The Undertaker

Writing this post has somehow taken me a lot longer than expected.  Not sure why.  Anyway, here’s my other new Taeyang from PullipStyle.

Undertaker 1

You may be thinking his box is absolutely identical to Grell’s, but it’s actually slightly taller.  Identical in every other respect, though. 😛

Undertaker 4

The Undertaker’s stock is rather monochromatic, but it’s certainly not dull!  BTW, has anyone played the game Suikoden III?  The first time I saw the Undertaker in the Black Butler manga, I was like “oh, so that’s where Yuber went when he teleported away at the end of the game!”  (For those who’ve never played it, you can see what he looks like here.)  Of course, the Undertaker is much more likable than Yuber.  And more competent.  But I digress. Continue reading

Grell Sutcliff

Now that it’s finally summer vacation, I finally had a few minutes to move my doll collection around a bit and give me a bit more display space, which means I was finally able to open my new boys from PullipStyle!  I’m posting about them separately, though, because…um…just because.  And even though he came out second, I’m starting with Grell, since he was the one who actually prompted the order.  Unfortunately, the light in these photos is almost entirely artificial.  As soon as I was ready for the photo shoot, the sun retreated behind a cloud or something. 😦

Grell 1

As you can see, he was very sad about still being trapped in his box. 😛

Grell 4

So, here he is out of the box, and adjusting his glasses.  I did my best to get his hair right, but…it’s lacking in body, so I guess I’ll need to keep messing with it to fluff it up a bit.  Especially because he should have an ahoge, which adds a lot of personality to his appearance.  The promotional shots of the doll have it, and there’s actually a bit on top of his head that has a bit of styling product in it to be the ahoge, but I couldn’t get it to stand up. 😦  On an unrelated note, I feel like there’s something odd about the way his legs join to his hips, but without disrobing both him and another Taeyang to compare them, I can’t be sure.  (And while I’m sure Grell would enjoy cutting Sebastian’s clothes off, I don’t think it’s a good idea. 😛 ) Continue reading

Dal Ciel, Robin version

Before the main attraction of this post, I have some other stuff to say and show.

Firstly, you may have noticed that there was no “Wordless Wednesday” post yesterday (nor, in fact, any post at all).  The thing is, there’s a couple of spambots addicted to the “Wordless Wednesday” tag, and I was getting really tired of having their garbled comments arriving in my spam queue four or five times a week.  So I deleted the tag, and will not be doing “Wordless Wednesday” posts anymore.  There’s a similar thing called “Silent Sundays,” so I’ll try doing that, and hope that there aren’t any spambots targeting that tag.  And I didn’t post this yesterday to say so because I was just having a really lousy afternoon, and didn’t trust myself to communicate with other human beings, lest I say something horrible.

So that was the say, now here’s the show.  The Junky Spot order came in at the same time as Ciel (quite literally, as Ciel had been sent UPS rather than USPS) so I’ve been able to start on Pyrrha’s face-up now that I have MSC (no previews, though), and I got the two wigs I’d ordered, so I can show you the dolls now.

I’ll start with Mei-lin, but her hair isn’t properly styled.

Mei-lin, the Azone/Parabox hybrid version
Li Mei-lin, the Azone/Parabox hybrid version

I like how her mouth turned out, but I had horrible trouble getting the picture taken, because for some reason both of these boy bodies have the most unbelievably loose joints.  Seriously, they’re on Pyrrha’s level of floppy here, which is so odd, because the female body that currently has the Licca-chan Yuki Miku head has very tight joints.  (Fortunately, I got these two boy bodies direct from Japan, so put together they cost about the same as the female one, so at least I didn’t pay as much for them.)

Now, as to why her hair isn’t styled yet:  the wig is the wrong size.  The Junky Spot said that this size was the right one for all the Parabox heads up to those intended for a 27 cm doll, and this head was intended for a 21-23 cm doll, so I figured it was the right size.  But it’s actually a bit too small; if I try to style it, it just pops right off.  Very frustrating.  I ordered another, slightly larger wig off of Etsy, but until it gets here, Mei-lin’s hair is just gonna have to be loose like this.

Ciel 2

Sadly, Mei-lin’s a bit been my “do-over” doll in this Cardcaptor Sakura line.  Her eyebrows — which you can’t see right now, due to her bangs — don’t quite match, and around her mouth you can see faint traces of an earlier, larger mouth that I drew with colored pencil on the untreated head, and then could not entirely erase, and even sanding failed to remove it completely.  (Apparently watercolor pencil directly on a Parabox head is a recipe for disaster.  I won’t make the mistake again, but…)  Then there’s her eye decals.  To give the dolls big eyes like the original characters, I used the largest eyes on the decal sheet, but they were too wide.  Since there’s actually very little whites in the eyes of the original characters, I just trimmed off most of the whites.  (And that’s what it looks like was done on the dolls from the late ’90s, I might add.)  I’m not sure I trimmed them quite right, but it’s passable.  However, you see the slight triangle of lightish color to the right of her right pupil?  That’s an air bubble under the decal.  That was not there when I sealed the decals in place.  The thing is that these Parabox heads are not fully compatible with the Azone bodies.  Specifically, the holes on these particular heads are so small that you have to do a lot of squishing of the head to get it on the neck plug.  Thus was this air bubble introduced underneath the eye decal.  Again, I’ll know better next time.  (Or rather, I’ve already put Syaoran’s head on his body, and have been working on the head while it’s on the body, instead of on the loose head.)

Anyway, comparison of the old one versus mine:

Black Friday 10 Ciel 2

So, bottom line, the mouth is an improvement, the eyes not so much.  Oh, also the body is a huge improvement.  Like, off the charts.  Loose yet properly articulated beats the smeg out of a bendy doll in my book, any day.

Continue reading

Sebastian Michaelis, Private Tutor Version

(Not like I’m planning on getting either of the other versions, of course!)

Mine at last!
Mine at last!

Wow.  Mandarake really ships things quickly!  I was sure I wouldn’t see him until at least the second week in January, but he arrived on Friday!  (Though I wasn’t home at the time, so I didn’t actually get my hands on him until Saturday.)  Sebas-chan here was the second doll in the Pullip family that I fell in love with — albeit, in his case, based solely on Groove’s official publicity photos — but by the time I started buying dolls online, he had already become impossible to find except at jacked up prices.

(Due warning:  there may be various references (like “Sebas-chan”) to the manga Black Butler that might seem incomprehensible for those Pullip fans who don’t read the manga.  This is inevitable, so all I can do is apologize for it.  (Dunno if watching the anime will suffice; I’ve only seen a few episodes.  It failed to enthrall me the way the manga did.))

Sebastian 3

Sadly, this version of Sebastian does not come with silverware. 😛  I’m pretty sure the original actually did, though, which is awesome.  But 1/6th scale silverware is not exactly hard to come by, so that’s not a big deal.  However, I’m not sure I want Sebastian to be armed, just in case.  He’s dangerous enough with his bare hands…

Sebastian 5

Just one close-up of the accessories in the box.  His glasses, of course. 😀  It’s interesting that he’s not wearing his coat on his “Feel Like So” card, though.

Sebas-chan's sock feet!
Sebas-chan’s sock feet!

Sebastian in sock feet is not something that comes up a lot in the manga.  (I’m not sure if it’s ever come up, in fact.  But it would take a long time to check, considering that the translation is now up to, what, Volume 21?  Plus most of my manga shelves are hard to get at, ’cause there are dolls sitting in front of the books.  (Yeah, not the smartest arrangement, I know.))  I thought it was important to show his socks now, ’cause no way am I taking his shoes back off, as they were a pain to get on in the first place.  I needed a tiny shoehorn.

Sebastian 6

When I tried to get his coat off so I could remove the plastic from his arms (though why there was plastic on his arms I’ll never know, considering he’s wearing a white shirt underneath the coat), I was temporarily stymied, because they had sewn the front of his jacket closed at the bottom.  Not sure why they did that…

I’d never undressed a Taeyang before; I was surprised at how differently some of his joints work from Pullip’s and Dal’s joints.  I wonder if Isul’s joints work like Taeyang’s…?  Part of me is tempted to use that $20 off code after all, and get a Taeyang and an Isul to re-wig and re-dress (even though that’d mean an entirely new set of clothes, since all my spare clothes are for female dolls) so if that happens, I may post some photos of the difference in the joints.  (Or not.  Maybe that would be dull.)

Sebastian 7

I’m not entirely satisfied with his hair.  Or rather, I’m not sure if I should try to style it a little.  (It’s perfectly nice hair.)  Groove’s official photos of him have put some product in his hair to give him some straight bits in front of his face, which is more or less his normal  hairstyle, but he wore his hair differently in the private tutor disguise.

Since the early volumes of the manga are the hardest to reach, I thought I’d check the new artbook for some images of him in this get-up.

(c) Yana Toboso
(c) Yana Toboso

This chibi was all I could find.  (Accompanying chibi provided largely because it’s so freaking cute.)  There was an illustration of Ciel in his party dress — poor Ciel! — but this was the only illustration of Sebastian in private tutor mode.  And the ascot is a different color.  (I guess it was red in the anime?)

The butler's "lecherous face"
The butler’s “lecherous face”

Not sure if Lizzie’s mother would feel that the glasses made him look less lecherous, or more lecherous…though either way, he’s more lechery-inducing than anything else.

The eye of the demon
The eye of the demon

His eyes really do seem to glow; they catch and reflect the light amazingly well.  In the manga, I’m pretty sure he normally has ordinary, human-shaped pupils, but that’s okay, ’cause these look cool. 😛

"If I don't complete this quickly, Young Master's tea will be late."
“If I don’t complete this quickly, Young Master’s tea will be late.”

Not just a chain, but an actual, proper fob watch!

Sebastian 9

Which then goes into the pocket of his waistcoat, nice and proper!

"The loyal hound is prepared to obey your commands, Young Master."
“The loyal hound obeys its master’s commands.”

Normally, he’d be holding the glove in his teeth, but…yeah, Taeyang can’t do that.  (Of course, due to the way Taeyang’s hands are constructed, they’re more mittens than gloves, but…can’t have everything!)


 

And now, a brief skit.  (Please imagine that the backdrop is an elegant ball in a vaguely Victorian style.)

"My pardon, ladies, but I am merely a tutor. Have you seen my charge, Lady Robin? She was looking for Viscount Druitt..."
“Won’t you dance with me?” “No, me!”   “No, no, I saw him first!” “My pardon, ladies, but I am merely a tutor. Have you seen my charge, Lady Robin? She was looking for Viscount Druitt…”
"My, what a charming creature you are! I had no idea the viscount was so well connected. May I have the honor?"
“My, what a charming creature you are! I had no idea the viscount was so well connected. May I have the honor?”
"Myyyrrr?!
“Myyyrrr?!”
"Meow."
“Meow.”
"I said...meow!"
“I said…meow!”
"Madam, you are quite clearly not a cat. Please desist."
“Madam, you are quite clearly not a cat. Please desist.”

Okay, yeah, stupid, I know.  Sebastian would never want to hug a cat with cake all over her dress.  😛  Not sure if catgirls would have the same appeal to him as cats, anyway.  (Although he did try to cuddle a lion, so….who knows?)

Without her wig, it wasn’t as hard to get Selina’s hood-thing on, but then her mask-thing was too big.  (Go figure, right?)  And I probably shouldn’t have included a Blythe in the clamor of girls wanting to dance with Sebastian, but…I couldn’t resist!  After all, Alice, too, is Victorian, and if she looks a bit younger than the Pullips, that’s okay, ’cause Lizzie was at the party, too, and if she’s only Ciel’s age, then…realistically, she was way too young to be at that kind of party.  (Actually, I don’t think they had balls quite like that in the late Victorian era, but…Toboso hadn’t done much research yet that early in the manga.  The longer it’s gone on, the less outlandish the anachronisms have become.)

"And now, please enjoy some diverting photos of severed heads."
“And now, please enjoy some diverting photos of severed heads.”

Thanks, but if I want your help, Sebastian, I’ll ask for it.

Really, what I need it some advice about the heads for the Cardcaptor Sakura dolls.  If you recall from my fit earlier, I found that the heads I ordered had a little possibly-a-mouth-or-maybe-just-the-base-of-the-nose line that I found aesthetically unpleasing.  So I tried to remove that line, via sanding and filing.  (The file coming into it when the sandpaper proved too slow.)

I’m worried that the result is, um, less than attractive.  I tried drawing a mouth on it to see how distracting the flatness is.  (The mouth is temporary; if I keep it, I’ll be painting over it, but following the basic line as presented.  Probably.  Might erase it and do an utterly different mouth.  Dunno.)

The head in question
The head in question

The fact is that I ended up sanding off some of the chin as well as the horrible little mouth line.

Side view
Side view

I just don’t know how bad it is, distraction-wise.

For comparison's sake...
For comparison’s sake…

Here’s the new flat-mouthed one next to an untouched head.

And from the side
And from the side

I’m just still not sure.  Maybe I need to draw a mouth on the untouched head first?

Any thoughts?  (Either way, I have to make another Junky Spot order soon (I’ll explain later) so if I have to order a new head to replace the flat-mouthed one, it’s not a huge issue…)

Oh, before I forget!  The gallery link for this post is here.

 

Red Friday

Santa Grell reminds you to stock up on red things this holiday season...
Santa Grell reminds you to stock up on red things this holiday season…

He’s too cute.  I couldn’t resist. 😛

Grell’s probably out hitting the sales, looking for lipstick and gas for his chainsaw-scythe so that no matter what, he can leave Sebas-chan nicely smeared in red next time they meet.

Gawd, Grell’s a freak. 😛  But when he’s not butchering the pacing, he’s a lot of fun. 😀

I, however, am not out hitting the sales.  I am cowering in my house, avoiding the crowds.

Anything I buy today will be on Amazon, JPGroove, PullipStyle, Junky Spot, and other online marketplaces.  Where crowds don’t matter, because they’re safely far away from me.

But mostly I’ll be working on my research papers.  (Whee!)  And doing some NaNo-ing, of course.

Sebastian takes up guitar

Sebastian on guitar 1

Sebastian:  While it goes without saying that I can master something as simple as the Spanish Guitar, I must say that this does not seem to be an activity befitting the dignity of the Phantomhive butler, young master.

Sebastian on guitar 2

Ciel:  I didn’t tell you to stop, Sebastian.

Sebastian on guitar 3

Sebastian:  Very well, young master.  (Must remember how delicious his soul is going to be.  Must remember how delicious his soul is going to be.  Must remember…)


Yeah, that was weird, I know.  (Sorry about Sebastian’s intrusive stand, btw, but it’s not like there’s any way to make him stand up without it!)

I know it’s also rather weird to put the Little Taeyang+ Sebastian together with the Nendoroid Ciel, but…that’s what I’ve got.  (In fact, I have three Black Butler SD characters, all in different styles/formats.  Though the Funko Pop! Grell fell behind the desk and I can’t get him out until I move enough of the crap in front of the desk to be able to move the desk.  (He would do that.  He’s such a drama queen!  Er, drama shinigami?))

Actually, there’s another Black Butler toy I might get if the store still has it when it becomes seasonally appropriate.  On Tuesday night, I was at one of those used stores I’m always frequenting, stores which also carry lots of new merchandise.  And two of the new things they had were a couple of Black Butler Christmas-themed plushies.  Now, Sebastian dressed in red just doesn’t work for me, not at all.  (He has to wear black:  it’s the title of the manga!)  But the Santa Grell was unspeakably adorable.  (And I’m not exactly a Grell fan, I might add.  It’s not that he’s not entertaining, it’s just that he murders the pacing every time he’s shown up since that first appearance.  I don’t think he was actually supposed to come back, and only did come back because he’d become so popular.)  So if they still have him when it’s December — or at least late November — then I’m totally going to get him.  They won’t still have him, of course, but…

Anyway, on a final note, I’m preparing a non-Halloween-themed post soon, on my further adventures(?) in attempted resin casting, including eye chips that may or may not end up in Pyrrha’s head.  (We’ll have to see if I feel satisfied with how any of them look in place, y’know?)  I’ve taken the photos, but haven’t finished processing them yet (okay, I know, cropping and re-sizing is not that time-consuming, but I do have 746 pages of reading due by Thursday!) and writing the accompanying post would take time, so…well, it’ll probably go up tomorrow or the next day.  (So I guess this paragraph was a “coming soon” announcement?)