Photo challenge week #1

I managed to clear off my table of all the various projects I’m working on so that I could set up to shoot a few quick photos for the challenge. 😀

First a tiny bit of info about this week’s Model. This is a Perfectly Suited Giselle (from the 2015 IT Convention) I got her off of MisterdollFace for cheap sometime last year. She had some issues (like she reeked of smoke) and she came with crumpled broken lashes that I peeled off but that pulled off the eye paint.* The first thing I did was give her a complete wash until I couldn’t detect the cigarette smell anymore. She needs her eyes repaired *I’m ok with that, it’s just been a case of I haven’t worked on her yet.

giselle-10-26-16a

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I like her in general because she has been painted in a way that resembles Old is New Giselle *my first Giselle* She’s been re-rooted (I think that whoever did it used the tension method)and I thinnk the dark hair suits her. After I do the fix on her facial paint I will see about styling her hair (it has a ton of static flyaways).
And another:
giselle-10-26-16b

Now that I managed to grab out the camera I think that next week’s photos should be easier for me to get done. 🙂

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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.

 

Bricks & Stones break my bones…but foamcore drives me Nuts-o!

Yea I have a lot of different projects on the burners right now –in fact I’d have to be a professional stove with double the normal amount of burners to handle all the pots I’ve got a’boilin! mrgreen

One of those was making a brick wall to use for backdrop image when I’m shooting photos of stuff—-for Etsy & for using in Friday Monologues. It took me a good week or so to get the wall done. It wasn’t fun.

I’m not that happy with it  because there were too many places I made mistakes and it shows.

However, it’ll do the job and that for now is what counts.

I have to say here and now that I am not, never have been and never will be a fan of foamcore.

Please don’t try to stone me you folks who love the stuff.  I know it’s manna from heaven for a lot of people, and it’s the greatest stuff ever. For you. 😉

It remains burned into my consciousness as the crap that professors made you use for pointless art projects (when in the day a piece of foamcore cost 6 bucks instead of  1 buck at the dollar store!) Anyway.  I still think it is the stuff of the devil.twisted It’s flimsy, flaky and just too prone to damage. Ok, that last bit is probably just down to me being a klutz and needing sturdy, break resistant stuff around me!

Anyway, I persevered through and made this: (in the 2nd one down Giselle is modelling in the pics just for the hell of it!).

See, this is where the nit-picky thing really rears it’s ugly head.

A lot of people just use bricks that the y print off of photos or they use scrap-booking paper (or fabric). I’d like to be happy with that for my use, but I … well. I just couldn’t. And I have heard that me putting all this detail in doesn’t make any difference at the end, so why bother with it?

But, I just had to. Really.

Anything else would have felt half-assed.  And I really do my damnedest to make sure I don’t do anything that way. Why bother if you’re not going to do it right, you know?

Yes, it meant I spent more than a week scribing in all those blasted bricks. And then more experimenting (and failing spectacularly with different options for mortar!) I’ve kind of got the mortar thing sorted so the next wall will be better (and it won’t be foamcore).

And just a few shots of Giselle because, well….she’s a fave!

I’ll be updating again as soon as I have some more photos (of stuff) to share! 🙂

 

Takara CG Electra gets a makeover: part 2 *photos*

You remember that I was working on the CG Electra?  She looked like this after I re-rooted her and wiped her face:

It took a few tries–I was feeling very fussy about the kind of look I wanted her to have. I was getting more and more frustrated since my painting brushes are pretty much shot (and they do really affect how my painting turns out). I also did a repaint of an old re-rooted AJ jead, and touched up the face paint on the FR Giselle and Ayumi heads….photos to follow at some point!

I need to find a name for her and to decide about how old she is.  How old does she look to you folks?

So what kind of impression does she make?

Okies I gotta go but I’d really love to hear your ideas on how old she might be! 🙂

Takara CG Electra gets a makeover: part 1

It’s been a while since I pulled any of my Cy Girls / CGs out to do some work on (or to take photos of). The good news is that I decided that one of them will be cast as one of the actresses in the Wrenwood Hall photostories/ Quinlan Confidential photostories. It’s going to be a kind of strange mix of dolls & figures but at the end of the day it’s what makes me happy, so why not? Right?

I sorted through my remaining CG heads and bodies to decide who I’d use.  I have a fondness for the Ice headsculpt but I wanted to have some variety.  I narrowed it down to a re-rooted AJ, Catwoman 2.0 (with the prussian blue hair), Midori (in need of a re-root), or Electra who I’d gotten off feebay a few years ago.  It was a toss up between Electra & Midori and I chose Electra because I don’t have any other characters currently using that sculpt.

Well this is how she’s looking now.

Since I got her off feebay, used and out of package with only a smattering of her original accessories  she wasn’t in the best of shape and her hair was pretty awful. D’oh! I didn’t remember to take any photos of her before starting the re-root process!

I’ve started re-rooting her with some saran from Restoredoll.

I’m rooting it in long and planning on giving her wavy or even curly hair when I’m done. At least that’s the plan! It might change as I go along.  If I manage to get her rooted & styled to my satisfaction I’ll repaint her this week.

Tutorial: How to customize barbie chairs

Getting 1:6 scale office chairs/desk chairs is really a pain in the ass.

This has come up for me a few times since I’m working on making college dorm rooms, library space &  1:6 office set-ups.  Invariably in all of these places you find the ubiquitous “office/desk” chair. The problem is that finding them ready to buy isn’t that easy.  And getting them in scale with your figures isn’t always as easy as it seems.

I mean, aside from the ZC ones…the rest of them out there….well. Let’s just say they don’t really fit my notion of an office chair.  (I’d love to drop $200.oo+ on a Vitra one –but hello, broke here!)  The office chair that the ZC dolls made is nice but it’s waaaay oversize for my Volks, Momokos & Blythes.  And yes…I know office/desk chairs come in different sizes.  I do. But this is about my preferences.  If I can’t buy what I want then I’ll make it. 😛

I’m going to work with two particular types for this tutorial.  (I’m calling this a tutorial but it’s more like a bunch of loosely written instructions to kind of run-with.) Mostly because they start off pretty close to what I want and the less I have to do the better, right? 😉

First go out and find the following chairs to work with: They are the chairs from the My Scene So Chic Salon & the chair from the Barbie My House Armoire & Chair set.

The thing that makes me most inclined to work with these is the fact that the bases are pretty sturdy & they bear a pretty good resemblance to the real thing.

The one with the grey wheels is one of the My Scene chair base and the one with the black wheels is from the Armoire Set.

Note: there are actually 2 types used in My Scene doll furniture and both are good with a little work. The thing to be aware is that the My Scene Salon chairs have one type that “clicks” back (apparently for washing hair in the sink) and one that was fixed.  I’m using the fixed ones as an example, but you can use the clickers if you cut down the mechanism and shape the hole to fit them.

Here’s what I came up with: the before & after:

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

  • Barbie Chair Base(s) *as described above*
  • Wood/Plastic/MDF/ Foamex (to make seat parts-use depending on how sturdy you want the finished piece of furniture to be)
  • Brass/steel/aluminum/ wire or bar (to make the back-rest post)
  • Black aluminum tape OR twine (and paint the twine with acrylics)
  • Glue or Contact Cement (I personally prefer cc)
  • Batting/Foam (to pad the chair with)
  • Fabric & Tyvek (to upholster the chair)
  • Stapler
  • Needle & Thread (to match fabric)
  • Acrylic Paints (for detailing)

First:

  • Draw up an approximate size drawing of the seat you want to make, and the size of the back-rest.

  • I cut mine out of paper (I like to judge sizes that way) and then cut them out of foamex.  You can use cardboard (not good for long term use) wood (bass, pine etc),  etc. Whatever you use you want it to be fairly sturdy.

Next:

  • Remove the seat/top from whichever chair you’ve decided to use.
  • Drill/dremel/carve out a hole in the seat you’ve made to fit the post at the top of the chair’s base. (This is a good time to also carve out  the slots in the seat back & the back-rest where you’ll be inserting the brass/wire/metal to hold the back rest in place).

  • Check the fit (height wise) for the kind of doll you want to use this with.

  • I cut out batting (using those paper seat & back drafts) and glued it to the plastic. (Do yourself a favor and rough up the plastic or wood to help it adhere) This helps pad the seat and give it a bit more realism. 😛 At some point I’ll really go to town with one of these to see how far I can push them.
  • After the glue/contact cement has dried & you feel you’re happy with the amount of “puff” on the seat & back-rest then comes the fun part—you get to try your hand at upholstering it with your chosen fabric. I’d like to offer some how-to on this but I basically took some books out of the library and went from there. I’m not an upholsterer–and I never will be!! Experiment & prepare to do it over a couple of times until you get it to look right.
  • While you’re taking a break from upholstery you can cut a couple of thin strips of the black aluminum tape and wrap it around the metal you’re planning on using to support the back-rest. If you’re using twine (make sure it’s a small diameter otherwise it’ll look dorky) layer a light coating of contact cement/glue and then wrap the twine tightly. Once that’s dried then apply the acrylics but do not water them down any more than you absolutely have to.
  • Once you’ve upholstered the chair (the seat & the back-rest) insert the metal piece you’re going to use as the support. If you don’t plan on taking the chair apart in the future you can glue them into place.  I like to be able to flat pack my stuff as much as possible so mine aren’t glued in place.
  • To finish off the underside of the chair cut some tyvek and staple it into place (cut out the circle where the plastic base attaches). Paint it black (or whatever color you want, most of my office chairs usually had manky black semi-fabric-fiber there and tyvek seems very similar in texture to me)

And pretty much that’s it. Sit some dolls in them:

ANYHOW….. if anyone gets any use out of this tutorial….let me know, eh? I could use the encouragement.



Steampunk Cy Girls – the customizing begins!

Yea I guess it was only a matter of time until I came back to make another custom in the genre. I like it, I think it’s nifty. So why not, right? Anyway, I’m not really swimming in 1:6 action figures to use as bases but I did some digging and these are what I came up with:

Option 1:

The head’s not the best choice but she matches the knock off Takara 3.0 body pretty well.  Not perfect…but does anyone care about that as much as I do anyway?

I can’t tell if this is an original Kat head but I suppose it doesn’t matter to me anyway. I’ve wiped the paint from her face and whoever had her prior to me must have tried repainting her lips since the brownish red “lipstick” has bled into the vinyl. I’ve applied some Twin Pines of Maine to see if it helps any—if not I’ll just have to find a work around I guess.

Option 2:

I’m not as happy with this one since I don’t really have a body that’s a good match to the skintone between the body & head. The plus is that it’s already been repainted. The minus is…of course….that she is missing her chest-plate.  Which is kind of good and bad. I’m beginning to envision some sort of leather covering with tubes & wires and stuff instead. Not sure how much that would appeal to other folks though.  That and I think I might have to re-root her. Don’t know at this point.

Option #3


This is an eve body with the Takara Doronjo head. The head’s been floating around since I bought doronjo a couple years back. She lost her body because funny enough her original body didn’t match her head.   I’m not a fan of the hair but depending on how the custom went it might or might not get a re-root. The skintone isn’t a bad match in person and the head is the best I have and manages (*slightly*) to avoid the stumpy neck syndrome that I think these bodies are prone to.

So here’s a shot of them all together. Kind of makes me feel like they look like Charlie’s Angels  😀  LOL

I’ve also been thinking about the fabrics & dohickeys I have on hand that I can use for the outfit. Right now I’m thinking I’ll probably use some linen, cotton, leather and silk. I guess I should try sketching out some stuff and see what happens. Maybe. LOL.

Otaku: are they worth it? *action figure /action doll review*

Meet the Otaku 1.0 : Triad Toys newest entry on the market.

(please read this post: Triad’s Otaku Revisited)

the otaku 1.0

So, these figures are supposed to be the next best thing since sliced bread…

Triad Toys has put them out as the most recent offering in the 1:6 scale fem figure market. Anyone involved with the market knows that it’s been slim pickings for a while, and there hasn’t really been the promise of anything new on the horizon (to make the price point drop anyway).

Triad took pre-orders and decided to to a limited run of 1000 figures per skin tone (slated to have 3 skin tones in total) . IMO The preliminary pictures looked ok. Nothing that I personally would rush out to buy, nor, did I feel, it was something that I’d really kick myself in the ass for later if I didn’t get one. Right now a messa folks are going totally ga-ga over them. But I had my reservations… so much so that I didn’t buy one.

I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures of them in the different action figure forums.

Some good. Some bad.

So, how did I end up with one? I, who thought from the get-go the otaku wouldn’t be my cuppa tea? Serendipity. A kind friend and fellow collector let me have one and I have now gotten it in my hot little hands. What do I think?

Ok, I’m spoiled. I’ll admit it. Between the takara cool girls/ cy girls and the volks dollfies I have I’m expecting a high stardard and level of posability.

Let me start with the plus side as I see it:

  • The obvious plus side to it is that it’s 1:6, and its busty.
  • It has a pretty sturdy build which makes for some diversity in the figure pool.
  • The more 1:6 figures out there the better off we, the collectors are. 🙂
  • The hands are nicely sculpted (for the most part-they still aren’t really feminine enough for my tastes but what the hell. At least it is another pair to add to the supply bin. (I’m going to see if I can change out the pins so i can stick them on the cy girl hands.)
  • whatever resin or plastic the figure is made out of is fairly soft. This is good because it means subtractive modding (such as I have done) is more easily done than with the harder resins and plastics out there.

Now the down sides–as I see them:

  • The posability seemed to be an issue from the start. I mean, Triad marketed these figures as the type to primarily display clothes (lingerie) or nothing at all. They lack the waist and bust joints of the takara cy girl 2.0 and I think that’s a major draw back. These aren’t going to be major players when it comes to using them in photostories and displays (at least not without some serious Frankenstein-ing) I like functional toys-if I wanted pretty-but-useless I’d be collecting porcelain dolls or something along those lines.

I’d like to make a point here that right now the torso of the Otaku is similar to that of the original super dollfies made by volks back around 2000. It’s one piece, no joints and limits how the figure can sit and pose. I’m sure volks wasn’t the first company to use the design, and Triad won’t be the last, but I wanted to comment on it anyway.

  • They have giraffe necks if you want to put any head on it other than the default head. To fix this requires more patience, and a willingness to sand down the neck, and adjust the pegs a bit. Angryboot has shown some pictures of successful headswap & mods and I can see that being something I’ll try on it eventually)
  • They’re smelly. (I know this probably won’t be an issue for anyone else, but I’m very sensitive to smells, especially those of specific plastics & resins (ok and perfumes, and hairsprays & paints …just about everything – LOL) I’ve aired it out for a bit and it isn’t as smelly 3 days later, but it remains to be seen.
  • The figure has a problem keeping her legs closed. 😮 Seriously. (the plus side to this is that again, the figure is made of carve-able material. See below for the modification outcome).
  • The paint ops the body have been given baffle me a bit. I’m not entirely sure if they’re meant to cover the overall tone of color of the resin/plastic body? Or what. IMO I think the color of the resin without the “body paint” is nicer. Certainly without it and using some chalk pastels you could get some nice effects.
  • The legs are a bit dumpy and short compared to the body. Proportionally the figure is a bit off. Also, the shoulders are really not the kind that will look good in sweaters!

Ok, some pictures now:

Before leg/crotch area modification: Note: this is the maximum her legs can close while seated!!!!

I know, some folks think that’s fine… But you know me… give me a scalpel and off I go! Yea, I could have screwed it up. But…if the figure doesn’t meet all my needs anyway, what is the harm in trying to improve it?

So here are some shots of her after her “surgery”.

They still don’t close enough for my complete satisfaction so I will probably continue to work on them. However I do think that the current mod is an improvement!

So at the end of the day will I be buying any of the next ones to be released?

Yes. Why? HELL NO!!! Read here: http://corsetkitten.com/blog/archives/447

Because I have found out how soft/easy to carve they are and I think I might end up doing a really sever mod so that my Ayumi can have a decent body. Maybe. It depends…I think the new bodies are coming out at the same time as the new Hot Toys figures. And I know I want those.

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