During the years 1998 through 2005, I built approximately 500 1:6 scale action figures (dolls); many using custom made resin cast parts combined with bodies and accessories from companies such as Dragon Models (DML), Sideshow Toys, Airfix, and Ignite, to name a few; plus many handmade parts by myself and friends that I met on the MWD (Men With Dolls), The 6th Division, and Fantasy Net forums.
I was considered very much ‘ahead of the curve’ with my Skeleton Soldiers, ’Animorphs’, Zombies, and figures that I refer to as ‘non-traditional casting types’, ie: female figures in the role of soldiers and warriors; skeletons and animals in the garb of medieval knights and men-at-arms from other eras, etc.
Neptune, Poseidon, or The Dagon
In 1998, I met an 84 year old WWII combat veteran in New York City, and we began a several year project recounting and organizing his many stories of combat against the Japanese in New Guinea, during 1943/44. Joe was a pro photographer, as was I at the time, and I was able to work with approximately 500 black and white medium-format negatives that he shot during his service time, from early 1941 through mid 1944, none of which had ever been seen by the public. Joe and I met every sunday for approx 6 years, during which time I ‘immersed myself in his world’; after attempts to get the material published in book form, I settled on creating a website about his life and times, which was launched in April of 2012, on his 98th birthday. The site is:
http://wwiiscrapbook.com/, “WWII Scrapbook, The Life and Times of GI Joel”. During the time we were working together, I began to have very disturbing dreams and other odd experiences; ultimately the doll building became an important and amusing ‘cathartic therapy’ for me. That the figures resonated with so many people around the globe is evidenced by the fact that of the +/- 500 figures that I built, I only have about 15 left, all the rest having gone to new homes with collectors in many countries. I am thrilled that my creations are being enjoyed by people the world over.
It seems I was working out a lot of ‘issues’ dealing with the horrors of the WWII project through the building of these figures. The doll building became a part of my life that I barely had any control over. I would often work for up to 16 hours, during which I would be building/designing as many as four figures at the same time. I would have no idea what I was building, but I had a great selection of loose parts (my ‘palette’), plus resin casting materials, sculpting epoxy, dremels, etc. I would ‘emerge’ after many hours of frenetic building, to find that I had created several finished figures that I had never seen or even imagined before. I hope you enjoy these bizarre and sometimes disturbing creatures that have apparently come directly from my subconscious…
Many of the figures were shown at Toy Shows in the greater New York area, also Toy Tokyo and Village Comics had displays of them; when I relocated to Arizona due to health issues, I did several local shows during which my work attracted a lot of attention, and many more figures went to new homes. The few I have left are my ‘favorites’, although parting with many of them was difficult, to say the least.
By 2006 I was back to music performance, doing solo shows (for the first time in my life) to appreciative local audiences.
One of the very first of my Skeleton Soldiers figures
My ‘Fetish Figures’ were very popular
I also began doing ‘Historical and Mythological’ Themed figures
Note: All photos and content on paulsdolls.com copyright 2012 by Paul Data, all rights reserved.