Over the years, we have fielded many questions regarding the fabrication and ‘cut and sew’ of our mixed media collectibles. We hope this Production Blog entry will answer many of our collector’s questions about this process and help bring a new level of appreciation to the talented team of fabricators here at Sideshow!
Getting the right shape and fit are vitally important when the fabricators at Sideshow design and execute scaled figure garments. To capture the silhouette of the character, the costume must lay on the figure as closely as possible to how it would lay on a live person. In the case of a poseable figure, it must also have the ability to accommodate various movements and clothing adjustments. Plus there’s the issue of scale! Not all fabrics and textures are as easily workable into figure garments in small scale as they are in a larger scale, and when creating a prototype, accuracy in the silhouette sometimes takes a priority over exact textures or color shades. Once a prototype costume is made to capture the silhouette correctly, precise materials must be found (sourced) that can accurately recreate the small scale costume in a production run.
Finding a source for the right fabrics to produce Sideshow’s scaled figure garments can be quite a difficult undertaking. The fabric must match the prototype silhouette precisely, while also capturing the color and texture of the character’s original costume as closely as possible. When the desired cloth isn’t readily available overseas for production, Sideshow’s discerning Production Team goes to great lengths to attain the right materials. As Creative Director Tom Gilliland explains, “Sometimes we get lucky, and fabrics can be found on the open market. But, more often than not, we either have to have fabrics hand-dyed or custom-made to meet design and character specifications. Sometimes the most mundane-appearing fabric is in fact a custom run. Variables like this are one of those unexpected costs that are part of creating scaled figure collectibles.”
Specially made fabrics are often the only way to achieve the best combination of factors – from silhouette, to color, to texture – to faithfully recreating the figure’s clothing in scale. All of these efforts and expenses are necessary to create a costume that captures the true likeness and essence of the character, presenting with the collector the most authentic representation possible. So next time your admiring your favorite Sideshow collectible, be it Premium Format, 12-inch, or Life-Size, take an extra moment to notice the great detail of the expertly designed costume!