Ultimate 1:1 Project…Completed..!

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Blog3Blog4SUPERMANIA is overjoyed to present the culmination of over five years of trial and tribulation in an attempt to produce the most accurate life-size (and lifelike) tribute to the late Christopher Reeve in his most famous role.

Custom-made from a combination of painted resin and fibreglass with glass eyes and outfitted in a painstakingly-tailored state-of-the-art costume by Action Costumes of Argentina, this heavily modified stock mannequin stands a full 6’5″ on a discreet glass base.

To see the exhaustive history of this most personal of creations from the beginning, please click on the Superman 1:1 Project link in the Memory Crystal Selection on the right hand side of this page where over a series of posts the figure evolves from chunks of unrefined plastic to what you see above.

While ‘ultimate’ is a conceit best left to something of Madame Tussuads standard and fashioned from silicone with punched hair and finished with a budget of thousands, my ambition was to evoke the spirit of Reeve’s screen persona using the best likeness available and specific attention to realistic details (including flaws) for a fraction of the cost. Itself inspired by the long-gone Superman display in London’s Tussauds I was so captivated by on a visit as a teen, the dream to create my own version would never fade no matter how unpractical or unachievable it seemed.

Indeed, only within the last decade or so have the Planets aligned to facilitate the components of this kit thanks mainly to friend and Superfan Chris King, whose burning desire to create the best replica Superman costume lead to researching methods of displaying one.  Commissioning what is still arguably the most evocative of Reeve sculpts with the intention of grafting it onto an imported 6’6″ mannequin, Chris’ later abandonment of the project paved the way for me to see it through.  Coinciding with this was the evolution of the aforementioned Action Costumes growing as a company and gaining access to real suits for reference, something the authenticity of this build demanded.

While the whole process was sometimes painful (and painfully slow) people like the talented Rich Martin would not only come to my rescue but provide the impetus to finish the job.  Be as awed as I was by his paintjob in the pics above that turned flat resin into living, breathing skin and his flawless glass eye placement’s effect on conveying expression in the sculpt.

Now that he’s finished I hope you can appreciate what it took to achieve it and, just for the moment, share the feeling I had when I stood open mouthed with the rest of the Tussads visitors that day as they pointed and said “Look!! Its SupermanChristopher Reeve…”

My sincere thanks to everybody who has assisted me with this project – for a full extensive gallery of the finished figure click HERE.

A Photographic Legacy…

CW_LayoutCW_PagesCW_Pages2CW_Pages3If there’s anything that defines a Superman it must be perseverance in the face of adversity.  How ironic then, that a celebration of the Champion of Truth & Justice in print has yet to be added to the exhaustive canon of film companions and a proposal to fill that void should even be in question.

With this in mind I implore you to click HERE directly and join the legion of fans adding comments to an ever-growing list of reasons why Capedwonder.com editor Jim Bowers Superman: The Richard Donner Years – A Photographic Journey has not already been snapped right up for publishing and why its not already in your hands.

Besides the obvious fact there has to date never been a volume exploring the Classic Superman series on film (save for David Michael Petrou’s singular and defining account of the Making Of Superman: The Movie in 1978) let alone a contemporary coffee-table picture book of the magnificence shown above, one is left bemused as to why this has taken so long, and why its not been the subject of dozens of similar publications already.

Mr. Bowers has the vision and the resources.  What he lacks, bafflingly, is the support of a major publisher to make this love-letter to the fans a reality.  In an age where most modern blockbusters have similar releases as standard and with retro catching up fast, (the Star Wars films having a volume for each episode with Jaws and Bond getting similar treatment) even the passive fan must admit to this being a no-brainer.  In no less than the character’s 75th year and with widespread interest renewed thanks to his return to the silver screen, there has never been a better time.  Sharing this view is none other than Richard Donner himself, who, based on the layouts presented has offered both his full backing and a commitment to write the introduction.

Given all this evidence its disappointing the fans are left to not only highlight this shortcoming to the powers that be but mount campaigns to rectify it – which is what we also used to say about the Donner Cut…

From the top; Digital renderings of the proposed Superman Coffee Table Book showing cover and spread, (all subject to change) collection of page layouts for the bulk of the volume and collages depicting the quality of imagery on offer culled from Jim’s decades of research.

Like what you see? SUPERMANIA humbly requests each one of its 300+ subscribers add their name and comments to the list found on the link above…

Asbury’s Storyboards Resumed…

Red1Red2Red3Red4SUPERMANIA is pleased to at long last to return to the pages of the Big Red Book and continue the story of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace as told in pictures by master artist Martin Asbury.

To recount the origins of this find, the Big Red Book is a production used/made item and was recovered from a skip on the site of Elstree Studios in 1988.  Marked on the spine as ‘Superman IV, Script & Storyboards Part 2’ it picks up the story midway and has been serialised on this blog from the beginning (scroll through the Superman IV posts for previous entries).  Surviving in pristine condition (save for minimal water damage) given the circumstances, this may well be the only copy in existence.

From the top;  Additions in pink for the ‘Revised Red Square Sequence’ depict exactly what made the final cut of the film.  More to follow..!

Gus Gormen…

Pryor1Pryor3Pryor4Pryor2Presenting another SUPERMANIA exclusive – this time from a selection of ephemera surviving Dovemead Ltd’s office wastebasket from the production of Superman III. 

This small selection of material shows correspondence (with accompanying Polaroids)  between associate producer Bob Simmonds and stateside production manager Chris Coles regarding the casting of a suitable stunt double for Richard Pryor’s pivotal character August Gorman for the third act of the film.

From the top – Unpublished still of Pryor used for makeup/continuity purposes, typed memo between producers dated July 10th, 1982 (with hilarious last paragraph) photocopied sheet of casting Polaroids and bottom Anthony Reese in full Pryor makeup with costume notes for the Webster clan…