Despite a bizarrely sprained ankle (rather, a self-spraining ankle that I never actually injured) making going downstairs a literal pain, I still managed to do some of the polymer clay stuff I wanted to. Not quite as much as I would have preferred, overall, but…some is better than none.
Obviously, the first order of business was to make a TARDIS-blue pull ring for Romana. (And yes, I realize that it looks much too bright to be TARDIS-blue in the photo. But trust me, it really is navy. Metallic, sparkly navy, but navy.) Towards the end of the crafting, I also made two gold ones for Pyrrha. (I plan to give her a second pull string to close her eyes, because I want to paint her eyelids when I do everything else. I’m just waiting for that eye chip mold…) Obviously, they don’t look as nice as proper pull rings, but…well, in Romana’s case there just wasn’t a choice: there were no navy pull rings available, so I had to make my own. In Pyrrha’s case…I think it’s fair to say that I’m just being cheap. 😛
The next order of business was to make some of the charms I want to put on the string along with Romana’s pull ring. The first one was the hardest to make, and like all the other stuff I made this morning, it’s not technically finished yet. Like many of the other pieces, it needs some details painted on, and everything needs to be given a good coat of Sculpey Glaze. Oh, and I’ll need to figure out the right place to add a ring, so the stuff can actually be attached to the string. 😛
All four sides have the paneling you can see here. It took about an hour to do this. (Might have taken less time if I’d remembered the cardinal rule of polymer clay work: cut your fingernails super-short first. I had to smooth off a lot of fingernail marks. 😦 I had also forgotten just how badly some of the metallic Sculpey sticks to my hands; I had to wash them at least five times to get the navy metallic off my fingers and palms.) My camera wasn’t cooperative — as usual, at this scale — so the top is unfortunately a little out of focus on the photo. But the light on top there? It’s using glow-in-the-dark Sculpey, so (in theory) it’ll glow on being taken out of the light, or on being put under a black light.
Just to show what I was using as a reference, here’s a shot of my charm lying on top of it. 😛 Having a three-dimensional visual aid like this is really helpful. (Found myself wishing I had one for the later projects, in fact…) The corners aren’t as sharp as they should be, but other than that, I think I did a pretty decent job. (In browsing Etsy yesterday, I saw a TARDIS polymer clay charm that wasn’t anywhere near this detailed. In fact, it was more than a little half-assed; I was shocked someone was trying to sell it.)
The second charm for Romana came next.
He’s pretty fragile, though; his tail already broke off. 😦 (I can super-glue it back on, of course, but it’s annoying that he didn’t even last 24 hours before breaking.) He, too, needs a lot of details painted on. Like his entire face, for one thing. 😛
This is the K-9 that came with my 4th Doctor doll. As you can see, there’s a lot of problems with my charm, but…dang, that’s tiny stuff, you know?! The biggest problems are the ears and the head; the ears are more like dog ears than radar dishes, and the head’s too big. Still, I think anyone who knows Doctor Who would be able to recognize immediately that the charm is K-9, so…that’s something, right?
On both of these, once I’ve glazed them to protect them, I want to make molds from them, and then cast them in resin, too. Because I’m hoping maybe I could sell the resin versions on Etsy. Dunno if anyone would buy them, but…I’d like to at least try, y’know?
I had a lot of trouble getting a good texture on there; most of the cloth types I used to flatten it came out too small or too big. Anyway, I want to cast this one in resin, too, and paint it to match the scarves. ‘Cause after all, the Doctor had two, the original version and the about-to-regenerate version, which was mostly reds. And then I’m pretty sure Romana had her own version at one point. (I’m wanting to say that was in Destiny of the Daleks, but I could be completely wrong about that. But it was somewhere! I think.) Of course, this one is much bigger — it’s more than big enough to be a pull ring itself, in fact — so I’m not sure how useful it would be to me or anyone else. Though if I want to give Romana sleep eyes, I could use it on her second pull string, instead of a standard pull ring… (Though then the question is which version of the scarf do I use? The Doctor’s, or her own?)
It doesn’t look like anything at the moment, but after a resin mold and casting in clear resin filled with lots of purple glitter, it’s going to be a Key of Time charm. Because once it was completed, the Key of Time did basically look like a cube of purple plexiglass. (Gee, I wonder why?) So that’s what this charm will be, again for Romana’s pull string. (Even though that was Romana I, not Romana II…) Though if it turns out to look really awesome, I might try selling some of those on Etsy, as well. Though I doubt there’d be much demand for them. 😛
Anyway, it wasn’t all for Romana!
I also made these massive charms for Pyrrha’s pull strings. Pyrrha is named after — well, no, let me start over. Though I haven’t been doing much writing lately, due to time and lack of inspiration, I have often fancied myself a writer. A while back — it’ll be two years in January, I think — I became inspired to write a series of quasi-Young Adult novels set between 17 and 20 years after the Trojan War. (Despite how long ago I finished them, the whole series of novels is still only on the first draft. I’m not so good at re-writes…) The primary heroine was a posthumous daughter of Achilles, born to a slave girl on Lesbos. Well, in the course of the novels, I also introduced a second posthumous daughter of Achilles, this time one born to Briseis, and raised by Thetis as a Nereid. Thetis being sentimental about her now-deceased son, she decided to name the girl Pyrrha, despite the torment that the name had been to Achilles in his lifetime. Anyway, my heroine wanted to be great friends with her half-sister, but her half-sister saw her as a rival and…well, it didn’t end well for poor Pyrrha. (The villains got the idea of recruiting her, and once that happened, there just wasn’t anything I could do.) So, long story short, I think one of the reasons my mind immediately named my factory girl Pyrrha was because I felt so guilty about what I had done (or rather what the story had forced me to do) to a character I had never meant to hurt. And because of the origin of the name, I find myself wanting to give Pyrrha the doll things that Pyrrha the Nereid might have wanted. Including weapons and armor. (Oh, man, I found someone on Etsy selling helmets for Blythes! If they’d had any that was Mycenaean, I would have had to buy it, no matter what it cost!)
So, getting back to the items pictured above, the shield is in the style known as “Boeotian,” a style generally regarded as having never been used in reality, but which is often pictured on pots, especially in depicting ancient heroes. Achilles is almost always pictured with a Boeotian shield. (Though usually the ones on the pots are more ornate than this. But I wasn’t up to making a little gorgon face to go on it, sadly. That’s the usual decoration on his shield on pottery, though.) As to the spear, one of the fragments of the Epic Cycle says that the reason no one could use Achilles’ spear other than he himself — Patroclos had to leave it behind when he was going out to fight in Achilles’ armor — was because it had two tips, a forked spear. The fragment also described it as having some gold around the base, I believe, though I could be wrong about that part. So…yeah, that’s why the forked spear. Probably that’s not what a forked spear should look like, but…no reference material, y’know? (I did at least have a photo of a pot to go on for the shield.)
Anyway, of course there’s still one major drawback here. The spear and shield are so huge that they’re totally useless for any kind of pull string charm. Not sure what the point of them is, given that, but…well, I’ll think of something!
Since I’d mentioned wanting to make some polymer clay charms for Romana’s pull string, I just thought I’d post this update about how the charms are coming along. I’ll definitely post again once they’re all completed, and I’ve tried doing the resin versions. (Though I’m a little worried about the clear resin; the resin version of Rory’s sword is still sticky! That just can’t be normal…) There’s a full gallery of photos for this post here.