ALIEN REBUILD

The Flying Gung Brothers Xenomorph-
         
       This statue has been one of my favorites for a number of years but somehow I knew that dark times were quickly approaching once this impressive statue was returned to my workshop.  Sure enough, one fateful evening as I was lowering the garage door, I heard a crash behind me that did not sound good.  Lying on the floor was the Alien with a number of broken features scattered amongst the carnage.  I was sick to my stomach.

      However, sometimes what appears to be a disaster can bring about opportunity for improvement and enhancement. Soooo I bravely gathered up the broken pieces and began making plans on how this creature would rise from the ashes bigger and better.  Here is my story....

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Improving on the original-
         
       Despite the fact that this statue ranks very high on the cool scale there were less desireable aspects of the original sculpt that have never been resolved.  First, the creature is always looking down as if its about to pounce on something.  Unless the statue is mounted high on top of a pedestal or table, you really can't see the front torso or menancing jaws that made this alien so famous.  I am considering realigning the head and removing material from the neck as part of my reconstruction plan.  The head will detinitely receive a makeover before being reattached to the torso. Second, the tubes that extend outward from the alien's back are more of an interpretation by the artist and not really true to the original.  Redesigning and then casting new tubes would be quite an undertaking and perhaps too big of a project but there is definitely room for improvement.  Thirdly, there are LOTS of imperfections in the surface details especially visible along the skull and now is a great opportunity to break out the Evercoat and start filling in as many of these holes and crevices as possible.  



The Wreckage...body parts everywhere!
         
       The statue fell about four feet onto the floor of the workshop breaking both its legs at the shins, severing the head completely from the neck, removing one finger (or digit?) and breaking off three of the four tubes extending from its back.  One of the tubes cannot be found and will have to be reconstructed from scratch.  Our first step is to reattach both feet in order to stand the creature upright.  What a mess.



Enhancing the Alien head
         
       When I first "assembled" and augmented the Alien several years ago, I reworked the jaws and inner jaw and left everything else the way the original artist had sculpted it.  However, I have never been completely satisfied with its appearance.  When HR Giger first designed the creature he highlighted the biomechanical nature of the alien.  I want to enhance  this particular creature using another Palisades statue in my collection as inspiration.  Below you will see a comparison of the Palisades inspired statue and the FGB head before any changes are made.


 
         
       My plan is to carve out a portion of the head underneath the creature's dome and add pieces of electrical conduit.  There clearly is a need for more tubes and fittings transitioning into the alien's lower jaw, neck and back.   My hope is to augment the "bulb" at the rear of the dome providing a termination point for the conduit and adding a more "Giger-isque" touch to the skull.  I will build up this area using pink foam and Evercoat.  There are lots of indentations on the dome itself which will need to be sanded, filled and sanded again.  Im not looking forward to this part of the rebuild but it makes a big difference during final paint.


 
         
       In the picture above, I have added a rounded bulb or dome to the end of the Alien's skull using pink foam and several layers of Evercoat.  I am lightly sanding the dome to identify any low spots while using Evercoat to fill these in as well.   In the picture on the right,  I have started removing fiberglass and foam to make room for the 1 inch diameter conduit.  The conduit must rest underneath the edge of the dome and transition further in the skull around the bulbous end.

 
         
       Installation of the conduit looks really good and we are now filling in the gaps under the dome and around the conduit with plaster of paris.  We will also begin removing material from the neck which seems to be too wide and too thick for our Alien.  Next, we are adding some additional "bio-hardware" to our skull and after several trips to the Home Depot plumbing department, we believe that we are heading in the right direction (see below).

 
         
       In the pictures above, you can see that the Alien head has changed dramatically with the additions that we have made.  We are in the final process of sanding and filling any surface imperfections in the dome which has made a HUGE difference in the overall quality of the finish.  The next step is to reduce the width of the neck after adding a wooden post to help anchor the head to the neck and to provide additional strength etec.  We are going to add more conduit running up the sides of the neck as well.

 
         
       This morning we removed a "band" of fiberglass/resin material from the neck of our alien and smoothed out some of the jagged countours (see picture on left).  We filled the areas where the foam was exposed using sculpting putty.  We decided to add additional tubing running vertically from the base to the top of the neck for added effect.  The overall change in the Alien's head is just short of dramatic and really highlights the biomechanical look we were hoping for.


One tube at a time
         
       Reattaching both legs was completed without any problems.  We are using a combination of two part epoxy and Aves apoxie sculpt throughout this project.  Once our creature is standing, we use the sculpting putty to fill in gaps and reinforce the seams where the initial break occured.  Pictured above, we have begun reattaching the tubes and have fashioned a replacement out of a wooden dowel and several coats of Bondo.  The severed digit was quickly reattached and pieces of the broken fiberglass "skin" were filled with Apoxie.

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