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Firstly, I love movies, and secondly, I love practical special effects.

Films such as Predator, Aliens, Gremlins, Little Shop of Horrors laid the foundations for modern special effects. I deal with stage design and sculpture, so I decided to bring scenes from these iconic productions to life.

I started creating props, characters, and doing makeup about 7 years ago. It started quite inconspicuously. I wanted my son, who was 6 at the time, to be able to see a real Santa for Christmas! I gave my 100 percent, and soon enough, the gifts for my son were delivered by Santa Claus himself.

By constantly developing my skills, I was soon able to create werewolves, vampires, creatures from Harry Potter, the Addams Family and much more.

More info: Instagram

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My name is Michal, and I’m a sci-fi geek! James Cameron’s movie ‘Aliens’ inspired me to recreate a life-size replica of the warrior alien

I deal with graphics and animation on a daily basis. However, even before the pandemic, I created many projects for theater decorations, escape room props, and various types of exhibitions. However, the period of the pandemic was tragic in terms of business for many of my clients and therefore also for me. Today, professionally, I am focused 100 percent on graphics and I have the comfort to fulfill my dreams by making movie characters during my free time.

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The alien body is a terrifying combination of a wild animal and an insect, but it resembles a space suit – with protruding tubes, wires, and valves

It is a very complex form full of details. In the movie, we never see the monsters in their entirety. They are always hidden in the dark and show up in short, one-second shots. Of course, I had to dig deep to find archival photos or action figures modeled to have an accurate reference.

I focused on revealing the horrific elements of a replica, just like the director showed us in his cult film

For this complicated project, I used foam and rubber techniques to recreate the Xenomorph’s nuanced body parts

This technique consists of building a form using foam sheets of different thicknesses and hardness. The whole thing is covered with several layers of latex at the end.

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In this stage the tools required for me to succeed were a knife to carve the shapes, glue to stick the parts together, liquid latex to give the texture of the skin-like feel, a paintbrush, and an airbrush to color it and give dimension.

This technique allows for quick effects and quick introduction of changes to an existing project without the need to start over

I chose this technique because it gives fantastic opportunities to build a sculpture on a flexible skeleton and, if necessary, change the pose of the figure without the need to start over.

My chosen method for bringing a life-size warrior alien to life was a challenge but the finished product makes a huge impression

An interesting fact is that in the documentary about the creation of Aliens, we can see scenes in which a special effects artist applied paint to an Alien’s head with a sponge. I also used the same method to get as close to the real character as possible.

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Every detail of the sculpture was handmade to match the original creature from the movie ‘Aliens’

The disadvantage of the approach I picked, as opposed to, say, a cast of a figure from a previously created mold, is a certain compromise in terms of details. But I concluded that in the case of the Alien warrior, what matters is that everything is in full scale, carefully painted, and assembled individually.

Here is the final Xenomorph character replica that took me exactly 10 weeks to finish, while working on it in my free time only

I’ve spent several hours in the evenings working on this project, as during the day, I have a lot of duties resulting from professional work and being a dad!

Now, for the next part, I am working on replicating Ellen Ripley! You can follow the progress on my Instagram account.

The Ellen Ripley project is a completely different story. I start with a clay sculpture of the head of Sigourney Weaver, the actress who plays Ellen. There is no room for error here, it must be an exact copy.

The head and hands will be cast in silicone. In addition, there will be hair and the exact same hairstyle, eyelashes, eyebrows, and eyes!

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That’s only the beginning of what I have planned next – I still need to make replicas of two of Ellen’s weapons, i.e. Pulse Rifle, and a Colonial Marines flamethrower.

I will make them by mixing 3D printing with traditional methods.
Let’s not forget Ellen’s outfit, her Reebok shoes, and a Seiko watch to add to the finished look.

Lots of work and even more fun are ahead!