I purchased Barrett back in the summer of 2013, well before Zombieville started, because I thought that Isabel might fit into FR dude clothes. Also the secondhand price of something like $75.00 MIB for a London Calling Kyu was a great bargain.
Continue reading Barrett, the heavily modded FR guy: a custom 3.5 years in the making
My experimental project to stick a Storm Collectibles Dennis Rodman head on a Hasbro Classic GI Joe body is complete! That was fun. I sure wish I could find more cheap articulated dolls at Goodwill…
Continue reading Lakaysha done!
Pictures below. Continue reading More She Ra body mods
Mattel She Ra doesn’t have a very articulated torso. There’s a ball joint under the bust, but she arches her back much better than she hunches. In fact, you can’t get much more than 90 degrees of forward bend. Continue reading Increasing She Ra’s poseability
I tested some alternative bodies in my stash for my Mattel She Ra head. I’m using the head for Julian, my steampunk inventor. Julian has a slender, frail, delicately built body with little muscle mass, especially in her lower body. As I put her head on various bodies, I was looking for, in order of importance, a) proportionality, b) articulation, c) nearness to Julian’s physical build, and d) color match. Results below.
@natalunasans passed along one of her early Coo Model skeletons, the type with plastic joints, not metal [as used currently], so I upgraded the dead version of Isabel’s body. Unfortunately, I broke both Coo hip joints, so I decided to swap out the Coo pelvis and thighs for a set from a Sideshow male body that I had hanging around. Since this area will be covered by the dead version of Isabel’s clothes, I don’t really care what it looks like.
I used my new friend Instamorph plastic to hold the Coo spine in the Sideshow pelvic girdle. Instamorph also holds the knee sockets onto the bottoms of the thighs and fills in the thighs to make sockets for the Coo knees and calves. She still needs her head and the rest of her clothes.
I made some quick and dirty knee joints for one of my Curvy Barbies today, just as a proof of concept. [I previously modded Jessyann by removing her feet and articulating her arms. For the latter, I thought about adding elbow joints by using extra ball-jointed wrist pegs, but then I found some Obitsu 27cm lower arms with Obitsu slender male hands in my raw dolls bin. Since the skin tone was an approximate match, I hacked off Curvy’s arms above the elbow and drilled out her upper arms to make sockets for the pegs of the Obitsu lower arms. I put some Aves Apoxie Sculpt in the sockets so that the Obitsu arm pegs fit by friction alone.]
To give Jessyann articulated knees, I started by cutting her legs apart. I angled the cuts so that I preserved the kneecaps in front. I started off using a hand saw, but then discovered that I could get much easier and smoother cuts by softening up the plastic in boiling water, then using a craft knife. After removing rough plastic from the cuts with some sandpaper, I made angled cuts out of the top of the calves to accommodate 90 degrees of bend. Again I cleaned the edges of the cuts.
For knee joints, I used some spare Classic GI Joe hands. I cut the hands off just above the base of the palm, then stuck the stumps into the Curvy calves. I used Instamorph plastic to fill the space and secure the stumps in their sockets. [Side note: Instamorph is a plastic with a low melting point that turns clear and pliable if stuck in boiling water for a minute. It may then be molded for projects such as this, then cooled in place till it turns opaque for a good, tight fit. It can be removed, remolded, etc., if it’s heated to clear again. It’s like a combination of quick-dry epoxy putty and hot glue, and it’s so cool!]. I also used more Instamorph plastic to fill the bottoms of the thighs and make sockets for the GI Joe wrist pegs. These allow swivel motion of the calves as well.
Proof of concept works, demonstrating that Jessyann and any other Curvies can bend their legs if you have the time and inclination to hack them up. Like most of my mods, the joints don’t look great, but they function as intended. Jessyann’s a little wobbly, but that might be because I just hacked off her ridiculously small feet and wedged her ankle stumps into shoes. Something to think about for further attempts at this body mod…
For this project, I started off with a Hasbro Classic GI Joe [$2.00 from Goodwill] and a Storm Collectibles Dennis Rodman head [$7.99 from Good Stuff to Go]. I planned an experiment in extreeeeeeeeeme body modding, which, if all went well, would yield a more realistically proportioned body with narrower shoulders and shorter limbs. If nothing worked, well, then I was only out $2.00, and I could always find another body for the Rodman head.
After much modification, behold Lakaysha. She’s about 10.5″ tall, down from 12″ originally. Since the Rodman head didn’t have much neck attached, I carved down the default GI Joe head and mounted the Rodman head on the remaining base. Hot glue kept it in place. I cut the sides of the chest off, scraped down the raw edges, then reattached the arms, sealing raw areas with hot glue and Instamorph low melt plastic pellets, which are like moldable hot glue and the coolest shit ever! [Thank you, @natalunasans!] There was no substantial reduction in width, maybe 1-2mm, but the torso’s proportions improved instantly.
I hacked out sections of both thighs and calves, redrilling holes for ankle pegs and smoothing raw areas on reattached thighs with more Instamorph plastic. Knee swivel motion was lost, but I don’t care.
I hacked off a section of the wrists, thinking that the arms needed to be shortened. However, they did not, so I removed the hands, which I had to do anyway, and reglued the cut-offs back on. I spent most of my time carving out the upper arms to get more than 90 degrees out of the single-jointed elbows.
Why yes, it looks like one of my usual rushed hatchet jobs, but you know what? None of it shows when she has clothes on! Stay tuned for pictures, once I hem her pants, find her some hands, add hair, and touch up her goatee.
Trying to splice Storm Collectibles Rodman head with neck from a Hasbro GI Joe. Still haven’t figured out how to fill and smooth the gap.
Storm Collectibles came out with a 1:6 scale Dennis Rodman a while back. To better approximate the basketball player’s various styles, it included 10 snap-on hairpieces and at least 2 headsculpts, one neutral, one with sort of a sneer. There was a 3rd preorder exclusive with heavy purple makeup, just to make things interesting. I have no interest in Dennis Rodman and every interest in beautiful headsculpts, so, when I saw the purple head parted out at Monkey Depot for $7.99, I decided that I needed to make it into a character. Continue reading Storm Collectibles Dennis Rodman: one weird [but also fabulous] sculpt
I have a character in the mini universe, Julian, an inventor and tinkerer who steampunks out mobility aids. She has spastic hemiplegia, so she uses a power wheelchair. She can make sounds, but is mostly non-verbal, so she communicates largely by her tablet, where she types phrases, which are then translated with text to speech. Because she moves mostly only her right hand and her head, she plans steampunk mods and then enlists help in the construction. She has been working most recently with her sister Heidi, but Heidi talks over her so frequently that Julian has Yakkety yak, don’t talk back! on speed dial so she can interrupt her, so they don’t get along well.
Anyway, Julian is obviously really cool, and I’ve long wanted to make a 1:6 scale steampunk power chair. Furthermore, this weekend I was talking Zombieville, zombies, and neurodiverse and disabled characters with Nataluna. We got onto Monster High and agreed that our favorite character is Ghoulia Yelps, the deeply nerdy, intelligent, awkward, canon autistic zombie. I regretted not getting a first edition of her when she was initially released, but I’ve always held off on Monster Highs because the big-headed aesthetic doesn’t work for me.
All the aforementioned elements came together, and I decided to do a realistic doll version of Ghoulia for Zombieville…or wherever the hell she wants to be. Named Julia Phelps, she would have as much of Ghoulia’s style as I could realistically replicate on a person who obviously needs help dressing and adorning herself, plus Julian’s personality, steampunkery, and spastic hemiplegia.
So far I have…the head. Mattel’s 11″ She-Ra figure has the perfect pointy features, so I got one, despite limited edition prices. She’ll need a repaint, especially of the eyebrows, since I love Ghoulia’s quizzical ones. She’ll also need some blue hair, which I can easily produce with a faux fur wig.
I’m wondering what to use for the body, as I have a very specific body type in mind for her. I want her to be frail, spindly and underweight, with narrow limbs. Her head should seem slightly large for her neck. I also have a very specific vision of her posture in her chair — head tilted to the right, left arm bent up to her chest with her wrist cocked and hand clenched, torso slanting to the right, knees bend and also pointing to the right — so I want a body that can fold and hunch into this position.
Oh yeah…also of relevance to the custom is that she drools, so I think I will put some glossy varnish coming out one side of her mouth. She will also have a wrist band to wipe away saliva.
Original edition of Ghoulia being incredibly cute below. Continue reading Julia Phelps, the steampunker of mobility aids
Today I increased arm articulation on two of my 1:6ers. One of them, Marabou, is a 12″ Playmates Uhura figure. She is a scaled up version of a 3 3/4″ mini action figure by the same company, with all the odd proportions, solid limbs, and simple joints that this entails. Her solid, chunky construction works to my benefit, however, since she has no delicate fiddly little parts to break during my modifications.
Anyway, Marabou has gone through a few mods since I acquired her. I removed her original hands, which had only wrist swivel articulation, and swapped them for hands with hinge/swivel ball joints. Last year, I added upper arm and upper thigh swivels and also took a good chunk of height from her thighs. For the modicum of articulation she had at that point, she actually assumed some realistic postures. Continue reading Adding arm articulation to two 1:6 scale figs
My dolls follow mainstream fashion insofar as the clothes they wear are recognizable as modern, culturally acceptable wardrobe elements such as shirts, pants, and shoes. Beyond that, though, they merrily deviate from the norm with their own definitions of what’s cool. Latest crop of sweaters made from novelty socks illustrates this well. Pictures below. Continue reading More sweaters, no fashion sense, and a repaint
I haven’t done a 1:6 scale me for years. Anneka Elizabeth was sort of one, but the one I’m thinking of is was from like 2002. It was a blond helo Jane base, customized as follows:
I used colored pencil to redo the eyebrows, widen the mouth, and add my distinctive facial moles and scars.
I sculpted short spiky hair with modeling paste, painted it ex-blond, and put glitter in it. [Glitter appeared in a lot of my customs at that stage — I also did a drag queen with individual pieces of glitter for each sparkly nail…!]
I sliced a foam earplug in half lengthwise and glued it to the crotch for the appropriate bulge.
I painted a gold band around one of its fingers and used a red bead to simulate my ruby ring [later tragically lost 🙁 ].
I repainted some clunky black Ken shoes tan to represent my most frequently worn footwear.
I commissioned Andrea to make a white poet’s blouse integrated with a black vest decorated with flames. She also made a cape. I found some black Ken pants to use for the bottoms.
Of all of these pieces, only the shirt/vest remains in my possession. [I also have lots of foam earplugs, but not glued down action figures’ pants. :p ]
A recent thread on Figurvore about 1:6 scale dolls of oneself got me thinking that, with the cheap 3-D printed likenesses available from purveyors like actionfigure2002, along with my advanced skills [?] in body mods and clothing construction, I could totally make a decent mini me!
The head would be a 3D print from actionfigure2002. I just need to get someone to take photos of me, preferably after I’ve just shaved my head. I would probably enhance the print to make it look more caricature-like.
The body would be a DML male body, preferably in the light pink skintone [as opposed to the brownish orange they seem to favor]. I’d need to hack down arms, legs, and torso to approximate my height and then break out the Aves Apoxie Sculpt for appropriate fat distribution.
I can definitely make a shirt for it. Not sure about pants.
It would actually be pretty easy!
In other news, I finished a body mod on Novella and got her back from the faceup artist with a new paint job!Continue reading December doll update: Novella gets new faceup and half a new body
I filled in Never the Less’ original mouth slit, recarved it, sanded her forehead and eye sockets, then stuck her on Thalia’s body to get an idea of how she will look when done.
Conclusion: She’s going to look creepy when done. For some reason I find her inner mask, with its crude, mostly erased features, immensely disturbing. In contrast to her beautiful, eye-catching outer mask, her inner mask looks like a hasty fill-in job. She looks like her inner mask is engulfing her, especially because it adheres directly to her head. Fortunately I can hide it so I don’t have to look at it all the time.
Never the Less’ head looks way too small on Thalia’s body. I’m glad that I’m getting her a 60cm Angel of Dream girl body with small chest [ordered two days ago from Alice’s Collections!], with an overall slimmer build similar to Araminthe’s. Never the Less’ head already seems small because of her masks, which act as focal points and do not take up her entire head. Thus I think a more slightly built body will be more proportional.
Continue reading More work on Never the Less and a mock-up
Because I use permanent marker and colored pencils on my BJDs, hold them together with hot glue and swears, modify them with a hacksaw, and regularly take them outside in the sun, all to make resin versions of characters with an, ahem, unique aesthetic sensibility, I suspect — no, in fact, I know — that my BJDs make certain conservative BJD purists revolt. They’re over there, meticulously layering subtly blended pastels on their limited edition dolls, only using imported Japanese sealant, keeping all their outfits fullset and pristine, and maintaining their investments in climate-controlled cases where the curtains are always drawn, and I’m over here, experimenting with enthusiasm, undeterred by lack of skill, splicing together REALLY LARGE ACTION FIGURES!!!
Anyway, I’ve been working on Never the Less’ head recently. Shocking pictures, guaranteed to give someone the vapors for the inelegant liberties taken with such expensive materials, follow. Continue reading Never the Less: probably some conservative BJD purist’s worst nightmare
Decided last night to use Janvier Jett’s head for Never the Less, assuming that Never the Less’ mask scales well with it. Also decided that Never the Less’ creepy-deepy-doo face will be mostly built up with Aves Apoxie Sculpt, as sanding down is a pain in the rear.
In successes, Submit’s Hujoo Wings body in apricot came on Friday. I narrowed the neck to fit her head socket, trimmed down the feet so they could fit into her glittery shoes, and wired her arms. The apricot plastic matches with the color of her resin well, and the proportions work very well; she now looks like she’s between 8 and 10 instead of between 6 and 8. With more evenly distributed weight, a jointed torso, single-jointed elbows, and double-jointed knees, she has much greater stability and articulation than she did in her original form.Continue reading Doll successes and frustrations this weekend
I post here much less frequently than I used to, so there are fewer in-progress pictures unless a project has stalled before completion. Such is the case with Sylvia. In my quest to refine the shapes of my various fat dolls, I decided to fix her up and increase her posability. I’m not finished yet, but she’s already improved.
Instead of doing separate posts on each figure, I’ve collected some recent body mods into a single post. With the articulation mods on Marabou especially, I feel like my skills have reached a new level of sophistication — even though the results don’t look very sophisticated. :p
Janet, one of my favorite LHFers, recently got a body, after sitting around in storage as a head! I seem to have a plethora of AA Hasbro GI Janes, so I popped the helo pilot’s head off and painted her neck with red undertones to match Janet’s head, which is an Integrity Toys Janay head [back from when they had a playline].
Someone on MWD asked for dressed shots of Isabel posing, so here they are. Standard stuff, really. Insert your own witty captions here because I’m too tired to make them.
Isabel’s strung resin ball-jointed body, a 5StarDoll “tiny” BJD body with an Elfdoll Doona Ryung head, has the correct chunky shape for her character. However, I value more than just an accurately fat body shape. After years of playing with action figures whose well-engineered articulation allows for fluid posing, I want sophisticated poseability too!
I love how excruciating doll customization sounds to the uninitiated! >:}
After failing to find tutorials online about opening BJD eyes, I went after Thalia with an Xacto and no particular plan. The resin yielded easily to my impromptu scraping, but not so easily that I made a mess of the mods. Check it out below the cut. [Yes, I know her head is sitting on a toy horse. That’s to help her chin stay at the right angle for viewing. :p ]
Since I last posted about my modifications on Beth, my Takara MicroSister Fyana, her form has changed significantly. I removed her original head because, though delicately detailed, it was much too small in comparison with Death’s. It was also hairless, and I didn’t relish the thought of making her minuscule wigs.
In an attempt to make Beth even shorter, I took some feet from a [really cheap] 1:24 scale model railroad figure that I had lying around.
Continue reading Beth’s bilateral foot transplant
My long-awaited Takara Microsister Fyana arrived today! I plan for her to be the protagonist of Isabel’s doll photostories, a comic series of adventures called Beth [Takara Microsister Fyana] and Death [Rement Pose Skeleton]. I immediately busted Beth out of her box to compare her to my other Takara Microlady, as well as Death.
Continue reading Beth: my smallest body mod to date
This is probably because the BJD community places such a high value on aesthetics, which means that laboriously sanded and delicately layered works receive more approbation than messy, experimental, jerry-rigged ones. I have learned, however, that, in the end, resin BJDs are no different than plastic action figures. Both types of dolls mod very well with an application of hacksaw, rotary tool, Aves Apoxie Sculpt and hot glue. Continue reading I used to think that modding BJDs worked on different principles than modding action figures.
After languishing in pieces for over half a year, Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!!! Today I took her new torso [specially cast by Mirodoll to match her Iplehouse realskin head] and modded it to accept her original Domuya arms. I filled in the large shoulder sockets with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt so that they would more snugly accommodate her shoulder balls, which were on the small side. I managed a snug fit by layering Aves Apoxie Sculpt on the inside of each socket and then, after letting it stiffen for about 45 minutes, rolling the shoulder ball around in the Apoxie Sculpt to create a new socket, perfectly shaped for her shoulder ball.Continue reading Yamarrah now has a functional upper torso!
Polly, my 1:6 scale mermaid BJD, arrived some time ago, but frankly I was too distracted by shiny digital models to do a proper box opening. I have, however, been working on her slowly [in between gazing with adoration at digital models]. Pictures below.Continue reading Polly, my little mermaid, in progress
About a year ago, Doctor Z, the Zombieville denizen who diagnoses Isabel with spondis and tells her about the condition and the community of people who have it, started off as a Hasbro AA helo Jane with a very purple faceup.
Since I last wrote about my progress on Epona, I have completed her modifications. I couldn’t sand the Aves Apoxie Sculpt over her leg joins so that it was flush with the rest of her thighs. Therefore I redid the Apoxie Sculpt by putting down a thin layer from mid-thighs all the way to the ends of her upper leg pieces [i.e., the tops of the knee joints]. I didn’t go all the way up to the top of her upper leg pieces [i.e., up by the hip sockets] because those areas would be covered by her shorts and I am lazy.
Anyway, I smoothed the Apoxie Sculpt when pliable with saliva and my fingers. When it dried, I sanded a little bit, but really didn’t care to make it perfectly smooth. Then I painted her new thighs to match her existing yellowish tan skin tone and matte varnished the heck out of them, also doing the same for her breast and the backs of her hands. Also touched up any chipping paint on her calves and hooves, covering with plenty of matte varnish. Finally I touched up and sealed the paint on the tips of her ears, made holes in her shirt and shorts for her tail, kept them from running with a few stitches, dressed her, hot glued in her tail, and she was done.
I think she’s adorable. 😀
Continue reading Epona’s done!
Yesterday I solidified Epona’s leg joins by covering them with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Today I painted those areas of her that will be visible under her clothes — mostly breast and thighs — to match the existing yellowish-tan coverage on her head and calves.
I also made her a tail with my ponytail pattern. This iteration makes some improvements on my first ponytail [for Anna]. I stitched this one almost all the way around, instead of using hot glue on the bottom edge. I also eschewed a straight pin as an armature, instead opting for plastic-coated wire. Finally, to ensure that the wire could not be seen in Epona’s tail, I wrapped it in black embroidery floss to blend in with her fiber tail. Originally I thought that I would just jam it directly into her tail hole, but I created a little mount around her tail hole to extend the tail out a bit from her butt. This will make it fit more easily through her clothes. ^_^
I still need to coat her painted bust a few more times with matte varnish in hope of keeping it from chipping, especially around the neck. Then I need to blend the Aves Apoxie Sculpt on her legs in with the rest of her legs — not on the upper thighs, since those will be covered by her shorts, but on her lower thighs, just above the knees, which will be visible. Once I sand that transition between added Aves Apoxie Sculpt and existing, I will paint and seal.
Andrea sent me a bunch of body parts, including two articulated Mattel Stacie bodies. I plopped my Knickerbocker Annie head on one of the Stacie bodies and liked the combo so much that I decided that this would be Sheila’s form. Poor kid has been through three permutations: modded Batchix Nan Sook head on Hujoo Wings body, Souldoll Metel head on Hujoo Wings body [photo not available] and her current form.
Anyway, I’m pleased with Sheila now. She looks much more cheerful than I expected, but I have a sentimental attachment to the Annie head, which I do not wish to repaint. I like her overall androgynous, dorky, roughhousing look. I think she’s a bit younger than I originally decided, maybe 10 instead of 12.
Here she is with her doll that she loves and takes everywhere. I still need to improve her poseability by carving out the inner edges of her hip sockets, notching and slimming to increase elbow flexion — and either swapping out her hands for ones with articulated wrists or just giving her wrist swivels.
Continue reading Sheila shapeshifts.
I cut off the legs of her new body [top piece] 1.5 cm up on the thigh above the highest point of the knee joint. I chose this body because, as is obvious, it’s discoloring into inconsistent hues and therefore ready for a repaint with her equine coloring.
Epona is a customized 1:6 scale action figure that I purchased in 2008 from Therese Olsen. She represents a period in Therese’s dollmaking when she was moving away from mere customizing and into wholesale doll construction, a move that ultimately led her to sculpting her own resin BJDs. Therefore Epona interests me as an aesthetic object and also as a historical example of my friend’s doll development.Continue reading What shall I do with you, Epona?
So you thought it would be a clever idea to get drunk and go down with some of your frat brothers to the settlement of homeless PWS on Pine Street and post ZOMBIE CONTAINMENT AREA signs around the perimeter? Look at how unimpressed Lumberjack is with your puerile shit.
Continue reading The King of Toxic Waste is not amused.
To make a kid between 12 and 14, I stuck Baozha’s head [from a Medicom Bambi figure] on a Spin Master Liv doll. Unfortunately no longer in print, Liv dolls are highly articulated representations of teenagers, so they have smaller breasts and hips than, say, Barbies, as well as overall shorter stature.
I like Livs better than, say, Obitsus, as Livs’ proportions are more realistic. However, Livs have only single-jointed elbows [but double-jointed knees?!], so they lack the extreme flexibility of Obitsus. Inspired by fellow Figurvore member John/kd230692’s body mods to improve poseability in the Barbie Fashionista arms, I performed similar operations on this Liv body.
Because Zombieville needs kids, I’ve been piecing some together from existing spare parts and some new purchases. To fill the toddler slot, I purchased a Kelly doll — the original design, rather than the more recent elongated one, as I find the former much cuter.
However, while the original Kelly dolls are cute, they, like most playline stuff by Mattel, have abysmal articulation. Several years ago, I used my Dremel, pipe cleaners and hot glue to add articulation. I used the same principles again this go-around, refining them a bit. Results below.
Continue reading Quick and dirty articulation of a Kelly doll
I made Sheila a headcap today. I first made a core out of aliuminum foil and then covered it with Aves Apoxie Sculpt as necessary. The core gave my headcap more structural integrity and also saved me some Apoxie Sculpt. I’m surprised that I made the dead version of Isabel a functional headcap without a foil core!
Sheila also got a wig of brown faux fur, subdued with Mod Podge, with added bangs. She also got glasses.
Chaz, the Batchix Nan Sook that I first did, is at left, compared to Sheila at right. Now that I see them together, I know that I could put them in the same scene without any difficulty. Though they have the same basic headsculpt, they look plenty different. Chaz’ bright clothes, raised eyebrows and smiling mouth give her an open, cheerful air. Sheila’s open mouth, lowered eyebrows and glasses make her features seem narrower. Interestingly, Chaz looks more youthful to me than Sheila, even though Chaz is at least in her mid-20s and Sheila is somewhere between 8 and 12.
Continue reading Sheila is done!
Sheila now has a faceup and a doll. She still needs a headcap and hair. Opening her mouth and giving her straighter eyebrows than Chaz really helps to differentiate her!
Continue reading Continuin’ to make Sheila
I did some subtractive mods on an extra Batchix Nan Sook head recently. I think Nan Sook is inherently adorable, but I wanted Sheila to look at least slightly different from Chaz, who is an unmodded Nan Sook. Another unmodded head is at left for comparison, while Sheila is at right. I sanded down the depth of her eyelids and eye sockets. I also removed some of the tip of her nose. Finally I made her mouth deeper, straighter and wider. Ultimately I think most of the differentiation between Chaz and Sheila will derive from faceup, eyes, clothes, characterization and the fact that they will never appear in the same frame together.
I knew that photographic inventory of my raw dolls would come in handy… I just realized that I can cobble together an 8- to 10-year-old kid from parts in my bin: one of my extra Batchix Nan Sook heads on one of those chocolate Hujoo bodies. To accomplish this, I need to:
- adjust Hujoo neckpost
- mod Nan Sook head so that it doesn’t look identical to Chaz
- sculpt headcap
- paint head to match body
Very easy! The most challenging aspect of kid dolls is finding clothes for them.
The resulting girl, Sheila Stockard, is 10 at most. Her parents are friends with Isabel’s parents. Isabel and Carter have known Sheila since she was born. They have babysat for her in the past; she calls them Aunt Isabel and Uncle Carter. While Carter is not as close to Sheila as he used to be, Isabel still sees Sheila regularly. Sheila is a rather serious kid with few friends and little interest in pink sparkly shit. She does, however, like dolls, a fact that causes her parents some consternation [and Isabel much joy]. Isabel feels very protective of Sheila, especially because she, like Sheila, was shy, quiet, socially isolated and well-read for her age. Sheila, for her part, absolutely worships Isabel. Conflict occurs when Sheila’s parents discover that Isabel has spondis. They don’t want Sheila to hang out with Isabel anymore. Isabel and Sheila sneak around for a while, but then have to confront her parents’ prohibition head-on.
Notes: Overalls if possible. Glasses. Pierced ears. Glue black boucle yarn to head, then trim close for hair.
I have finally finished body mods and basic faceup on yet another FAT DOLL!!!!!!!!! This is Sylvia Blomqvist, last seen as a Fun-4-All talking Kelly Osbourne head on a customized male action figure body.
Continue reading Sylvia with finished body mods and basic faceup
I just figured out how to shorten Sylvia’s upper arms, while retaining the swivel motion. Basically I will be fusing the upper arm swivel joint and transferring the swivel to the elbow joint.
I took out about 1cm of height from her thighs right below the swivels and about 1.5cm of height from her ankles right above the swivels. I hot glued her together at the thighs, thus sacrificing the swivels there, but I preserved the ankle swivels. She’s now about 10 inches tall, excluding some molded hair spikes.
Continue reading Tonight’s work on Sylvia
Here’s the base for Sylvia, also known as Andrew 2.0.Continue reading Base for Sylvia
Here’s Pearlene with skull, hair and full outfit.
Continue reading Pearlene all done!
Bulked out her neck more and sanded it, while also carving out neck hole in bottom of her head. For her faceup, narrowed her eyes, lowered her eyebrows and added shadows. Glossed eyes and lips. As usual, black acrylic and brown watercolor pencil.
Continue reading Further refining of Pearlene’s neck and faceup draft
Head didn’t rotate on previous draft of neck, so I thinned and lengthened neck. Head now rotates.
Pearlene’s eyes need to be narrower and her eyebrows lower.
Sculpted some additional thickness onto the core of her neck tonight. I’m not going for anatomical accuracy here, but for serviceability.
Roughing in shoulders and neck this morning.
Made Pearlene an internal framework of wooden coffee stirrers and hot glue for her neck and shoulders.
I mark the beginning of my doll customizing career with my first 1:6 scale Jareth doll, which I created in November and December of 2001 as an Xmas present for Jill. [After all these years, she still has him! He hangs out with her 1:6 scale dolls who use wheelchairs.] Let’s see how far I’ve come….
Tonight I set Pearlene’s arms back in their sockets and secured the other half of the sockets to them.
I have been bulking up Pearlene’s body for the past few days with Apoxie Sculpt. I like her thighs and her butt the best!
The Real Heroes works well as a base body since it’s thick to begin with and sturdy enough to handle weighty additions. Its simple construction allows it to be taken apart with ease, while it provides enough articulation to do the basics.
I filled in Yamarrah’s deep neck socket with Aves Apoxie Sculpt this weekend. Here she is waiting for her shirt and for some wiring. I think her sculpt is beautiful, even unpainted. I like how rectilinear and smooth it is.
Right now I’m planning to do flames along her neck, flames for eyebrows [!], flames up her forearms and possibly flames on her ears. This may change once I actually start scribbling on her.
Last night I took off Perdita’s scalp, erased her eyebrows and lips and increased the size of her breasts. I wasn’t planning on adding to her chest size, but I mixed up way too much Aves Apoxie Sculpt for another project, so I decided to slap some on Perdita.
At left, a Disney Pocahontas head on an articulated Barbie body illustrates the splayed thighs that so many doll enthusiasts find "unladylike." At right, Perdita shows her current condition.
Continue reading Perdita nears completion.
Reduced the back of his skull globe and lengthened his legs back to original length.
I decided that I could not save Pearlene’s lovely russet hair, as my resizing goals require me to actually see the full size and shape of her head, so I gave her a very bad haircut. I then did some more experimenting with photos of her in Photoshop.
I did some digital manipulations of Pearlene, and I think I can salvage her without the risky use of acetone. For example, just a small reduction of the size of her face on her head [i.e. reducing height of eyebrows, eyes and lips] makes her look so much better. I think I can get away with a repaint, a scalp reduction and a custom fat body [a modded male action figure?] to balance out the width of her head.
Continue reading Reproportioning Pearlene
Another lot of cheap nudes came today, the aforementioned Liv, P. Bo and Jazzie.
First, the Liv sacrificed her hands to Prunella. I cut open the Liv’s forearms at the wrist seams as unobtrusively as I could manage so that the body is available, albeit handless, for further experiments.
Continue reading Prunella, Deedee, Pearlene and the salvage dolls
Continued to work on him tonight.Continue reading Hackin’ up Barrett
I’ve been hacking away at Barrett today…
Hacked off a centimeter from each of her ankles, pried open hack-offs to rescue ankle pins, drilled out new ankle holes and jammed ankle pins up there, tightening with hot glue. Gotta do something with her hands next. I like them, but they are way out of scale.
Continue reading Shortening Prunella
I got a package from Andrea yesterday [the first at my new address, yay!] containing, among other things, Prunella Jones. She came to me under the name Gavali, a repainted, rerooted High School Musical Gabriella head on an articulated Ballerina Barbie body drilled to accept action figure hands. Naturally, Andrea did the reroot and repaint, as well as the custom zip-up jumpsuit.
Continue reading Prunella the slightly unhinged
Ever since one of its legs broke off, I’ve been saving both the body and the leg, primarily because a body with that size tits is pretty rare.
Now that I have grown much more proficient in drilling, hacking and Apoxie Sculpting things, I think that I could reattach its leg using a long pin through the top of the thigh and anchored into the crotch. This fix would prohibit rotation at the thigh, but would allow swinging back and forth. That’s good enough for me. Then Anneka, even though she is now in storage, could have her body back.
More correctly, I should say that Peter has been altered to fit the walker. I took at least 2cm, possibly a bit more, out of both his thighs and his ankles. Yes, I am aware that he now looks ungainly, with long arms, massive hands and short legs. I’m okay with that. Very few people have idealized proportions. ^_^
I swapped them out for the Sideshow Dead Punk’s. I have yet to paint his skull ring because I don’t have any silver paint.
It’s like Pilgrim’s Progress, only less allegorical and more tedious.
Painted skull globe and mouth corner, refined faceup around eyes and nose, started doing faceup around mouth. I especially like his genial smile.
Filled in more divots around skull, blended brow ridge further into forehead, smoothed out eye sockets, narrowed nasal bridge, added and refined nostril wings. Area where bottom lip meets chin and area around tip of chin still need work. Almost there!
Continue reading Mr. Almost There Head
Filled in the deep creases on forehead and cheeks, as well as where jaw joins neck under ears [not shown in this photo]. Cheeks and jaw/neck joins actually look pretty good. Forehead still needs some filling in, and I haven’t even gotten to the nasal bridge yet. I’m pleased with the progress, however.
Continue reading Mr. Slightly Less Lumpy Head
Here’s Peter after I bulked out his chin more last night, then painted him all the same color so I could more easily see what work needs to be done.
Yes, the forehead clearly needs work!!!
I tossed the dead version of Isabel’s default hands. Even after I repositioned them, I still disliked them. I made her a new set out of a pair of white Takara CG gloved hands. I carved them out, gave them a dry brush of light grey, drew in wrist bones and phalanges with permanent marker, added white highlights with white out and sealed them. Wheeee.
I have finished the dead version of Isabel tonight. Last night I broke lots of her fingers and repositioned them in less tense, claw-shaped configurations. I also made her a skirt by hacking out a circle of black velvet with a 9-inch radius, snipping a hole in the center, pulling it over her pelvis, then sewing it closed around her spine with embroidery thread. That’s as far as my tailoring skills go.
Today her shirt came, so I lettered it first with watercolor pencil, then with white paint. The blotchiness of the paint and the smears from the watercolor pencil both worked in my favor, creating the effect of worn screenprinting. I also hacked out the hems on the sleeves and neckline.
Finally I gave the exposed portions of her body [neck, arms, hands, lower legs, feet] a wash and dry brush of light grey to a) disguise the fact that I had reshaped her hands and filled in gaps with hot glue and b) make her body match her head better. I am aware that her left hand especially looks like shit. I may improve her hands later; I’m not sure.
Here she is. She looks sad.
I acquired a Zoloworld/Day2day 1:6 scale Grim Reaper action figure to use its skeletal body as a dead version of the protagonist of my upcoming series Zombieville. I have heard nothing about this figure, so I am providing a detailed review as a public service.
Continue reading Zoloworld/Day2Day Grim Reaper pictorial review and mods
The dead version of Isabel started off as a neutral Elfdoll Doona Ryung faceplate, shown here stripped of the default faceup.
The latest Soom Faery Legend’s pale green resin sparked the idea that such a color should belong to a vegetation sprite. I thus invented the following dryad concept, growing from greenish-brownish bark [possibly sculpted?] on calves and forearms, through general green across most of the body, crowned with a little forest for hair.
The tree hair would be either sculpted the way that my friend Erica does her 1:6 scale bonsai trees, or it would make use of moss, crinkle paper and plastic leaves, like my forest set. Knowing me, it would probably be the latter, as that is easier and more my style.
Clothing would ideally be a brown, lightweight, crinkly cotton, preferably ombre, like broomstick skirt material.
Bright green eyes [I like Flower’s green/green ones], faceup in green and brown, eyebrows and miscellaneous shading brown, lips and eyelashes green.
The aforementioned colored pencil faceup stated smudging off on my fingers, so I recreated it with a base of purplish blue paint topped with blue and black for shadows and wrinkles. I made her wig out of a white mohair one that I made years ago, just trimmed down. I then tried to make her hair behave by mixing some diluted glue into it.
Continue reading Doctor Z is done
Chaz, a denizen of Zombieville [my future storyline], is a Batchix Nan Sook BJD in tan resin. Her spondis [fictional condition that causes people’s body parts to fall off, which can only be arrested by a diet of 50% fresh human brains] has cost her her right hand and forearm, as well as her left foot and calf. Ideally she should use an electric wheelchair, but I only have one, which is currently occupied, so :p.
Chaz rescued her Russian tortoise Dandelion after Dandelion lost her leg in a car crash. Chaz nursed Dandelion back to health with a steady diet of dandelions…hence her name. Chaz and Dandelion love each other very much. ^_^
Dandelion is a custom Russian tortoise figurine sculpted by theTurtlePond on Etsy. She is anatomically detailed down to the accurate patterns on her shell. She is stylized, though, with a bigger head and eyes than true scale, as well as an overall larger size. [Female Russian tortoises rarely get over 8 inches long, from beak to rear feet.] She’s also smiling. I plan to put some wheels on an elastic strap that fits around Dandelion’s shell so that she can have a tortoise wheelchair.Continue reading Chaz and Dandelion!
You can’t tell, but Isabel is on her final and improved body. I got my second 5StarDoll tiny girl body earlier this week and reduced the neck this morning. Fweeeeeeee!Continue reading Isabel on her improved body
I improvised a sports bra for Isabel using a stretchy cropped tank top. Then I cut up a quarter of a tissue into strips, balled it up, then stuck it in each of her cups. Look — breast forms! And she’ll still fit into most of the clothes that I tried on previously.
Continue reading “Spare me the bullshit.”
Isabel on fat body with neck sanded to reduce egregious dents.
I broke out my N95 respirator and my safety goggles today and went outside to do the final rough-in of the first fat doll’s neck with my Dremel. I started off with a cutting disc, which was not a good idea. Then I ran out, bought some deburring bits and used them. I doubt they should be used for my purposes, but they work, so :p.
Here’s Isabel on the fat body after I reduced the height of the neck and tapered it further. Now I just have to sand to reduce the most egregious gouges. Woo hoo!
Continue reading Gougity gouge gouge: or, The State of the Fats
Tonight I restrung the torso and legs with thinner elastic and less tension. This made the doll a little floppy while greatly increasing poseability. I must admit that one of my favorite traits of BJDs is their stringing. It can be tight for standing and/or holding long-term positions, or it can be looser for more naturalistic seated and lying postures.
Then I gouged out the front of the ankle sockets so that the feet could point perpendicularly from the calves, rather than slightly down.
I spent most of the time mangling working on the neck. A quick test revealed that, despite my earlier hopes, the 1:6 scale adult head on the 1:3 scale unadapted toddler neck did not work. Continue reading Fat doll as of tonight
My original plan to make a fat 1:6 scale mature BJD body was to use a 1:3 scale toddler body and splice forearms/hands and calves/feet on it from a 1:6 scale mature body. However, I recently acquired a 5StarDoll 1:3 scale toddler body with surprisingly delicate hands and feet, so, being an eminently lazy individual, I wondered if I could just swap the 1:6 scale hands and feet onto the 1:3 scale body and call it a day.
This evening, that’s what I did. I actually complicated matters a bit by modding the 1:6 scale hands to nest in the 1:3 scale wrist balls and thus provide a slightly smoother transition between the forearms and hands. I just stuck the 1:6 scale feet on the ends of the 1:3 scale legs, though, which is why they are slightly shorter than they should be, as they do not have the extra height provided by the 1:3 scale ankle balls [which were fused to the 1:3 scale feet].
Anyway, the result looks pretty good for about an hour of work, as far as I’m concerned. The ankles need modification, though, as the shapes of the sockets are preventing the feet from standing flat. This particular body also has horribly tight stringing, so it needs to be restrung more loosely. Other than that, it’s pretty much good.
Here’s a shot of Isabel [on temp body] next to the fat body in progress. It’s obviously shorter, which I like, as it adds to the impression of what Isabel would call a "dumpy" shape. Not everyone is elongated and skinny!
Continue reading Fat doll in progress!!! \o/
Just like yesterday. First, in an effort to whiten Novella’s head, I stuck her in a shot glass of 70% isopropyl alcohol with a plastic bag rubber-banded over the top so the alcohol didn’t escape. I soaked her from 6 PM last night to 1 PM this afternoon, then cleaned her off for 45 minutes with a melamine sponge.
Continue reading Today I worked on dolls all damn day.
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!
On the off-topic section of the MWD board, a repainter of 1:6 figs asked why some people “hated” repaints. Most of the respondents replied that they loved repaints, naysayers be damned. The only truly negative comment came from one “Daniel Wickson” who wrote:
Lack of artistic talent translates into any medium even lil’ dollies At least yours aren’t yarn haired tr*****s.
I starred out the slur that he used for trans people. >:(
Given that my subtitle on that forum is “Transgender[izer]” and that LHF featured several characters with yarn hair, as well as trans characters [but no trans characters with yarn hair], I strongly suspect that the poster was referring to me and my dollies. ^_^
He’s just jealous ’cause he lacks my imagination.
Today I finally did something constructive with dolls besides purchase them. In order to articulate my Girls of Many Lands doll #3, I mounted her bust on a Jakks Pacific Juku Couture body, which, being 9", was just the right size. As a result, my GOML, now named Isabeau, is articulated at wrists, ankles, knees, waist and neck, a great improvement from her earlier statuesque state. Her outfit obscures most of her articulation, but you can see her striking a pose below. Previous adventures in articulating GOMLs are here, and here..
All I know about Isabeau is that she is a member of the Colonials, the oldest vampire clan in New England. She is probably one of those people who died young, but acts much older than her death age because she has had years in which to mature. She strikes me as less of a girl and more of a small woman.
Continue reading Articulating another American Girl Girls of Many Lands doll
When I first made Qingting, a Hun type vampire and associate of Chow Bang, she was an American Girl Girls of Many Lands doll on a cut-down Obitsu body, but I didn’t like that because it was too tall and the arm fastenings too frail. I now have a new body for her, closer to her original height of 9". See photo below for how I transferred her original torso, hands and feet onto a 23cm Obitsu framework.
The next photo shows another GOML I’ve worked on recently. She was original a Yupik Native Alaskan character, Minuk, but she has now been repurposed and rearticulated to be Maggie, Absinthe’s sort-of niece.Continue reading Articulating American Girl’s Girls of Many Lands
I redid my brunette Juku Girl’s left eyebrow. She looks much better now. Continue reading Juku Girls redux: modded brunette
When I first saw that someone on 13doll was selling American Girl’s Girls of Many Lands dolls for a steal, one of them called out to me. Spring Pearl, portraying a Cantonese girl in 1857, charmed me with her sweet wondering look and her beautiful, bright, brocaded outfit. She told me right then and there that she was a Hun type vampire, and she needed to come home and be with Chow and Baozha and the rest of the Hun, not to mention the whole LHF cast.Continue reading Qingting the Chinese vampire, or, Hacking up a collectible doll
Now she has
red and purple paint blood in her hair! Even better! Continue reading Things are even worse for Cindy.
She started off as an innocent, perkily smiling Colonial Barbie head and turned into a shambling disaster! I was going to do a simple repaint on her, since I found her face cute in a somewhat manic way.
To reduce the appearance of derangement, I wanted to cut out her teeth and glue her mouth shut. I did not make a clean cut, however, and she seemed to have fangs or broken teeth worthy of some sort of undead creature.
The unhinged lower jaw, head wound, anxious look and bloody garments followed from there. What an improvement! Continue reading Something very bad happened to Cindy.
These are the traits of BJD faceups [paint jobs] valorized by the ABJD community on DOA: Continue reading The Jareth Experiment
So I decided to add a character to the LHF cast. More accurately, I decided to make a doll of an extant, but currently unseen, LHFer: Junior. Junior is Margie’s grandson, between 2 and 3 years old. Absinthe takes care of him sometimes when his parents, Margie’s daughter Laurie and Laurie’s boyfriend Johnny, are at work.
Anyway, I had a spare Kelly lying around from Kinjou, who gave me one so that I could try making the default Mattel idiot grin into something with more character. Kellys and Tommys actually have cute headsculpts, but their use among action figures is very limited because of their minimal articulation. Here you can see the swivel head and single axes of rotation at the shoulders and hips. Ugh. Continue reading Quickly and sloppily articulating a Kelly doll
On the subject of fat dolls, D7ana informs me of Play Along’s 2007 Tracy and Edna Turnblad dolls, which were actually fat, not to mention really cute. I do like regular Tracy’s ’60s flip, as well as her big smile, but I don’t want to get a doll without a character. That being said, I clearly need more fat people in LHF.
I count the following characters as fat: Andrew, Rori, Justine and Margie. Gemini might also be fat, but it’s difficult to tell what’s going on underneath her incredibly baggy clothes.
I got the genius idea last night to make ZaeZae fat, or, more specifically, to try out my new fats-sculpting technique on her: namely, adding fat to a headsculpt, rather than carving fats out of it, the way that I did with Margie. Adding fats to ZaeZae’s head won’t be a problem, although she will require a complete repaint to blend the Sculpey-colored fats in with her skin tone. Making her body fats may be more difficult, as she is currently on a stalk-like articulated Barbie body.
I also got the genius idea this morning to sculpt fats onto my forthcoming Alicia doll. Her default Martha Jones body is more robust than an articulated Barbie, so this might be easier than enlarging ZaeZae.
EDIT: Making fats for Alicia may be easier than making fats for ZaeZae, as Alicia’s neck connector is at the base of her neck [rather than under her chin], allowing me to make chin fats that will not impede her neck articulation.
Here are the results of another lazy project of mine. I was going to make Margie, Absinthe’s foster mother, as a complete, separate doll, but I got bored, so I just finished her head and stuck it on Davry’s body. I redressed Davry’s body and gave Margie some breasts made out of polyfill under her shirt. Voila.
Margie is posing next to Mark because Mark represents what Margie’s head looked like before I started work on it. To make Mark’s headsculpt into Margie’s, I carved down the forehead and the brow ridges. I also narrowed the nose and chopped a lot off the tip. I took a lot of width out of the jaw and the chin. Then I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper until most of the nicks from my crappy carving were sanded out. I gave Margie a new paint job mostly with pastels, painted her hair and made her a bun from Barbie hair.
I have now successfully made a dumpy, homely character!Continue reading Yay! Fat doll success! Here’s Margie.
Kathlen arrived today! She’s such a cutie. Her head is perfect for Absinthe’s upgrade, especially the serene sleeping face. However, Kathlen’s body is much too short. Below, Kathlen stands in a line-up with some of the shortest LHF characters with my 1:6 Frank for comparison. From left to right, they are Kathlen, Susie, the old version of Absinthe, Davry, Little Will and then Frank [not an LHF cast member]. I’d like Absinthe’s upgrade to be shorter than Little Will.Continue reading Short characters in LHF
One thing that pisses me off about 1:6 dolls is the lack of variety in body shapes. In terms of easily available bodies for fems, you’ve got the Cy Girl shape [curvy, busty and hippy], the Barbie shape [scrawny and pointily boobular] and the Obitsu shape [slim and roundedly boobular]. However, the average woman is pear-shaped, therefore best approximated by a wider Cy Girl pulled down by gravity. Thus, I have no average-shaped women in my cast, though I do like to make them meaty and broad in the beam by using CG bodies as a base for most.
Not only do I have no really average-shaped women in my cast, but I have no fat women! I mean, God forbid that anyone make a doll with a double chin, wide neck, saggy tummy rolls, massive thighs and jiggly upper arms! I would totally get one.
Since no company I know makes fem dolls with realistic fats, I have to make one myself. She’s going to be a minor character, Absinthe’s sort-of foster mother, Margie, a mortal Native American hairdresser whose last name escapes me at the moment, but it’s something French-Canadian, I think.
I’m thinking that I will use a male body, probably a Dragon one, for the base, since that will provide some bulk across the chest, arms and legs. I’m also thinking that her breasts and her fats around the upper arms, upper legs and torso can be created by cotton batting. The cotton batting will create the appropriate girth, while also being compressible and thus poseable.
As for Margie’s head, I’m looking for a headsculpt that’s full and round already. CG02 [Jet/Kat/Sky] is a possibility. Mattel’s Rosie O’Donnell doll is also a possibility, but I really don’t like that stupid smile of hers. I’m sure there are some male sculpts that could work with a little carving. [I swear…so many of the male sculpts have HUGE schnozzes.]
My concept of Will’s physique has always been closer to that of my 1:3 Jareth doll, rather than the ridiculously muscular soldier’s body he’s had for years. Unfortunately, the custom head that I use for Will won’t fit on any of the skinny male bodies…until now. Tonight, after a long silence, I broke out the Dremel and my drawer of bodies in an attempt to transfer the brawny neck assembly from a Dragon male body to the scrawny slender Obitsu male body. In order to balance out the thicker neck, I imported Will’s original muscular arms [so he doesn’t have twig-like upper limbs]. I have yet to ream out the torso to allow for neck poseability, but you can see a mock-up of how I want Will to look below.