Having grown up on re-runs of the 1960s Batman tv series I was all too familiar with the usual suspects until Batman:The Animated Series exposed to me to a whole new spectrum of Bat-Villains. Among my newly discovered favorites were the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Clayface, and a rather toothy chap with an obsession for Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Lookingglass. He was this fascinatingly deluded manchild with a penchant for mindcontrol devices, and in some bizarre way you felt sorry for him that he couldn’t live in his dream world. His given name was Jarvis Tetch, but he was the Mad Hatter, and to me he’ll always sound like Roddy McDowall.
Shortly after finishing the Scarecrow I new I wanted to hurry up and make another Bat-Rogue. But which one? Which ones? I already one “on the table” so to speak, but there were technical problems with her. Or were they botanical problems? Nevermind. One afternoon while rummaging through a box of older 1/6 bodies I discovered an old Phantom Menace Anakin Skywaker and a 9″ Joker doll. While the Animated Series had taken the liberty of making the Hatter of normal human height I knew that I wanted something more closely tied to the comics. The idea was formed somewhere around there. The Joker doll physique was unfitting for the character and Li’l Ani lacked any sort of lower legs once his boots came off (insert Vader joke here) so I took the better parts of both figures and added a neck from a third. Tattered spats were sculpted over J’s shoes to give them a little more detail.
Next was the issue of the head which was a similar issue of ‘I like this one’s face, but the expression is better here.’ So out came the knife as one jawline replaced another. Mutton chops and shaggy hat-hair were sculpted in place, and the nose was extended, rounded, and widened.
But the last thing my little half-pint haberdasher need was the haberdashery itself. Clothing in his size isn’t unheard of… If you’re Barbie’s kid sister. Although I did start with a pair of checkered Barbie pants I’m sad to say the Pink Label was ultimately no help here at all. Instead I sifted through the parts tub like a raccoon in a dumpster until I found some that might work. It came in the form of a Civil War General’s jacket that on Jarvis was long enough to appear as a trenchcoat. I re-tailored it almost entirely before it became green.
Next was the suit. I knew from the start I wanted a checkered pattern, and it HAD to be orange. All too often the Hatter looks like a leprechaun. The Arkham City version especially. The presence of warm colors helps to counter that I think. Unfortunately no such clothing exists that fit my needs. And then Hot Toys sent in the Clown. A whimsicaly welcome addition to their 1989 Batman series only this time in his Mime getup from the “City Hall” sequence. I was quick to grab a pair of pants from a “parter outer” and a lengthy tangerine dream later I had my suit.
From there it was pretty siple. The bowtie was made from scratch fabric while the hat was a resin cast of a boot I had made for Batman 5. Female hands from the parts tub finished him off nicely as well as a couple accessories I made using items from the craft store. The rest is paint.