Joe Laudati - Master Sculptor, Author & Screenwriter
Initially, without even knowing it, I had been a big fan of Joe Laudati's work for several years now. I have been an avid modeler since I was a little kid but I really got into the hobby when I started building resin kits about three years ago as a big kid.
Since immersing myself in the world of the so-called garage kits and their more prominent counterparts of 'serious' merchandising, Mr. Laudati's efforts have always found their way onto my “I gotta get my hands on that freakin' kit!” list. Part of it was his ability to capture in resin the best work of one of fantasy cinema's greatest artists, Ray Harryhausen.
Harryhausen (whose tribute page is elsewhere on this site) twisted my eight year old mind in such a way that it has yet to recover when I first saw “The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad” in a darkened theater with my buddies. From that fateful day in 1958, I was subsequently exposed to many of Ray's other creatures without really having a clue as to who the master actually was much less even knowing his name.
Which brings us to Joe Laudati. Echoing my 1958 experience, as I delved deeper into the world of resin, I kept seeing more and more truly impressive works of art by various sculptors of fantasy and science fiction film character interpretations. Of those artists, Joe was and is, in my opinion, the best in the field.
Mr. Laudati's efforts have served up a double whammy in his ability in displaying his talents. Firstly (and I don't know anything about the kit generation process so please forgive me if I'm in error here) was his choice of subject matter. Whether he came up with the 'idea' for a certain sculpture or it was proposed by a manufacturer is irrelevant. The final conceptions are invariably on the mark and visually compelling.
Secondly, is his execution of the fantastic. Joe can either capture the excitement of an established cinematic scene such as the deadly duel between Kong and the Tyrannosaurus Rex battling over the lovely morsel know as Ann Darrow or to create a 'what if' scenario if two of the cyclops from '7th Voyage' tag teamed on the Dragon from the same film.
This page is an effort to display Joe's not inconsiderable talent to the uninitiated or to provide an avenue to those that would like more access to Joe's kits. I call them “Joe's” because no matter who manufactures them, they'll always be Joe's kits as “Jason And The Argonauts” will always be Ray Harryhausen's film regardless of who directed it.
As far as access is concerned, you can go to Joe's home page (http://www.joelaudati.com/) to see and purchase his work OR you can go to online stores such as Monsters In Motion (http://www.monstersinmotion.com/) OR my favorite go to source, eBay.
eBay is particularly helpful in that you may have opportunities to purchase some of Joe's (there I go again) out of production resin kits at fair prices (some times).
Below are photos of Joe's kits that I have made over the past few years. Each has a larger section elsewhere on this site with more photos but here are intended as teasers (if you will) as to what is out there and hopefully spur interest in the viewer. As I build more of Joe's kits, and I'm sure I will, I'll be adding them here. Enjoy.
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. This resin kit called 'Lighthouse Encounter' is fairly common and shows up frequently on eBay for around $150. You can also pick one up on Monsters In Motion for $130 plus shipping.
Lighthouse Encounter in B&W
A black & white version to 'match' the film. (Click once to enlarge)
Giant Gorilla vs T-Rex
Joe's version of the battle in the original 'King Kong'. This kit is out of production from Resin From The Grave though it turns up from time to time on eBay. Expect to pay well over $300.00. The kit's title is the name it goes under to avoid copyright issues (I think).
Giant Gorilla vs T-Rex in B&W
Here is a black & white version of the same kit to match the 1933 film. Click once to enlarge.
The Black Scorpion
I'm not sure who makes this kit but it generally runs for $150 on eBay. Note that the kit version comes with just one tank and no chopper or army men. Those are my additions. Click once for a larger photo.
The Black Scorpion in B&W.
This film (considered a low budget 'B' film) was shot in B&W hence this photo. Click once for a larger version.
7th Voyage Of Sinbad
My take on the kit. I added a much larger stairway and other wizardy 'stuff' to the scene. It weighs a ton. Click on image for a larger version.
7th Voyage Box Art
Here's a shot of the resin kit's box art showing what you get, ie, Sinbad, the skeleton and a short spiral staircase. Again, this one shows up on eBay for about $150 or so.
20 Million Miles To Earth
This is another out of production resin kit of Joe's from Resin From The Grave. I happened upon this one on eBay, where else? I recall I spent around $120 for it. It needed A LOT of preparation primarily due to filling bubbles and erasing seam lines. Despite that, I think it is one of my favorite Laudati''s creations. Note that I added the car & rear wall. Click for a larger image.
B&W 20 Million Miles To Earth
I REALLY like this kit and it looks great in black and white. Click image for a larger version.
My Talos from Jason and the Argonauts. Click for a larger version.
Here's a shot of my diorama once again showing my favorite "Jason" character, Talos, as he prevents the Argonauts from escaping to the sea. I made this early on and used a vinyl kit that I picked up on eBay from Thailand. What I didn't know at the time that it was (and is) considered a no no to purchase a kit's knock off, which this probably was. Mea culpa. Aside from that, I found a very small Viking ship that I converted into a bireme to copy the Argos in the film and added a small temple and foliage for scale. Click once to get a larger view.
Joe Laudati's resin kit of "Talos" Click once for a larger version.
Here is a photo of the box art for Joe's kit which can be purchased from Monsters In Motion for $90 plus shipping. I have this kit and it is waiting in the wings to be constructed. Click once to get a larger view.
The vinyl kit again with a bit more color. Click once to get a larger image.
This is another shot of the first vinyl kit I've made with a much more interesting background. The ship is actually a modified Viking kit I picked on eBay for about three bucks, if memory serves. The little temple ruin is also from eBay and though not in the film I think it accentuates Talos' size.
Night Of The Demon (1957)
From what I understand, Joe has sculpted two versions of this kit. There is this one which has a mini-Stonehenge as part of the base. I seem to recall purchasing this kit on eBay for $120 or so. Click once for a larger image.
aka Curse Of The Demon
Here's the other version with the demon disemboweling the bad guy over railroad tracks which copies a scene from the film. I prefer this kit but I've had a difficult time getting my hands on one thus far. Click once for a larger image. You may have to search a bit for the picture on the page due to scrolling.