The werewolf in the background image of this site is actually me, wearing a mask I commissioned from the inimitable Tim Peirson in 2004. A few months ago I sent the mask back to Tim to be “retired” into a display piece– it was too fragile to be worn anymore, and it needed some paint touch-ups and repairs to areas where the latex skin had ripped. Tim offered to put fake eyes in the sockets and I gladly accepted– the price was very reasonable and he had done such an excellent job building “Wolfy” that I was sure whatever work he did now would be well worth it. Suffice it to say, I was not expecting this. Holy shit. He didn’t just restore the piece, he turned it into a thing far finer than the original (amazingly crafted in its own right). The original mask was just that: a mask, with the same rough coverage as a football helmet. Now it’s a head & shoulders bust that looks more detailed and lifelike than ever. Like the title says: if you can see a fantastic creature in your head, trust its creation to Tim Peirson– he’s a spectacular artisan and one of the most generous people I’ve ever met.
Last month Tom Spina made all of our living rooms feel empty when he shared with us his Underworld Lycan display. Now he’s back to trigger your envy reflexes again with this custom life-size white werewolf statue. Here are Tom’s comments on the statue!
The client who commissioned this piece had seen our original design werewolf statue (the brown wolf, seen here: Lifesized Movie Prop Style Werewolf Statue and here Movie Prop Style Werewolf Bust) and loved it. Initially, he was going to get the standard look, but after a little brainstorming, we hit on the idea of a white werewolf with a themed base and a new pose, based on the layout of his home theater.
The new pose has a great, dynamic feel to it… and the faux stone base sets off nicely against the white fur and the shape of it gives him a little of that old school “Aurora model kit” vibe.
This statue is a little over 6.5 feet tall and really massive feeling. His hands are huge and his shoulders and back have a powerful look to them.
The project is the result of work by myself and Richard Riley, with an assist from Mike Thomas on some of the casting and crating the beast when it was time for him to go home…
To see many more photos of Pale Moon, including detail shots of hands, feet, jaws and eyes, visit the Pale Moon page of Tom’s web site.
Wracked with jealousy? Wish Pale Moon was menacing your house guests? The full statue was a one-off custom job, but Tom has created a bust of the white werewolf and listed it on eBay. The auction runs until midday September 9th, so if you want it, get bidding!
Tom Spina spends a lot of time around werewolves. Last year he did some major restoration on “Oscar” from An American Werewolf in London, and now he’s just completed a custom mannequin to display an original Underworld: Rise of the Lycans werewolf costume (scroll down a bit for the link) for a private collector. Tom contacted me to let me know about this project, thinking that readers of Werewolf News might find it interesting, and he also kindly took the time to answer a few questions I had for him about the project.
Werewolf News: In what condition was the costume when you first received it from the client? Had it seen production use, and been banged up at all?
Tom Spina: The costume saw extensive use in the film (and we verified that with someone on-set who could ID this particular costume) and the condition was actually very good.
Beneath the fur, there’s a lot of skin exposed, and not a lot of places to hide seams. How many pieces did the costume break down to, and did you have to do anything out of the ordinary to create such a seamless result?
Some minor cracks and rubs but still supple and flexible. It breaks down into 4 pieces: The bodysuit with attached arms, the stilt feet (seem hidden by fur) and the head. Our responsibility was to find a means of displaying an otherwise awkward and difficult costume to display. The nature of the costume required some careful planning when creating the support structure, as a “normal” mannequin would never be able to navigate its way inside the bodysuit.
What level of creative freedom did you have when it came to determining the pose and the details of the base? Were there any other aspects of the project that allowed you to add some creative, personal touches?
As always, we worked closely with the client to determine the pose. That process is always a balance between the look desired and the needs of the wardrobe. In this case, dealing with foam and such, you don’t want anything overly extreme, as you can cause unnatural wrinkles in the suit. We settled on something with “quiet menace” rather than dynamic action. There’s a bit of attitude in the torso and some more in the head positioning, with the legs and arms at interesting angles, but relatively neutral to keep the costume’s skin properly aligned and supported. The base was the client’s idea and something we actually consider temporary. Eventually, we’ll likely do a dark stone block look for the base.
Is it tough to say goodbye to a piece when it’s finished and the client ships it out?
YES, it’s always tough to say goodbye to these pieces!
As always, incredible work, Tom! Thanks for sharing your time and work with us werewolf fans.
Twenty-seven years is a long time for a film prop to survive– especially one made of fragile foam latex and fake fur. When the werewolf prop from An American Werewolf in London started to show serious signs of wear and tear, the private collector who owned it called on Tom Spina to do some major restoration work.
Tom’s site has an excellent photo gallery and project diary detailing the process of repairing this important artifact from werewolf film history. His work is really quite amazing, and it’s a real treat to see this amazing prop up close.
An interesting postscript: this isn’t the only werewolf work Tom has done. Want to buy a life-like werewolf bust or a full-size werewolf statue? Tom Spina’s got you covered. On a totally unrelated note, I may start taking PayPal donations on this site soon. For… hosting costs. Yes.
Thanks for the tip, ArcLight.