Ultimate Superman 1:1 Update…

Two years since this project was first initiated, the kit has returned home unfinished after artist John May sadly had to abandon it due to work commitments. As shown in the pics above the mannequin has had much of the preparation work done and simply awaits final assembly and realistic paint-job. The fantastic artificial eyes (currently held in by Blu-Tac!) from Tech-Optics.com, impressive in photographs are stunning in-hand and bring the excellent sculpt to eerie life.
Finally, the great breaking news is another celebrated FX artist has expressed interest in completing the project and will be taking delivery soon…!
More updates as they happen…

 

Ultimate 1:1 Progress…

A timely update from the workshop of artist John May – the images above show the first ‘dry-fit’ of the amazing custom glass-eyes from Tech-Optics.com for adjustment to achieve the perfect placement. As you can see, apart from filling of the tear-ducts they are almost there. If you look closely at the top shot you can clearly see the image the sculpt was based on was the balcony scene in Superman: The Movie, where Superman tells Lois he ‘Likes Pink very much’. This was the image commissioned by Chris King in an effort to have the sculpt capture the more romantic and dashing aspect of Reeve’s portrayal, rather than the more common stern expressions from former attempts. This also accounts for the larger, more unwieldy kiss-curl with a more right-hand bias. The devil is, as always, in the detail.
With the eyes fixed John will be taking his airbrush to the finely-honed lines of the sculpt to bring out its fantastic character. Stay tuned for more updates…!

Ultimate 1:1 Progress…

A long-overdue update for this project but worth the wait as an amazing discovery has surfaced in the interim. Courtesy of Jim Bowers at CapedWonder.com is a special photograph showing a comparison between the handcrafted bust used for the project (far right) next to a recently unearthed genuine lifecast of Christopher Reeve! (centre). Of particular note is that the headsculpt was commissioned long before this discovery and completed with the aid of photographs alone yet the parallels are striking. Due to the ‘flattening out’ of the face during the procedure of lifecasting softer tissue can be compressed and expressions are usually grim or non-evident – the addition of the B&W photo by Chris King highlighting the sculpt with wider nostrils is a clear example of this.
The posts to follow will detail paint, assembly and finish but nothing could continue without the addition of the correct glass eyes. This became a problem as the original sculpt was completed without a set (apparently standard practice) for size/placement reference which meant ‘standard’ models would not fill the gaps. When John May made contact with specialists Cantor & Nissel (who have experience specifically replicating Reeve’s eyes) they unfortunately could not match the size required. This meant the project was stalled until another maker could be found. An extensive search on the
Replica Prop Forum linked me to Tech-Optics.com, a US-based company specialising in every conceivable form of false eyes handmade to your specifications. Though there have been many full-size interpretations of Reeve’s Superman, few have been so specific to attempt to not only get the right colour but include the specific patterns and ‘flaws’ present in the screencapture above (sent as reference) with the finished set below. This presented a unique opportunity so my thanks go out to James Alser of Tech-Optics whose patience and professionalism furnished us with what I consider to be an astonishing work of art.
In anticipation of the arrival of the eyes John May has also sent me two new pictures of early skin-tone airbrush paint tests (bottom two) and promises it will be something special when complete. Stay tuned…

Ultimate Reeve Superman 1:1 Progress….

As mentioned in previous posts, running concurrently with John May’s work on the Superman mannequin is an ultimate costume project headed by SuperFan Sebsatian Columbo. Still in development as a result of hard research (with thanks on my part to Chris King who provided the early mockup of the costumed mannequin pictured top) and all-new measurements from a real Reeve costume provided with the kind assistance of supermanjaviolivaresnews.blogspot.com, achieving the most screen-accurate replica is closer to reality than ever before. Pictured above is Sebas protoypes for the costume and cape symbols with their respective fabrics and bottom is the finished belt made by me utilizing a resin cast of an original belt buckle...


This is my last post before New Year so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their continued support during this first year of SUPERMANIA and in return I promise to keep the rarities and surprises coming in 2011 so please, stay tuned and Happy New Year to all SuperFans…!

Ultimate Reeve Superman 1:1 Progress….

More updates from John showing the progress of the full-scale figure. Look closely and you’ll spot the signature of Greece-based sculptor of the head on the rear left shoulder. Precious few castings were made of the original sculpt and those that were are apparently somewhat fragile. Fortunately SuperFan Chris King had the foresight to have this very clean casting reinforced before passing it to me and now John has thickened up the edges also for when the gaps are filled. These pics show the brackets to bolt the two pieces together and how the lines of the cast are married to the contours on the mannequin. Cuts to the midriff to reduce the Mannequin’s height are to follow before the installation of the eyes and final assembly…