Captain Marvel – Madame Tussauds

Continuing our work with FBFX we were asked to assist with the design of three models of the latest Marvel superhero: Captain Marvel! These were to be installed in London, Blackpool and New York. There were a few interesting requirements of the design which made it challenging.

The first of these was that the sculpture would be ‘floating’ in the air, about a foot off the ground. This meant that we couldn’t take any supports through her feet into the ground.

To get around this, we took two narrow steel hollow sections out the back of the model that could be hidden in various ways. These sections were made to be as thin as possible so that they wouldn’t be too obvious.

The second requirement was that each of the three models had different site requirements, and so we had to design three different bespoke support layouts. i.e. the New York model had TV screens behind it, and the Blackpool model had a masonry wall behind it.

The final requirement was that the steelwork for the model had to be easily removable from the support structure, so that the sculpture could be removed for maintenance if necessary.

The sites in Blackpool and London were measured and drawn up but we had limited information about the New York site. In the end, we developed five different possible support frames for the sculpture to try and cover all possible support requirements.

These frames were drawn up, with one or two options for each site.

The last challenge was to solve the final requirement, which was to make the sculpture easily removable from the support structure. To do this we took the two narrow steel hollow sections which came out of the back of the model and sizes some larger hollow sections in the support structure. This meant that the sculpture’s structure could slide into place in the support structure. The connection could then be fixed in place with two bolts, which could be easily removed if necessary.