Fiend Without A Face Bust
Here's a recent eBay acquisition of a very nice bust showing a scene from one of my all time favorite fifties 'B' films, “Fiend Without A Face” (1958). I thankfully didn't see the film during its initial release because I probably would have had nightmares for weeks thereafter being the sensitive eight year old that I was in those days.
The basic premise is that there have been mysterious power drains at a United States early warning air force base (this film was made during the Cold War) outside a small north Canadian town. It turns out that the power drains have been the result of a nearby scientist performing mind control experiments were he's been increasing his telekinetic abilities by tapping into the base's atomic pile as a power source. As it turns out, he inadvertently creates these initially invisible mind parasites who begin to wreck havoc among the towns folk and the nearby base with hapless victim's brains being sucked out of their heads.
Though a little slow to begin with, the action really ramps up once the 'fiends' become visible, shown as over sized brains, crawling about the landscape using their spinal cords like grotesque inch worms. When shot, they spew bubbling lumpy black goo innards with sound effects to match. The creatures are all stop motion and though a low budget effort, the animation is still quite good.
The life sized bust is from Earthbound Studios Big Head Busts line beautifully (if I can even use that term) sculpted by Joe Simon. The kit has a dozen pieces with a life sized head modeled after one of the actors in the film who's being attacked by a fiend. Two antenna and 'legs' finish off the bust which is perched on a tree trunk stand. At the base of the tree is the body of a female victim along with three fiends lurking about. The entire kit was perfectly cast with nary a bubble or seam line in sight. I did ZERO clean up on this kit, a welcome change from what I've encountered in the past with other resin kits.
Because of its size, I decided not to use the base and just mount it on a wall near another great Big Head bust I have called Pretty Scary Sarah, a zombified version of Sarah Palin. Sadly, Scary Sarah is out of production though she turns up on eBay from time to time. That is where I got mine as a matter of fact. You can see Sarah in the 'Busts' section of the site.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the kit was the painting, primarily getting flesh tones down. I have about a dozen flesh colors in my paint arsenal. Once I decided on the base flesh tone the rest was to apply different washes of the others (I think I used four) to get the look I wanted for the victim's face and hands. I struggled with this for a time and after a few iterations I got the hue I was looking for. I should mention that I don't use an air brush.
As I have done in the past since I can't paint eyes to save my life, I went with my old standby, plastic doll eyes, (10mm in this case) to finish off the man's head. Visit my 'Hints & Tips' page to get a link where you can buy them if you're as inept as I am at painting them.
For the brain, I went to Google and called up images of real human brains to get an idea of what kind of color palette I wanted to use. I should mention that the film was in black & white so one could go down any road they liked and still be 'accurate'.
In closing, I can't say how much I like this kit in terms of its quality and subject matter. Earth Bound Studios has a very nice line of Big Head Busts you may want to consider adding to your collection. Here's their link: https://blackheartmodels.com/big-head-busts-earthbound-studios 1/25/19