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. All of whom 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, along with their son William, are the curators of the Frazetta Art Museum which is where you can find a replica of this statue.
When this project originally came about, the sculptor developed a paint master to mimic the colors of the painting that inspired the piece. This paint master went to a factory where we produced over 600 statues that sold out in a matter of days.
Later we produced an extremely limited edition of this statue in bronze. 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. I then embedded 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 (grandson of the late Lon Chaney Sr.). 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.