Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Remembering the Forgotten Prisoner

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
Aurora's Forgotton Prisoner of Castel-mare

"He’s the last remaining prisoner from years gone by. Long since passed, and now all that remains are his bones as proof to his existence. His crimes have long been forgotten. His sentence fulfilled. However, this unfortunate prisoner was lost in the system, and now his bones are the only remains that hang from the dreaded shackles of his prison cell. Until now."

Oh, man... this brings my younger days back so clearly I can actually smell the model glue and paint. And the giddy, light-headed feeling I had while working on it in 1974 had very little to do with the fumes. Even today, taking out my little Prisoner model invokes such a strong sense of nostalgia that it almost hurts. Among the relics of my youth, only a few survive, and I'm grateful this one did. I had stored it away in a box of collected goodies in my grandmother's guest bedroom closet. Since her house was my one refuge from the strain of a controlling and intolerent stepfather, I kept the things I treasured there, for I had seen more than one item go into the flames of the trash barrel simply because my having them irritated him.

He was an ex-Army sargent, a hunter and construction worker with a sixth-grade education; while I was a bookwormish monster-loving kid who had an artistic bent. Needless to say we clashed, and I always came out on the losing end, being a pacifistic kid who loved nothing more than finding a quiet place to read my comic books. Unfortunately, that also irritated him. That's why my weekend stays at Grandma's house, a haven of love, freedom and normalcy, loom so large in my good memories. Stress-free afternoons reading my newest Monster Times or Castle of Frankenstein, putting together a model, and evenings watching the good stuff on TV: "Kung Fu," "Planet of the Apes," Night Stalker," and the Saturday Night Movie.

The Skeleton in my closet

Over a decade after I built my Forgotten Prisoner model, I re-discovered it in that box in the closet when I went to bring the things I had stored there into my own home. It was in several pieces, but easily fixed and lovingly touched up (except for a missing foot). It was funny, for he had become forgotten for awhile, but he was relocated, restored and placed in a collection bookcase for safe-keeping. Now he comes out yearly and joins the Halloween decorations on the mantle.

It's ironic that the one model that is most remembered by Monster Kids is the one called The Forgotten Prisoner. My lonely friend, you are not forgotten. You are fondly remembered and loved. I think I related to you a lot.

As much as it means to me, you won't find a picture of my own Prisoner on this page; my efforts are painting him were amaturish next to these awesome examples and not worthy to be compared. But you will see some great interpretations of the Prisoner paint job, all of which are terrific. Enjoy!





The two images above come from a great FP page: http://www.tylisaari.com/models/fp/forgotten.htm












A new larger version is available! Wow, but for the price I would possess this...


Here's a Youtube video of "a" forgotton prisoner that's pretty funny. Not a re-creation of our beloved bones, but in the same spirit.

I plan on making a life-sized re-creation of the Forgotten Prisoner for a Halloween display this coming October. I'll post images if my plans come to fruition!


Patrick said...

Great post Fred! I am a HUGE fan of the Prisoner myself. I owned this kit as a youngster, a prized gift from my Dad, who fortunately was into vintage horror films and was very loving and supportive of my weird ways. Of course, being 5 or 6, I did a lousy job building this, and somewhere over the years it got trashed as so many awesome collectibles do. Fast forward some 20 odd years, and I noticed an ad for the re-release of this kit in a FMOF magazine. I ordered it so fast I didn't even have time to think about it. The Prisoner is now one of my cell mates in my art studio/dungeon at home again. I love the idea of putting in some LED lights in his eye sockets! Long live the Prisoner- even if he is already dead!!

Fred said...


glad you grokked it! I can't seem to find the re-issue anywhere to order. The Aurora site seems un-updated for quite a while and I can't get them to answer emails. Also the Polar Lights site has it nowhere that I can see.

You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking of doing a life-size re-creation for a Halloween display... yeah, how cool would that be?

Karswell said...

Have you tried local hobby shops that carry model kits? I see the Aurora re-issues all over the place, mostly the main monsters but I do see The Prisoner occasionally.

Those home photos are sweet though... I was never able to make my completed kits look that great, I bet Patrick's Prisoner looks freakin' scarier than the Bama painting on the box.

Fred said...


Thanks, I'll look the next time I'm in one of the big cities.

I didn't post mine cause it looks sucky next to these awesome versions, so I know how you feel!

Good point about Patrick's... I'm curious now. How about it, Patrick? Care to send me a photo link so I can add it to the post?

-Fred (one cute baby)

Patrick said...

Lemme see if I can find the photos of the Prisoner... Been a while since I built and painted that bad boy.

Karswell said...

Looking forward to it Patrick!

Fred, a fellow LOTT D member mentioned this other skull blog, have you seen it?


Fred said...


I have become very aware of Skull-A-Day as I surfed around looking for material. I try to avoid it any more, since I don't want to become paranoid about possibly duplicating something from it. That could paralyze my efforts and interest in doing my own site. Also, I try to concentrate on skulls in the horror media or unusual manifestations in society, as opposed to "just" skull imagery wherever it shows up. I hope what I do is different enough to make the site worth visiting.

I have found a couple of other skull/skeleton-centric sites since starting, and although they may be better, I'm trying to bring my own personal spin to it, and not just rehash what's been done before.

Whether I'm successful or not has yet to be determined! :)

-Fred (that cute baby)

Karswell said...

>Whether I'm successful or not has yet to be determined!

Works for me, I prefer creepy skulls over cuddily skulls anyday.

garlee said...

Still have and love this model