Sunday 27 December 2020

TNG aliens come back to life

Inspired by some awesome restoration projects, I've gathered together some of the latest TNG behind the scenes bits and bobs I've come across to take a look at a few of TNG's aliens; including some memorable one-shot wonders, and some more established species too. Continue below for some real treats.

What sparked this exploration was seeing some amazing work done recently by Tom Spina Designs, who specialise in restorations and display models and have worked on several Star Trek projects over the years. Their newest creation is a beautiful display of one of the Solanagen-based lifeforms from the episode Schisms. Working with an original costume and mask, they recreated new hands to finish off the alien and then gave it a suitably creepy pose for display. Check it out:

The hands were 3D printed to match their on-screen appearance:

And this is what they had as a starting point, with a decided less dynamic previous display. You can see several more pictures and read about the restoration process on Tom Spina Design's website.

Last year they did a similarly impressive job with an Antedian costume, from the episode Manhunt. In this case they just had the original costume to work with, so sculpted a brand new head and hands to bring it back to life.

Here's the original costume they reinvigorated so successfully. Again you can see much more on Tom Spina Designs, including a video showing the sculpting of the head.

Perhaps a future project for the studio, a Devidian bust from the episode Time's Arrow was recently offered up on Ebay(ad) (no longer on offer alas, if you were interested). This species was of course shown with a bright blue glow in the final episode, so it's quite unusual to get to see them so clearly.

Now to a look at some alien characters in action. Actor Tracee Lee Cocco shared this photo of herself as an Antican. The species first appeared in TNG's Lonely Among Us, and was then reused as a background alien in numerous episodes of TNG and DS9, with Cocco performing as the alien several times.

Looking to a much more familiar alien, makeup artist Michael Key shared a couple of photos of Patrick Massett as Duras the Klingon, from the episode Reunion; which was the first episode of Key's seven year run working on Trek.

And here we have Tracee Lee Cocco again, as another iconic species, a particularly distinctive look for one of the Borg seen in the episode Descent.

From later in the Borg's story, here's another quite distinctive look for a drone, from concept artist Ricardo Delgado, for First Contact.

And that brings me back to one more impressive display piece from Tom Spina Designs, the Borg Queen! In this case they were provided with a fairly well worn costume from the film, and after creating a body to support it, went about extensive restoration. They then creating the Borg Queen's head and bust, complete with light-up spine, to recreate the iconic moment of her introduction.

Here again is the original costume this display was created for. What a transformation! And as before, do visit Tom Spina Designs for a more in depth look at the project.

That is just a small sample of the Trek projects Tom Spina Designs have worked on, do visit their website to see many more costumes, props, and alien recreations, from across the franchise.

For more behind the scenes coverage, including make-up, concept art, costumes, props, and much more, check out previous reports on my behind the scenes tag. Or to just geek out on aliens, have a look at my growing gallery of Trek aliens on Pinterest!

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