Cat is the only great big fail I think Mattel have ever produced when it comes to Monster High. It should have been so easy, as cats are generally considered to be quite easy on the eye. Graceful, slim, sleek, big-eyed – it should translate so well into doll form, right? Wrong.
Firstly, for reasons unknown, Mattel decided to make the doll in a shade Douglas Adams might have referred to as surgical appliance pink. Anybody who has ever taken a furry pet for an operation will recognise that this shade of pink is close to the colour of a shaved cat. I know Monster High dolls are meant to be scary, but surely not in this sense. Secondly, they then decided to accentuate the foul pinkness of Cat’s skin by using a bewildering pallette of paint and clothing colours – green, blue and worst of all, deep red. The overall effect was completely gross. I nearly didn’t buy the set because the colouring was so poor, but I really wanted a MH cat. I was never sure about the werecat twins and its such a great idea. So I decided was going to have to purchase and recolour.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to. I’ve learned enough about repainting now to know that recolouring simply painted dolls like MHs looks like it will be easy, but it isn’t. Where a doll has a very simple paint job, little mistakes are very obvious. So, I put it off and featured other CAMS who just needed a little redressing or a new wig. However, this weekend I got a grip of my cowardice and made myself give it a go.
This is the original Cat face:
I didn’t want to do a repaint, as I wanted her to look like a Monster High doll. But I hated the blue eyes, the whiskers (which make her look like she has a moustache) and the dark lips. So, I took everything off from the eyes downwards (that’s one of my real cats who has come to check it out):
I kept the eyes on so that I could use the already-existing paint as a guide for the recolour, here it is halfway through:
I chose a kind of bronze colour scheme in an effort to calm down the pinkness of the skin. I won’t say that the repaint was fun, as I had to be so careful – I was determined not to mess up a MH doll, and so many of my practice projects have gone wrong in some way. However, it was satisfying to change the look of this doll. When I got to the mouth area, I was tempted to re-do the whiskers, but I thought that this probably had huge potential for disaster – like painting eyebrows, I can imagine it being a very difficult thing to paint accurately and evenly, so to provide some extra “catness” I added a line between nose and mouth. I was tempted to give her a white muzzle or face stripes but I decided to keep it simple, I suppose I might go back and add them at some point. I actually ended up painting the mouth three times. The first time I gave her bronze lips, which were lovely but a bit “samey” with her eyes and the outfit I had chosen for her, which is a Bratz dress by the way. I then tried a paler pink but against her pink skin, it didn’t look defined enough. I settled on this kind of tomato soup colour, which contains some bronze, and its a little too reminiscent of the werecat twins for my liking but its acceptable and I wasn’t up to doing it again.
So, here she is finished! I hope you like her. I haven’t sealed her yet as her paint isn’t dry enough, but I will as soon as it is.
Her wig is a LIV wig, originally she had a different wig that was a similar colour to her dress, but again it just looked too “samey” so I went for platinum blonde instead. The ears were a trial in themselves, there was no way that they were going to stay attached to the wig in any sort of convincing way. I had read that some collectors cut holes in the wig and feed the clip holding the ear on through them, so this is what I ended up doing.
She’s not perfect, but I’m quite pleased nonetheless. I would never have displayed or photographed her before the recolour anyway. And although it wasn’t an easy job, I would like to try it again. Cat has such huge potential and I have ideas for a further two repaints, one a recolour and one a complete makeover. If I ever get round to it ….