I picked up my shipment of about 10 pairs of DD-Anne eyeballs from the p.o. today. Here’s Novella in a pair that coordinates nicely with her full ensemble.Continue reading Eyeballs on parade: Novella and Isabel
…About some dude running around with the power to pull fictional objects from books into reality and thereby preventing book magicians [libriomancers] from duking it out with vampires and thus exposing magic to the world. Entertaining and intellectually easy, this passably written trilogy opener contained some cool ideas [magic via books!] that were under-served by the pedestrian prose.
I was interested and somewhat pleased to note that the protagonist’s partner and love interest, Lena, an extremely tough dryad, was explicitly written as fat, bi/queer and polyamorous [with varying degrees of success depending on the trait], but apparently this blew a few fuses in other readers’ heads. On Amazon, for example, “RG” describes Lena as “a rubenesque nubian dryad, in other words a chubby black woman who sleeps in a tree.” I think “RG” thinks that this is a bad thing, as “RG” then proceeds to go off on a tangent of racist, anti-fat misogyny. There are indeed problematic aspects in Lena’s characterization [which I may get into when it is not half past midnight]; however, the mere presence of a fat woman of color who sleeps in a tree is not axiomatically grounds for derisive excoriation.
Fortunately, in the next comment, J. Platte takes “RG” to task for the misogynist, anti-poly assumptions in the post, but fails to rebuke the egregious racism.
It’s constructed, as usual, entirely from faux fur and HOT GLUE. Having perfected my pattern before dinner, I made another wig after dinner for Novella in the colors that I originally intended for her: pink base, with spikes of neon green and royal purple. I like it much better than the black-based one.
As you can see, awesomeness has now been achieved.
Continue reading No thread was harmed in the making of this wig.
That is, instead of adding strips of fur after the fact, as I did with Mellifer’s. Anyway, it really was a single piece of fur, as I turned inside-out a Soom fur wig that I had and reverse-engineered a pattern from it. Here’s Novella in my first truly successful fur wig. I find black fur more forgiving than colored fur, as black fur is attached to a black background, the raw edges of which show up less starkly than that of colored furs, which have white backgrounds [in contrast to the colored furs themselves].Continue reading HAH! I made a fur wig in one piece!
I finalized his hair, lowering his hairline by adding a small strip of fur in front. Very anxious fire sprite below.Continue reading Mellifer is flaming.
Redid Mellifer’s wig after trimming down yesterday’s pattern. I had the right size, but then decided to trim it down more, which made it a little too small when I rolled under the raw edges. Anyway, here are the results. Since Mellifer is not swapping hair, I think I’ll just lower the forehead a bit by judicious application of small clumps of hair, then call it done. For my other dolls, though, I will use my new pattern without cutting it down even more.
Here is Mellifer as he currently stands. Because his wig is smaller, it has much better loft than the previous iteration, thus achieving more of a flame-like aspect. Yes, I am aware that I wore away his lip color with the constant handling of his head. I will replace it when I’m done aggressively moving his head around for this project.
Continue reading Wig for Mellifer, take 3
After successfully working with some of my faux fur [gluing it to Peter and Anna’s heads], I returned to making a wig for Mellifer.
- I trashed my original attempt at a mockup and made another by tracing his head from the side and cutting out two semicircles. Then I sewed them together. The result was laughably minuscule.
- I revised the pattern by putting a central strip [like a mohawk] between the two semicircles. The mohawk bit was too wide.
- I narrowed the mohawk bit and achieved a relatively good fit in the felt mockup. I reproduced it in faux fur, hot gluing the pieces together because it was easier than sewing. Too small!
- I lengthened the mohawk strip and the ends of the semicircles, essentially making the wig deeper. I tried again with faux fur. It was still too big, but I reduced the size by trimming around the circumference and also turning under the raw edges a bit [and securing with hot glue, of course].
So here’s the result. As you can see, the wig is still too large, especially around the ears. I may try tacking the edges under more or remaking it with what fur I have left. It suffices for now, though, and Mellifer is quite pleased that he has hair!Continue reading Further fur wig experiments with Mellifer
Another Zombieville denizen attains completion!
I had the worst time with Anna’s hair. Originally I just wanted to repaint the base in royal purple, the bangs and braids in pink, her lips in raspberry and the lesions on her face in red. I had no problem doing the royal purple parts [aside for some paint leaking under the copious masking tape and onto her ears >:( ], but I struggled mightily with the pink parts.
I encountered two problems when repainting her bangs and braids. First, the dark neon green paint that she came with did not want to hide under the much lighter neon pink replacement. Furthermore, the neon pink was slightly diluted [curse you, "craft paint!"], so it kept sliding into the low parts of her hair sculpt, leaving the prominent areas flagrantly green.
I considered thickening the paint. I made a thickening agent out of corn starch and water, then decided not to use it. I looked for modeling paste in the local craft store, but they didn’t have it. My frustration increased.
I decided to dispense with the existing braids and bangs, both of which I had yanked off, and sculpt some from scratch. Unfortunately, I did this by using uncured polymer clay directly on Anna’s head. Bad idea. They clay stuck there and would not remove in one piece for curing, so I spent at least an hour undoing all my work and scraping every goddamn sticky bit of polymer clay out of all the crevices in her ears and hairline.
Having found modeling paste at another craft store, i tried mixing modeling paste and paint to then cover over all the green parts. The result looked okay, but a) it cracked and then b) it wouldn’t fit snugly back on her forehead anyway.
At that point, I threw away her bangs and braid, since they clearly existed only to mock me. I created my own bangs, as well as a ponytail for her braid hole, from small strips of faux fur. The fur, a tricolored atrocity in neon purple, pink and green, actually worked much better than I expected. The pink picks up the pink on her skirt, while the purple picks up the purple in the rest of her hair and in the stitching on her bellbottoms. Finally, the green in her hair coordinates with her green lipstick.
While I was at it, I modified the upper portion of Anna’s outfit from the last time we saw her. I gave her a cropped T-shirt with a NO BOYZ sign on it, over which is a cropped short-sleeved jacket in white faux fur with gold threads. She also has a load of beaded bracelets on her left wrist. Her pants and boots are the same. And I took off that disastrous green nail polish. Oh yeah, and her wheelchair is a Mattel Becky one spray painted black.
Clearly, she is fabulous!Continue reading Anna’s done!
In case you haven’t noticed, Peter has been modeling most of my recent 1:6 scale accessories and set pieces. That’s because he’s the only finished Zombieville denizen of average height that I can stand. Both of these qualifiers are important, because Béatrice is finished, but she has dwarfism, so she’s not as easy a reference as a Zombieville denizen of average height. Theophany is finished, but her personality annoys me too much to let her in pictures frequently.
Other Zombieville denizens exist, but they are not ready for modeling:
- Anna needs her hair finished. I’m having an epic fight with it, to be detailed later.
- Carter needs a headback, a custom body constructed [fat doll!], faceup, eyes, hair and clothes.
- Chaz needs faceup and hair.
- Isabel needs a custom body constructed [fat doll!], faceup, eyes, hair and clothes.
- Novella needs faceup, eyes and hair.
Okay…anyway…here’s Peter showing off the blender that I got from stupid.com. It started off as an Xmas ornament, hence the little metal loop at the top. It’s a solid piece of painted resin, 2 inches high, which scales out to 1 foot in 1:6 scale. There are no removable parts, but it’s well sculpted. I also may be biased toward it because its design reminds me of the blender in my kitchen growing up. Continue reading Peter shows blender and lazy cacti.
I just used one of my scraps of faux fur to replace Peter’s molded plastic mohawk with a fiber one. Much better!
Continue reading Improved hair for Peter
I finished shelving books on my 1:6 bookcase made from a repurposed drawer organizer. A shipment of premade dummies in two sizes arrived today from Factory Direct Crafts, so I spent from about 1:30 to 9:00 PM [with a break for an appointment, a brief trip to the grocery store and dinner] completing the project.
I’m not the sort of person who feels the need to scan actual books and print out their covers in 1:6 scale for a library appropriate to each character. However, I was dissatisfied with the plain, undifferentiated spines in the earlier iteration of the bookcase. I spent most of those hours creating unique dummies with the help of solid origami paper, patterened origami paper and gift tag stickers with vaguely Xmas- and winter-related patterns.
I also endeavored to arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, representing a variety of heights and colors, as real bookshelves do. Then I glued them into blocks of several books, but these blocks are not glued to the shelves. Instead they are kept in there by the fact that everything is wedged so tightly. I’m sure there’s a technical term for that, but it escapes me at the moment.
Anyway, behold the bookcase! Though it’s currently displaying Peter’s interest [flora], this bookcase, like pretty much in my collection of 1:6 scale set pieces, will be used wherever a full, well-used library is needed. In fact, the shelves with the flowers and lava lamp I have intentionally left open so that their contents can reflect the bookcase’s current owner: cacti for Peter [have to make some of those], 1:6 scale figures for Ellery or Isabel, zombie dolls for Theophany, mementos mori for Lucian, etc.
Okay, I figured it out. Isabel, a customizer of 1:6 scale dolls, needs a
mess work table filled with tools and creative projects. Scissors, wire snips, wire pincers, coils of wire, sandpaper, craft knife, craft saw, rotary tool, paint brushes, paint tubes, paint palette, paint stirrers, cup for rinsing brushes, glue gun, glue sticks, colored pencils — all of these are really easy to make from scratch.
She also needs, of course, dolls, in both finished and unpainted states. For finished background dolls, "G scale unpainted figures" on Ebay brings up a bulk lot of 28 plastic standing/sitting peoples who can easily be painted and parked on shelves. Now that I think about it, some of these peoples could also be strategically dismembered to generate heads, hands, clothes and shoes for parts bins.
For foreground dolls, i.e., those projects that serve as plot points, I would use some of the items previously discussed under the "dolls for dolls" tag: head sets and hand sets from Hornet Miniatures. There may be a generic or two from Bronze Age Miniatures for the inevitable naked doll[s] lying around, but one of those costs almost as much as a pack of 28 unpainted plastic peoples, so I’m not sure… Maybe the unpainted plastic peoples could be altered to be naked…
EDIT: thestylehome on Ebay has incredibly cheap lots of painted/unpainted plastic peoples!
54mms come in PIECES! You can buy sprues of heads, hands, weapons, etc., etc. And you can get not only generics, but ARMATURES [= skeletons], some of which can actually POSE a bit! And some of them are in RESIN, a material I actually like working with much better than vinyl/ABS/action figure plastic! This means that I can make SOMEWHAT POSEABLE DOLLS FOR MY DOLLS WITH VARYING BODY TYPES, FIBER HAIR AND REALLY SIMPLE FABRIC OUTFITS!
I am so excited about this! I’ve wanted articulated ~1:6 scale dolls for my 1:6ers for YEARS!
JMD Miniatures provides a 3-pack of articulated armatures without heads or hands. They appear to be guy bases, but I don’t really care. They also have two sets of 5 heads and 6 pairs of hands apiece, but, irritatingly enough, all the heads are for dudes.
Historex Agents makes a 5-pack of female heads with sculpted hair. They also have a wonderful series of 5-packs of "expressive heads," again, all for dudes, but more versatile than JMD Miniatures’ because there’s no facial hair. On this page, they’ve also got hairless heads and massive packages of hands.
EDIT: Wonder if I could buy heads and hands and make my own damn armatures?
EDIT 2: Red Lancers has some Historex heads and hand sets. And they’re a US dealer!
Colorado Miniatures, also a US dealer, has Hornet head sets and hand sets. The "African" and "East Asian" head sets are pretty neat. There’s a "Female" set too that frankly has nothing to distinguish it from the "male" sets.
Well, that took long enough to find. Bronze Age Miniatures sells 54mm unpainted generics, which are the minifig equivalent of naked dolls. As with 1:6 scale action figures, there are only two body types available: 1) ripped and boobular ["female"] and 2) ripped and slightly taller ["male"]. God forbid that anyone be fat or scrawny!
I could probably work with a generic, though, giving it at least some fiber hair and a simple skirt like Flower and Mellifer’s. I really need to know, though, about the body modding potential of these individuals. Does white metal respond to Dremelling? Sanding? Sawing? Addition of modeling paste? If so, I could easily get a female generic and perform Ye Olde Masectomie on it to have a body shape more approximating Lucian’s. Hmmmm…
EDIT: I really wonder about some of these minifig sculptors’ grasps on anatomy. The erect nipples on all the femfigs are way out of scale.
EDIT 2: Bronze Age Miniatures female generic #2 is a possibility, as are #3, #4, #8, #11 and #21. #8, #11 and #21 are relatively neutral stances. #11 and #21 are notable for having minimal knock knees and relatively relaxed arms.
Chaz got some eyes and clothes this weekend. The eyes are 8mm acrylics that came with my Elfdoll Doona Ryung. Surprisingly for acrylics, they really reflect light well, so she’s keeping them.
Chaz is one of my favorite dolls. There’s something to be said for neutral expressions that can be subtly or dramatically altered through paint jobs. I must admit that I do like a definite expression, though, and Chaz’ is so charming. She looks just so sweet-tempered, as if she has a constant sense of wonder at how amazingly beautiful life is. I think she’s a bleeding heart liberal who rescues bugs and puts them outside… ^_^ She won’t need much of a faceup to bring out the beauty of her headsculpt.
Continue reading Bleeding heart liberal Chaz
Mose Allison’s My Brain is my current favorite song, which I’ve been hearing regularly on Jazz 24. Here’s an article about Allison’s continuing status as a living jazz legend, even past the age of 83, which is when he wrote My Brain. And here’s a studio recording. Lyrics are in the top comment by High Northerner. Here’s a live version. It’s all the sharper for being sung by a man near the end of his life. If Zombieville had an official song, this would be it: a gallows humor celebration of life.
…that requires every single freakin’ minifig to be holding things in both hands and/or waving their arms around? I understand that minifigs are supposed to be in dynamic stances, but, when everyone has a ridiculously huge weapon in one hand and the other arm flailing over their head, it looks silly.
Context: Poking through tabletop wargaming minifigs again, I was looking for a Lucian doll for Ellery and Jamisia. I finally tracked down some male elf mage/wizard/sorceror types in heroic scale. Here’s one, a Mordheim elf mage. And here’s a cheaper dude, Larnach the gray elf mage.
I’d like to go with Mr. Mordheim Mage because he looks less tense than Larnach. His ears also appear more in proportion to his head, and his clothing resembles Lucian’s the most of the two figs. He appears to be 28mm, which is about 1 inch, which would make him 6 1:6 inches high. I wish he were double that, but ugh…he was hard enough to find in the first place.
Whenever I’m poking around in the world of minifigs, I think of the Calvin and Hobbes strips where Calvin is trying to put together model airplanes. He and Hobbes grow increasingly frustrated and baffled by the confusing directions and their inability to make the pieces resemble anything as it is shown on the box. At one point, Calvin asks, “How’d they paint eyebrows on a pilot less than an inch high?!?!?!?!”
Hobbes, looking at the model box, says, “I think that’s a real plane superimposed on a toy stand.” :p
EDIT: Holy poop, this guy is even better! He’s much closer to 12 1:6 inches, plus he has a sly expression. He has gratuitous wings, but that’s okay because he doesn’t come with them on. The only thing is that he’s ridiculously ripped, but I’m willing to live with that.
Of course I’m interested in the guy who’s extra expensive because he’s some collector’s edition. :p
This Band Aid stinker is the most colonialist, objectifying, racist, condescending piece of shit ever. I mean, seriously. African people experiencing hunger, starvation and food insecurity are even explicitly referred to as "the other ones," thus distanced and separated from the ostensible audience of the song, which is privileged [non-African] listeners from colonizing countries who have enough to eat. I understand that the song is trying to contrast the want of some people with the plenty of others, but the words that the lyricists use make the people in need sound practically subhuman.
I also really love how an entire continent is portrayed as a miserable monolith. No one’s ever happy — "…the only water flowing / Is a bitter sting of tears" — in part because the weather’s rotten ["that burning sun"] all the time. The entire landmass is apparently omitted from the water cycle, as there are no rivers there…or any precipitation, for that matter. Most tragically of all, everyone on the continent has no idea what date it is because they suffer a grievous calendar shortage.
Of course, the song portrays the solution to this dire lack of date tracking as colonialism: "Let them know it’s Christmas time and / Feed the world." Yeah, have a sudden attack of white guilt and throw food at those ignorant people down there…or at least throw money. Your donations will magically function as a civilizing process that will turn them into devout Christians who can tell time and appropriately worship Our Lord and Savior
the Son of God Capitalism.
Holy shit, that’s a wretched song.
This is what my desk looked like earlier this afternoon. ^_^Continue reading Repainting Anna: creative chaos!
She got it today. She was very happy, as you can see below, and amused by the name it was addressed to. ^_^Continue reading I sent Elizabeth Jr. a package of doll stuff.
Over four years ago, when I was making Zinnia Pascale’s decora outfit, I added some bracelets made of seed beads on clear elastic thread. Their multicolored glitteriness added just the right touch of tackiness to the outfit, as you can see on Frank here.
When I undressed Zinnia Pascale and put her up for sale [gasp!], I retained her clothes and her jewelry. I started admiring it and recently came to the conclusion that, if six bracelets of multicolored glittery beads looked awesome, more of the same would look even awesomer! I had gotten rid of my original beads and elastic in the intervening years, so I set out to find replacements.
First, I got some 0.7mm elastic cord, which seemed about the right diameter. Then, without the cord in hand or an example bracelet, I went to find a pack of multicolored seed beads. 10/0s looked about right, so I got some of those.
Looking at the beads and the cord together, I discovered my mistakes. I immediately noticed that 0.7mm cord was much too fat for 10/0s. I then noticed that 10/0s were way too small for my purposes. I got a headache just looking at them and decided that I would never enter beading arts with such minuscule supplies.
Today I hit the craft store again with an example bracelet in hand. A sales person helped me find beads in a matching size, which were 6/0s. [Incidentally, they were on the hook right next to the 10/0s! :p ] I also got 0.5mm elastic, just in case the 0.7mm was too fat.
I tried again to make tacky jewelry for my dolls. The 0.7mm proved too slippery to knot, so I switched to the 0.5mm, which worked well for one bracelet. Then it started misbehaving, flinging the beads everywhere. My fingers were starting to hurt [and I was starting to call the beads "little fuckers"], so I wisely elected to defer this craft until I have more patience and also natural light [kept losing beads under my desk].
I’m also going to get some clear nail polish [as recommended on the back of the elastic packages] to seal my knots.
Here we go!!
These clothes are gonna be so awesome!!!Continue reading More fabric choices for 1:6 scale clothes by Andrea!
Andrea sent me some possibilities of printed cotton for some 1:6 scale clothes she’s making me. I put check marks on the ones I prefer.
Continue reading Cloth choices for 1:6 scale clothes from Andrea
I am eating frozen yogurt from SoYo, a local shop. Their yogurt base is light and slightly icy [but not crunchy], with obvious notes of dairy and a definite yogurty echo of sourness. This gives all their flavors much more depth, texture and gustatory interest.
I’m currently eating ginger flavor, which is like eating yellow fireworks, and cassis [black currant], which is like eating a delicately scented perfume. This is the best frozen yogurt ever. It’s extra yummy when it has fresh, locally grown fruit on top! :9
I just found the Web site What’s That Bug?, where I initially heard the story about the disabled tarantula. There’s a whole category called Bug Humanitarian Award where the site owners post user contributions of people being nice to bugs [and arachnids]. I’m happily looking through the Bug Humanitarian Award archives…
1:6 scale fish bowls with feesh! Apparently none of the 1:6 scale people have read that their feesh need to have much more water than that, though. :/
EDIT: Make your own feesh in a bowl.
EDIT 2: Or just dispense with the resin and 3-D feesh, and just use a print backdrop with printed feesh, as well as some gravel and plants for the ground, but nothing for the water.
EDIT 3: To make it even easier, find a clear container, add gravel and plants and some kitschy miniatures to the bottom of the tank. Then put the top on, and you’re done. Where are the feesh? They’re hiding in the fake treasure chest and shipwreck. :p
Heck, this empty container ploy could also work for other animals that are good at hiding, like turtles, tarantulas, small lizards and small snakes.
"Is there supposed to be a spider in there?"
"If there isn’t, we have a serious problem!"
Okay, now someone’s got to have a pet disabled tarantula…
Stupid dolls…they keep moving around. :p No pictures this time, just a handy dandy numbered list with some stats.
The Name column is self-explanatory. I included Angel Bear and the Hillman Minx, even though they are not dolls, because I included them in my latest doll census.
As for Scale/Type, the scale is also obvious, but, for non-dolls, as well as dolls that are not either 1:6 or 1:3 scale, I made a note of the type of toy.
The Universe column explains who a doll interacts with. "Display" means that the dolls don’t interact with anyone; they just sit there, looking pretty. "LHF" means Love Has Fangs. "M3" means Me and My Muses. "Mine" means those characters that mouth off directly to me. :p And "Zville" means Zombieville.
The M/F/GQ/n/a refers to a character’s gender identification. "M" is for male, "F" for female, "GQ" for genderqueer, "n/a" for "irrelevant/unassigned." Binary-identified trans characters [Andrew, Carter, Marabou, MacKenzie] are not flagged here because "trans" is not a gender identification for them.
Continue reading All my dolls, 12/19/2012: because it’s changed again!
- $50.00 worth of 8mm eyeballs from Fairy Garden…coming from China, probably on the literal slow boat.
- Shipment from the Crack Peddlar, including Isabel’s head, Carter’s faceplate, a long pink 1:6 scale wig and a magenta wig for Mr. Pointyhead McDemandypants.
- Package from stupid.com, containing 1:6 scale toilet [prank] and blender [tree ornament?!].
- Shipment from OJI, including a 1:6 scale women’s lab coat and leggings in lemon, lime, hot pink and bright purple.
- Stuff from store-rooms.com, including a grey 1:6 scale office chair [for use as an actual office chair] and a 1:6 scale folding chair [to be used as the base for a rolling walker].
- Humidifier…actually not doll-related. :p It gets really dry around here in the winter. 🙁
- Custom winter hat from Kimberly Newberg on Etsy, made especially to fit my big fat head. [I’m serious; my head is just a little bit larger than "one size fits most," much to my annoyance.] Not only was this hat eminently affordable, but it was also made to my measurements and fabric selections, so I sure hope it works out!
- Clothes from Andrea in my signature style. This is still pending, as it’s part of a trade, and I have yet to specify prints/sizes/pieces I want.
seventhbard just had a great experience with Holy Clothing, a store that sells made-to-wear stuff in dark bright colors with lots of drapey flourishes. I’m investigating them now and may purchase from them in the future…
EDIT: "Retro-futurist elan?" Really? I know copyeditors face supreme challenges in differentiating and hyping similar items, but that phrase is just ridiculous.
The Retrofuturists sounds like a secret cabal of time travelers. 😀
and no new Faery Legend in sight, I foresee two possible options:
- Soom is lying, and they’re never going to release that doll.
- Even if they do have a Faery Legend for December, there is no possible way that it could be as stupendous as Anna…unless it has both mermaid tail and centaur body options.
After I posted about beautiful, but expensive, 54mm minifigs, Elizabeth Jr. clued me into the fact that the original Polly Pockets were less than an inch high and therefore approximately in range for 1:6 scale for 1:6ers. I poked around for them ["vintage polly pocket"] on Ebay, but the prices were too high for my liking, at a few dollars per figure. I decided to seek other sources.
I’ve had success in the past with Homies, who have the added bonus of being hilariously sculpted. Unfortunately, the price of individual Homies seems to have gone up since I last purchased them to by Ellery’s dolls, but I have found some alternatives. Vendstock on Ebay sells the following sets that could be useful as a source for female dolls [Isabel, my latest doll nerd, isn’t really into male dolls]: American Girl [no, not that American Girl], So Fly Divas and Tomy/Barbie.
Incidentally, Vendstock also sells the latest Domo series. [That’s the fuzzy brown rectangle with big teeth that serves as the Japanese TV station NHK’s mascot.] I have actually seen this series in local vending machines, where I was amused by the Domo wearing bling. This set also features mustachioed Domo, luchador Domo, Domo with big blocky glasses, Domo with an inner tube, Domo in diapers, devil Domo and Godzilla Domo, who is, of course, bigger than the other Domos. I think I might have to get the set, since Domo has always amused me. ^_^
EDIT: In my search for fat Homies for Isabel’s collection of fat dolls, I discovered that there is a Trailer Park series of Homies [Trailer Parkies? :p ]. A majority of the Trailer Parkies are fat, thus playing into the stereotype that people who live in trailer parks are poor, stupid and disgusting. I’m also disturbed that there’s only one woman among the Trailer Parkies. Her name is Moo Moo Ma. [Yes, she’s fat.] How’s that for sexist, anti-fat objectification?!!
I’m in the process of shelving things on a lazy 1:6 scale bookcase. It’s a lightly customized bamboo drawer organizer [$10.68 from Walmart].
I have another protagonist who plays with dolls — Isabel — so I’ve been thinking about 1:6 scale dolls for 1:6 scale dolls again.
54mm minifigs, AKA tabletop gaming white metal figs, are pretty much perfect for 1:6 scale dolls for 1:6 scale dolls. I have problems spending upwards of $1.00 per millimeter, though. SIGH.
Is there any interest in seeing the first three episodes in an aborted 1:6 scale melodrama, The Pink Squad, written [and crappily photoed] nearly a decade ago?
It was my earliest scripted photostory series [as opposed to my earlier, pictures-only attempt], and it contains many of the characters and themes that we know and love today:
- Female protagonists
- Queer characters
- Trans characters
- Disabled characters
- Characters of color
- Kinky sex
- Horny robots
- Mad science
- An amazing amount of sarcasm
- PINK HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111eleventy
DISCLAIMER: If I do post this story, please note that it contains humor that I thought was funny back then, but which now strikes me as blatantly racist, sexist or transphobic. That’s the main reason I’ve refrained from making it public again.
On second thought, maybe I’ll just summarize it or something. There are some cool, engaging, humorous, well-developed aspects to it, but it’s also a glaring example of How Not to Write People with Marginalized Identities.
Or maybe there’s no rehabilitating a bigoted piece of personal history, as fascinating as I find it for reasons of historical creativity. Arrrrgh, I dunno.
EDIT: Fuck it. Discretion is the better part of valor. No Pink Squad for you.
P.S. Earlier I wondered if Baozha started me on my pink hair kick. Uhhhhhhh, nope. I place all the blame at the feet of the Pink Squad.
Anna came today! Thrilling pictures of her pretty box and extremely color-coordinated default state below, followed by the beginnings of her customization. If anyone wants the neutral Jolyne head + outfit + extra hands, send me a message, and we’ll work something out. Continue reading Welcome, Anna!
First things first…all these references to zombies you’ve been seeing refer to the denizens in my future saga entitled Zombieville. Many of the denizens have a degenerative condition called spontaneous disintegration [spondis], which causes their body parts to drop off and which make be arrested only through a diet of at least 50% fresh human brains. People with spondis tend to refer to themselves as PWS, but the public calls them zombies. As Burlington, Vermont has the highest concentration of PWS in the country, its nickname is Zombieville…hence the saga’s title.
Anyway, there’s a truly infuriating minority of abnormals [the PWS’ term for people who do not have spondis :p ] who wish that they had spondis themselves. Unfortunately, their idea of spondis comes from the pop culture image of zombies, so there’s a lot of shambling, bleeding and "Braaaaaaaains!" involved, which has very little to do with the actual daily lives of PWS.
Abnormals who are wannabes fetishize PWS in all the ways you can imagine. Some dress up as PWS, with canes, fake blood and cans of pork brains. Some collect zombie memorabilia…and that’s where these little zombie figurines by Zombie Planet, 1 to 1.5 inches tall [6 to 8 inches in 1:6 scale] come in. For just a few bucks, I can furnish a wannabe with an obsession!
EDIT: Apparently there’s a whole tabletop gaming subgenre of zombie figs…This review provides details of several makers’ zombies.
Now that I’m staring at my entire inventory of 1:6 scale sets, I see a few more pieces to get rid of:
- Light blue counter thing [after removal of accessories].
- White plastic desk and chair [after removal of accessories].
- Bookshelf in bottom row of second photo [after removal of accessories].
As much as I enjoy the ease and cheapness of making bookshelves from cardboard and hot glue, I think it’s time to invest in a bookcase that does not noticeably sag beneath the weight of a 1:6 scale mug. :p
Sometimes I conceive of a desire a certain thing, but I can’t see an immediate [or even future] use for it. I then postpone the acquisition to see if I really, really want it later. If I’m not interested in a few weeks/months/years, I won’t get the thing. If I’m still hankering after the thing several weeks/months/years later, I usually get it.
Such was the case with my 1:6 scale door and electric wheelchairs, which I recently procured because my interest in them remained strong over a few years.
I was going to ignore my equally strong interests in a 1:6 scale fireplace and toilet, but then I discovered Mini Chair’s fireplace. And then my mind would not stop telling me that my dolls needed somewhere to shit.
Okay! Fine! I’ll get a toilet! Sheesh! Stop bothering me!
Problem is, as I have mentioned before, 1:6 scale toilets tend to be undersized. Barbie toilets are probably more like 1:7 or 1:8 scale even. Here’s a Barbie Glam Bathroom set looking rather minuscule. The toilet also has a huge flower in relief on the seat cover, something I have never seen in real life.
Even stuff for action figures [which tends to be a bit larger than playscale playline stuff] still comes up short. [Har har. See what I did there?] For example, a few years back, Loading Toys made a dirty toilet with wads of hundred dollar bills, which I presume was attempting to duplicate some famous movie scene involving a money toilet. Not only was it ridiculously priced for mediocre quality, it was also rather small. Here’s a review on OSW.
This miniature prank squirting toilet has been tested by others and shown to be about the right size, however. This Sour Flush candy package might also work. This toilet-shaped bank has also been suggested as an option, but it has that unrealistic blue base. [Interesting how they’re all for sale at stupid.com…]
In other options, there’s a toilet-shaped tabletop vacuum that a Flickr user has confirmed as in-scale. Unfortunately, there’s a large brown thing [looks like a pile of caramel] in the bowl, and I’m not sure if it’s removable.
Further bulletins as shit happens.
Little peoples and such keeping me company in my office.Continue reading All my dolls, 12/15/2012, part 3: at work
It’s gonna be one of those super deluxe ones with four [relatively] big rubber tires and a built-in seat. Like this:
Continue reading For my next trick, I’m going to make a 1:6 scale walker.
I just finished making two 1:6 scale electric wheelchairs, one for my sister [whose dolls use wheelchairs, as she does] and one for me. The photos below do not provide a true tutorial, but I think that they document my progress in enough detail that interested parties could figure out my process.
Continue reading Stalking the elusive 1:6 scale wheelchair, part III: actually making one
Make me an offer on any of the items below, at least enough to cover shipping and handling. Will also trade for bright, patterned clothing, loud colors and/or prints a must! Thanks!
Continue reading 1:6 scale zombies, bodies, hands and more — make an offer!
Peter is one of my favorite LHF characters who never really appeared, except for once, in the very last episode. I’ve been thinking about him recently, since he wrote himself into Zombieville :p.
If he’s going to be a secondary or tertiary in Zombieville, he needs some upgrading. His bloodstained clothes will not do, and his molded plastic mohawk should be replaced with a faux fur one so that he doesn’t get so easily off-balance.
Today, when I rescued him from storage, I redressed Peter and mocked up how I’d like to redo his eyes. I still think he might need either magenta or yellow tight pants…Black and white seems too staid for him. Continue reading I love Peter! ^_^
After bringing 80% of my sets and small peoples back from storage this morning, I documented all my set pieces for reference purposes.Continue reading All my sets, 12/16/2012
I rescued a bunch of little peoples from storage this morning and photoed them for the census.Continue reading All my dolls, 12/15/2012, part 2: from storage
blended turf earth blend shaker $10.99
coarse turf light green bag $3.99
coarse turf medium green bag $3.99
underbrush forest blend bag $5.49
I haven’t taken a census of my small-scale populations in years. The last one I completed was at the end of August, 2010, which is eons in doll time. Since then, I’ve moved house and kept over half of my peoples in storage, much to my dismay, so I haven’t been able to survey everyone.
Tomorrow, though, I’m rescuing everyone from storage at my parents’ house and moving them to my office, just so I can get to them easily without taking a 25-minute drive one way to see them. In preparation for the reunion of doll subgroups, I started an inventory tonight of those peoples who are out and about.Continue reading All my dolls, 12/15/2012, part 1: out and about
Yes…? No…? Can LJers comment over there?
EDIT: LJers should be able to. I think I fixed the settings. Thanks for the heads up, batchix! ^_^
I have automated crossposting to eeeeeeevil LJ and opened up comments there again so that my entourage, which had yet to follow me to my new home, DreamWidth, can still talk to me.
Now…let’s see if anyone says anything.
Me: Not you!!
I just finished Libba Bray’s latest doorstop trilogy opener The Diviners. Set in New York City in 1926, it follows a group of teenagers with magical powers as they pursue and attempt to thwart a murderous fanatic who wishes to cheat death by bringing about Hell on Earth [or something — this point wasn’t entirely clear]. Characters include protagonist Evie, an obnoxious flapper wannabe and burgeoning lush, who can learn about owners by holding their possessions; her best friend Mabel, whose major conflict in this book is about whether she should bob her hair; Evie’s new friend Theta, a Zeigfield girl and apparent pyrokinetic; Memphis, Theta’s boyfriend, who has healing hands and a possessed little brother; Will, an absentminded professor stereotype, who heads a museum of the occult and ostensibly watches over Evie; Sam, a pickpocket and male version of Evie [only with less alcohol], who can become invisible; Jericho, a tragic cyborg with the power of hulking menacingly; and Naughty John, the aforementioned murderous fanatic. Shenanigans ensue.
I’m going to finish this series because Bray knows how to write mindlessly engaging entertainment. I am not, however, finishing this series for its literary merit. In fact, the book presents many beautiful examples of how not to write. I have gathered them in a list below for your convenience in no particular order.
1. Perpetuate the very racism you’re clearly attempting to avoid. Bray strains so hard to be modern and non-racist by making Memphis, an African-American kid who wants to be a poet in the Harlem Renaissance, a point-of-view character. Furthermore, she takes pains to demonstrate that Will is enlightened enough to disapprove of the Ku Klux Klan and that Jericho is liberal enough to detect the racist and classist subtexts of the eugenics movement. In her occasional overview vignettes, in which Bray tries to capture a cross-section of the country in its anxious modernity, she even regularly mentions Native Americans. See? See? She’s progressive!
Actually, she’s not really. Memphis’ world, while convincingly realized, also comes across as an info-dump truck that the author uses to haul in and show off all the research she did about Jazz Age Harlem. [See my note on the perils of research below.] Furthermore, for all her direct engagement with some of the racist currents of the day, Bray uses an offensively coy, glancing euphemism — “a name he didn’t like” — for “n****r,” without even trying to evoke the rage, shame and vulnerability that Memphis might feel upon hearing himself called that. This omission that makes it clear that she doesn’t really care about her characters of color.
Bray’s treatment of New York City’s Chinatown also demonstrates racism. Evie and Will go there for unknown reasons, and Evie, the terminally ignorant, sees what the denizens are doing — worshipping, placing protective charms, etc. — and asks Will what’s going on. Will answers her with textbook-worthy, objectifying explanations that make the practices in Chinatown seem like inscrutable, laughable superstitions. Apparently Bray spent all her empathy on her depiction of Harlem and had none left over to make Chinatown as robust and sympathetic.
To add to the dehumanization, a young Chinatown woman who can see the future appears at least three times in the book. Given the fact that Naughty John’s victims are named, biographically sketched and given interior monologues before being bumped off, I assumed that this prophetic woman would rate the same treatment. Nope. She doesn’t even get a name. In fact, she suffers the indignity of being referred to only as “the girl with the green eyes,” a fetishization of her mixed-race heritage. We never learn what’s going on in her head either, though I’m sure it’s much interesting than what’s going on in Evie’s.
2. Perpetuate the very anti-gay bias you’re trying so hard to avoid. Theta’s best friend Henry is also a struggling artist. He plays the piano, writes show tunes and serves as Theta’s Best Gay Friend [TM], providing moral support when she has relationship difficulties. Could he be any more stereotypical? In a truly unrealistic display of acceptance, Theta has no problems whatsoever with Henry’s being gay. Bray loses the chance to accurately portray the rich and secretive gay subculture of Jazz Age New York City by shoehorning a modern stereotype into the 1920s and leaving him at that.
In another example of homophobia, Bray introduces one of Naughty John’s victims as a gay Mason who lovingly thinks of giving his partner cufflinks for his birthday. Then he’s killed. What’s the point of taking pains to establish a character as gay if he’s just going to die two pages later? This comes across less as a bit of humanizing characterization and more as yet another tired example of The Queer Character Bites It.
Also there are no lesbians.
3. Perpetuate ableism. Jericho’s backstory is rank with it. Jericho got polio at an early age and had to be put in an iron lung. His parents abandoned him in the hospital [Tragic Cripple stereotype]. Then some secret government project recruited him with the promise that he could escape the iron lung and walk once more [Obsession with Ambulation stereotype]. Jericho joined other men, including veterans of the Great War, in becoming cyborgs, but he was the project’s only success. The other test subjects had mental and physical breakdowns. In fact, Jericho’s friend, a veteran with no legs and one arm [described as “less than half a man” — the Disabled Person as Less than Human stereotype], asked Jericho to help him commit suicide [Mercy Killing of the Tragic Cripple stereotype], which Jericho did. Jericho now hides his cyborg innards and his dependence on an unidentified blue serum from everyone except Will [Disability as Shameful Weakness stereotype]. The reader falls asleep from the sheer unoriginality of it all.
4. Make your protagonist a) exceptionally obnoxious and b) dull compared to everyone else. As I mentioned, protagonist Evie spends much of the book getting drunk, having hangovers and using every single piece of Roaring Twenties slang that Bray could possibly scrape up. Evie’s also a self-centered, manipulative, whiny person who requires being the center of attention. Her momentary insights that she probably parties too much and that she regularly steamrolls her supposed best friend do not redeem her because they do not prompt any lasting change in her actions. I think Bray means for readers to be attracted to Evie’s insouciance, but she comes across as an insensitive brat who doesn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.
Furthermore, Evie has the least interesting backstory and interior monologue of nearly all the main characters. Her parents send her to Will’s house because she scandalizes her small Ohio town when she reads an object and learns that the village’s golden boy had sex with a servant of his. I’m actually much more interested in her relationship with her brother, who died in the Great War, and why she keeps having vivid dreams of being on the front, watching charges ignite and people’s faces melt. These points are not really enlarged upon, except insofar as the dead brother gives Evie a Tragic Past [TM] that activates a key plot point during the climax.
Compared to most of the other cast members, Evie’s pretty flat. I care much more about Memphis, who runs numbers during the day and, by night, hangs out in cemeteries writing about his mom, who he failed to bring back from the dead. I’m also very curious about Theta, an orphan who escaped an abusive adoptive stage mom by tumbling into an abusive marriage with a handsome guy, who she may have inadvertently killed with her pyrokinesis, after which she escaped, had an abortion [?!] and moved in with Henry. Heck, I’m even more invested in the smarmy Sam, the name-changed kid of Russian immigrants, on a search for his missing psychic mom that led him to run away and join the circus. I just don’t care about Evie, and her complete lack of insightful interior monologue just adds to my apathy.
5. Never use a single detail when 85 will do. Bray, as she informs us in the acknowledgements, did copious research in preparation for this series. Unfortunately, it shows, and not in a good way. Her idea of evoking Jazz Age New York City involves hitting the best-known highlights of the period and hitting them repeatedly. A typical chapter in The Diviners includes flappers, bee’s knees, a hot tomato, the berries, the cat’s pajamas, Bolsheviks, Wobblies, Sacco and Vanzetti, the Klan, Langston Hughes, Lost Generation malaise, speakeasies, police raids, Zeigfield girls, Rudolph Valentino, etc., etc., and then all of these elements mentioned again at least five times elsewhere in the book. Bray does not write with parsimony or suggestiveness. She writes with anvilicious brute force, and it’s painful.
Bray’s worst offense appears in her use of 1920s slang. Evie cannot say a sentence without at least two period terms. I’m not talking about period terms that remain intelligible today, like “baby” for “sweetheart,” “heebie jeebies” for “goose bumps” or “nifty” for “great.” I’m talking “cheaters” for “glasses,” “chin music” for gossip and “giggle water” for “booze.” Bray seems to go out of her way to toss about terms that do not remain intelligible today, thus giving the impression that the 1920s were a strange place where people spoke a foreign language. The indiscriminate slang slinging does not impede my understanding, but it’s certainly distracting. It’s also a huge irritation. I positutely swear — if Evie says, “You betski” one more time, I’m going to beat it and get ossified, since that’s much niftier than this baloney. I’m under the distinct impression that Bray set The Diviners in the 1920s merely because she thought it was cool.
6. Use the wrong word. As I wrote above, the antagonist of the book is referred to as Naughty John. To me, “naughty” means “bratty” or “mischievous,” sometimes “risque.” It is entirely too mild a word to describe a creepy, merciless weirdo who kills people and eats their selected body parts in a bid to gain immortality and rule the world. Wicked John, Evil John, Creepy John, Cannibal John, even the rather generic Bad John — all of these would work. Naughty John just makes the guy sound less evil and more silly.
7. End abruptly, in the middle of a scene, without resolving anything. I know about the narrative requirements of trilogies, as well as the narrative requirements of cliffhangers. In trilogies, the first book almost always sets up the major players and storylines, resolving some important B plots by the end, while leaving the larger A plots for future development. In cliffhangers, the story builds up enough tension to draw the reader in, then frustrates their expectations by cutting off at or just before the climax, thus forcing the reader to wait for the next installment.
All of this is to say that the end of The Diviners is neither appropriate for a first book of a trilogy or a cliffhanger. It resolves no significant B plots, thus depriving readers of any intermediary satisfaction and sense of reward that would propel us to continue with the series. It also does not cut off at a moment charged with suspense. It ends when Evie kisses Jericho in an attempt to forget for a moment the impending doom of unresolved plotlines. I have to assume that this passes for a conclusion since Bray, exhausted from larding her doorstop with 1920s slang, had no energy left for an actual ending.