Skills: Time to start polishing them up!

I have a growing number of dolls waiting to be repainted or tweaked.

It’s been a long time since I put a brush to use on the dolls or action figure peeps (I hesitate to say this, but I think it’s been a year or more? Ugh.)

It seems like it should be a simple enough thing for me to get back into the groove of it, no?

The thing is, that for me it usually isn’t. The longer my break the more I struggle when I come back to it because I don’t have a set formula for how I do a repaint. By that I mean that I don’t know how other people go about customizing and repainting their dolls.  I only know what I do…for the most part. I try very hard not to think about it too much or focus on it because I usually choke up at those times. For me, repainting a head/face is the closest I come to meditation.

Usually I forget the techniques that I used previously and have to go through a trial and error process after a hiatus. So that’s what I am looking at for July. re-learning how I did it and hopefully improving over the previous efforts.

Who’s on my Re-Paint/Re-Tweak List?

  • Tricks of the Trade Eugenia
  • Dynamite Girls Homme Kyu
  • Norma Desmond (giselle sculpt)
  • Tina Tanaka (poppy-verse)
  • Tina Tanaka (yes, I bought 2 of them)
  • High Visibility Agnes (maybe eyes & make up or maybe just lips)
  • Monogram Echelon
  • Lotta Danger Poppy (poppy-verse)
  • Irresistable In India Poppy (poppy-verse)

So it looks like July will be the main month of trial and error and that I will have to get back in the swing of things.

 

Poppy Parker Spicy in Spain: partial repaint

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! 😀

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!

 

Poppy Parker: Under the Knife….A Body Mod

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.

 

Fashion Royalty and Poppy Parker Body Swapping! *long post*

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! 😀

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!) 😉

 

Quiet for So Long: but at last–an update!! :D

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 🙂

Repainting…why does it have to be this way?

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….

Commission: Triad Alpha AA head

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.

 

Making progress on the commission: slowly!

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?

 

 

 

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