Jul 18, 2009

Vampire Bill Compton

I didn't realize I was going to attract the attention of Stephen Moyer fans with my little post yesterday about making a Bill Compton doll. But since it looks like I have, and since I've nearly finished him today, I thought I'd post a few preliminary pictures. Notice that he's wearing Civil War era attire. The boots are sculpted and painted, as are his face, torso and hands. His pants are the high-waisted style of the period, supported by braces that cross in the back and attach with little leather bits (from vintage kid gloves) and brass buttons. The pants themselves are a charcoal/navy cashmere with a tiny texture running through the fabric. His shirt is a three-button style, open to show his manly chest. I didn't give him a waistcoat because I didn't want to cover his braces. Although I am tempted, because I'd like to give him a pocket watch. I did give him a full-length duster because, well, let's face it, dusters are sexy.

For those who don't know how I make my figures, here's a quick and dirty explanation: I start with a piece of wire bent in half, add a cross wire for arms and bend out and reinforce the hips. Then I make a basic head and shoulder shape with foil. Next I sculpt the head, shoulders and upper body (in this case) out of Creative Paper Clay. The face on a portrait doll like this is reworked several times until I am satisfied with the likeness (never perfect, alas). I use a combo of sculpting, sanding, and carving for the faces. Then paint using a combo of acrylics, powdered pastels, and glazes. Hands and feet are sculpted as separate parts and attached to the wires with superglue. The rest of the body is formed from wrapped strips of cotton batting that are cut and glued to form an under layer. For the upper layer, I use anatomical drawings to cut out little muscles that get sewn and stuffed all over (so they look like real people under those clothes). If you're wondering, yes, my men have all their parts (so they look right in their trousers--and because it just wouldn't be right to make a man without the proper equipment).

When all that's done, they get dressed. I create my own patterns for each doll, using period examples from reference books in my costume library. There's a lot of tweaking at every stage, but that's the big picture for you.

Hope you like Bill. Being batting over wire, he is gently poseable. I'm pretty pleased with how he came out (you never know). Dan's making him a little coffin in his woodshop right now.

Leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you like him. Kindness and positive feedback are always appreciated.



" Dallas " said...

You are very talented thanks for sharing that with us


"Dallas "

Nina Mason said...

Thanks, Dallas. Enjoyed my recent visit to your blog. Left a comment, which I hope was honest without being offensive. I have opinions, about TrueBlood and lots of other things. But I make it a policy not to express an opinion unless it's well informed.

What the --?



jen spence said...

phenomenal - trademark it and send something to charlaine harris and her agent. maybe you can actually get something going with this, where you've created a proto-type and can be optioned for a set of the series figures. these are AMAZING.
jen spence

Nina Mason said...

Thanks, Jen and everyone who's visited today. I'm feeling a little down tonight. Me and Bill and Robert are going to watch True Blood on the PPV.

Nighty night.


Andrea said...

You do amazing work!! I do some fun stuff I love the Day Of The Dead,make jewelry some graphic design NOT nearly what you do, your work is incredibly beautiful!!
Screw it I am JEALOUS!! anyway I want to set a link to our sight http://truebloodnet.com I have to show your work......

niknik said...

Милый вампир и подтяжки тоже))))

Nina Mason said...

Translation: Dear vampire and suspenders, too!

JWhitney said...

Hi Nina, perhaps you would consider offering the doll to SM or AP to purchase. I bet they would love and treasure it.

Nina Mason said...

Inside my little fantasy bubble, I have contemplated the possibility. I made Vampire Bill for my own edification and enjoyment, but with all the buzz, I did ask myself if I'd be willing to sell him to someone from the show. My husband said on one condition only (besides the right price): that I deliver the doll in person and get photos.

But outside my little fantasy bubble, I can't really imagine that SM or AP or AB for that matter really give a hoot about me or my art.


vigwig said...

Sensational work! And I LOVE your Alexander Hamilton doll and share your enthusiasm for him.

Katmagick said...

I think its an excellent recreation of Bill. I love that you are making him a coffin. Are you going to make a Sookie doll?

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Just absolutely fabulous!

Kelli Bear Haven said...

He looks so good. I just love True Blood so much. Keep up the great work. Vampire's are my favorite. Maybe you could do a whole line of different vampires from all of the popular movies. Interview with a Vampire, Blade, Twilight series, and of course the rest of the True Blood favorites.
I only wish one day I could afford one of your masterpieces.
Best Wishes,