Monday, August 16, 2010

It Belongs In A Museum!!!

This is a fan made Cross of Coronado, as seen in “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”. This prop was seen briefly at the beginning of the movie, when Indy was onboard the sinking ship. Though this prop was not pivotal to the central plot of the movie, it welcomed audience members back into the world of Indiana Jones after an extended hiatus.

The replica itself is stunningly beautiful. I dare say this may be one of the most finely crafted fan made replicas I have in my collection, and perhaps that I have ever seen. The attention to detail is just nuts. At the time of purchase, there was a discussion thread running over on the Replica Props Forum that documented the work and research that went into the creation of this piece. Regular readers of this blog will know what a fan I am of research and precision, which is one of the things that drew me to this prop. The maker detailed step by step the process he went through in making the master, and producing the replica. It was a great journey to follow, and very interesting to watch.

An interesting tidbit about this prop as it relates to my collection is that it’s not something I would normally be interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Indiana Jones fan, and own a number of replicas from the franchise. I personally believe that the Hovitos Fertility Idol is one of the most iconic props of the 20th century, though I could easily be mistaken. I have in my collection a wonderful gold plated replica, along with an ACME magic headpiece to the staff of Ra. Both excellent pieces, and very recognizable. With that said, over the past few years, my collecting habits have changed, and I have become very focused. I tend to only acquire pieces that are both very well made, and also play a pivotal role in the plot of a movie or TV show. This helps me stay focused on what is interesting to me, and lets me avoid z-list props such as the Parker Jotter that was used in the James Bond movie GoldenEye. (that’s sort of my go-to example of a z-list prop, as it’s such a non-event that there’s no use having it in my collection.) I don’t my collection to look like a yard sale of discarded household items. I want it full of iconic, recognizable pieces that someone who has only a passing familiarity with the franchise has a good chance of recognizing. Who would mistake a whip and a fedora sitting on an end table for anything other than an homage to Indiana Jones?
But I digress. (but then, isn’t that what blogs are for? Aren’t they really nothing but a formalized forum for digressions???) Oops, did it again.

The point I’m trying to make is that under normal circumstances, this is not a piece I would want in my collection, nor is it something I would normally show interest in. it’s just a little too esoteric when it comes to the Indiana Jones universe. Give me a good grail diary, or a holy grail any day. THAT’s and iconic piece from the movie. What made me had to have this piece is the fact that it’s just so beautifully made. Combined with the fact that I saw the creation of it unfold online really adds a lot to the overall piece, in my opinion.

The real question on my mind right now is this: to weather, or not to weather. I have seen a few folks online who have done some amazing work in making their crosses look more “battle worn”. Stunning results. Truly beautiful. A well done weathering takes this prop to the next level, and makes it look like a genuine artifact that was dug up recently and is being transported to a museum. As it is today, it looks almost too pristine. Too perfect in its execution.

The dilemma for me is twofold. First, I’ll probably never get around to actually doing it. So why queue it up, only to have it never done. I’ve got a million other projects on my plate that are much higher on my radar, and I fear that adding it to the list will just give me one more thing to be frustrated over not finishing. The second is my fear that I would do it wrong, or in some way damage the piece. I don’t have much experience with weathering, and I’m not convinced that this is the piece that I want to cut my chops on. It’s just so nice, I would hate to screw it up by using a caustic material on it that could damage it. Or knowing me, drop it while going through the process and take a big chunk out of the corner. So I think for the time being, I will leave it as is.

That’s about it for this piece. It’s a really great piece, very well made, utterly beautiful, and I’m completely stoked and proud to have it in my collection.

Below are a series of pictures that were taken by the maker of this prop. The one pictures is not the one I own, but is one from the same run. Amazing pics!

A comparison between the replica and the screen used piece.

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