several pieces I remembered (sort of) purchasing the sculpture many years ago from a company called "Timeslip Models" once located in Manchester England. This is considered a very rare kit and has been out of production for a very long time.
The statue features a replica of HR Giger's early conceptual drawings of the now classic "Alien" creature as he envisioned it during his nocturnal nightmares. The statue is about two feet tall and highlights the creature crouching on top of a pedestal that closely resembles the organic nature of the derelict ship in which the alien eggs were found. The resin casting is good in some places and poor in others and I can see right away that there are many pin holes and seams that must be filled and sanded smooth.
Before embarking on this project I tried to research what the finished statue is supposed to look like. There is very little information on this casting since very few kits were ever produced. Two other copies were made by Psycho Monsterz and Silent Shadows which were smaller in size and featured modifications to the jaws and pedestal base. These two pictures are the best I have to work with and will have to do.
I have not yet decided on the final paint scheme but I am leaning towards a bronze or burnt sienna base coat with lots of shadowing and highlighting throughout. The base will be an alienlike bluish black with silver highlights... I think.
The first step in our project build is to take a careful inventory of each part and assess what work and materials will be needed. There are only nine components to the statue but each one must be carefully prepped including filling in holes, repairing any imperfections and damage that might have occured during the casting process. I could tell right away that the alien head would be one of the most challenging parts of this build since there were a number of pin holes in and around the mouth and teeth. Arms and legs will need to be blended in to the torso which is to be expected in a resin statue of this kind. Gasp.
I will be working with Aves Apoxie Sculpt, Smooth On Sculpting Putty as well as glazing putty, auto primer, a Dremel Stylus tool, a variety of diamond tipped grinding bits, sand paper and assorted dental or sculpting tools. This is a very rare piece leaving no room for careless mistakes.
New World Productions
The casting quality overall is okay but I am afraid that there will be a great deal of work needed to get it ready for paint. There was some damage to the base probably incurred during shipping but this should be easy to fix with some thick set super glue. I will use the Dremel Stylus to clean up as much of the surface detail as possible.
The surface texture of the base is really different from that of the other two replicas which reinforces my belief that this statue is from Timeslip and very special.
The Legs and Torso
Both of the legs are well cast and there are very few modifications needed before securing them to the alien torso. I noticed while test fitting each leg that there were large gaps in between the leg and the lower torso. Once I have epoxied the leg in place I will fill these gaps with Aves Apoxy Sculpt which will add considerable strength and a smoother looking seam.
Another unexpected problem that we encountered was paint adhesion. The resin is old and has a coating on its surface that is making it difficult to get adequate paint adhesion. Sanding the surface prior to painting helps but is not always possible when painting the base with all of its tiny pores, crevices and orifices.
The torso was cast around foam to reduce its overall weight. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the right shoulder had been crushed and needed repair. I added a thick wad of modeling clay, shaped with a dental tool and let it cure overnight.
The seams around the left leg were filled with Aves which does a great job of making large gaps disappear. This process will be repeated many times throughout the project.
I took this opportunity to attach the two "ventricles" to the back of the torso. Each piece needed to be cleaned up, imperfections filled in with modeling clay and then blended into the creature's back. I used the Dremel to grind away resin in order to fit the ventricle into place. I will fill in the seams with the glazing putty and add more contour with our Aves apoxie.
In this shot I have attached the second leg to the lower torso using Z Poxy adhesive mixed with micro ballons. Once again, the seams around the right leg were filled with Aves which strengthens the joint and makes for a smooth appearance.
I applied a primer coat of Vallejo flat black to the legs which will highlight any pin holes or seams that needed additional filling and sanding. There are still quite a few which is okay but the statue is beginning to slowly take form. Very cool.
Repairing the base has consumed more time and effort than any other feature of this statue. There are numerous air bubbles and excess resin that must be ground down and then filled.
We coated the bottom of the base with Evercoat filler to add strength and to fill in the many pores in the foam. (see above).