Haunted Mansion Hatbox Ghost

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ChickenHaunt

Well-Known Member
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In tribute to Blaine Gibson's work on Disneyland's Haunted Mansion attraction, I recently went through a process of sculpturally restoring a very sad looking casting of the Hatbox Ghost, which I believe to be descended from the original molds. Here he is all finished and painted.

If you're interested in an in-depth look at how and why I brought it from here to there, including an appreciation of the original work, head on over to my blog (it's a three-parter, and a bit long to repost the whole thing, but I think you all will enjoy skimming though it).

chickenhaunt.blogspot.com/2015/08/my-hatbox-ghost-part-1-sculpting.html


Started with this clay pour (see the photo of the original in the background):

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And brought back all the detail seen in the original photos:

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Apologies if this seems recast-y. It's really just meant as a personal project to honor the original sculpture.
 

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Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
Very entertaining, informative, and well written piece.

Wonderful sculptural restoration. It is beautiful to see Mr. Gibson's work as close as we can to how it was originally.
 

CaptainEO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Beautiful work! I've worked with the same casting as you, and your cleanup work turned out beautifully. All those lost details are now recovered. Great piece!
 

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Sinned

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
This is awesome, well done!

Also, actually quite helpful, for me. My 8-year-old wants to be the Hatbox Ghost for Halloween this year. I haven't seen many kid-sized options out there, so I'll be sculpting a mask for him. This is better reference than I could have ever asked for!
 

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ChickenHaunt

Well-Known Member
I think they did a wonderful job with the new one. It pays tribute to the design of the original and updates the effect to the point where it doesn't just work, but it works really well. What impresses me most is the restraint exercised. It would be easy, once you have the face projected, to go overboard with the animation, but it's just enough to give him a little extra life. I hear the face paint job is actually mapped from the photos of the original.
 
I think they did a wonderful job with the new one. It pays tribute to the design of the original and updates the effect to the point where it doesn't just work, but it works really well. What impresses me most is the restraint exercised. It would be easy, once you have the face projected, to go overboard with the animation, but it's just enough to give him a little extra life. I hear the face paint job is actually mapped from the photos of the original.
I feel the same way. The whole team that worked on the project really did a great job, and you can tell it was a labor of love. There is a great interview with Daniel Joseph, one of the special effects Imagineers over at the Long Forgotten blog. He talks briefly about how they made a casting from the original '69 plaster tool. I can't believe that was even still around. Interesting stuff.

Once again, great job on the sculpture!
 

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