Dan Baines

Fairy Rings and Monstrous Things

Guys & Dolls Part 2 – Dolly Darko goes digital

Dolly Darko has come a long way since I discovered her dusty body in a Parisian antique shop over a decade ago.  She's been entombed in silicone and cracked and dropped so many times the original bisque doll is a sorry sight. The moulds used to create the forty or so Dolly Darko dolls are also on their last legs and have begun to fall apart.

In an attempt to immortalise Dolly in the digital realm I have started the task of 3D scanning all of the parts. Not only will this allow me to reproduce Dolly once again without the need of casting and moulding equipment but I will also be able to digitally restore any damage thus making her perfect once again. At some point in the past her right thigh was totally destroyed however, through 3D scanning I've been able to scan the left thigh and mirror it via the software editor to make a brand new right thigh.

Once all of the components are scanned and saved I can print Dolly in any size and colour but more importantly, I can print her with a hollow torso and head. This gives me the opportunity to install servos and other gadgetry that will make Dolly even scarier than her resin counterpart. It will also make her 80% lighter than the original which introduces the possibility of puppetry. A doll version of Losander's floating table anyone? By implementing this amazing new technology it is all possible, although the journey to get this far has been one hell of a steep learning curve!

As well as capturing Dolly Darko digitally I have also started to capture all of my other existing antique doll and vent doll heads for future projects. Even if one should become lost or damaged I'm only a few hours of printing away from a new one. It's a facility that will become invaluable in the studio and I'll never have to endure my collectibles to the rigours of silicone and latex ever again. As strange as it sounds, the ability to scan and reproduce any object leaves you with an almost god like feeling!

Next time I will compare a few test prints with the original parts of Dolly Darko in terms of detail and weight. It finally looks like Dolly Darko MkII could be a chilling reality, only this time she'll be much scarier than before...