Does Aristocratic Agnes need a Tweak or Two?

Agnes is a gorgeous doll. I feel very lucky to have her. I asked myself, “How can you see this and not want to have her in your collection?” So she was a no-brainer. It was difficult to scrape up the $$ for her but I managed it (selling parts of my collection) and I am glad I did!
This is her default appearance:(photos property of Integrity Toys)

aristocratic-agnes-1

She’s lovely, right? Yes.
I love her color combinations (I’m not usually a huge fan of blonde dolls) but this one works for me. And for the personality I think she will have in my photostories. That said, IMO she needs a little tweaking. Look at her eyes:

agnes-face

She is suffering from Upward Eyes Syndrome — that thing that makes the doll look like she is either rolling her eyes or getting ready to pass out. It is a personal pet peeve of mine and it is something I compulsively fix on my dolls.

So her eyes need tweaking. Check.
What about her lip color? Her eyelashes/eyeliner?
I’m not sure about those yet. The lips are a much starker, brighter red than in the promo pics. It’s not a horrible red…just not my particular favorite. Part of me would like to do her lips in a soft rose/nude because I think it would look great with her coloring and also lend itself to being more casual. I’m not sure though…

Anyway, just wanted to share.

So in Style Chandra: a custom in progress *pics*

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! 🙂

Carrie: a customized Hot Toys Female action figure

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. 🙁

 

 

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.

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.

Finished: Cass, Viv & clothing *pics*

Well this last weekend has been fruitful in two senses….

Figure wise:
I got to sit down and work on Viv and Cass. Viv is the re-rooted Ice head and Cass…well Cass is Takara’s Midori Washio head.

Here’s how they came out.
Vivienne: face shot
Cass version 3:smart-casual Cass version 2: casual

I have been trying to paint Cass for literally months and it has proven to be a very frustrating experience. 😡 😡
When I actually managed to paint her last time …I messed up and she looked rather wall eyed 😐 (you can see that version here). I liked the general feel I had then but I don’t know about her new look….or should I say looks?

I decided that I wanted one that was “frouffed-up” so that she’d look good if it were an evening out kind of scene, and one that was more plain looking — “working” aka being semi-tomboyish. So one has plucked brows and girly girl lipstick color.
I may repaint them again in the future–but for now I need Cass to start re-shooting the new episodes of the Quinlan Chronicles. So…kind of close is better than not at all I think?

Clothing wise:
I managed to pick up some reduced fabric (6 bucks for 4 meters) and a bunch of trim. I was pissed off to find that the place I got my 000 hook & eyes from has stopped carrying them (ah well, it’s a flea market, so I guess I can’t moan too much)
but I did manage to get some metallic trim that I think will work well for some medieval-esque outfits.

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