The Death Dealer

Frank Frazetta was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Even if you don’t know the name, you know his work either directly or indirectly through the many talented artists who have been inspired by Mr. Frazetta. The Death Dealer is an original character that Frank pulled from his own imagination and breathed to life in 1973. I was fortunate enough to work with him on this statue which is an interpretation of the character conceived and produced by Quarantine Studio.

For those of you who don’t know, I am part owner of Quarantine Studio and as such, I have had the pleasure to work with a lot of talented artists. Of all who have listed Frank Frazetta as an inspiration. Unfortunately, Frank Sr. passed away in 2010 but I have the honor of counting his son and his daughter-in-law among my friends. Frank Jr. and Lori are awesome folks and they are the curators of the Frazetta Art Museum which is where you can find a replica of this statue.

Frank Jr. and Lori Frazetta inside the Frazetta Art Museum.

When this project originally came about, I was asked to create a paint master for the production factory. There was another variant of this statue that was solid bronze and limited to only 13 copies. Not everyone has the means to afford such a piece so I was asked to create a faux bronze finish for a special edition resin statue that would be released later that year. I had been building and painting figure models for a number of years but I had never simulated a bronze finish.

I did a lot of research on various processes for achieving faux metal finishes and experimented on some sacrificial resin kits I had in my stash. Once I had a technique that I could repeat with consistent results and that actually looked like aged bronze, I set about working on the Death Dealer. First I assembled, cleaned and primed the resin parts so that I only had three subassemblies to work with. These were then embedded with magnets at their connecting points so that the whole piece could be assembled for display then disassembled for transportation.

I worked primarily in acrylics using a clear gloss lacquer to seal the colors between each coat. Finals washes were created with thinned enamels and once again, sealed with multiple coats of clear, gloss lacquer. The results speak for themselves. Over the years, I had so many people comment on this statue and were convinced that it was actually bronze until I showed them the unpainted underside of the base.

Since completing this project, I have created several more faux bronze statues for Quarantine studios and for private collectors including Ron Chaney. I have enjoyed every one of those projects but the Death Dealer will always be my favorite. I wish that I could say that this statue is at the center of my collection, alas, it holds that honor in another collectors inventory but that is another story.

4 Comments

  1. GARY D MASON
    March 1, 2019

    WOW!!!! OUTSTANDING JOB, Mr. Everhart! By the way, where is the Frazetta Art Museum located?

    Reply
    1. William Everhart
      March 3, 2019

      The Frazetta Art Museum is in East Stroudsburg, PA. I make 1 or 2 trips up there every year to touch base with the Frank Jr and his family. Some of the best people you could ever meet, and the museum is wonderful. Not super fancy, rather very quaint which draws you closer to the artwork. Some of those paintings look like they are about to come alive. They have Frank Sr.’s paints, easel, and chair that he worked from all those years. They also have a lot of his personal items on display as well. You really get a good look into his life not just as an artist but as a man.
      If you ever find yourself in the area you should go.

      Reply
  2. Dave Maher
    March 4, 2019

    Nice article, I enjoyed reading it. So I guess a class on “Bronze” painting is in order. Just Kidding, I know it took a million years.

    Reply
  3. Steve Mahalko
    March 24, 2019

    Wow!! MUST HAVE FIGURE OF MY OWN!!

    What a cool project! The bronze look you replicated is AAAMAZING and looks very authentic!!!!!

    Reply

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