Friday, June 22, 2012

Commander Shepard Barbie

Hi Armchair commenters, I already did your job for you!

Things always come in threes, or so the old saw goes.

This is why you can only find bananas three to a bunch and quintuplets are actually triplets and a set of twins from the bizarro dimension.

And thus it is with my creative endeavors. First there was the Elder Lord Cthulhu. Then a zombie.

I figured it was finally time to create something to fight back, and who better than Commander Shepard the most dumped upon/exploded character in the Mass Effect universe.

Shepard was created slowly over a week while I battled with horrific pressure pain and an aching everything (for whatever reason I do some of my best work when being tortured by my own body or tripping on benadryl).

As a test oh we'll call it run, to see if I could even pull of my insane idea, I slapped some clay right onto her chest and got down to shaping it.
This worked rather well, right up until I wanted to pull it off to bake it. After losing everything put the stomach plates and having to start from scratch I got the idea to first put down tin foil, then clay, shape slowly with my dental tools, then bake.
This worked pretty well, except you can't take a good picture of baked clay. It is a physical impossibility, but I did it anyway.

After getting the chest, legs, arms, shins and back done and taping them all together to see if it worked it was time to paint.
I used first a lighter under gray (called wolf because people who name paint colors lead sad lives), then blotted back over with black. As I say in painting things, the first layer will look terrible, the second layer just as bad but by the third things start to take shape. And hopefully by the fifth you can walk away proud.

If not, that's what water's for.

Once I had all the numerous pieces of armor painted and safely stored for optimal freshness it was time for the Barbie body suit.
This involved me asking my husband nicely to break out the sewing machine and a trip to the fabric store on Father's Day weekend.

You'd think that if there were a time that the fabric store would be quiet it would be on the weekend of beer and beef but you'd be wrong. Mind terrifyingly wrong.

But the important thing is finding a fabric with the right texture. Something with a heavy weave, color doesn't matter. Don't worry you'll see.
Once Barbie's finished joining her cult, I pulled out my paint brush and got to work turning her pajama's black and slowly epoxying on each piece of armor.
You can also see some hints of the tiny piece of elastic I added to "attach" the armor, also painted black. Because there's no problem you can't solve with the liberal addition of black paint.

But what is Commander Shepard without a gun? A very short game unless she went adept.

Since this is my Shepard I took back out the clay and gave her my favorite, the Viper Sniper Rifle.
Okay enough build up, now pictures!

My Tom Servo came out to help with the photoshoot. Well he is technically a very large mech that does occasionally explode.
The entire time I kept working on her the duality of either "this is going to be awesome or get completely fucked up" plagued me. As I painted each piece of armor I kept waiting for something to go wrong. As I added the body suit I thought for sure things wouldn't fit.

After cutting her hair about as well as a five year old with a pair of safety scissors I thought she wouldn't bounce back.

But it turns out all that fear was realized in one easily removed piece, the Omni-Tool.

What, you thought I wouldn't try to make one?

I had a crazy idea to use resin. This involved first making a clay piece, making a mold of that and then learning just how infuriatingly sticky and stinky resin is.

Long story short, this is the end product which I do not like. Maybe one day I'll make something better but for now...

And that's my Commander Shepard Barbie.

 She took nearly two weeks of work and some mushrooms say drove me mad.
So I leave it fully up to you tap dancing lawnmowers if you want to attempt this madness yourself.

Though I did get one fucking awesome doll out of the deal.

ETA: I still had the dress that came with my Shep Barbie and could only think of one thing to do with it. 


Anonymous said...

This is awesome. My FemShep is a redhead too!

Unknown said...

Wow, it's amazing! I want to try and make one myself :-D

Mithun Balraj said...

Congratulations on winning all the internets.

(3/4 of my FemSheps - all my favourites - have been readheads as well! Most prefer the Mantis to the Viper though)

Kevin said...

That may not be as good as you'd like, but it's pretty darn impressive. Good job!

Unknown said...


Dahara Dreaming said...

I love her! I am proud to say that I am finally playing the ME world, from game one, no less. (I have 2 and 3 waiting already.)

I think she's marvelous. And the tiny shit you can make blows my mind. The omni tool could be better, but it's sweet that you got it to look that good to begin with.

You gots skillz.

Lindsay said...

Wow, she's awesome! I am totally going to try some of your methods for my own custom doll efforts.

Anonymous said...


Cara said...

So freaking cool!!!

GeekVariety said...

Solid effort. Resin can be a pain and requires a lot of additional stuff to make it optimal to work with.

This really does show a lot of potential. Good job and keep working on refining your craft, you've got talent for sure now take it to the next plateau :D

Sibyl Vane said...

This is amazing! I'll have to try my hand at something like this myself. :)

Jawad Hassan said...
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