Dollmania Rides Again: Paul McCartney and Commander Data

It’s been a wonderful year for me and the dolls. I got a couple commissions, including one from my friend Matt, who asked for a Paul McCartney doll for his mother’s birthday.

–Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Sun

When making a doll for a real person (as opposed to a character in a costume), there are a lot of details to consider: age, outfit, how much detail, how little. When I talked it over with Matt, he settled on the idea of Beatlemania-era Paul in the black suit and tie. For the classic “Beatle cut,” I used the wig design I originally created for Castiel and rounded out the back part and cut the fringe a bit thicker, stitching it closer to Paul’s eyes, so it flipped up a little less than Castiel’s spikes.

Once we’d decided on the clothing design, Matt asked if I could possibly attempt to make a replica of Paul’s guitar to go along with with him.

Like the male clothes I’ve done, there was no stencil for making a guitar out of felt. I played this one by ear, downloading a photo of Paul’s infamous Hofner bass from to work from. The shape of the guitar itself was sketched and cut out freehand.

Picking out which details to incorporate into the design was tricky and got a bit hairy when I chose to incorporate some silver embroidery floss (made of plastic fibers rather than cotton or silk) into the top part of the guitar. The body of the guitar is filled with the same poly fill the dolls are, while the arm is supported by a birch coffee stirrer (thank you, St. Louis Bread Company).

Matt’s mother was apparently really jazzed by the doll. I’m so glad. Now to get to work on the rest of the band…

The Data doll was a commission sent to me in an e-mail from my friend Au’na many months ago, when I was still trying to figure out where the crafting area in my nearly empty apartment was going to be. We lost touch months later when job-hunting took me down the rabbit hole and Au’na relocated to a new Facebook profile, but I remembered she’d offered to complete the transaction at the following year’s GenCon. So, as GenCon 2012 approached, I got to work.

Data’s skintone perplexed me for a long while. I toyed with the idea of using white felt for his features rather than the antique white I’d used for all the others, but that made him look too ghostly, too inhuman. In the end, I got the idea from my friend Alex (who talked about the gold base underneath Brent Spinder’s make-up) to use the antique white felt but to accent it with Light Golden Yellow embroidery floss for the stitches. It worked. For Data’s equally golden eyes, I went with a mustard yellow floss.

–Photo courtesy of Star Trek: The Exhibition

–Photo courtesy of Memory Alpha

Designing the uniform was a fun prospect (particularly being a born and raised Trekkie), designing the wig less so. I was able to make a uniform for the body of the doll that resembled the diagonal cut green on black we saw Data wearing in the mid to late seasons of the show (complete with a comm badge made entirely of silver and gold embroidery floss!). Designing a new wig for a character that always has his hair slicked back was difficult and pretty clumsy in its execution. I wasn’t so happy with how it turned out, but I’m not sure how I could have improved on the original idea.

Bless Au’na, she seemed very happy with how he turned out

~ by blackmoodcraft on September 22, 2012.

4 Responses to “Dollmania Rides Again: Paul McCartney and Commander Data”

  1. Adorable! I love the Data doll! ❤ I still need to figure out which of three pairs I'd want you to do so I can commission you.

  2. Deb and I say you should do a class for the dolls next Gen Con!

    • I want to and I definitely love Deb’s idea about sharing a space when we teach both of our projects. Hopefully whenever they start accepting applications for workshops, we can work something out 🙂

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