The Abyss Flatbed Restoration Project

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DaveG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In 1988 I was hired by Dream Quest Images to run the model shop on Jim Cameron's The Abyss. We built many models ranging from small submersible ROVs a few inches long to the wreckage of the USS Montana nuclear missile submarine at over 70 feet long! Probably the coolest of the models were the 1/8th submersibles Cab and Flatbed. As Jim Cameron described it, Flatbed was an "underwater pickup truck" beat to hell by the rough neck deep sea oil rig workers. We built two Flatbed models, one with miniature diver puppets riding on the top for the memorable scenes of them exploring the wreck of the Montana.

Over 30 years later, the hero Flatbed model has come to my shop for repair and restoration. It's a little beat up but overall it is in pretty decent shape given it's age. It's been owned by the same person all these years and kept in a display case.

Here's how it looks now, I'll post more photos as the restoration goes along.

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xeno

Sr Member
Wow fantastic, can't wait to see more pics.
And I love the way the figures are posed, very realistic :)
 

DaveG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The production provided us with reference photos of how the divers were positioned for the live action filming and we posed the puppets to match.
 

Billy Pilgrim

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great to see it again! It was displayed in the lobby at Dream Quest for many years.
It’s a beautiful model.
 
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Aegis159

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Really looking forward to seeing the restoration efforts! Is the owner wanting a full resto or just one to stop any further deterioration?
 

toromodel

New Member
It's wonderful to see that the miniature has not disappeared... for now. Fortunately it is not in a very bad state, although it is evident that it needs a restoration.
It is very grateful that you make public all the work and photographs of the restoration. I hope you document all your work to the last detail, I will be very aware of all the advances ;)
Thanks a lot (y)
 
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DaveG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not really. I was hoping to get some really nice photos from the auction house but then the owner decided not to sell it in this years auction so… no pix, sorry.
 

rscott9399

New Member
Not really. I was hoping to get some really nice photos from the auction house but then the owner decided not to sell it in this years auction so… no pix, sorry.
That’s a real shame
I am
Looking to purchase abyss props as it is my favorite movie
If anyone knows of any please
Let Me know
Thanks
 

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