DETROIT (DETROIT FREE PRESS) -- Seeing the 10-feet-tall model for the RoboCop statue drives home the enormity of both the statue and the effort that is bringing the project to life.
The left hand alone is about 16 inches long and 1 foot wide.
"This is larger than even my wildest imagination," said Detroit graphic designer John Leonard on Tuesday as he surveyed the pop culture giant.
The foam-and-plaster model arrived in the Motor City recently in pieces packed in a giant crate. Its assembling in Detroit for the first time is another step in the creation of a statue that will depict the policeman who was turned into a hybrid human-robot in the Detroit-set 1987 sci-fi classic "RoboCop."
It has been a long journey to now from the 2011 tweet to Mayor Dave Bing suggesting a RoboCop statue and the subsequent Kickstarter campaign launched by the Imagination Station that raised the necessary money.
On Tuesday, Leonard, whose Facebook page helped inspire the Kickstarter campaign for the statue, and project manager Brandon Walley took an up-close look at the model at Venus Bronze Works.
"This isn't ours. This was created by over 2,700 people around the world," said Walley.
The assorted pieces of RoboCop's torso, legs and other body parts are necessary for the making of the final statue. The giant pieces now in Detroit are based on an exact, life-size Robocop model provided by California's Fred Barton Productions.
Across the Board Creations, which has offices in British Columbia and Idaho, fabricated the pieces for the 10-feet-tall model using 3D scanning.
The RoboCop statue has the blessing of MGM, which is deep into RoboCop appreciation itself. A "RoboCop" remake is set to be released 2014.
The unveiling of the final statue is expected to take place in summer 2014. Three companies will be involved in the months ahead with executing the project: Giorgio Gikas and his team at Venus Bronze Works and Center for Conservation, Jim Matson's Warren Ally Foundry and James Viste's Edgewise Forge.
Gikas, a veteran of major restoring projects in Detroit and throughout the Midwest, will lead the casting of the statue. He has helped restore iconic sculptures like the Spirit of Detroit.
When he heard about the RoboCop project, "I said this is the new generation of our town," he recalled Tuesday, referring to the young people who've embraced and shepherded the effort.
Like the Rocky statue in Philadelphia and the Mary Tyler Moore statue in Minneapolis, the RoboCop statue could become a pop-culture landmark for the Motor City and even encourage tourism dollars.
"I think it complements a lot of the other positive things that are happening in the city," said Leonard.
Surveying the model, Leonard said he was impressed by the detail, like the "OCP Police 001" on the Robo-thigh.
He also noted how much RoboCop's armor design evokes automotive themes. Said Leonard, "When you look at the chest, it's like the hood of a car."