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Mellifer gets a haircut.

Mellifer gets a haircut. published on No Comments on Mellifer gets a haircut.

Poor Mellifer. Unlike my other Soom Faery Legends, he doesn't stand around looking cool all the time. He sits around looking inquisitive and slightly anxious. I don't play with him as much as I do with Flower and Ginevra.

I thought the reason might be his annoyingly messy hair. Whoever designed his default wig wasn't thinking very well. It's dark brown, with long ringlets to the back of his knees, except for two sections at the front of his center part that are straight and shoulder-length. Naturally, these shorter bits pop out almost straight from his head, looking silly. Furthermore, though the ringlets look very romantic, they're a real pain because they frizz really easily. It's a wig that does not look good right out of the box.

In an attempt to make Mellifer more photogenic, I restyled his hair slightly. I used some small butterfly clips to pin back the straight parts of his hair. I also trimmed the worst flyaways. Then we went outside on the porch to take some pictures.

Continue reading Mellifer gets a haircut.

Janvier Jett models the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit.

Janvier Jett models the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit. published on 2 Comments on Janvier Jett models the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit.

Jareth's head hasn't come yet, so Janvier Jett took over his body to display the glory that is the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit. Interestingly enough, even though she is much pinker than Jareth's body, Janvier Jett looks rather elegant and well-proportioned. She's not particularly impressed, though, because the outfit she's modeling does not have enough color, pattern and texture for her variegated tastes. :p

Continue reading Janvier Jett models the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit.

Are you kidding me?

Are you kidding me? published on No Comments on Are you kidding me?

[Thanks to Sparky at Racialicious.]

This “reverse discrimination” bullshit got funded?! WHY?

Re plot summary: SNORE. Also…saddest song, smallest violin.

P.S. I’ve started swearing in my LJ again. There’s too much bullshit in the world that needs calling out as such.

EDIT: Wow, it gets worse. First off, the author says that she wrote this bullshit because anti-gay bigots need to “to feel, through the love story of Chris and Carmen, the wrenching horror of being denied the person you love.” Yeah, somehow, reading about a persecuted straight couple will make anti-gay bigots more sympathetic to queers. Given that many anti-gay bigots believe that they are personally being persecuted right here and now by the “homosexual agenda,” I doubt that a book making queers the majority will promote empathy in said anti-gay bigots. They’d read it as a cautionary tale of what will happen to this civilization if we let those evil queers have their so-called “rights.” No, Preble, your book does not challenge anti-gay bigotry. It supports anti-gay bigotry.

Second of all, she thinks she’s some sort of fearless crusader with a message from “the Universe” to “[l]ive your truth.” Hey, Preble…your truth is that you’re full of heteronormative privilege. Also self-aggrandizing bullshit.

Third, she’s laboring under the misconception that her book is “LGBT fiction.” News flash for the clueless — in order to be classified as “LGBT fiction,” your book has to feature some lesbian and/or gay and/or bisexual and/or trans characters as sympathetically portrayed individuals whose experiences are worth sharing. You can’t just write a story  with some lesbian and/or gay and/or bi and/or trans characters who function not as characters, but as poorly wielded anvils to hammer home the Important Theme [tm] that Anti-Gay Bigotry Is Wrong. “LGBT” fiction requires valuing, promoting and centering various varieties of “LGBT” experiences, which Preble obviously can’t do.

Fourth and most disgustingly, Preble feeds us some argle-bargle about writing this book in support of her gay son. Jesus Christ, if she really wished to support her son, why didn’t she help to organize her local city’s Pride celebration, join PFLAG, staff the fundraising phones at a marriage equality organization [since that’s one of her pet causes]? At least do something directly related to queers. As mind-blowing as it may be to hear this, Preble, writing about straight people does not further the cause of queer civil rights. In fact, it just reinforces the broad societal assumption that the only stories worth telling are heteronormative ones. Get it? You’re not helping. Shut up; bug off, and stop colonizing my subgenre. We don’t want you here.

I can’t expect Preble to get it, though. Her brain is so stuffed with straight privilege that there’s no room for any critical thought. I mean, look — she apparently doesn’t think queers exist. She addresses her blog audience [and putative readership] as follows: “If the way you are, ie, attracted to people of the opposite sex, was criminalized, how would you feel?”

Three things, Preble: 1) You appear to be operating under the strange and old-fashioned notion that sexes have “opposites,” a concept that is both factually incorrect and incoherent. What do you even mean here?

2) I AIN’T STRAIGHT. I am not attracted to people of the “opposite” sex. Amazing, huh? Not everyone in the world is just like you.

3) It ain’t a conditional for me. The way I am is criminalized in some places, maybe not where I live, but elsewhere. Though I might have certain freedoms that people in more restricted places do not, we all suffer from the same societal biases. Don’t tell me and others like me that our lives are speculative fiction. You don’t get to dictate my reality.

Oh wait…I have a fourth thing. 4) I read your sample chapter of this book, and you can’t write for shit.

O_O I’m inspired!!!

O_O I’m inspired!!! published on 1 Comment on O_O I’m inspired!!!

This guy over on One Sixth Warriors [OSW] did a bash of a short, fat, wide, round character, Pigsy, who I guess is from a video game. He got into all sorts of molding and sculpting and redoing for metal accessories, joints and headsculpt. I, however, am most interested in his clever use of parts from a baby doll as the base for the torso and limbs. It’s such beautiful work!

Now I want to make some fat 1:6 women! The last time I made a short, fat woman, Margie, I started with a 1:6 male fig, shortened the limbs, added a bust with polyfill, carved up and sanded down a male headsculpt for the head and rebuilt the neck out of Sculpey. I enhanced the illusion of great girth by giving her baggy clothes. I loved her, and she was perfectly fine for a minor character, but, as with most of my customs, she was pretty raw, held together with hot glue and swear words.

I want to make more finished and detailed fat 1:6 women now. I’d love to use baby doll parts to give them wide, plush shapes, while trying not to compromise basic articulation. I want to give them actual hair and flattering clothes. Short skirts! Tank tops! Palazzo pants! Form-fitting blouses! [All of which will be very difficult because my sewing skill is limited to crooked hems in a running stitch.] I want to repaint them with lively expressions full of character. I want them to hang around my shelves being bad-ass and awesome!

Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr

Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr published on 1 Comment on Amusement and poo-flinging on Tumblr

Since the summer, I’ve enjoyed following a few BJD-related Tumblrs, mostly, followed by and The first entertains me by applying animated gifs to hobby-related experiences. The second and the third bear anonymous witness to the barely coherent rage apparently simmering just beneath the surface of your average BJD owner. >_>

Recently, much of said barely coherent rage has concerned recasts, or bootleg, knockoff BJDs. When I first discovered that there was even a controversy about recasts, I did not understand. Recasts are clearly wrong. Don’t buy them. How hard is that?

Pretty hard, apparently. Defenders of recasts have loads of justifications for their immoral and illegal deeds, including the following:

“I can’t afford a legit one.”

“Only the recasters supply the resin color that I want.”

“It’s just like downloading music.”

“You’re just being elitist.” [In the BJD community, calling someone the E-word is just about the worst insult ever. I could write a whole entry about that, but it’s kind of a tangent.]

And my favorite: “[Keep your] noses, moral choices, and all that jazz out of everyone elses dollie buying decision.” Because right and wrong are completely irrelevant to human social activities! Whaddaya mean — you didn’t know that?!

Interestingly, most arguments in favor of recasts boil down to, “You’re not the boss of me! PPLLLBBBHHHTHTHSSSSST!” Historically speaking, this has never been an effective rhetorical strategy.

The amount of poo-flinging generating by the subject of recasts [see this thread, for example] fascinates me. O_O

Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit

Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit published on 1 Comment on Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit

One of Jareth's outfits, the Ringdoll Frankenstein default, which I previously discussed, arrived today. These are its parts:

one pair of black vinyl hotpants with swallowtails and a long, layered train of some tattered diaphanous material and various chains and pendants

one pair of tattered black fishnets that attach with snapping front garters to the hotpants

one pair of stretchy black armwarmers with various holes

one hooded black robe with long, loose sleeves, open in the front

one small key pendant on a choker-length cord of medium thickness

one black bowtie with strings on it to fasten around the neck

It's even more hilarious in person than in photos. I love how the train doesn't represent the rags worn by a feral creation, but instead a meticulously constructed set of layers that were purposely made long enough to trip over. I love how they aren't just slipshod socks, but gartered fishnets. What really cracks me up is the bowtie, since it really doesn't go conceptually with the rest of the outfit. Most of all, I appreciate how this outfit clearly communicates Ringdoll's concept of its Frankenstein [sic] doll as broody, kinky sex object and fashion plate. He works hard to look this good, people!

Now that I have the outfit in my hot little hands, I want to modify it before I pass it along to Mr. McDemandypants. I need to abandon the bowtie. I also need to improve the cape by removing the sleeves and adding some sort of clasp [which, knowing my caliber of tailoring, will probably be a safety pin]. Finally, of course, I at least need to get a locking leather collar, if not a collar and a corset.

If the thigh-high platform heels and the buckle-studded calf-high platform heels ever come, either pair would look very nice with the whole ensemble. I have no idea what's going on with this package, however, since it's apparently still running around the state of New York, being "processed" through "sort facilities."

I've got to take some detailed photos of the pieces this weekend…if I can ever stop laughing at it.

Jodi Picoult is a cheating cheater who cheats.

Jodi Picoult is a cheating cheater who cheats. published on No Comments on Jodi Picoult is a cheating cheater who cheats.

I just finished Vanishing Acts, and it enraged me, just like every single book of Picoult's does. I'm so pissed that it's difficult for me to articulate why I find her work so narratively offensive, but I'll try.

Let me first give you my idea of novelistic success: a story motivated by characters' actions, featuring robust, believable people who just happen to live on paper. In the best novels, characters act according to their nature. Their actions are not propelled by the plot; they propel the plot with their actions. Even if what they do is surprising, it's exactly what they have to do because that's who they are. They are psychologically consistent people whose actions provide insight into their heads.

Picoult does not start her stories with robust characters at all. Instead, she starts with abstract concepts. In the case of Vanishing Acts, she's got Memory, Divorce, Alcoholism, Parent/Child Relationships, argle bargle bargle. Upon such a Procrustean bed of Big Important Themes, she throws the generic skeletons of her "characters," or, more precisely, "authorial puppets," who then twitch according to her grindingly blatant plot machinery. And we're supposed to accept this as a story?! Your average car commercial on TV has more genuine, compelling drama.

Now I enjoy a cleverly and neatly turned plot as much as any reader, but that's not what's going on in Picoult's work. What's going on is plot-driven melodrama trying desperately to pass itself off as a Significant Work of Our Times. You can tell it's Significant because there are [obvious, boring, unenlightening] Parallels Between Characters! There are Appropriate Poetic Quotes before each section! There's a Magical Negro Indian character who exists solely to fulfill the whiteys' epiphanies by infodumping Hopi mythology [which then becomes nothing more than a metaphor for…Lord knows what, as I was skimming at this point] and then conveniently offing herself! That makes this book Thematic and Deep, right? Right? Why are you laughing at me???

Picoult's books are all essentially diagrams of checkers games put into words. I was going to say chess, but that's too sophisticated. Maybe Connect Four is a better analogy. She's a cheating cheater who cheats because she tries to pass these diagrams off as stories.

I have really got to stop reading her books. It's like eating something that tastes good while you're chewing it, and then you get a little indigestion several bites in. You ignore it because you want to finish your portion. You continue, and your aches and pains increase. By the end, when your stomach is full, you feel bloated, heartburned, constipated and utterly unable to contemplate anything but the sore state of your digestive system. That's about how I feel right now, literarily speaking. Ooog.

K.C. Doll responded re Katyusha!

K.C. Doll responded re Katyusha! published on No Comments on K.C. Doll responded re Katyusha!

This is what she said:

The basic dolll's price doesn't include emotions, but you can order
all of them with the basic doll. Each emotion faceplate comes with
make up (you can say your wishes about it) and each costs about 160-170$.
So you can decide do you want all of them or only some. The cost of
all emotion set is about 1700$. The basic doll price (include doll
with make up of your wish, wig you prefer and nails coloring) is 900$.

:p to Soom

:p to Soom published on 6 Comments on :p to Soom

Isn't this nice? Soom is rereleasing some of their Super Mega Gem [65cm] and Idealian [72cm] male sculpts. Included in the list of options is Photon, who I'm attracted to because he just needs a little sharpening to be a good Jareth. Well, the head does. Unfortunately, the Idealian body is extremely muscular, thick and heavy. It's a well executed sculpt, but I really dislike that body type.

It would be very cool to put a Photon head on a slenderer [and lighter!] body, but Idealians are really big. Photon's head circumference is 24cm, his neck circumference 13.5cm. For comparison, Dollshe's "old" [original, ~2006] sculpts have a head circumference of 23.5cm, a neck circumference of 11.2cm. Like I said, they have really big heads and really thick limbs. The Super Gem body offered in this rerelease has a neck circumference of 10.5cm, so I'm not sure a Photon head would look good on a Super Gem body. Blaaaah.

I'm not getting a Photon anyway. My Jareth doll is much closer to what I want, and I made it, so I'm much more attached to it.

EDIT: Not Super Gem, Mega Gem. Mega Gems are apparently ripped like the Idealians. Siiiiiigh.

I just remembered…

I just remembered… published on No Comments on I just remembered…

I've been a dollmaker for years already. I just haven't made any in a while.

I've actually scratch-built a doll before…in summer, 1998. Frustrated with the lack of figures of Frank from Rocky Horror, I decided to make a 1:6 scale version of my own.

I made the head and neck out of peach Super Sculpey, sculpted on top of a dowel for the spine. Of course I sculpted a smirk! I colored the head with ballpoint pen [!] and glued curly black doll hair on it with regular white glue [!].

I created a simple wire armature for the arms and legs, probably gluing them in the appropriate positions on the spine. I think I somehow stuck polyfill onto the armature, then cut body shapes out of pantyhose [!!] and glued them over the stuffing to create skin. I used mitten-shaped sandwiches of peach felt with finger demarcations drawn on in ballpoint pen [!] for hands.

I distinctly remember cutting up an old magenta bathing suit of mine for his outfit. Some sort of black material made his underwear and shoes [which had cardboard soles], and there was black tulle for his fishnets. I procured little plastic pearl beads for his necklace and some cheap expandable rings for his anklet. Finally, I noted the date of his creation and stuck a label on the bottom of his shoe.

The end result did not accord with my grandiose, movie-accurate visions. I created a microcephalic, flat-faced doll with disturbingly thick, tubular limbs and, despite the wire armature, negligible articulation. Glue featured prominently in his overall look. Come to think of it, I constructed him primarily of glue and swear words.

Nevertheless, I was so damn proud of that doll. I displayed him on my shelf for a while, and he appeared on my RHPS site in the fan art category. And I still have him, after all these years. I'll have to dig up a picture or two of him.

Kinda surprised that my first doll wasn't a Jareth. Then again, in my mind, Jareth and Frank are two aspects of the same character, so it's all the same.

Why is there no timer on my compooper?

Why is there no timer on my compooper? published on 4 Comments on Why is there no timer on my compooper?

It comes with a calendar and a clock. Why not a timer?

Anyway, I just found SnapTimer, a simple, self-contained, low-memory .exe that's intuitive to use and customize. It even displays custom popup messages when the time is up. Mine is "Get off the Internet now!"

I should make my alarm sound a .wav file of Jareth saying "Time is short." ^_^

There’s a DOA icon…

There’s a DOA icon… published on No Comments on There’s a DOA icon…

…that dances by bouncing up and down while moving its fists to the left and to the right. I'll have to download it and stick it here because that's about how I feel right now. One of Jareth's outfits and two pairs of Jareth's shoes are arriving this week! Right now I'll settle for raising my arms in victory: \o/.


OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD! published on No Comments on OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!

K.C.Doll makes a 21cm mature female BJD [RBJD? — made in Russia] Katyusha with multiple faceplates of all different expressions! Winking! Sticking out tongue! Sly! Surprised! Smiling! Sleeping! Kissing! Pissed off! Skeptical! I must find out how much she is!

I must also remember that, the last time I had a little BJD with faceplates, Petula, she sat around doing nothing. >:|

EDIT: Without s/h, a basic Katyusha is 25,000 rubles. According to, at today’s exchange rates, that’s about $801.50. Not sure if that includes faceplates. O_O

The progression of BJD fanaticism

The progression of BJD fanaticism published on No Comments on The progression of BJD fanaticism

In general thematic order, rather than strict chronological order:

1. Like dolls in general.

2. Learn about BJDs.

3. Research BJDs obsessively.

4. Select BJD.

5. Save up for BJD.

6. Purchase BJD.

7. Wait with impatience for BJD.

8. Debox in ecstasy.

9. Repeat steps 4 through 8 ad infinitum.

10. Wire limbs.

11. Paint own faceups.

12. Perform minor subtractive mods with X-acto.

13. Make hybrid.

14. Design clothing and wigs; commission others to make.

15. Design and perform additive mods with Aves Apoxie Sculpt.

16. Digitally sculpt own BJD head; use established doll company for some internal modeling and casting services.

What does the future hold?

Digitally sculpt own BJD body; use established doll company for casting services.

Manually sculpt own BJD head; use established doll company etc.

Manually sculpt own BJD body; use established doll company etc.

An alarming percentage of BJD enthusiasts end up making either their own original BJD heads, bodies or whole dolls. With Jareth 2.0, I guess I can definitively say that I, too, now belong to the alarming percentage.

Yes [sigh], I have become a dollmaker.

Failure to communicate >:(

Failure to communicate >:( published on 1 Comment on Failure to communicate >:(

This morning I was all excited about Word's Compare function making my job much easier. I shared the good news with my supervisor, who seemed unfamiliar with the function, and my coworker. Apparently my coworker has been using the Compare function since she was trained on manuscript processing last summer. In all the intensive training that I had with her in recent months, she never passed this information along to me. So very frustrated.

I think I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, people!

I think I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, people! published on 1 Comment on I think I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, people!

One of the most tedious, nitpicky and all-around wretched parts of my job is to compare the clean revised manuscript files to the annotated manuscript files [where the authors explicitly show what has been changed]. In particular, we compare the figure legends in the clean to the figure legends in the annotated. Sometimes authors will make changes in one document, but not the other, and we need to know which is the correct version.

As it currently stands, we open up the clean and annotated legends in side-by-side windows in Word and read them, looking for differences. You can imagine the potential for human error that creeps in. You can also imagine how much time this takes if the average manuscript has maybe 45 images, each with a legend. You can imagine how much I hate doing this.

So, when I don't like doing something, I look for a way around it, either by delegating it to someone else or automating it. In this case, I can't delegate the cross-checking, and I don't want to, because then I'd have to cross-check the delegate's work, which would waste more time.

Automation it is! I said to myself, "MS Word is a bloated and hugely overpowered program. It's got to have some feature that can compare documents and compile a list of changes, right?" Why yes, yes it does.

I quickly Googled the topic and came up with several sites, most of which didn't help me because they talked about merging the documents into one, which I do not wish to do. Eventually I discovered this series of instructions, and I made two files, one of the clean legends and one of the annotated legends. Then I compared them.

Less than 5 seconds later, I had a list of differences between the documents. It was mind-blowingly simple. It saved me so much time! I need to research this more, but soon I shall tell my coworkers, and we can institute this procedure and become much more efficient.

I'm mostly excited because I think I've found a way to accomplish the same results as the human-powered cross-checking, but without any of the tedium and error.

Please welcome another Uyoo, Theophany [eventually]!

Please welcome another Uyoo, Theophany [eventually]! published on 3 Comments on Please welcome another Uyoo, Theophany [eventually]!

Andrea is selling me Eudora, her NS Uyoo with a default faceup. I regret getting rid of my own NS Uyoo with default faceup some time ago, so this one is a substitute, and I will not let her go. Her name will be Theophany [thee OFF a nee], which I much prefer over the English bastardization, Tiffany.

Please welcome Novella [eventually]!

Please welcome Novella [eventually]! published on 4 Comments on Please welcome Novella [eventually]!

I'm purchasing on layway a WS Soom Romantic Uyoo. I've always loved Uyoo, but I've especially hankered after the "romantic" version with partly closed eyes. I've wanted her for 6 years, ever since her debut, but I never got around to ordering her promptly. By the time I was able to, she had been discontinued. Evidently, she was not very popular, which explains why I had never seen owner pictures of her until recently, when I came across one for sale on the Den of Iniquitous Temptation DOA marketplace.

Anyway, here's my incoming Uyoo, Novella, as she looks now. She's from an LE, Black Rose Again, and she comes with the LE faceup, which is horrible, smeary, dark and unflattering. Rest assured that I will be repainting her in a paler palette with a much lighter touch. I'm also removing those wretched eyelashes. Photos by Mandragore.
Continue reading Please welcome Novella [eventually]!

Pan Pastels II: The Revenge

Pan Pastels II: The Revenge published on 2 Comments on Pan Pastels II: The Revenge

I called Artists' Mediums in Williston and priced the Pan Pastels I had selected: 1 set of 5 tints and 7 miscellaneous. Total damage without tax would have been $78.92. Not ready to drop that kind of money on glorified chalk :p that I do not plan to use regularly, I reduced my choices to 7 assorted single pans, a more manageable $48.93 without tax. They are marked with red checks below.

I got raw umber and burnt sienna for shading and lines, red and purple tints for lips. I got grey tint, pure white and pure black for cutting and blending colors. I did not choose yellow, blue or green because I never use those colors in faceups. Hmmmm.

Continue reading Pan Pastels II: The Revenge

I may be slightly excited about my discovery of AOD’s new 1:3 girl, Huixiang.

I may be slightly excited about my discovery of AOD’s new 1:3 girl, Huixiang. published on 2 Comments on I may be slightly excited about my discovery of AOD’s new 1:3 girl, Huixiang.

I like dolls that show teeth in an expressive manner, as opposed to just having their mouths open and showing teeth because…uh… they're breathing or something. On that note, I must compliment AOD's Huixiang for having the most naturalistic of wide smiles I've ever seen on a sculpted doll. She looks so joyful!
Continue reading I may be slightly excited about my discovery of AOD’s new 1:3 girl, Huixiang.

FS: Volks Emma with original faceup, eyes, wig, outfit, box, papers — $650.00

FS: Volks Emma with original faceup, eyes, wig, outfit, box, papers — $650.00 published on No Comments on FS: Volks Emma with original faceup, eyes, wig, outfit, box, papers — $650.00

Continue reading FS: Volks Emma with original faceup, eyes, wig, outfit, box, papers — $650.00

Stalking the elusive Pan Pastels

Stalking the elusive Pan Pastels published on 1 Comment on Stalking the elusive Pan Pastels

I was hunting around on DOA for information about faceup pastels, and I discovered the glory that is Pan Pastels. According to the collective brains of DOA, Pan Pastels are smoother, brighter, thicker and more adhesive to resin than the average chalk pastels. Since I'm not particularly thrilled with my current set of chalk pastels, I've been investigating Pan Pastels for Jareth's faceup.

I considered ordering them from an online dealer, but the shipping costs would have cancelled out any discounts. Therefore, I thought to buy them in person from a local art supply store. I ran into difficulty when I realized that most of the stores around here that carry art supplies provide inexpensive, middle-grade supplies for the casual artist, as opposed to the more expensive supplies of higher quality preferred by the devoted and/or picky and/or professional. I could have easily hopped on the T and gone into "the city" to find Pan Pastels if I still lived around Boston, but I don't, and, surprisingly enough, "the city" [=Burlington] does not have a store for high-grade artist's supplies. I found one nearby in Williston, however, Artists' Mediums, which does special orders and which I will probably patronize, even if they are confused on the correct plural of "medium."

Since Pan Pastels cost an arm, a leg and three vertebrae, I've been deliberating over which to order. There are sets of 5 or 10, but I won't necessarily use all the colors in a set. But single colors are more expensive per pan than the same number of pans purchased as a set. So far I'm thinking of the following:

P.S. While I'm at it, I should get some Winsor & Newton brush cleaner.
Continue reading Stalking the elusive Pan Pastels

Night purple skies with gold wire trees

Night purple skies with gold wire trees published on No Comments on Night purple skies with gold wire trees

Terry Zigmund at Burlington Community Glass Studio does beautiful large rectangular stained-glass panels of skies in dark tints with a tree in the center made of twisted gold wire. One day, when I have the room [and the ca$h], I'm gonna get one and admire it for the rest of my life.

Me and My Muses musings

Me and My Muses musings published on 1 Comment on Me and My Muses musings

I wrote from 1.1 through 6.3 of Me and My Muses in a rush of inspiration last fall and then hit a complete and utter WALL. I had absolutely no idea what Ellery and Jamisia were going to do together. Since I knew that I would take months to even get to season 6, I figured I had nothing immediate to worry about, so I began to post eps weekly.

As soon as I got into the swing of Me and My Muses, I loved it. More specifically, I loved Ellery and Lucian. So did the readers [all 6 of you]. I received many compliments about Ellery and Lucian's character development, the exploration of imagination and reality and Ellery's sexual experimentation. Mostly, though, people really enjoyed Ellery and Lucian's snarky banter. It amused them and made them feel closer to the characters. Hey, it did the same for me too!

Season 3 ended on August 19th, almost a month ago. First, I needed a break from 8 months of weekly eps. Second, I was creeping closer to the WALL, still lacking in ideas of how to surmount it. I decided to seriously address the WALL by devoting the hiatus to overcoming it, first by thinking about it constantly in the back of my mind, finally by brainstorming my way over it.

I have spent the past month contemplating the WALL and not gaining any brilliant ideas as to its circumvention. I have, however, crystallized an important realization: I originally planned Me and My Muses as the story of Ellery's serial monogamy with three muses: Lucian, Mazzy and Jamisia. However, despite my initial plans, the heart of the story lies between Ellery and Lucian. Not only do I love them, the readers do too. Most importantly, they are the strongest characters. They have lives of their own in a way that none of the others do, and they're compelling me to tell their story, rather than the story of Ellery and Lucian and Mazzy and Jamisia.

In deference to my incredibly pushy, stubborn and demanding characters, I've given up telling the story I want to tell. Instead, I'm telling the story they want me to tell. I have changed my perspective from that of an architect following a meticulous blueprint to that of a hiker following more experienced guides on an unknown trail. Stupendously enough, the WALL has disappeared. It was a trompe l'oeil barrier erected mainly by my narrow perspective.

All of this is to say that I know where I'm going now…or, more precisely, I do not know exactly where I'm going, but I trust Ellery and Lucian to take me there. We're over the WALL and out of the hole, and regular eps of Me and My Muses will be back in early October! \o/

Must! Have! More! Books!

Must! Have! More! Books! published on 1 Comment on Must! Have! More! Books!

Since I moved here, I have become a fiend for used books, whether at bookstores or, more often, periodic sales to support local town libraries. In the past few months, I’ve hit the Alling Library’s humungous Fourth of July sale in Williston, the Brownell Library’s September sale in Essex Junction, plus 2 sales at Fletcher Free in Burlington. Sadly, I missed the Essex Free’s annual sale in Essex Center, usually in early June, but I’m planning on attending next year, if only for nostalgic reasons [Essex Free was my childhood library].

On Sunday, for example, I thought I’d just pop by the Fletcher Free Library to return a book. However, it was the last day of their yearly book sale, with books going for $5.00 a bag. Suddenly a time vortex occurred. When I next looked up, I had 15 books in my Fletcher Free tote bag, and it was an hour later. I was powerless to resist!

Anyway, I discovered a directory of some of the library-related book sales in the state. While not complete, it does allow me to direct my future fiending activities. I see sales at Pierson in Shelburne in October and at Brownell in October and December to hit, as well as a really big one at the end of June next year in Burnham in Colchester. I really need to get on some local mailing lists to find out when these things are happening.

WTF, U2?

WTF, U2? published on 2 Comments on WTF, U2?

You’re nice to listen to on occasion, despite your sick views of heterosexual love, but sometimes I really don’t get you. For example, in So Cruel, you sing:

Oh love, like a screaming flower
Love, dying every hour

Seriously? What does that even mean? I assume you’re talking about Bob the Angry Flower, but that really doesn’t make much sense.

…Oh. I get it. You just wanted something to rhyme with “hour,” didn’t you?


My Jareth: finally getting eyeballs

My Jareth: finally getting eyeballs published on No Comments on My Jareth: finally getting eyeballs

After way too much contemplation over such a seemingly sinple subject, I purchased Jareth 14mm, low-dome Captured in Glass eyes in ET59, as shown in this previous entry. As much as I wanted to get him super-accurate, specially made Enchanted Doll eyes, I didn't want the ED eyes to be so dark that they swallowed light. Therefore, I chose an approximate color and light reflectivity over verisimilitude.

My Jareth: eyeball references

My Jareth: eyeball references published on No Comments on My Jareth: eyeball references

I just heard that Enchanted Doll is doing Unique Eyes, which means not just custom colors or combinations or pupil sizes/colors, but eyes to your specs. Jareth may get his 14mm, low-dome, blue grey, regular pupil, urethane eyes after all. Well, that's assuming that ED can approximate my iris patterns. Really big pictures of my left eyeball below.
Continue reading My Jareth: eyeball references

He wants more shoes. -_-

He wants more shoes. -_- published on No Comments on He wants more shoes. -_-

Jareth's body [with non-Jareth head attached] and shoes arrived today from Mint on Card! By the time I collected Cyril [the name of the head] from the office, deboxed him and shoved him in some of Jareth's clothes, it was too dark to take pictures, so I'll provide some tomorrow.

In the interim, I have a few comments.

1) Doll Chateau's adult male bodies are freakin' scrawny. The limb circumferences, hands and feet are more in line with the proportions of a ~45cm "mature mini," or 1:4 scale BJD. The arms and legs look especially delicate, so I'm taking extra care when bending them. The DC adult male body looks stunning and also kind of ridiculous when naked, while the addition of clothing changes its bulk to that of an appealing gauntness.

2) Cyril [so named because he's currently a full doll] is strung a little tightly, but keeps all his limbs straight, without any snapping into hunched, praying mantis positions. The wrists and ankles flex and lock at a variety of angles, while the head has a nice range of movement up, down and to either side. I hope Jareth's head moves equally well on this body!

3) Bastard demands more shoes. The ones I got with Cyril, unlike most BJD boots, DO NOT zip up the back. Therefore I must rely on the stretch in the vinyl to accommodate his feet. When trying to tug the boots on over Jareth's socks + pants, I encountered a lot of resistance. I don't want to tug too hard and chip one of his delicate limbs, so I'm saving these boots for use over just, say, fishnets and springing for some with zippers from Alice's Collections after all.

4) Cyril's a beautiful sculpt. He's got a narrow face, a long and prominent nose, a wide mouth. Mint on Card threw in some nice silver eyes for him that really add to his air of Ultimate Bishounen. He kinda reminds me of Ivan Doroschuk…. <3 <3 Too bad he's going away.

I love/hate you, One Credit Union.

I love/hate you, One Credit Union. published on 1 Comment on I love/hate you, One Credit Union.

I do not keep a check register. I used to when I first got a checkbook when I was 18, but then I figured, Why bother? because I could always get to my account information online. Also I write checks very rarely.

Anyway, I've found check registers less and less useful as I have grown older because I track my accounts online. Tracking my accounts online, of course, depends on prompt updates to my accounts whenever money goes in or out.

Herein lies my problem. I had no trouble with prompt transaction posting and, thus, online account tracking when I lived in Massachusetts and patronized multinational banks.

Now that I've switched to a Vermont-based credit union, I'm having difficulties. About the only thing that posts promptly are automatic deposits, like my paychecks, and automatic withdrawals, like my auto insurance and auto loan payments. Everything else — that means purchases on my debit card and transfers to/from Paypal, both of which make up the bulk of my account activity — takes days to post. For example, Saturday's debits typically don't register until Tuesday. NOT HELPFUL. The lag time in transaction posting certainly makes it easier to overdraw my account.

Anyway, I called the credit union today to see if cash withdrawals from ATMs would post more promptly than debit card purchases. Answer: No. Apparently there is no way to achieve prompter posting of my transactions until APRIL 2013, when the credit union upgrades its software.

The person I talked to at the credit union told me to keep a check register and record all my transactions in it. This would not work because I have automatic withdrawals of varying amounts on varying days and automatic deposits of varying amounts on varying days. Furthermore, NO. It is not my job to go back to the 19th century to accommodate my credit union. It is the credit union's job to haul its ass into the 21st century to accommodate me and the other customers.

I'm very happy with One Credit Union for giving me a small auto loan with a low interest rate and for not charging overdraft fees on debits [only for checks]. However, I am really infuriated with them for their lack of updated technology. Do they still think people are banking in person with actual bills or something???

Switch’s doll owner’s manual

Switch’s doll owner’s manual published on 1 Comment on Switch’s doll owner’s manual

Includes an illustrated list of activities to do with your doll [have deep conversations, propose, go on a space trip], as well as a list of illustrated side effects. Holy crap, that's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. The company knows exactly what people do with their BJDs!

My Jareth: off to manufacturing!

My Jareth: off to manufacturing! published on No Comments on My Jareth: off to manufacturing!

\o\ /o/ \o\

That's me doing the Wave with excitement!

I just sent the following message to Angelsdoll:

Hi, I approve of the headsculpt as shown in the pictures you just attached. Can you please confirm the measurements?

Head circumference: 20.5cm

Width of head at the middle of the eyes: 5-6cm

Height of head from crown to where it joins the neck: 13cm

Neck circumference: 9cm

If those will indeed be the measurements of the actual heads, please go ahead and have the manufacturing process begin. Do you have an estimate for when the heads will be shipped to me? Thank you.

Here are the pictures of the final headsculpt.
Continue reading My Jareth: off to manufacturing!

Mmmm, I love the taste of 3-in-1.

Mmmm, I love the taste of 3-in-1. published on No Comments on Mmmm, I love the taste of 3-in-1.

I was all proud of myself this weekend for a) finding my Swiss Army knife and b) restoring it to smooth working order by lubricating it with 3-in-1. I aired it out for several days in an attempt to get rid of the oil smell, but it did not work, so I took it to work, cut up an apple with it and ate the apple. I also ate some 3-in-1 residue. It doesn't taste very good. On the plus side, I must have licked all the residue off because my jackknife no longer smells like lube.

And then he got MORE clothes. >_>

And then he got MORE clothes. >_> published on No Comments on And then he got MORE clothes. >_>

Not satisfied with the CheeryDoll regalia that I purchased him earlier, Mr. Demandy McDemandypants got all excited when he saw someone offering the Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit on the DOA marketplace. It is a floofy black layered outfit that is gloriously silly and therefore stupendously awesome.

It's very hard to see in the official pictures, but it includes a hooded robe, a shredded overskirt with a train and various chains hanging off it, hot pants, garters, fishnets and armwarmers. It's goth + emo by way of fetish. I'm kind of surprised that it doesn't come with a spiked collar and a corset. I'll just have to supply those myself. [Jareth: "Aw yeah."]

I really like Ringdoll. They do macabre very well. Besides their hilarious Frankenstein [sic] with black toenail polish, they've also done Jessica, a murderous young woman issued with a leather apron and a blood-spattered chainsaw, among other things. They've issued Norman Dark Side, an arsonist orphanage director with optional nightmare-styled marionette doll Quiz. Currently on sale is Zombie Sol, with a gloriously decaying headsculpt, as well as Welcome, a religious fanatic clown who starves people to death with evil hamburgers. [For real! 1:3 scale hamburger included!] I thnk that's about it, which is good because now I'm queasy.

I do kind of want a 1:3 chainsaw, though…purely for the novelty value. I don't want it $89.00 + EMS shipping much, however.

My Jareth: here come his body and shoes!

My Jareth: here come his body and shoes! published on 3 Comments on My Jareth: here come his body and shoes!

Because I am incredibly impatient and possessed of a credit card, I decided not to preorder a Doll Chateau adult male body in white resin, but instead get a whole doll, Cyril, in stock from Mint on Card. That was $100.00 more than I planned because the body comes with a head, but it also comes next week, as opposed to 2.333333 months from now.

While I was there, I checked for appropriate shoes and, lo and behold, they had the exact type of shoes I was looking for: calf-length black pleather platform high-heeled boots by Yuhao for $15.00! Great! Now I don't need to settle for approximately what I was looking for from Alice's Collections. I can get exactly what I'm looking for.

\o/ \o/ Cyril can be my clothing model while I wait for Jareth's head and eyes. Then I can sell him [Cyril's head]. Anyone want a Doll Chateau Cyril head, blank, in white resin?

EDIT: Looks like FedEx Ground [how the package is coming] takes 2-3 business days to get from there to here.

God forbid your BJD look messy!

God forbid your BJD look messy! published on 10 Comments on God forbid your BJD look messy!

I know I've pissed and moaned about this before, but it irritates me to no end that the Asian BJD aesthetic requires fanatical devotion to every single detail.

God forbid you use your acrylics, watercolor pencils and brush-applied matte varnish to create a schematic, suggestive faceup. Nope nope nope! You have to go through this nitpicky, time-consuming process of waiting for appropriate temperature and humidity, spraying everything with extra super special sealant imported from Japan, then letting it dry, then applying a few brush daubs of delicately shaved pastel, letting it dry, etc., etc., etc.

While you're at it, you should be doing the eyebrows individual hair by individual hair with an expensive, microscopic brush…same with lines in the lips.

Let's say you want to mod your BJD: thin the neck, let's say. You can't just scrape it down to size with an X-acto, plop the head on and call it a day. What were you thinking?!! You have to smooth your rough shaping down with a series of successively finer sandpapers until no one can tell that you've done any work on the doll. We do not accept jerry-rigged solutions constructed with sweat and hot glue. We demand perfection in all areas.

Oh yeah, and if you want to make a hybrid BJD of a body from one company and a head from another and jointed hands, say, from a third, we'll be watching to make sure that you follow the correct protocols. First you have to ask online about proportions and fit because we can't have your doll being aesthetically offensive. We'll let you know if your proposed hybrid looks good enough.

Just as important as the proportionality of your hybrid is the hallowed concept of resin matching. You need to find out the relative colors of your hybrid parts. If your desired parts don't match perfectly in tone, you have two options. First, you can choose other options that do provide a perfect match. Second, you can do body blushing, which is like a faceup for non-facial parts [see excruciating process above], so that no one can ever tell that the hybrid parts were originally different colors. We do not allow BJD hybrids with "paper white" heads, "fresh white" hands and "beauty white" bodies to exist without their colors being evened out. Too many shades of white make us implode.

Guess what? My faceups involve no super special Japanese spray sealant whatsoever and, instead, lots of watercolor pencils, Prismacolors, acrylics and improvised tools [Q-tips, X-acto blades, toothpicks] to direct the pigment. Sometimes I haven't even bothered to seal the heads before scribbling directly on the resin. And then… I don't even wait for paint to dry. I use — wait for it! — a hair dryer.

My mods avoid sandpaper. I prefer instead to do exactly as much hacking with a craft knife or saw as is necessary to make the mod functional. It doesn't have to look nice; it just has to work.

As for resin matching, I don't really care. I mean, once I put a WS Elfdoll Kathlen head on an NS Soom Uyoo body [=Absinthe], and the world didn't end! Later, I stuck some NS Dikadoll jointed hands on an Angelsdoll massive girl in "Volks compatible normal" [=Janvier Jett], and the planet remained on its axis! Shortly after that, I decided to stick a rose grey Iplehouse Luna head on a B&G Dolls grey body [=Lura eventually], and the sky did not fall!

It's mind-blowing, isn't it? It's almost like there's another aesthetic option besides that of the minutiae-obsessed, anal-retentive facsimile of reality.

Also from my closet: my custom hippy-dippy, New Agey Hillman Minx

Also from my closet: my custom hippy-dippy, New Agey Hillman Minx published on 2 Comments on Also from my closet: my custom hippy-dippy, New Agey Hillman Minx

Once upon a time, my sister and I created a paracosm centered around the Kings, a family consisting of the most powerful, magical and 51% evil individual in the universe and his three half-alien, half-Earthling daughters, the younger of which were a set of Mary Sue self-insert identical twins. The Kings regularly traveled through space and/or time, meeting fictional characters, ridding the world of menaces and going on sarcastic, parodic tangents.

Back in 1996, we did an adventure for them called Operation WAWBAB. An egregiously obnoxious family, the Wallis-Budges, moved across the street from the Kings. Offended by their egregious obnoxiousness, the Kings employed many creative, non-magical devices to evict the Wallis-Budges from their neighborhood. The Wallis-Budges did not budge…

…Until the Kings threw a dinner party on par with that of the Rocky Horror Picture Show [which, incidentally, we didn't know about at that time]. Each of the Kings decided to embody the stereotypical fashions and mannerisms of a different late 20th century decade. The patriarch, for some reason, targeted the 1960s, as interpreted by New Age sensibilities. To complete the characterization, he included in the driveway a VW MicroBus and a Hillman Minx, both decked out in, uh, weird paraphernalia.

Now, as far as my sister and I were concerned, the Hillman Minx was the funniest car in existence, thanks to its immortalization in a Dave Barry column as "a wart-shaped British car with the same rakish, sporty appeal as a municipal parking garage but with not as much pickup." Therefore, at some point, I decided to make a custom scale model of it. Since I could not find a small-scale Hillman Minx, I had to make do with a Volkswagen Beetle. Just pretend it's a Hillman Minx, okay?

Continue reading Also from my closet: my custom hippy-dippy, New Agey Hillman Minx

Manhattan Toy Groovy Girls: Verity and Kami

Manhattan Toy Groovy Girls: Verity and Kami published on 2 Comments on Manhattan Toy Groovy Girls: Verity and Kami

Look who I found in a box in my closet today! These are Verity [left] and Kami [right], two Groovy Girl dolls by Manhattan Toy. [Incidentally, they are sitting on a sofa made for 1:6 scale figs by Andrea. It's made out of a tissue box.]

Anyway, Manhattan Toy launched the Groovy Girls line in 1998. They are a series of 13" plush, unarticulated girls and boys that are supposed to be between 9 and 13. Every single doll has its own unique name, skin tone, hair color, hair style, embroidered facial expression and outfit. Goorvy Girls' outfits characteristically feature bright colors, large patterns and a cheerfully flagrant disregard for coordination.

Groovy Girls are clearly made with love and attention to detail. Look at the different shapes of Verity and Kami's mouths, noses and eyes. Look at the pale pink undertones in Verity's skin as compared to the light brown undertones in Kami's. Look at the slight blushing at the ends of Verity's smile. Look at the "dyed red" sections of Verity's hair and the dark brown [but not black] yarn ringlets selected for Kami's. Finally, please note that Verity has three silver studs in one ear. While Groovy Girls are definitely mass-produced toys, each one is clearly designed as an individual character with her own personality and her own style. I can tell that the Manhattan Toy designers have fun thinking up designs for new Groovy Girls. ^_^
Continue reading Manhattan Toy Groovy Girls: Verity and Kami

My Jareth: back from Angelsdoll [already!!] with revisions

My Jareth: back from Angelsdoll [already!!] with revisions published on No Comments on My Jareth: back from Angelsdoll [already!!] with revisions

I'm a little worried about Angelsdoll. I sent them revisions at 10:30 AM EST, and they incorporated the changes and sent them back to me by 8:30 PM EST the same day.

Why are they so damn prompt? Are they just sitting around at their computers, waiting expectantly for my messages? Don't they have other things to do?

I greatly appreciate their rapid turnaround time; it certainly flatters me and makes me slightly less impatient. However, it's pretty much unprecedented, which leaves me a bit suspicious…. >_> :p
Continue reading My Jareth: back from Angelsdoll [already!!] with revisions

Big Chief Studios does 1:6 Doctor Who characters!

Big Chief Studios does 1:6 Doctor Who characters! published on 8 Comments on Big Chief Studios does 1:6 Doctor Who characters!

Big Chief Studios currently has Eleven out, with Amy Pond coming and Ten waiting for approval. As much as I'd love to get a 1:6 scale Ten, two things stop me. 1) The prototype is a great likeness of David Tennant as Ten, but he looks like he's been hit with a surprise bout of the runs. He should be smirking confidently, not looking as if something ambushed him. Nothing surprises the Doctor! 2) The company's very name and logo [a red dot wearing a stylized "Plains headdress"] reek of racism. I can't support that bigotry. Pity, as they have decent-looking dolls.

Piposdoll does ball-jointed frogs.

Piposdoll does ball-jointed frogs. published on 2 Comments on Piposdoll does ball-jointed frogs.

Piposdoll pioneered the development of anthro [bipedal non-human animal] BJDs with a bunch of cats a few years ago. I’m really not interested in most anthro BJDs, as they tend to look way too cute to be easily identifiable as their source animal. I must admit, however, that Pipos’ ball-jointed frogs are pretty neat. In a divergence from the roly-poly & fuzzy features of most anthro BJDs, Pipos BJFs :p have the bug-eyed, lumpy heads and suction-cup digits associated with frogs. I also like the fact that they don’t look particularly thrilled.

I’d be way more interested in anthro BJDs if we got more non-fuzzy, non-roly-poly anthros. I’m talking birds, lizards, dinosaurs, arachnids, insects, amphibians. A little red spotted salamander, for instance, would be awesome.

My Jareth: revisions sent to Angelsdoll

My Jareth: revisions sent to Angelsdoll published on No Comments on My Jareth: revisions sent to Angelsdoll

Jareth went back for round 2 just now. I E-mailed Angelsdoll with all my diagrams in the previous entry detailing changes to make. Turns out that I didn't need a profile pic of a DC Cyril, as the proportions of Jareth's head on the z scale are actually fine. The globe of his skull just needs to be much taller.

Now I just have to figure out some way to WAIT until I get revised pics back from them. Argh. I hate waiting. I'm horribly impatient.

Bastard doesn't even have a head or eyes or a body, and he's already demanding more clothes. Apparently the best of the best [CheeryDoll] isn't good enough. >_>

My Jareth: revisions to go to Angelsdoll

My Jareth: revisions to go to Angelsdoll published on No Comments on My Jareth: revisions to go to Angelsdoll

I've spent all weekend detailing the changes that I would like made in Angelsdoll's first draft of my Jareth headsculpt. I don't want to give them information solely in text because there's too much room for misinterpretation. Instead, I have attempted to convey all the changes in annotated diagrams.

Continue reading My Jareth: revisions to go to Angelsdoll

The Lura Project: Spite & Malice custom fur wig

The Lura Project: Spite & Malice custom fur wig published on No Comments on The Lura Project: Spite & Malice custom fur wig

Lura's custom Spite & Malice fur wig came earlier this week, but I didn't get to photo it till now. She is going to be the most adorable mecha siren ever. ^_^

Continue reading The Lura Project: Spite & Malice custom fur wig

Xagadoll Lara, a 1:6 scale BJD

Xagadoll Lara, a 1:6 scale BJD published on 1 Comment on Xagadoll Lara, a 1:6 scale BJD

The BJD world has the annoying habit of calling 60-70cm dolls 1:3 scale, ~40cm dolls 1:4 scale and ~30cm dolls 1:6 scale, even though this is not necessarily the case. Most often, a company will create a 60-70cm line, a ~40cm line and a ~30cm line that are all in relative scale to each other. This means that the 60-70cms represent 1:3 scale adults, the ~40cms 1:3 scale children and the ~30cms 1:3 scale toddlers. It's all 1:3 scale.

Just to complicate matters, a company usually also creates ~40cms that represent adults, meaning that they are true 1:4 scale. There may also be ~30cms that represent adults, which are, of course, true 1:6 scale. But the BJD labeling conventions don't truly refer to scale; they refer instead to average absolute size, which irritates me to no end because scales are ratios and relative measurements. Plus it's really annoying to see a category for "1/6th scale" on a BJD Web site and get all excited for 1:6 scale adults, then end up finding a bunch of ~30cm babies instead. >:(

Anyway, when I refer to 1:6 scale, I am referring correctly to the category of dolls, clothes, accessories, props, etc. that is 16.67% life size, also known as playscale. As 1:6 scale is my favorite scale, I'm always on the lookout for 1:6 scale BJDs because they go so well with my existing craploads of clothes, Rements, furniture and sets, not to mention all the other 1:6 scale denizens I already have.

The whole point of this entry is to note that I think I have discovered another 1:6 scale BJD, Xagadoll Lara. She has a robust, attractive body sculpt and, unusually for 1:6 scale BJDs, double joints! She's very cute, but, then again, BJDs, especially Asian ones, are designed to be cute. I found her at Mint on Card, a US dealer, but not on Xagadoll's company site, which is strange. Anyway, I don't "need" any 1:6 scale BJDs, so stay away from my wallet, Lara!

P.S. Apparently no one has Lara yet, or no one who has her has posted pictures online. I just did a search for her and was disappointed to see this very entry rank high in the Google results, which means there's nothing out there about her.

Whingeing Mode Engaged! >_>

Whingeing Mode Engaged! >_> published on 2 Comments on Whingeing Mode Engaged! >_>

While I was poking around online, trying to settle the Mask Question, I thoroughly examined Sideshow Toy's sales site and their official fan message board, Sideshow Freaks. I found the main discussion thread about Hot Toys' Selina Kyle and searched it for information on said Mask Question.

I did not find any information. I did, however, find a 250-page thread with scores of posts pissing and moaning about all aspects of the Mask Question, including those I'd never even considered.

Her mask should come off because [reasons].

Her mask shouldn't come off because [reasons].

There should be a separate headsculpt without the mask.

Mask off isn't movie accurate.

Mask off is preferable for kitbashers.

It's still in prototype, so Hot Toys has a chance to change the figure, possibly making a non-removable mask removable.

And on and on and on. Just in case you didn't notice, 1:6 scale action figure nerds are some of the pickiest people on the planet, especially when they have audiovisual source material to compare the figs to.

I noticed that, in 250 pages of pissing and moaning, no one thought to ask customer service to settle the Mask Question. In my mind, that's the logical next step, since Sideshow is the official US distributor for Hot Toys and therefore communicates closely with them. If I can pry the answer to the Mask Question out of anyone, it would be out of customer service. Therefore, being an eminently sensible individual, I asked Sideshow customer service, received a response and posted the response [mask = removable] on MWD and Sideshow Collectors.

MWD said thank you. Sideshow Collectors was unimpressed. One poster actually disagreed with me, saying that Hot Toys, experiencing a language barrier, probably got confused by the term "mask" and was instead talking about her goggles, which do come off. Plus wouldn't they have shown the doll with her mask off if her mask came off? Another poster rebutted by saying that she never took her mask off when she was wearing that outfit in the movie, so why would the promo pics show her maskless? And they were off and running again.

Seriously, people? Seriously? This is how you get off? I have never experienced such a community that was so pissy about their creative pursuits. I'm not talking about being judgmental the way that BJD communities can be; I'm talking about sustained, pointless hostility toward the very thing that the community is supposed to value and enjoy. It's so weird.

Prototype pics of Jareth’s head from Angelsdoll

Prototype pics of Jareth’s head from Angelsdoll published on 1 Comment on Prototype pics of Jareth’s head from Angelsdoll

Delivered just moments ago, these jpgs show my digital sculpted altered for 3-D printing as a hollow BJD head with eyewells. I think I'm going to mull over this for at least the weekend before getting back to them. Preliminarily, I think it looks good. Gotta check if the proportions are correct, though. I already see some stuff I need to change, but he's 90% there!!!
Continue reading Prototype pics of Jareth’s head from Angelsdoll

Hot Toys Selina Kyle ships next March?

Hot Toys Selina Kyle ships next March? published on No Comments on Hot Toys Selina Kyle ships next March?

After making a detailed spreadsheet listing about 8 online vendors, their price, s/h fees and grand totals for Hot Toys Selina Kyle, I went with Sideshow. [Besides making figures, they also distribute for Hot Toys.] They were selling her for $194.99, s/h included, but I ended up getting her for $184.99 because I got a $10.00 discount on my first order. $184.99 ended up being the lowest shipped price I found, with the exception of an Indonesian comic store that had her for $150.00 [MSRP: $200.00], but they wouldn't ship to the US, so they're irrelevant.

My Selina Kyle is coming with a Batman mask. I've seen other people who really like Hot Toys' Dark Knight dolls get all excited about this, but I'm not sure why because it's just a mask, and it doesn't even go on the fig it comes with. Kinda stupid.

Speaking of accessories, Selina Kyle has very few. Besides the doll, the costume and a variety of hands, she has her mask, her goggles and a pistol. That's it? That's it??? Look — I have some great alternatives for accessories [or additional parts] right off the top of my head:

1. second headsculpt with "hostess" makeup and hairstyle from when she's infiltrating Bruce Wayne's party

2. hostess outfit

3. safe and pearl necklace

4. her girlfriend [we can only dream :p]

Anyway, further bulletins as events warrant. Maybe, if people complain enough, Hot Toys will give her more accessories. There's still time for them to finalize the product. Whingeing Mode Activated!

P.S. I notice that Sideshow discontinued the 1:6 scale figures in its original The Dead line. I'm very disappointed. I really liked that line, from concept to execution to detailing to packaging to backstory…except for the fact that apparently only one woman was ever zombified out of a dozen 1:6 scale zombies: the Babysitter. Whose incredibly stupid idea was that? I have gazillions of ideas for female zombie characters: elementary school teacher, nurse, exotic dancer [this would be really popular], cheerleader [also would be really popular], barista, cashier, businesswoman/secretary, soccer mom :p, grandmother, dominatrix, librarian, combat medic, combat helicopter pilot, EMT/ambulance driver, feminist :p :p, et hoc genus omne. There should also have been some kid zombies and zombie pets, but apparently Sideshow's imagination isn't that expansive, and, for some reason, nobody consulted me. 

Have I mentioned that I loathe public proposals?

Have I mentioned that I loathe public proposals? published on 1 Comment on Have I mentioned that I loathe public proposals?

Warning: Coercion, disregard for autonomy, objectification, misogyny, etc., etc., etc.

I just read about yet another one in Slate, wherein technology columnist for the New York Times David Pogue made a fake movie trailer about his relationship with his girlfriend. Then, as the Slate columnist L.V. Anderson writes,

"In case you don’t have the inclination to watch the video: He produced a five-minute movie trailer for a fake romantic comedy based on his relationship with Dugan (starring two good-looking Broadway actors in the lead roles), which he convinced a movie theater to play for Dugan (and all of their families, plus some unwitting strangers) before a feature-length film. He hid three cameras around Dugan’s seat before she sat down so that he could record her reaction. At the end of the trailer, he led her to the front of the theater, gave a short speech about how wonderful she was, and asked her to marry him."

Longer coverage [and the horrible video] here:

So, not only was it a public proposal, but it was a secretly recorded public proposal. She was under SURVEILLANCE. Even ickier, as Anderson points out,

"Pogue timed the filming of his faux trailer in such a way that Dugan had to say yes in the span of about two seconds, or else the trailer would stop making sense. (He’d humbly pre-recorded a jubilant celebration.) "

There…the subtext has become the text. Pogue [and, by extension, all of the other guys who engage in this public proposal crapola] expects his fiancee to agree. At the same time, with Pogue's proposal, as with others, the assent from the fiancee is actually irrelevant. As the rigid structure of Pogue's fake trailer demonstrates, it's all about the happy day of the one who proposes. The expectation of the fiancee's yes gives her no room to say anything else. The show must go on! Let's have a party, for the guy has just acquired a new accessory [=wife]!

Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

Updated Jareth head specs

Updated Jareth head specs published on No Comments on Updated Jareth head specs

I just got some measurements for the Doll Chateau adult male head so that I can ensure that Jareth's head will be in proportion to the DC adult male body. I sent the following to AD just now. We'll see what happens!

Hi Angelsdoll.

A few days ago, I sent you an .obj file for a custom head. I have some more measurements and final specifications for you:

The specifications for the custom head are as follows:

Head circumference: 20.5cm

Width of head at the middle of the eyes: 5-6cm

Height of head from crown to where it joins the neck: 13cm

Neck circumference: 9cm

[Please see the attached pictures for measurements.]

Continue reading Updated Jareth head specs

Impldoll keeps surprising me.

Impldoll keeps surprising me. published on 2 Comments on Impldoll keeps surprising me.

They'll be going along, issuing their standard, run-of-the-mill, ugly dolls [discussion here], and then, all of a sudden, they'll come out with something cool. Today's deviation from their usual mediocrity is Impl Young Adela. She's an engaging little girl with a slight smile and a relaxed, open mouth that makes her look very lively. She also has heavily styled wingy ears. Her body is actually a pretty good double-jointed sculpt with pleasing proportions and graceful articulation. Tragically, however, she has a forehead tumor in the shape of an orange and purple turd. She's the sort of BJD that just calls out for some minor modding to reach her full glory. Too bad she's in 1:4 scale, a scale I refuse to get into.

Here is your certificate of doll ownership.

Here is your certificate of doll ownership. published on No Comments on Here is your certificate of doll ownership.

I've always found it very odd that people congratulate each other on the purchase of a new BJD, as if it's some great accomplishment. I understand that it may take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to save up for the doll, as well as a lot of patience to wait for the doll. However, buying a doll does necessarily require lots of hard work, skill and talent, in the way that, for example, writing the Great American Novel does or learning to ride a unicycle does. Neither is buying a doll a milestone like graduation or moving to a new house. The actual purchase of a BJD does not require any great exertion of admirable character traits; any fool with a credit card can buy a doll. So why do we act like it's so impressive?

I actually like looking at this sometimes…

I actually like looking at this sometimes… published on 4 Comments on I actually like looking at this sometimes…

Slant magazine provides some of the most pretentious, convoluted, obtuse, overwritten, horribly bad movie “reviews” I have ever read. Here’s an example. Basically the author dislikes the movie for being overly sympathetic to all characters and not judgmental enough. But God forbid he come right out and say that. Instead we get Death by Adjectives and phrases like “limning a milieu with extraneous humanism,” which sounds like it just came from the keys of someone who has recently discovered the thesaurus [or maybe the Increase Your Word Power! section of Reader’s Digest].

As you can see [if you can make any headway in the impenetrable thicket of purple prose], the reviewers make it a point to dislike pretty much everything. Then they expound on their dislike with the grandiloquent bloviation worthy of those self-important people who think that they are too stupendous to crack jokes. To a man [and I think they’re all men], they’re acutely allergic to clarity of expression and direct communication of ideas. They clearly believe that, the more subordinate clauses their “reviews” have, the better they are.

I like to read stuff like this occasionally, just to roll my eyes at its egregiousness. It reminds me what not to do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a milieu that needs some limning with extraneous humanism. :p

P.S. This also brings up the question — if you hate movies, both generally as a concept and specifically as individual films, which the writers of Slant apparently do, why write about them in the first place?

“Let’s all self-destruct at the same time!”

“Let’s all self-destruct at the same time!” published on No Comments on “Let’s all self-destruct at the same time!”

My clothes and stuff are ganging up on me. One of my favorite T-shirts was ignominiously slain by an oil-based dressing stain 2 weeks ago, so I replaced it at Goodwill this weekend [$5.00].

My favorite shorts expired last week, so I got some more off Ebay [~$22.00].

Then one of my pillows died, so I replaced it [$18.00]. While I was at it, I purchased some towels that actually covered me up [$25.00].

Then I discovered holes in my pajama top and [where else?] the crotch of pajama pants #2. Since I use a special type of long underwear as pajamas, it's costing me $140.00 for 2 replacement sets.

I have to get some new bottom fitted sheets for my bed this week. I only have 1, and it's stained as heck. I also need some new pillowcases. I'd rather not buy sheet sets, though, because I never use the top sheets, so they just stay in storage, using up valuable space.

While I'm at it, I could probably use another winter coat: one with a waterproof outer layer and an insulated inner layer. I've been using my current one so long that it's fraying at the cuffs, and it has permanent smudges all over it from dirt and/or the strap of my previous purse, which leaked dye whenever it got wet. >: Also it has some unpleasant history attached to it, so it really should go away.

And yeah, a second fleece jacket would be a wise investment. I spent pretty much the entire period from October of last year to April of this year wearing my current fleece jacket. I originally bought it to be the first layer of winter clothes, over which I would put my outer winter jacket to constitute an entire coat. Then, because I'm hypersensitive to temperature and would rather be slightly hot than slightly cold, I ended up never taking it off. I wore it in the office every single day. I wore it when I got home from work. I wore it on the weekends. I wore it on quick trips outside [like to and from the laundry shed]. I wore it when I took naps. I wore it when I did pretty much everything except sleeping, and, even then, I wore it on especially cold nights. :p I lived in that thing. I should get another, just to distribute the wear.

Does anything else want to wear out, while I'm spending money??? :p

I only have eyes for you

I only have eyes for you published on No Comments on I only have eyes for you

Still dithering about appropriate eyeballs for Jareth. Apparently no one makes custom glass OR silicone OR urethane eyes in the exact specs I want. So I'm going with low-domes from Captured in Glass. One pair is $10.38. Airmail shipping for one order is $6.00. Here are my possibilities.

Continue reading I only have eyes for you

Jareth has arrived in South Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jareth has arrived in South Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! published on 2 Comments on Jareth has arrived in South Korea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angelsdoll successfully read my .obj file! \o/ \o/ \o/ I just have to get them the width across the eyes of a DC adult male head, as well as the height of such a head from crown to chin, so that I can insure that Jareth will be in scale to my chosen body. I should also reiterate head circumference, neck circumference and eye size in that message.

Oh yeah, and they quoted me a price of ~$740.00 for 2 heads, including s/h. But they also said earlier that I could use my Angelsdoll points toward the cost of custom head services, so I think it'll be more like $660.00.

I am preliminarily hopeful!

P.S. I'm awake right now because I made the mistake yesterday of laundering one of my pillows. Naturally, the cleaning process destroyed the perfect head groove that I had worn into it, and it was rendered chunky and extra thick by its trip through the washer and dryer. I have to hit the mall later today [hah!] to get another one [and some new sheets and some new towels]…if only I can figure out when the stores open on Labor Day. I foresee several naps in my future. 🙁

Jareth goes to South Korea

Jareth goes to South Korea published on No Comments on Jareth goes to South Korea

I just sent off the .obj file of Jareth to Angelsdoll with the following note:

Hi Angelsdoll. I am inquiring about a custom BJD head sculpt. I am attaching an .obj file for the custom head that I would like made, as well as the .mtl file. Please let me know if you can open them.

The specifications for the custom head are as follows:

Head circumference: 20.5cm

Neck circumference: 9cm

Eye size: 14-16mm

Resin color: Volks compatible white

The head is going on a Doll Chateau adult male body. [Shoulders are 13.8cm wide.] Please refer to the following pictures of the body + blank head for proportions:

Please note that the .obj file shows the head with realistic human proportions, instead of BJD proportions. Please adjust the size of the skull and face to fit BJD proportions, but do not change the relative sizes and positions of the facial features.

Can you give me an estimate for how much it would be to have 2 or 3 custom heads sculpted and shipped to me? I'm in the USA.

When you have a 3-D model of the head ready, please send back an .obj file so I can look at it. Thank you.

Let's see what happens!!

Hot Toys Selina Kyle = my first Hot Toys

Hot Toys Selina Kyle = my first Hot Toys published on 5 Comments on Hot Toys Selina Kyle = my first Hot Toys

Hot Toys is doing a 1:6 scale version of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, as she appears in The Dark Knight Rises, played by Anne Hathaway. I'm getting her! Well…I'm getting the whole doll, then selling everything but her head, as Hathaway has always reminded me of Frank [my version!]. ^_^

And look! Her stupid mask is removable! You would not believe how long it took me to discover this information. In a spectacular failure of communication, both the Hot Toys official site and the Sideshow Toys official site [= official US dealer for Hot Toys] showed the doll only with her mask on and no indication whatsoever of whether the damn thing was permanently attached to her face. No one wants a doll with something permanently attached to its face [well, unless it's Bane — that's okay because we never see him without his mask]. That just reduces the versatility of the fig drastically.

P.S. The movie was all right, but there were only 2 female characters, Selina Kyle and Thalia Al-Ghul. Otherwise, Gotham was made up entirely of men. How boring, not to mention unrealistic. I also could have gone for at least 15 minutes more of Anne Hathaway. The screen lit up whenever she appeared!

EDIT: The picture I got was not actually of the doll. Still not sure if her stoooooopid mask comes off. Have asked Sideshow Toy.

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