Jan 172014
 

Let’s see… This is what Kyu looks like now that I have boiled his hair…

kyu-boiled-hair

He needs a haircut/style but I’m a bit stumped on what to do with it. Do I cut it short? Just cut the bangs area and try to level the rest out? I’m so clueless…. :S

Aside from Kyu needing his hair restyled he needs more doing to him.

1) He needs to have a joint-fix applied so he has a better range of motion.

2) Repaint or partially repaint his face. As it is now it’s pretty bland. It needs some life being given to it!

3) Make some clothes. Poor guy only has the threads he came in and IMO they don’t do it.

 

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Jan 082014
 

Tell me, what was Integrity Toys thinking when they gave London Calling Kyu his hair style?

london-calling-kyu-head-front

Can you really call that a hair style? I don’t know! I don’t think so.
It’s so helmet-head-ly. And…. What is this?

london-calling-kyu-head

Flocking? Uhm…o-kay… So we have massive side-helmet hair, flocking…..and…..

london-calling-kyu-head-side

Underneath that side-flip-helmet hair thing — MORE flocking?!

Ugh. What am I supposed to do with that? Ugh, Ugh UGH!

The way I see it, I have the following options:

1) thin out the side-flip so that it lays a lot flatter and closer to the head.

2) Cut the whole side flip thing off short enough to make the center look like a brush-cut. I suspect this may work because of the flocking on both sides.

3) thin the hair out, boil perm it so it will lay smoother and more flat over the flocked sides. This is the one I think I’m going to go this route and if it fails then I’ll go route #2. Of course there is the chance that the flocking will come off when I do the boil perm…

Right now he looks like this (which I find much better) LOL

london-calling-kyu-head-front-mussed

Jan 052014
 

Yea. I know. I said it was highly unlikely that I was _ever_ going to break down and get a Fashion Royalty guy doll. I know. And I’m now being forced to eat my words! :P

So I hear you asking…

Why, Erica? What’s changed? you might even look at me funny and say: Didn’t you just swap a whole bunch of your Fashion Royalty girls onto Poppy Parker bodies so you could use them with Hot Toys Action Figure guys?And you’d be right! I did!

What changed is the fact that Mark and I are going to be making doors & windows (and other things too) for Etsy.

I would feel rotten if we sold a door to someone that it is good for FRs and found that it was actually too short (not that that doesn’t happen in real life, mind you–our house is old and Mark smacks his forehead on them all the time). But still. We don’t want that to happen….

Kyu is roughly 13.5 inches which in 1:1 scale means he’s 6 foot 9 inches tall. He must be a model…or a basketball player! :D

So My FR girls are expecting an FR guy to arrive soon.

I was trying to source a low-cost, FR guy that I could tolerate looking at. Not an easy feat in the after x-mas financial state… I ended up selling 2 of my Girls Mission dolls to a fellow collector and using that money to buy London Calling Kyu, from the dynamite girls collection. It was a sacrifice–letting go of older, hard to find figures to get him. I really, really hope he ends up being worth it!

london calling kyu

I’m not overly thrilled with his appearance. However, I suspect that with some work I can make him into a figure I can tolerate looking at and using. And who knows–after a re-style, a bit of repainting and a re-name… maybe he can get cast in a role in Wrenwood Hall, you never know. ;)

The first thing I am going to have to fix is that “helmet head” thing he has going on.

Anyway that’s the doll update. ;) Keep watching Etsy — I’ll be listing stuff later this week (probably Thursday) and mark is still working on his technical drawings for the furniture he is making for etsy! Exciting things ahead! :D

 

 

Dec 032013
 

So you may or may not recall that I got a Poppy Parker Spicy in Spain a little while back. I swas surprised at the time that I kep her because, well she didn’t really fit my tastes…but I kept her anyhow. I thought that if I did a partial repaint I’d like her better… And I do! :D

So here she is before:

poppy-spicy-spain-2

And how she looks after:

repainted spicy in spain 2

I like her new look a lot better although the repaint is pretty sloppy when you see it close up. But even so, it’s an improvement in my book!

 

Oct 142013
 

I posted about my first Poppy the week before last a couple of weeks ago…

I’m pretty new to Poppy Parker dolls.   I’m still getting used to the proportions of their bodies as compared to the other Fashion Royalty dolls. I do like the fact that they are capable of standing upright, unaided. :) That IS a big plus in my book.

What I don’t like about the Poppy Parker body is a pretty short list: (in order of most disliked to just tolerable…)

  • The totally and completely useless bust-joint
  • The ankle joints.

Sorry, but they could have used a ball-joint there and it would have been great and allowed a smoother line of the foot when “arched” to use in non-flat shoes.

  • The lack of a double joint at the elbow

Something that would allow Poppy (and whoever happens to have her body) the ability to hold a phone to her ear, etc.

So is there anything I can do about any of those problems?

Uh huh. Yep.  I think I may have an illness….I seem to be incapable of leaving my dolls alone and un-customized!

I haven’t tried to do anything with the ankle joint, and I know better than to try to put a double jointed elbow in. I’d have to do so much extra work that at this point I don’t think that’s feasible.

But I did do something about that wasted joint, the bust joint!

*cue scary horror movie mad scientist laugh* MWhahahahahahahahahahahha!*

A long while back I saw the photo-tutorial that Emlia did regarding increasing/improving the articulation on the Fashion Royalty Homme body. After giving it some serious thought I hoped that the Poppy Parker body wouldn’t be that different inside and began to take her apart. After all, I figured that since Integrity Toys made both of them they probably weren’t that far removed….

I was and was not quite right about that…..

Interesting to note that Integrity is not (as far as I can tell) using a giant nut to weight the body. But what I did find inside the Poppy Parker body (bodies actually since I did this mod on all of them except India) is that they are filled with varying amounts of hot melt glue.

poppy-parker-torso-inside-1

Not uber cool in my book, but, eh, whatever.

That glue did present something of a problem on some of the bodies because it was in the way (or there was just too much of it) of feeding the elastic through. However, because I am a determined kind of girl I got it done on all of my girls. >:D

And this is what the body can do after the mod — OIN Giselle has been re-bodied onto the new and improved Poppy body. (There are obviously more poses possible and more extreme but, eh, I’m not in the mood to take pics today.)

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-2

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-1

Now if, on the off chance you want to try this too and you want me to share the photos I tried to take of how I did it (during the process) let me know and I’ll update the post with some more photos–I just need to resize them etc. I didn’t want to bloat the post with a lot of unnecessary pics if no one was interested.

 

Oct 072013
 

It’s likely you know that one of my biggest problems to overcome with using the Fashion Royalty girls is that they are sooooo tall!

Because of their height it’s difficult to find them any male companions that they don’t tower over (aside from the male FRs).  I’ve spent quite a lot of time over the last couple of years trying to figure out an alternative…a way to make guys (action figure/ hot toys) taller so that I could use them with my FR ladies. But alas I wasn’t lucky with that and I ended up with pairings like this:

Standard Hot Toys Male Figure & the HT Muscle Body

But even so….how many giant, muscle bound guys could I have in one city?
(ok–to be fair, a lot, but my wallet can’t handle more than one LOL).

giselle-and-the-regular-ht-body giselle-and-the-musc-ht-body

For example, Amber (http://www.flickr.com/photos/appark/) has been helping me to find a way around the height issues by re-bodying some of my favorite girls onto Poppy bodies (did I even know that was possible? No! Or at least not really? I knew she put a lot of FR heads on the Poppy bodies but I didn’t realize the improvement that a Poppy body could give the FR girls!)

Ok let’s look at the positives with regard to using Poppy Parker teen Model doll bodies instead of the Nu Face or Standard Fashion Royalty bodies:

The proportions are in general more pleasing. Not one of them is a massive difference but all together they add up to make a considerable difference IMO.

They are shorter! Yay!
And not by a tiny bit (like the difference between the Nu Face body and the Standard FR body). The bodies seemed to offer a solution I could live with! :D

Here’s a comparison between Fashion Royalty Flight Pattern Kyori and Spicy in Spain Poppy Parker (the height difference is actually a little bit bigger but my Kyori has a slump)

fr-vs-poppy-height-comparison-1  poppy-height-vs-fr-kyori-shoulder

And here’s a comparison between the Nu Face body and Poppy Body:

nu-face-vs-poppy-height

I did it. I jumped in and got a couple of Poppy Parker bodies (and 2 dolls…that’s a longer story) and set about swapping out heads on my Nu Face girls to the Poppy donor bodies.

giselle-and-kendall-apt-1

giselle-and-kendall-apt-2b

Now, on the off chance that like me you’d like to swap some heads here are some skintone matches (again courtesy of Amber (Appark on Flickr). :)

These are close matches for Old is New Giselle (FR standard caucasian skintone)

Spicy in Spain
She’s Not There
The Look of Love
Beatnik Blues
Forget Me Not (Blonde)
Holiday in the Hamptons

These are close matches for Colette Perk:

Irresistible in India
Sweet Confection

These are close matches for Ayumi (FR standard Japanese skintone)

Sweet in Switzerland
Lilac Frost
Isn’t it Romantic?

Coming later this week: I’ll post about the body mods I did to the Poppy Parker bodies and another mod that I am going to try out to see if it will work (wish me luck or it will remain the headless body forever!) ;)

 

Sep 262013
 

I’m not sure how I feel about Poppy’s face-mold…

I should probably explain that I originally bought her for her body and planned on selling her head (I’ll explain all that in another post). But I decided that rather than a painful decapitation Poppy would get a stay of execution and I’d try to see if she grew on me (hey it happens with the most unlikely dolls sometimes!) :P

She’s different from all the other face molds I have.

poppy-spicy-spain-face

I’m guessing that that is a good thing-except I’m not in love with her face.

Now, like I said in a previous post–I’m trying to expand my horizons and be more open minded when it comes to the dolls that I am adding to my collection.

Surely, Poppy can’t be all bad, right? (I have noticed that there is a kind of love-her or hate-her thing going on with some collectors of Fashion Royalty with regard to Poppy). For me, I think it will ultimately come down to if I am able to envision her as a character in one of my photostories.

So here are some pics of her I shot today.

poppy-spicy-spain-3

I can tell you that later this week/end I’ll be wiping her lipstick off and applying a color that I actually like. I’m not sure if I want to go with a more neutral/ natural look or if I want to go for a blue-based red. Or even plum.

poppy-spicy-spain-2

The nice thing about her face is that the eyeshadow she’s been given is fairly neutral and low-key. (although there is a flaw in it that bugs me–small lump :( I may end up wiping her eyeshadow after all) That in and of itself makes me want to try to use her in Wrenwood, but—I’m thinking that I want her as someone one on the scene (the set) but not necessarily an actress.

poppy-spicy-spain-1

There are plenty of other roles she could play, and maybe–if she gets along with Giselle at least–she could be a friend. Maybe. Or an enemy. Hmmm?

poppy-spicy-spain-6

 

 

Sep 082013
 

Sometimes you have to face unpleasant truths.

Only by facing them and accepting them can you move forward and make progress on the things you mean to do.

giselle-9-2013

I have been one of the longest, staunchest supporters of Volks dollfies (27cm). I have collected them for more than a decade and I have loved their articulation, their ability to easily share clothes with other fashion dolls, and the fact that generally speaking they were low-cost and fantastic for customizing. For those reasons they became my go-to figures and make up the bulk of my 1/6 scale doll collection. However, it has now been years since Volks ceased production of the EB body type and the other options that they offer are….not for me. Yes, there are other 27 cm figures–Obitsu/Parabox make but for me those are too small and too petite.

Where does my collecting go from this point, now that I have finally moved out of Denial and into Acceptance?

Don’t get me wrong–I have a number of different kinds of dolls and action figures in my collection. I have Takara Cool Girls/Cy Girls, a few Fashion Royalty dolls, I even have a Barbie or two, but of all the other kinds of dolls that I have, that I really think I am going to start concentrating on are the dolls being put out by Integrity.

Did you hear me just eat my hat? Possibly. :P

Some of my biggest gripes in the past with Fashion Royalty dolls were:

  1. Poor articulation and  body design (compared to my volks-biased experiences)
  2. (cough) the price.
  3. They had hands that wouldn’t come off (pre-handspeak system) which made dressing them a PITA.
  4. Prone to loose joints and tended to be floppy and if I wanted them to sit upright on a couch without slumping I had to tweak the body. Not ideal IMO.
  5. They are Amazonian in height. That part made it difficult to find male partners for them unless I wanted a lot of tom cruise/ Nicole kidman kind of couples…. You get the point, right?

But….to be fair I had a lot of things to like about the Fashion Royalty dolls.

  1. They had some really lovely face molds. (I adore Giselle and Agnes and Natalia)
  2. They come in a wide range of skintones which makes for some nice variation and more realism in the population of people for my photostories. That was something missing in my collection.
  3. IT got wise to the idea that removable hands were a great thing and started using the handspeak system
  4. Integrity makes some nice complete figures, they make nice accessories and often times the clothing they make is done to a pretty high specification. Much better than most of the Barbie clothes Mattel puts out these days.

And of course IT has been playing around with the different kinds of bodies they’re making these days.

They’re making Poppy Parker, Misaki, FR2 and according to the word on the Web they’re revamping the regular Fashion Royalty Line and the FR2 line and will be revealing what the new body style and design will be like in October at the FR Convention. And I understand that in 2014 that they will be doing that for the NuFace line as well.

All of that speaks to the fact that Integrity, although not making dolls as posable as I’d prefer, is still working on making new dolls, trying to do something with their QC and also, giving people like me (head/body swappers) a wider range of options to choose from.

SO Yes. I have officially eaten my hat.

I am going to be collecting the FR dolls again, and doing my best to integrate them not only into my collection but also into the photostories that I have planned for the Quinlan Chronicles.

Just to be clear here–I’m not saying that FRs are my all time favorite OR the be all end all best doll out there… I doubt I’ll ever love them the same way that I love my volks. But for now, the Fashion Royalty/ Dynamite Girls/ Poppy parker / IT dolls just happen to be the ones that I have taken a new shine to and want to see what I can do with them….

 

Aug 312013
 

So I’ve been pretty quiet about stuff for the most part. But let me just give you a brief explanation of what’s been going on.

[WARNING complaining going on -- skip to 2nd paragraph to avoid long complaint paragraph]

Just over a month ago Indy was in a terminal state, I started a new job, and we started doing really major renovations on the house. Losing Indy took a big toll on me while my new jobs frequently has me literally smacking and hitting myself on the head to keep from saying things to customers that would lose me my job. It has been and continues to be for me a time of high stress and very little relaxation or fun. If the job doesn’t kill me then I’m going to be ok an we’ll have heat provided the renovations get done in time…..I had a problem with the car last week which sucked up a 100 bucks in parts and Mark’s valuable home renovation time.  I’m not sleeping well (I’m having nightmares most nights about work, or about missing Indy) but I’m hoping that as I get used to working the weird hours I’ll get used to it (I start anywhere between 2pm-4pm and end between 10:30 or 1PM not including OT).

That isn’t to say that I don’t have plans and I’ve given up on my 1/6 love.

As you could tell from my last post, I have gotten a new HT muscle body, and a wolverine (knock off) head. Mostly because I wanted my Old Is New Giselle to be able to have a boyfriend who was close to or taller in height than herself. That has been a real stumbling block and one that I debated solving in various ways…

Buuuuuut….Let me talk a little bit about my fashion royalty dolls and the difficulty they present me.

I like my fashion royalty dolls (not all of the ones that IT produces, but certain molds) but the biggest issue I have with them is the fact that height wise they pose problems with 1) finding them enough variety in male figures to play opposite them, 2) they have such amazonian bodies that they look a bit out of scale  and weird when shown next to my other dolls and 3) getting them to balance and stand is difficult–not impossible but a lot more difficult than I’d prefer to fuss around with.

So part of my last two paychecks went to doll related stuff. Yes.

Dolls.

I bought a couple of different bodies and I’ll share more info about them (hopefully over the weekend I’ll get some time to be able to shoot some basic photos and you can see. Maybe Im bonkers. But You know, getting the dolls has made me feel that little bit better.  I have this weekend off *yay* so if I can get caught up on chores and whatnot you’ll see some pics and my own personal commentary on what I got.
(Yea, I know. It’s not like you’re going to be waiting with bated breath or anything–but hey, for me this is all big news!)

 

Aug 252013
 

Since I’ve been so busy with the new job and all the other stuff thrown my way by the universe I haven’t done a whole lot with the hobby. However, with the new job I finally had some money to splurge on something that I have been wanting: The Hot Toys TT muscle Body TT20.

Let me preface this review right now with WHY I am collecting and using Hot Toys action figures: They  work out pretty well with most of my female dolls and action figures…the only ones that they aren’t working as well with right now are the Fashion Royalty girls…which is why I was willing to splash out on this particular action figure. I’d heard / seen that it would work with some of the Female bodies made by Integrity Toys. Oh yea: and I don’t like the FR guys because they lack enough articulation for me to want them. :P

For those of you with a little curiosity or any interest I’m doing this review! :D

First let’s take a look at the packaging:

(not my photo.)

true-type-musc

It’s nice. Simple. Easy to get into. I like that. Not much waste and it’s not a struggle to get into. There is   a hot toys stand included.

The body itself:

The build quality is good.

It comes with extra hands which is IMO always a plus. the body has some nice details: some veining on the arms, well defined collarbones etc/ and some light “skin” texture (although that is more random and is less apparent on some parts than others.

The body is HEAVY.  I’m not kidding.

Ok, remember when I found the nut that they’d put in that FR Erin all those years ago? Well this is more  like they put a freakin’ brass knuckle the body! I’m not complaining though. It feels solid and at least if it is –then I feel the price is more justified. It’s much heavier than the standard HT true type body.

Ok, when you pick it up you know where at least part of your money went.

The ROM: maybe not all you’d expect, but still pretty good.

 

ht-musc-2

 

Potential issues & things I have go go “hmmm” about:

1) The size of the body…

It IS a totally pumped guy body, I guess that could make it difficult to fit some heads to it. Right now you see him with a knock off wolverine head. It works but it might take a bit to find a head that you would want to use with it and have sit on it the right way.

2) His chest isn’t solid abs or plastic like I had assumed…. but is a soft layer of vinyl or silicone over the plastic.

It’s not a deal breaker but  it does red flag that if I dress the body in dark colors on the top to be careful to have a barrier on it. OR to only do that for quick photoshoots and then change the top/shirt to something lighter & less prone to stain. the packaging did include a little warning note to say that acetone, thinners etc could damage the “skin layer”.

3)He has black spongy-cuffs on his feet/legs?

For me that is a huge WTF! (sorry  didn’t bother to shoot any good clear photos of that)

Is that supposed to make it easier/ better for fitting boots on the feet or what? I don’t know. I do know that it isn’t working for me and I have a few different ideas on what I can do about it…

1) apply a couple of layers of gesso and paint and try to get it to a near skintone match.

2) make an alternative one out of (??) craft foam maybe ?

3) make a replacement out of milliput and paint it to match.

Right now it’s not a major issue since when I get around to sewing for him and making him jeans and stuff I’ll make them longer. But for those scenes where things are bared…well. I don’t like wasting more time in post production photoshop than I have to!

Comparisons with other Hot Toys True Type bodies:

ht-musc-3-comparison

Hot Toys Slim body/ Hot Toys Regular body / Hot Toys Muscle Body

As you can see there’s quite a range of difference in their heights. I didn’t have a narrow shoulder guy to compare with but I believe those are the same height as the Regular HT TT Body?

And of course you need to see what he (and the others) look like next to Giselle…

giselle-and-the-slim-ht-body

Slim guy is looking more like her younger brother there…..

giselle-and-the-regular-ht-body

Do-able. Some tall women have shorter partners….

giselle-and-the-musc-ht-body

And as you can see….. Side by side Giselle and the muscle body (in this case with Logan’s head on it) works pretty well.

giselle-and-muscle-body-wolverine

May 302013
 

Ok so things here have been kind of crazy hectic–getting Indy settled in, getting Mark settled in (he got back) and doing lots of yard related stuff that really took it out of me.

However I’ve been itching to do stuff for the photostories and developing ideas about characters etc. This week I finally got the chance to sit down and do some customs. Here’s what I came up with:

First, Shelby Ann Spingle.

spingle

She’s that rarest of creatures in my collection = a side glancing doll!

spingle2

Before I wiped her face she looked like this:

Taggert

And before that she was Verity:

verity-1

Overall I think it’s an improvement.

I’ll try to update tomorrow with some of the other characters :)

Mar 032013
 

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and tried painting any heads (witht eh exception of the commission head). And I am pretty disgruntled by how quickly my skills seem to have atrophied!  I spent yesterday working on Bonsai trees and last night trying to get some repaints done.

But the painting didn’t go too well… I started painting (because sometimes a head I feel “so-so” abot in the paint/sketch stage will end up surprising me and being really nifty when I finish it). It just didn’t go well.

I wiped the head — repeatedly. And again. and again. and…..again.

I did that drill about 8 times last night. It’s very frustrating and it sure leaves me well aware of my lack of patience and skill. :(  But I did keep trying, so one plus for me. right?

Anyway I came out of it with  the  head repainted (and not wiped) and even so  I’m not sure about keeping (and not wiping) her.

Here’s what she looked like pre-painting (she was wiped prior to our move):

cm-1b

I repainted her because I just didn’t like how she looked. She has a centruy model head (no idea which/whose) and she was re-rooted with saran from Restoredoll.com (burnt orange).

This is how she currently looks:

cm-1

2

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this face or end up wiping it. I do think she looks mature enough to be a professor or an admin person at the University though. I need to find a name that fits her though and then go from there….

Feb 272013
 

Ok, so you know I think about my photostory stuff a lot. And as one of my good friend says about my attempts to assign roommates/ pairs of students  “You over-think it! Just DO it already!”

Guilty as charged. :P

But I was determined that I’d do it this time. I mean since I have the dorm room / student lounge set almost (sort of) done, I need to know this stuff. Really! And I need to be able to refer to it time and again (since I can remember the characters but not always who’ll be living where). So today (after I finished the last 3 re-paints so I had enough students for this) I made up a chart. It’s a quick reference one, so it’s not all pretty and lovely. But it’ll do the trick. So. Here we are: the female roomates. (you’ll notice that Nerissa isn’t on the chart. That’s because she’s got a private/ single room! Lucky girl!)

If you want to see the image @ full size click it and then look for the white X and then click that. :)

roommates

There you have it!

Now I have to get back to sewing!

Feb 132013
 

As I mentioned previously I’ve been working on a commission. It’s been kind of an up & down process.  I’m not really pleased with all of it (parts of it yes, parts of it — not so much) but I’m waiting to hear back from the person how they feel about her. The brief was that I customize a Triad Alpha AA head to look very similar to the one I did previously and made into Lilith Porter (a character in the Quinlan Chronicles).

I’ve put a lot of effort into this and ran into some issues along the way…But anyway, what did I do?

  1. I removed her original hair.
  2. I made new and enlarged her existing hair holes so that I could re-root her with dreads.
  3. Made the dreadlocks.
  4. Painted the scalp of the head to match the new hairline.
  5. Rooted the head with the dreadlocks.
  6. Repainted her face.
  7. Repainted her face again.
  8. Repainted her face yet again.
  9. Repainted her face still again….and again…and again.
  10. Finally got a face that I feel works with the brief. Sadly, I think my lack of painting is showing.
  11. I’ve decorated her dreads.
  12. Took some photos to show her appearance off.

4

2

3

1

 

Ok, so that’s that. We’ll see what happens. If the person isn’t happy they have the option of taking the original Lilith’s head. We’ll see.

 

Jan 312013
 

As I mentioned previously I am working on a commission for someone.  It’s a Triad AA alpha head. The brief was that they wanted someone who looked like my aa alpha Lilith .

It’s going more slowly than I’d like, partly because it took a lot longer for the supplies to get here.

I got most of the grunt work of it out of the way:

  • her dreadlocks made
  • head de-haired, new holes drilled and old holes enlarged
  • scalp repainted and new hairline added.
  • Dreadlocks inserted and conditioned

I’d like to say that I got her repainted but…alas. I have not! :(

I’ve tried repainting her about 5 times now and it’s feeling very frustrating for me not to get her to come out “right”.  *sigh* This is part of the reason I don’t tend to take on commissions! Ah well! I’m going to take a few days break from that and do some practice painting on some other heads. Maybe I’ll practice  on that alpha hispanic I wiped a couple (6?) months back….Or maybe I’ll work on the Insanity Quilt a little bit. Or just another 1:6 quilt? OR costumes?

 

 

 

Jan 202013
 

For some time Giselle’s been on my desk, on the shelf, on the tabletop (sans any roomset to be had!). She is without a doubt one of my all time favorite fashion royalty dolls. Her sculpt is clean, well proportioned and I think it is one of the best that Integrity managed to crank out.

Giselle is still looking...

My first (and to date only, but that might change in the future—you never know) is Old is New Giselle. I liked how she looked moody, bitchy and cunning all at the same time.

What I didn’t like….or maybe I should say what bothered me about her was her blatant case of UES. For those of you not familiar it means Upward Eyes Syndrome. It’s what you get when you have dolls who look like they’re half way between rolling their eyes and attempting to see if they have something hanging over their head without actually moving their head to look!

This is how she looked before (with UES)

giselle-before

You see what I’m talking about?

So anyway, back when I was still in the UK I decided I’d give her a very slight repaint which meant I just moved her irises and pupils and adjusted her eyeliner (and whites of the eyes) every so slightly. I didn’t want to do a complete repaint because I didn’t want to risk ruining the very “thing” that made her Giselle. You know?

This is how she looked after the tweaks. I think it’s much, much, much better! (plus I like her with blue eyes instead of grey!) I did mean to blog about this months ago but you know, with the transatlantic move, finding a place to live etc….it just never happened until now.

giselle-after-2

 

giselle-after

 

Dec 012012
 

A while ago (like about 2+ years ago! LOL) I bought a So in Style Chandra off of feebay. I had to buy her on feebay because I couldn’t find the So in Style dolls for sale anywhere in the UK.

I got her nude and it’s been a while but I think this is the version:

Anyway, I got Chandra and I popped her on a MZ body (the one with the white hair in lacquered loops on her head) just so that she would have a little more poseability over her default barbie type body. It wasn’t fantastic (the old MZ bodies had hands that were tiny and claw-like and really put me in mind of some kind of horror movie!).

I am always keeping an eye out for re-bodying possibilities…and I realized I had a spare triad toys AA Alpha body (with no head).  I thought I’d see if I could mod it so that it would take the Chandra head. The skintone is similar (not an exact match, but close visually) and I’m willing to roll with that. Since the AA Triad Alpha body has a “cooler” tone I figure that down the line I’ll sand the body and give it a few washes of warmer color to help level out the skintone differences.

As far as getting the barbie head on —it wasn’t going to work initially…the Alpha’s neck is just too thick. As you can see The head just sits on top!

Not good! I decided that since the alpha body wasn’t going to be doing anything anyway, and that the neck plastic was fairly thick–I’d have a go at sanding it down some.  This is what the neck looks like un-modified (ok, mostly. I did make the front neck peg notch wider & deeper since this is Lilith’s body I’m using as the “before” comparison pics):

I hoped that if I could thin it enough to allow the Barbie head to fit on without it flying off (or creating a hole in the plastic neck).  As you can see in the photo below there looks to be a goodly amount of plastic in the neck area….

And I commenced sanding ….

This is how it looks so far.   Not very pretty is it? :(

No.

But it’s getting somewhere.

And for those of you who’re wondering how much “extra” plastic there is on that bull neck: here’s a before and after (sort of) pic. Please forgive the crummy photo!

As you can tell I took quite a bit off the neck (rather rough at the moment, I need to find some finer grade sandpapers to make it look more like the rest of the body LOL). It’s looking promising though, don’t you think?

I still have probably another 1-1.5 mm that I’m going to sand off the neck. I can get the head to sit on the neck post firmly now, but I’d like a little more play in that area.

I had to also pare off some of the vinyl inside her head (the “lip” around the inside that hold the plastic barbie head knob inside).

Next on the list to do:

  • continue sanding the neck so it’s a little more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Then I’ll sand the rest of the body and give it some washes of color.
  • After that re-root (I have some restoredoll saran on hand)
  • Repaint Chandra.

I’ll update the blog with that when I’ve gotten the next bit done! :)

Nov 302012
 

You might remember from the previous post I was working on a Hot Toys Head. Trying to make her into something I was happier with.  I didn’t explain that the reasoning behind that was the fact that I got a knock-off 3.0 version takara body.

They can be found on feebay as “AA takara Cy Girl” action figure bodies (sometimes). *I’m not sure who that’s aimed at since the skintone is not compatible with any of the AA babs or clone heads out there???)

Visually** the body is a great match for the Hot Toys cuban female head. Which is great, right? I don’t know about anyone else out there but I really dislike the Hot toys female bodies.  I find it really disappointing that they don’t even dye the vinyl for the heads–the –skin….It’s painted on! (I wanted to see what the skintone was like and it’s…Ugh!@)

I had been warned about this by my good friend Will, but I thought I’d see how bad it was. Ugh. Well, it’s bad enough. I’m sure if I had more patience (something I’m in short supply of these days with the recent move and lots of making-do) that it wouldn’t be an issue. And it’d be less of an issue if I had an airbrush to repaint the head with. (in fact, if you’re one of those folks jonesin’ for one of the Hot Toys Caucasian female heads, I daresay you could do your own with the “cuban “head and an airbrush LOL!).

So since I wasn’t feeling up to doing a complete (skin and all) repaint I thought about what I had the biggest issues with with the head. Figured if I could fix those first maybe I’d like it a little more.  First and foremost I couldn’t stand the hair. I thought about trying to re-root the head (I still may down the line) but I don’t have the hair color handy that I’d like to use, so I decided a quick boil perm would do something….

BTW this is pretty much what she looked like beforephoto credit to Will, since I didn’t take a pic before I started the do-over LOL)Mine had a more serious case of UES (as in there were lines of white under her irises)

So I did her hair up in a bunch of tiny braids. That way she would end up with  a wavy/ crimped look .  It came out ok, but it’s nothing to write home about.

I also decided that the two things that bugged me most (after the hair) were her eyes (she had a serious case of Upward Eye Syndrome) and her lips. I wish I’d taken some before shots because her lips were just …. icky. So I was careful about removing the paint from the lip area (I made a few small screw ups but they’re now camouflaged), and then onto her eyes…I didn’t want to futz around with trying to remove the paint fromt he eyewells and eyelids and have to worry about matching her skintone (such as it is) so I cheated and just painted new irises in the positions I wanted them on the head. Not ideal, but still better than the original UES. I also repainted the whites of the eyes (they wanted to be a little brighter) and gave an extra bit of flesh/pink in the eyerims.

** I said Visually. My Camera sensors make her look like she is suuuuuuper Jaundiced! Like yellow with a bit more yellow and a little more yellow added for good measure!



She’s still not gorgeous, but she’s improved.

I’m bumming about the skintone color difference when shooting with the camera. I’ve tried a couple of different settings and lighting situations but it’s not playing. I don’t think she’s going to get much any camera time until I get around to wholly repainting her head. :(

 

 

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