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 known 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Lighthouse Encounter in B&W
A black & white version to 'match' the film. (Click once to enlarge)
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 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 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.
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.
Here is one of Joe's 'fantasy' versions of a non-existent scene from the 1958 classic film, "The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad" The kit comes with a Sukurah the Magician figure which I opted NOT to use. The only changes I did (aside from not using Sukurha) was to add some smoky quartz crystals near the supine cyclops. Monsters In Motion used to carry this kit (not sure why not now) so you may have to go to eBay to find one. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $250. This is a BIG & beautiful resin kit. Click for a larger image.
Here is another of Joe's great renditions from the 1963 Ray Harryhausen classic, "Jason and the Argonauts". I seem to recall purchasing it from Monsters In Motion but I don't think it is available any longer. I didn't add anything to the scene since that would be gilding the lily.
This is my favorite character from "Jason", the bronze giant Talos. This is a great kit partly because it offers two, count'em TWO heads for the mechanical man; one facing forward and one looking down at the Greek usurpers who have just violated the god's jewelry box. As you can see, I chose the later.
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. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see my completed version (9/30/17)
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.
Here is a GREAT diorama by Joe featuring one of my favorite films of all time, "The Time Machine" (1960). Though a tad pricey, this set of four kits really captures to look and feel of the film. I also made a brief video of the scene with the film's terrific soundtrack. Go to the "Alchemy Time Machine" page on the drop down to see more photos along with the video showing the Time Machine in action (sorta).
Here is yet another resin kit based on the Talos figure from the 1968 Harryhausen classic, “Jason And The Argonauts”. This is a very nice sculpt by Joe Laudati and retails for around $90.00. This is my third Talos build up, one being of Talos posed on the god's jewel case and the other a vinyl version I picked on eBay when I was first starting out in the hobby. That kit had just of the Talos figure and I added the base which, as it turns out, was very close in design to this kit I'm reviewing here although larger. This kit was a pretty simple affair with very little clean up needed and had about a dozen pieces (not counting the toothpick oars). If I had one complaint about this kit is that the Argo (Jason's ship) was cast into the base which made its painting and installation of the tooth pick oars a little more difficult than it had to be. The mast/sail part seemed a little clunky to me so I made a new one with small dowels and tea bag paper for the sail which I lashed to the cross arm with very thin wires. I also built up the land areas a bit more with two part epoxy putty and added ground foam foliage and shrubs to add a little more interest to the scene. I coated the 'water' with a thick clear resin and made the breakers and boat & oar wash with Liquitex model paste. This is a nice kit for beginners partly due its simplicity and price along with being another beautiful sculpt by Joe Laudati. You can pick one up at Monsters In Motion, an online store that I frequent regularly. Here's their link: https://www.monstersinmotion.com/cart/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0&x=0&y=0&keyword=talos
A recent acquisition from the 2018 JerseyFest. I'd be lying if I didn't say the main reason I bought this kit was because Joe did it.. Click the picture once for a larger image.
More of Joe's great interpretations of Ray Harryhausen's work. This kit is based on a scene from 'Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger' (1977), one of Ray's lesser efforts in my view. Still, a fine piece of work by Joe.
My most recent Ray Harryhausen aquisition based on the Hammer film "One Million Years BC", essentially a remake of the 1940 film "One Million BC" with paper finned lizards instead of stop motion dinosaurs.. Joe did the sculpt, I did the base.
18.07 | 20:43
Speechless, And I am really speechless. Incredible work. I am glad we could provide you with a grail
11.07 | 11:41
Great job down to the last detail!
10.07 | 16:36
Thank you, Addis, I estimate it took me around 100 hours to complete.
10.07 | 12:24
Terrific work...must've taken quite a while for you to complete...very good detail!!