Barbie has had every job imaginable at this point. She’s been a doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut - and now she’s heading to the 41st Millenium, grabbing a power sword and blasting her way across the grimdark world of Warhammer 40,000. That is, if you’re willing to give her some modifications.
People across the internet have been carving up Barbie heads and strapping power guns to Sylvanian Families. It’s not just a mass reenactment of Sid from Toy Story; there’s actually a reason behind the Frankensteinian creations.
WarBarbie 2023 is a competition set up by Laurence Senter, who goes by baharroth_the_cry_of_old_paint online. A miniature crafter and painter, he’s best known for giant, detailed dioramas kitbashed together using Warhammer pieces and various other junk. Earlier this year he finished a huge recreation of a 40K illustration by Games Workshop artist Pedro Nunez that is truly breathtaking in size, detail and execution.
Now, in collaboration with Berkshire-based hobby store Cryptic Cabin, Senter is running a competition that encourages hobbyists to kitbash their own wild creations using Warhammer and doll parts under the War Barbie 2023 banner. Creators can grab parts from any doll brand, not just Barbie - so far I’ve seen fuzzy Sylvanian Families armed with guns, doll heads fashioned onto Tyranid legs and baby dolls crawling out of pits. You can check out some of the work people have made so far, or share your own creations, using #warbarbie2023 on Instagram.
The rules are pretty loose, encouraging creativity over anything else, so it’ll be interesting to see what new, wonderful and horrifying things people will craft over the next few weeks. I’m already planning a trip to a local toy shop to grab a doll of my own and start carving her up into a new grimdark version.
The deadline for the competition is October 31st. Entries need to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with a username in the subject line and three pictures of the entrant’s War Barbie creation. Multiple entries are permitted, so you can craft as many probably haunted dolls as you like.
A first, second and third place will be chosen by the judges and offered prizes from Cryptic Cabin of various Warhammer sets and brushes. Those judging the competition include notable painters, kitbashers and online creators, including miniature artists Louise Sugden and Nurgle Snurgle.
You can find more details of the whole competition on Laurence Senter’s Instagram at baharroth_the_cry_of_old_paint. If you’re taking part in the competition, good luck - I can’t wait to see your nightmare fuel on my Instagram feed in the next few weeks!