Frankenstein's Monster | Disfigured WW1 Veteran

Hi everyone,

I’ll be joining this challenge trying my best to reimagine the Frankenstein’s Monster.

I am really fond of real-life characters that have in some way or another a historic background. With this in mind I thought it could be interesting to reimagine the Frankenstein’s Monster as a disfigured WW1 veterans. Also, this decision is driven by the fact I’d like to share and to give credit to an inspiring work of art that I think to little of us know about.

Anne Coleman Ladd (1878-1939) was an american sculptor who devoted her time throughout World War I to soldiers who were disfigured. In Europe (Paris and Rome) she studied sculpture and than, after marrying Dr. Maynard Ladd in England, she moved to Boston with him. In her search for ways to help the war effort, she learned about the work of Francis Derwent Wood in London. He developed lifelike masks to help soldiers with facial deformities. She contacted him and together they improved upon the mask techniques. She received permission to go to France and worked with the American Red Cross.

Ladd founded the American Red Cross “Studio for Portrait-Masks” to provide cosmetic masks to be worn by men who had been badly disfigured in World War I. Her services earned her the Légion d’Honneur Croix de Chevalier and the Serbian Order of Saint Sava. Soldiers would come to Ladd’s studio to have a cast made of their face and their features sculpted onto clay or plasticine. This form was then used to construct the prosthetic piece from extremely thin galvanized copper. The metal was painted with hard enamel to resemble the recipient’s skin tone. Ladd used real hair to create the eyelashes, eyebrows and mustaches. The prosthesis was attached to the face by strings or eyeglasses as the prosthetics created in Francis Derwent Wood’s “Tin Noses Shop” were.

Ladd’s work is now called anaplastology. Anaplastology is the art, craft, and science of restoring absent or malformed anatomy through artificial means.

If your interested to know more about Anne Colemann Ladd here’s a short video from Now This: Anne Coleman Ladd - Masks for disfigured WW1 veterans

Here’s the reference I’ve gathered from TV shows and historic images.
If your interested on knowing more about the “Plastic Surgery of the Face” book, you can consult it here for free: Plastic Surgery of the Face

Best of luck to all!



Loving the idea and ref you’ve collected so far! This will be a fun one to follow.

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I just finished reading the whole thing. This is such a fantastic and well researched idea. Its stuff like this that makes me excited for contests like these. I just finished my entry for the Grand Space Opera challenge on Artstation but I may just jump into this to keep the creative train rolling.

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Thanks Henning!
I will defently do my best on this one, happy to be back on a new challenge!

Thanks for the words man, I do really appreciate it!
I’m interested to see you participate too! You definitely should!!

Such a fascinating idea. Really looking forward to see how you tackle this project!

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Thanks man, hope to give it justice!

could we remove this from the challange? there should be some rules about what you cannot do like gore porn racism etc
like this stuff is seriously fucked up
im sorry

Well, it’s actually quite sad reading your comment.

I would encourage you to go back and read more carefully the explanation I gave above since there is no glorification of gore, porn, racism or anything you are mentioning here. There are purely historic reference.

Anne Coleman Ladd was a talented sculptor that used her skills to help disfigured veterans to get back to a “normal” life. If you find this disturbing I’m sorry for you, but it is just historic facts.

As you are free to reimagine your fairy tale as you wish, so do I. The fact that I prefer to give an historic background to my character is just because I find that it could help to feel it more grounded. Challanges like these help everyone to learn something from somebody.

With the atmost respect for war veterans, my version of the Frankenstein’s Monster is purely a byproduct of warlife. The battle of Victor Frankenstein is pure existential, the one I’m trying to sculpt here is purely historical. As one struggles to play god, the other is facing the exact consequences.

I don’t see how it could be offensive to anyone learning more about the work of ACL. If you do not like the reference I’ve gathered or the overall idea I would suggest you simply not to follow it up.

If you’d like to know more about ACL work you can watch these other videos:

The Facial Prosthetics of WW1

How American Sculptor Made Masks For Disfigured WWI Soldiers

Sculptor Made Masks for Wounded WWI Soldiers with Disfigured Faces | New York Post


Sorry but this post is totally fine. We do not see it as offensive and even are impressed by the amount of research Gabriel did. please refer to his comment if you want to know why as he explains quite well why it does not fall within an offensive topic.


i didn’t read the description but thank you for giving me some info, its just i saw this disfigured face of this poor guy and im a very sensitive person so i would really like for it to be you know kinda toned down? etc

i hope the final result wont be as scary as these references

i just wish our modern society realized how horrible these things are and were less into violence etc, cause to me this is crazy that this can be showed without anyone complaining and some female niple cannot, like i don’t wanna see both of those things usually but if i had to choice id go for the nudity

i hope you understand what you mean

sorry for my comment i shoulda read the description
it seems like the final result wont be as gory :3

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I’m glad to hear you read the description more closely.

War is a horrible thing, but I think the most horrible thing is the way war veterans were treated when they’ve returned home. They have been seen literally as “living monsters” when they are definitely not. They were socially exhiled by their own country and to me what they had to go through when they’ve come home were even worse.

Hopefully, what I’ll be doing here you’ll find it not offensive but purely objective. As a sculptor I find interesting to challenge myself into study anatomy on all levels, even on disfigured faces. As you can see, I’m not trying to glorify war, gore or anything else on any level. My interest is purely anatomical and artistic.

Having said this, I do hope you’ll like what I’ll be doing here.
I’ll try my best to show you how a subject like this can be takle in a respectufl manner.

All the best with your submission,



yea now i understand this well

both sides of the war are tragic, at war or after war. its all equally as bad in my opinion.
im very glad that your goal is to share some history and not glorify war and gore like so many things in entertainment do

good luck with your submission as well :3

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Hi guys,

here’s an update on the project.

As you can see I’ve made a rough sculpt of the face before and after.

Since at the moment I’m venturing into facial studies, I’ve decided not to sculpt the entire body but instead focus on an in-depth facial study before and after the scars of war + my best implementation of a facial rig in real time (Eevee and Unreal) + the final render which will have of course the mask inspired by ACL’s works.

In case anyone is interested, here you can watch a time-lapse video of me sculpting in Zbrush: FlippedNormals | Fairy Tales Challenge | PART 1: Concept Sculpt

All the best,



Looking super cool already. I really love your theming, can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

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Thanks man!
Hope to make it look good at the end…

I’m currently retopoing the face :slight_smile:

Pretty good references :heart_eyes: can’t wait to see more, body and the rest.

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Thanks a lot Adrien!
Hopefully I’ll be sharing something new soon :wink:

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