This doll originally started out its existence as an early-2000s model Barbie. I've been doing doll repaints now for about six years or so with this doll being my fifth completed doll and my fourth video game character. I've been working on her off and on for about three years. That seems like an awfully long time, but since doll repaints are a hobby and not my regular job, I would work on her whenever I had time and whenever I was able to source parts.
Whenever I do a doll, I always challenge myself to try to replicate the details of a character as closely as possible. Bayonetta was easily my most challenging character to date for a variety of reasons, but I wanted to do her because I love the character and her outfit. Because of the limitations of materials (working with real hair, fabric and chain versus a sculpture or the magic of pixels) and some of my tools I wasn't able to get every single detail right, but I think I did a pretty presentable job.
In order to do a doll like this first you have to carefully remove the head so the factory paint and hair can be stripped and replaced.
I actually had to repaint the face twice because the first paint job had chemical issues and began peeling. This worked out because the second version is actually a lot closer to the character design. Her hair is real human hair that I sourced from a wig. I wish the hair was a bit darker and closer to Bayonetta's raven color, but in the right light you don't notice a thing. Rooting is always the longest step because each plug has to be put in individually, and for health reasons can only be done during summer so the humidity of working with wet hair doesn't aggravate my joint condition.
Painting is also a several step process of sealing, blushing, painting and sealing again.
The outfit is made of a shiny polyester sourced from a fancy shawl with stretch jersey for the bust and leather details for the straps. I had originally planned for the whole outfit out of leather until I was hit by a bout of sanity and realized unless I had super fine kid leather the details would be impossible to do (after all, a Barbie doll is only 11 ½ inches big.) It took about two years in order to source the chain because everywhere I went either the chain was too big or not enough of it to do her outfit and hair. The chain was one of the most important parts because of it's so iconic to the outfit. Other details could be fudged a bit but if the chain was changed it would be seen right away.
Once the chain was sourced I had to make the pattern for the outfit with the pieces needing to be pinned and basted, which then all needed to be hand sewn. The charms in her hair and on her legs are made of cardboard disks painted with gold paint and accented with manicurist rhinestones. The heels of her shoes are made from resin.
After the majority of her costume was finished, her head could be replaced and her hair styled. Human hair sounds a little creepy, but it's actually much easier to work with than plastic hair. Plastic hair has to be set with hot water, and I promise you, nothing screams 'serial killer' than sticking a Barbie's head on a stick and shoving it in boiling water for twenty minutes at a time. I'll probably need to shellac her hair one more time with hairspray because it shifted a bit when her glasses and earrings were put on.
Her earrings, chest charm and Scarborough Fair guns are all made of basic Sculpey that was then painted and glossed. The pistols were the most work because I had to make them all individually. Ideally I would have just made one and cast the rest in resin, but budget constraints prevented that avenue.
Her glasses ended up having to be redone since I first used a two-part resin but they snapped when I tried them on the doll's face. They were then substituted with paper ones that were painted and strengthened with acrylic gloss.
The longest steps were sourcing the chain, the material for her costume and the gem details, followed by the actual rooting. After that, it was maybe three weeks of work spread out over many weekends over the past few months. Thank you to everyone who watched the work in progress and left comments on Craf-TAY Corner