Following my yesterday’s entry, when we are at it, I would like to tell you about how Ultra hero costumes are made now as it was described in a book by Fuyuki Shinada who is in charge of character costume sculpture with Tsuburaya Productions while he is nicknamed as “Kaiju Maestro.”
According to him, as far as masks of the original Ultraman are concerned, they scanned the form through the 3D printer from the replica mask in Akira Sasaki’s possession cast out of the original Ultraman Type C mask mold.
And masks are turned out of the printer after the size has been slightly reduced by a few percent because current suit actors are often shorter than Bin Furuya (the original Ultraman actor) while they are well built specializing in suit action as the original Ultraman mask was sculpted based on Furuya’s life mask.
Therefore, Shinada says, they reduce the size of masks a bit to avoid making the head look much larger in proportion to the body.
So the masks should be the same as the original mask in the form except the size. Nevertheless, they don’t look the same somehow although the new ones should be superior in symmetricity too.
One of the reasons I come up with is the size, position and angle of the eyes as they are additional parts separate from the mask and should be placed by hand.
I think the same is true of Ultraseven masks while the eye holes of the newly made costumes appear to be too close to each other.
And, as one of my readers points out in the comment section, the spray-painting, not the brush-painting applied to the costumes in the past, should also make the masks look different.
In my opinion, current masks look much better than the ones found at the time when the molds had been remodeled before Shinada joined Tsuburaya, and I believe his efforts to reproduce features of the original costumes are remarkable living up to his nickname “Kaiju Maestro” and worthy of high admiration.
At any rate, the costume even used in “Ultra Fight” and slightly worn out still has much of a presence and looks so great!