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Author Topic: Importance of maquettes
Greg B
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Okay so I went on a maquette buying binge.

Tony Cipriano's works are my favorites! That man is just too cool for words. My Cipriano 'Underdog' is the joy of my studio desk. He really captures the characters.

He did a 'Peg Bundy' which I purchased also that is outstanding. I didn't want it at first but couldn't pass it up as it was on sale. After I got it home I couldn't help but marvel at how lively it was. It really looks like the character! Turning it around you could literally be life drawing.

Electric Tiki is the company putting out the best stuff nowadays for my money. I'm a classic TV fan so that helps. Often when reading about the artists and sculptors they'll mention how they had worked for Disney or WB or some other animation company.

It's amazing work and I've seen maquettes at the Disney Features main lobby and in some offices. Gorgeous stuff!

So now my studio looks like a mini Wacko Soap Plant but it's okay [Smile]

So to youse all who have to be 'on model' 24/7 any favorite sculptors or maquettes you've worked with?

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Russian Judge
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Gee, it's nice to be in such rich company. The closest thing to this are some rubbery Tiny Toon characters I picked up years ago, which I ended up using for miniature figures (in a light-hearted mood) during a Star Wars RPG game. I must have spent $15 bucks on the bunch.

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Greg B
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Maquette collecting isn't just fun, it's an investment!

Given a little time they usually double in value and for some much more! I try to buy two. One for display and one for a rainy day. With Ebay you can build a fast collection over 6 months with just a $50 investment.

Here's an example. Lady I know bought the Electric Tiki Mighty Mouse mini-maquette for like $15 at a trade show. Far less than it's original sale. It's got to be worth $200+ by now as it's sold out. She could cash in today as I would pay her cash money for one. With that $200 and some shrewd shopping she could by several choice items that within a year would be worth $800. Turn that over and within another year $3,000. Now we're talkin' turkey because that little nest egg can go toward something of great value down the road.

I spent $300 on maquettes over the past month. As of now the collection has jumped to $1,500 easy. In one month! Just think what they'll be worth in a year.

I won't sell them though because to me they're worth much more.

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Methuselah
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Would the sculptures of, say Underdog that are sold in various places really be considered maquettes'? Isn't a true maquette specifically sculpted for use by the animators on an animated production? Don't get me wrong-I love well-done sculptures, whatever they were done for, whether after the fact of a production for commercial reasons or not(and I must say, there's a lot of really gorgeous ones out there-no easy feat, especially with the "flatness" of some TV characters in particular).
Maybe it's all just semantics, though. [Smile]

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Graphiteman
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Who needs a maquette of Underdog to animate.....A cut-out, maybe [Big Grin]
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Bionic_Weasel
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Investment......well maybe.
The fact is, its only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it.
This by no means degrades the art, I personally know
Tracy Lee the owner of Electric Tiki and he's a fantastic artist, as well as his scuptors.
Your best bet is collect for the art...not for the profit.
I've got tons of figures and maquettes that would probably fetch a high price on EBay...but to me they are memories or quality artwork..that I don't want to part with ever at any price.

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Greg B
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You can say that again Bionic!

I was just showing an example to Russian.

My Underdog maquette is the high point of my desk.

Can't wait for my 'Bewitched' Samantha flying on her broom based on the cartoon opening.

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oogieboogie
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The stars of my collection are a Belle and Beast set that I asked Mark and Ruben to sign. My favorite movie, and my favorite pieces.
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Greg B
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Oogieboogie, are these studio maquettes or did you purchase them from a company?

For those of us who may not know, please tell us who Mark and Reuben are. ( we know, but newbies may not ).

Any pics?

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Russian Judge
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The trick is, of course, that the "value" of a collectible item is meaningless. It all depends on what you can get the poor sucker to actually pay for it. Which means that to actually make money on a collectible means you have to lie and intimidate, or your investment is worthless. This strikes me as a very cold way to make a buck.

Almost as cold as the person who sold you the collectible item and promised you that it would increase in value. He didn't tell you that to make anything close to that kind of money you'd have to become a bastard. So who's the greater fool, as Obi-Wan said? The fool or the fool who follows him?

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JHBucktooth
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Marc Henn: Animator of Belle
Ruben Procopio: Sculptor Extrordinaire

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oogieboogie
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They were limited editions that Disney sold. You can see them here:
http://www.thecollectionshop.com/xq/ASP/Disney_Classics_Disney_Characters_Beauty_and_the_Beast_Maquette_Retired_Collection/StockNumber.MAQBB1/SearchResult=Altavista.com/google.com/ alltheweb.com/inktomi.com/qx/Disney_Collectibles_Detail_Page.htm

Ruben Procopio sculpted them, and Mark Henn was lead on Belle.

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Graphiteman
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quote:
The trick is, of course, that the "value" of a collectible item is meaningless. It all depends on what you can get the poor sucker to actually pay for it. Which means that to actually make money on a collectible means you have to lie and intimidate, or your investment is worthless. This strikes me as a very cold way to make a buck.
That's just plain silly. Sure, things are worth for what people are wiling to pay, but where do you get the idea that the seller is or has to be unethical...described as some kind of absolute or something?
So tommorow if the company breaks the molds of Underdog or they stop manufacturing...their license runs out or whatever...it's value in the secondary nerd market goes up, seller says to himself he'll try asking 500.00, he gets 500.00....what's wrong with that? Nothing unethical.

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SquarejawHero
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If anyone's got a couple of thousand pounds on them, I'm sure you could have something sculpted by my talented and very beautiful girlfriend, sculptress extraordinairre. [Big Grin]

No kidding!

*end blatant promotion*

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Greg B
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Thanks Oogie! Cool pieces you have there. Keep hold of them.

I won't even respond to Russian Judge's usual nonsense.

Ruben P. is a fine sculptor for sure. I've come to be aware of his work and have a few pieces of his.

I just had to scoot around the corner and pick up the Richie Rich and Gloria maquettes. They were goin' for $25 a piece and make brilliant mantle pieces for a his & hers placement. The overall work on them is splendid.

the painting on these two is delicious. When lighted properly you get the choice reflections. With scupltors like these guys no wonder the animation is so good. You really get a sense of volume and presence.

However, I'm noticing recently too hasty a paint job on some pieces. If they're limited edition it' wise to spend the time and luxury to make each a masterpiece.

I use to read the Harvey books and watch the toons on tv. Couldn't pass up these two though and there's a Casper I'm after.

Lo and behold as I was sitting looking at my Jetsons model kit I said to myself there has to be a Flintstone model of some sort and there in the store was the die cast Flintmobile that is a perfect match for my Jetson's model!

NAB! ( the sound effect from the old Moose Miller toon when the bird would steal his food )

It's almost a duplicate to the giant rib scene in the opening, except it has Dino carrying luggage, Bam Bam sits on top of the car with luggage and Pebbles is standing up leaning on the dashboard.

No child safety seats in the stone age! It even has that Flintstone toy 'smell'. Same smell as that battery operated Dino that ran around on the floor they put out in the 60's. That's what startled me. It smelled like that toy! Almost had a flashback! Wheels turn too!

Just two more pieces, two more pieces and my collection will be complete. One I'll order today but the last one I have to bid for. Dang it!

Now if they had some Archie maquettes!

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Greg B
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Squarejaw, if she's good I'd be one that would be interested! Does she have a website that spotlights her work?

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SquarejawHero
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Some of the examples are old, and the CV needs an update, but -

www.liviaturco.co.uk

It's actually more than a little naughty of me (and slightly unprofessional) to talk business on her behalf. She's got work coming up at Tussauds soon that might take over her life, but you never know - we freelancers are always open to commissions... if you were interested it'd be best to contact her directly rather than go through me!

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Ganklin
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squarejaw, your girlfriend is extreamely talented! i don't have that abilty, and have only taken rudimentary sculpture classes in college, so i can respect the amount of work that goes into them (or any type of work). again, very nice work and just fun to look at!

kinda-sorta on topic: there's a toy shop in NYC that has those little vending machines with the bubble containers in them. for a dollar you can get really nice little scupts of the incredibles...i have a few on my desk! if you're in the NYC area, head over to toy tokyo!

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droosan
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It may indeed be simply a matter of semantics, as Methuselah says; the Electric Tiki figures, and other products mentioned in this thread, are produced in mass quantities (limited though they may be; 500 of anything is still quite a lot!) .. not to mention produced especially for public sale. They might be more rightly termed "limited-edition figurines".

But, again, it's all semantics; many of the Electric Tiki figures are sculpted by the same artists who create 'true' production maquettes for the studios. They are all fantastic items; I have a few of 'em, myself. But I don't refer to them as "maquettes". [Razz]

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I do, however, have a few actual production maquettes .. including some from CATS DON'T DANCE which I've just listed on eBay.

But even these are not 'reference' maquettes; they were created for the Producer, Doug Wood .. and so are beautifully-painted in living color; they are made for "show". True 'reference' maquettes are unpainted, to allow an animator to easily understand the relationships of volume & form in the figure.

The main distinction I mean to make, though, is that studio production maquettes are literal 'one-of-a-kind' works of art, made to service the artists making a film. The Electric Tiki products (and other figures like them) are made in mass quantities for the public to buy .. and to look cool standing on a desk! [Wink]

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My sincere apologies, Charles, if the above link to my eBay auctions is seen as 'bad form'. I was hoping this might fall within acceptable "Independent Economy" guidelines..(?), at least, if it's just this once.

I have resisted mentioning my eBay auctions here during the past four months, but I thought these particular items would be of more-than-passing interest to several folks here (and for those interested, I will be adding a few more pieces of CATS DON'T DANCE production art to my auctions during the coming week).

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Methuselah
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Droosan, I remember those maquette's of Doug's (they may be the only painted ones that were done, IIRC). How the hell did you aquire all of them?! [Eek!]

btw, I'm not in cahoots with Droosan to move these things-just curious(and jealous-they're really, honestly beautiful).

What was the artist who did them--there were two different sculptors who split the characters, weren't there? And one was a woman, I believe-she did Darla, among others?

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Russian Judge
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Graphiteman, it's still nonsense. And the nonsense I speak about is putting a monetary value on such items, and claiming that they "appreciate" in value.

Good example; check the price of the "Death of Superman" comic, that people bought in such great quantity, with alternative and foil and signed covers at outrageous prices. They're not worth recycling for paper pulp now.

Or the Black Lotus card for Magic: The Gathering, which people have been stabbed to death for. Not even worth using for a bookmark.

My point is that to put your "values" in such things is stupidity. Those maquettes only have the value that other people put on them. That's easily changeable. Also, I'm sick of seeing people being sold stuff and being told they will get rich if they simply hide it in their closet for twenty years.

Go ahead and own them if it gladdens your heart. That's fine. But just like religion, when you start bringing money and greed into the process, all the holiness goes out of it.

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droosan
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I acquired them all directly from Doug Wood in 1998; I bought Cranston & Pudge from him via eBay, then made a single deal with him for the rest. He had already sold or given away the remaining characters.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure who had sculpted these. But I'm willing to bet we might have someone on the forum who knows! [Yes]

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And believe me, I didn't want to sell these. But when you've been unemployed (and without unemployment insurance) for four months, the sentimental value of such things tends to diminish somewhat .. especially when rent week approaches. [Frown]

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droosan
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I do also have the Darla Dimple maquette .. but I've decided to keep it, for now. I agree; she is absolutely gorgeous! [Yes] There is so much 'sugary-sweet' personality in this pose!! (I understand there is also a separate maquette featuring Darla's "dark side" .. but I've never seen that one).

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.. to reiterate, Darla is not for sale! [Wink] I just wanted to share this image with the community. [cheers]

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I have one other production maquette (from a different film) with which I hope I never have to part; I'll take some pix of it tomorrow. [Big Grin]

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Greg B
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Droosan! Choice products there man!

That Pudge maquette is adorable. I might bid on that bad boy m'self! I for one would be very interested whenever you post on Ebay. I'll add you to my favorites. We should have a 'trading post' here on AN so we can snag up some awesome prducts like cels and maquettes etc. Even original art sales. I'm sure there are fans out there who'd beat a path to the door.

Squarejawhero, your girl's work is awesome. I know who she is. Her site needs to be designed with less mystique and with more cut and dried pics of her finished works. As luck would have it I just had a chat with one of our network engineers who is all for getting sculptors. Believe you me, that network's bosses have stupid loot. I'll be chatting with the boss soon who has produced his own toon site and I'm sure is going to want a maquette or more for his licensing end. So I'll be in touch with you even if I have to kick out the cash to keep her on retainer til he's ready.

So hit me up by email so I have your contact info from you.

Last time I had maquettes made were for old vinyl kits from about 10 years ago. I have to brush up on production costs and then I'll be more well grounded.

Gotta go hunt for a 'Flying Sub' model kit. Left mine back east at studio. Gotta have one! I modified my last one to hold batteries and radio. I can tune into am/fm with it.

I'm on my way to store to pick up a huge amount of super sculpy and get my sculptin' wings back on!

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Greg B
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btw, how far back in animation history do maquettes go? Any picks of the earliest ones?

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SquarejawHero
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Greg, sent you an email. [Smile]

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Steve G
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quote:
btw, how far back in animation history do maquettes go? Any picks of the earliest ones?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I know Disney has been using them since Snow White...

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Scott Shaw!
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I was fortunate to work closely with the great Kent Melton while at H-B. He's very possibly the best damn sculptor in the animation biz. (He also came up with the design of the title character of a show I co-produced,THE COMPLETELY MENTAL MISADVENTURES OF ED GRIMLEY.) Kent not only is incredible at doing animation-based scupts, but also has the uncanny ability to somehow capture the line quality of various print-cartoonists' work in 3-D. (You should see his amazing version of Sergio Aragonés' GROO THE WANDERER!) I've got a ton of his wonderful maquettes in my collection, including ones of Ed Grimley, Count Floyd, the Rocketeer, Fred Flintstone, the cartoon Beatles, Droopy and even one of my own characters, Urban Gorilla.

Kent's done maquette work for most of the cartoon studios; when he entered the biz back in the late 1980s, he was one of the only sculptors specializing in this field.

Scott!

P.S.: If anyone's looking for a nice selection of retail maquettes for sale, may I recommend Meltdown Comics on Sunset in Hollywood and The Big Kid in Van Nuys (at the corner of Burbank and Hazeltine)? Both shops also have a lot of imported French sculptures as well (Harvey's Hot Stuff the Devil Kid seems to be very popular over there), which are surprisingly inexpensive. Although out of print, the French also produced tons of great Tex Avery-based maquettes! -- SS!

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Greg B
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Squarejaw, okay!


Shaw! I got those Harvey mini-maquettes and I'm surprised how much they brighten up the work area! I got mine for almost half price. I'm gonna head on over to Meltdown later this week to see what they have. I'm gonna bring a $G with me just in case I go crazy. I'll tell em' you sent me.

The classic toons like Li'l Abner and Pogo are choice pieces. One of these days you'll have to take pics and show us what you have. Like yourself I've had stuff on QVC. I have a very funny video of Jim Shooter selling stuff on QVC back in the old days. Don't know if QVC is for maquettes though but I will tell you that 100% of the people who've come by my studio I have to fight off as they want a maquette! I had to order an extra Samantha from Bewitched already! People just don't know 'where' to get them! I literally am now having to buy 4 of one maquette and about 10 extra totals because I let people see that they exist! Electric Tiki and Tony Cipriano are gonna be able to buy new houses after I get done.

I really would love a Mushu maquette if there is one.

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Greg B
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Hey did anyone get the "Hero Bear and the Kid" bust?

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Scott Shaw!
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"QVC"? I don't watch QVC or order from QVC, let alone "had stuff on QVC". (As is the case with many of your posts, I don't have the slightest notion of what you're writing about.)

And please, let's not indulge in some sort of dick-measuring contest regarding the extent of our maquette collections. I only mentioned those particular items as diverse examples of Kent Melton's exquisite work as a sculptor.

Aloha,

Scott!

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Methuselah
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The two sculptors (who did all the maquettes on "Cats" between them) should be listed in the end credits-anyone have a copy & can find out? They really should be credited....I am certain the girl did "Darla"--I'm glad you posted that one of her, Droosan--it's really tops.
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Greg B
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Shaw! I didn't respond to your post with disrespect and I damn well won't tolerate if from you. Not now nor ever.

If you have a problem with me you take it up man to man not some bitch ass snide comment on a board.

Now if you sorry fat ass has a problem you can email me or meet me.

Charles just posted the terms of service of this board and I'm waiting to see what he's going to do about it.

We're having a good time here and some bug crawled up you and you wanna come in here and foul things up?

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droosan
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Methuselah, I just scoped the CATS DON'T DANCE end credits; they were buried way deep inside there, but I found them:

Robin Lynn
Cindy Ramstead


They are credited under "Character Sculptures" .. unfortunately, it doesn't say which artist sculpted which particular character.

But obviously, both artists are incredible talents! [thumbsup]

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Scott Shaw!
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Greg B, I intended no disrespect to you at all. But I didn't understand your still-unexplained reference to QVC, and often find aspects of your posts here somewhat mystifying. Once again I fail to understand your response, macho threats, insults and all.

My other comment was a pre-emptive one that wasn't even directed specifically at you. After reading my post, I just didn't want anyone to think I was bragging about my collection, and feared that I might spark some sort of oneupsmanship between geeky hunters-and-gatherers such as myself. That's all.

Aloha,

Scott!

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droosan
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quote:
quote:
Greg B: btw, how far back in animation history do maquettes go? Any picks of the earliest ones?
Steve G: I know Disney has been using them since Snow White...
According to Kent Melton in the 'behind the scenes' segment on maquettes from the TREASURE PLANET DVD, it was PINOCCHIO which first utilized sculptures of the characters for reference; here's some frame grabs of the PINOCCHIO maquettes shown:

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SquarejawHero
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Come on kids, lighten up! [Smile] Too much stress on these boards right now!

Just look at the lovely images Droosan posted... looks like Treasure Planet does has something to offer after all on the DVD!

...not that I'm saying it's a bad movie... I kinda liked it...

*cof*

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droosan
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Okay .. here's the prize of my animation art collection; a true piece of animation history! [Smile]

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This is a plaster cast of the Mrs. Brisby maquette, likely used for reference by John Pomeroy's assistants.

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Greg B
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Droosan! Just looking at those Pinocchio maquettes for some odd weird reason brings back memories??? I've seen them before somewhere.

I recall back as a kid in a hobby shop seeing some toys that looked like them too.

I hope someone does a DVD 'how to' and 'application of' maquettes. I've already mentioned it to Cipriano on the statue forums. It would be a choice educational experience to see how and why maquettes are created and used by animators. Would show the public how dedicated and hardworking the artists are to doing the best job they can.

I now have 'Ebay Eyes'... Been up for 4 days buying stuff. One collection of mini-mini- maquettes came from Japan! I remembered how often they'll have a licensed product based on an American tv show or movie that we don't have. Now with Ebay it's easy to get!

It's been furious! I hate to be outbid! I literally now have every toy I had as a kid and the new ones based on the old shows and movies that didn't have any toy lines.

I'm hoping the statue/maquette producers and communities expand into 'Limpet' and other film favorites!

I love this stuff so much and am having a ball buying up so much stuff because the make awesome presents for fam and friends that, by cracky, if all goes well this year ( which it should ) I will fork out enough to start my own line of maquettes. I'll pay for the licenses etc. Just to get toys made from projects I enjoyed.

btw, if you want to roll on the floor laughing, check out Electrictiki.com and look at the 'Baby Huey' maquette. It is soooo funny looking! Captures the real character!

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http://www.boonestoons.com
http://www.spacefool.com

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Scott Shaw!
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"I love this stuff so much and am having a ball buying up so much stuff because the make awesome presents for fam and friends that, by cracky, if all goes well this year (which it should ) I will fork out enough to start my own line of maquettes. I'll pay for the licenses etc. Just to get toys made from projects I enjoyed."

Will they be available on QVC, pray tell?

"I now have 'Ebay Eyes'... Been up for 4 days buying stuff."

That would explain a lot!

Aloha,

Scott!

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