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.

 

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.



Mini Tutorial: Aesthetics Cy Girl Body Sanding

So are you tired of the shiny body look?

Don’t like your figures in pictures showing so clearly where your lights were positioned?

Do you want a matte and slightly more human look to the skin? Have you got an hour or so to spare? If so then read on! 😀

Seriously. there isn’t much to it and I think there’s a grand total of about 3 or 4 pics…

But first…a bit of background on why I did this!

For a while I have been wondering if it was worth the effort of sanding the cy girl 2.0 body down to remove the shine and make it matte. Those bodies are really wonderful as far as pose-ability go. However they are very shiny and they do have that some-what weird looking crotch area. (I won’t mention detailing that at the moment.

I’m very meh about sanding bodies. I gave it up when I got rid of my Volks Super Dollfies years ago. The order of the day with those dolls was spending hours (and days) sanding down joints, seams, and making aesthetic changes with the aid of sandpaper. The thought of having to go through all that again for a cy girl didn’t fill me with much joy.

However… As Mark so rightly pointed out–most people walking around aren’t shiny. (ok some of us with poor complexions probably do!) the absolute plus side to doing it is that the figure is small in comparison and won’t take nearly as long! 😀

You will need the following items:

  • 1 figure (that you want to de-shine)
  • a couple pieces of 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper. (easier to use this wet, it keeps the dust level down, and keeps the figure cleaner)
  • water (I use an old tea bowl because of the wide mouth–but anything that will hold water will do–just don’t drink it!)
  • paper towels or a soft absorbent cloth–to wipe up excess water/spills/drops. Occasionally you can also wipe down the body too.
  • be safe: use a mask or respirator whenever you do any kind of sanding. If the stuff gets in the lungs it can be nasty!

The How-To part:

Get your workspace ready: if you’re working on your computer desk–like I am–you’ll want to put down some stuff to keep things from getting too messy. (I like to use greaseproof paper (or baking parchment) since it is cheap and disposable–and puts up nicely with repeated soakings and spills without bleeding through to my cutting mat below.)

  • I generally take a sheet of 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper and cut it into smaller pieces so that it is easier to work with. (think about 2.5×2 inches).
  • fill the tea bowl with warm water.
  • Put some music on or a video. It’s repetitive work so it is good to have something.
  • Wet the sandpaper and pick a place to start. I like to start on the lower leg-shin area. gently sand using small circular motions .

  • Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. Remember to periodically rinse and when necessary-replace the piece of sandpaper with a new one.
  • Move on to other parts of the body as you complete each area.
  • When you are finished take the figure and rinse it off throughly in running water to remove any sand/grit & plastic remnants.

Before and After pic:

Now, it’s up to you– you can blush & detail the body. You can seal it. It’s up to you! (but the shine is gone!) 😉


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