Pineapple Princess Neo Blythe

I am astonished at how quickly this doll arrived!  She shipped from Japan on Friday, and arrived Monday morning!!  You have to pay through the nose for shipping when you buy from Junie Moon, but at least you get your money’s worth.  (I regret that I couldn’t post about her arrival yesterday, but I went to my parents’ place for lunch — so soon after her arrival that I didn’t have time to open the cardboard box she shipped in! — and didn’t get home again until almost ten o’clock.)

The first thing you notice about Pineapple Princess is her fun box.  Check out the full pattern (from the side of the box):

(And no, that’s not upside down.)  This is a blue version of the print on her dress.  And I have to say, I’d like to have a jacket for her in this blue version.  Or a blue dress.  Or something.  It’s such a fun print, you know?

So, here she is, out of the box.  Pineapple Princess is the first Blythe to be released with the new translucent mocha skin tone (at least, that’s how I interpret the phrasing on the Junie Moon order page), and I have to say that it’s absolutely gorgeous.  The one drawback to the skin tone is that her torso doesn’t quite match her arms, legs and head.  (Maybe for later translucent mocha releases, they’ll be able to address that.)

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Mandarake and AmiAmi

Yeah, normally today would be a “Silent Sunday” post but…I actually have a lot of things I want to post about between now and April 1, so I didn’t want to waste a day on that.  (Given all the days of utter silence since I last posted anything, I realize that sounds a bit insane.  But that’s just how things have been going over here lately.)

Anyway, I know at some point I mentioned another Mandarake order, but I don’t think I even got around to mentioning the AmiAmi order.  I’ll get to that later, though.  First, I want to show you what came from Mandarake.  Minus two items because one is being saved for April A-to-Z and the other might go into April A-to-Z as well as a sort of a side item and if it doesn’t, I’ll stick it in another post later.

Um.

Right, so let’s start with the Nendoroids.

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I already have a fair number of these Nendoroid Petit Vocaloids — Miku, KAITO, Rin and Len, Luka, Kimono Luka, Crystal Miku (the latter two being from a different collection) — but since Mandarake was selling a few of them opened and identified, and they weren’t very expensive, I figured “why not?”

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Yowane Haku

Poor Haku doesn’t look very happy!  She should be happy, though:  despite being a mere fanloid, she was an extra character in Project Diva f and Project Diva f 2nd!

Sakine Meiko
Sakine Meiko

Sakine Meiko is also a fanloid/pitchloid, but an unusual one:  she’s a variant on an official Vocaloid (MEIKO) who also is that Vocaloid.  She is, technically, supposed to be a younger version of MEIKO.  Which means a slightly cuter outfit and a slightly higher voice, and not much else, really.  (Well, maybe her breasts are supposed to be slightly smaller, too, but since this is a Nendoroid, that’s not really an issue.)

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She’s perched on one of Rena’s chairs because she has a problem that plagues most of the Nendoroid Petits in my collection:  the stand’s prongy-thing will not go into the little hole in the back of her head.  😦  Haku is about the only one I’ve got where it went in easily.  (Of course, she then countered that by giving me a lot of trouble when I tried to get her ponytail to attach!)

And, because I ended up with an all-Vocaloid Nendo order…

Gakupo!
Gakupo!

I love Gakupo.  They need to add him to the next Project Diva game.  He’s got a fantastic voice, and he’s super-cute.  (Though he’ll never be as attractive as his voice provider.  Gackt is totally hot.)

However, because things have been so crazy around here — and because opening a Nendoroid involves a lot of time spent on “ooh, which part do I like best?” — I haven’t actually opened him yet.  *deep shame*

Changing gears a bit…

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This is from a line called “Blythe Belle”…which seems to just be cute little plastic figurines of Blythe in various attires and so on.  They were inexpensive and adorable, so I got this mermaid one, and…

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…of course I had to get the Alice-themed one! 😀  Whenever I get around to opening these, I’ll take a picture of this one with my Alice Blythe to show you the scale differential.  But these are tiny.  Actually not that different in size from the Nendoroid Petits, really.

Now, for a serious divergence…

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I love the Dragon Quest series.  (I was crushed that they went with the title Dragon Quest Heroes instead of Dragon Quest Warriors, though.  What with the first few Dragon Quest games to come over here having been called Dragon Warrior instead.  Also I’m a bit crushed that it’s next-gen only, as I won’t be getting a PS4 anytime soon…)  And these golems have had a special place in my heart for a long time, ever since the time when I was falling asleep and suddenly had my head filled with half-remembered, half-forgotten game images, of one of these (and I think it was, in fact, golden) hiding in a ruin, so that you could only see it if you rotated the camera.  Took me forever to remember what game it was from, and by the time I did, every bit of it was seared permanently onto my brain.  (It was, of course, from Dragon Quest VIII.)

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I was actually pretty surprised:  he’s not metallic-colored plastic, or plastic covered with a thin layer of metal.  He is, in fact, solid metal.  That’s pretty cool. 🙂

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The last sight of many an unwary adventurer…

 

Okay, so let’s move on to the one big ticket item in the order!

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Yup, I now have a Momoko doll! 😀  And a slightly Alice-themed one, to boot! 😉

I get the feeling she’s a fairly old one, but I don’t know for sure, since there’s no date on her box, and I don’t want to spend the time on Google looking for a release list or something.  (At some point, I’ll do that, but right now I have other things I wanna do with my time.)

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To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in Momoko.  Sure, she’s pretty.  But her limbs are hollow plastic.  And I mean you can feel that they’re hollow.  It’s not as bad as the super-cheap dolls you find in the $1 bin at K-Mart or something, but…it’s annoying that a doll this expensive has a body that was made on the cheap.  She doesn’t even have as many articulation points as Pullip.

But, like I said above, I’m pretty sure she’s an older model.  So I’m hoping the newer models have better bodies.  (Okay…that sounded like I was talking about something else altogether…)

Anyway, I didn’t spend much time messing around with her, between time constraints and the disappointingly constructed body.

So let’s move on to the AmiAmi order.  A while back, I checked and saw that they had gotten in more Pure Neemo XS bodies, and naturally I added one to my cart so I could finally make Tomoyo-chan.  And while I was at it…

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I’ve wanted to get a Picco Neemo for quite a while now.  And since it seemed like they were a popular choice to rebody Little Pullip+ dolls, I didn’t bothering looking around to see what kind of head would work.

But let’s make it clear just how small Picco Neemo really is!

Big Shipment 30Here’s a comparison with the body I ordered for Tomoyo-chan…

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And here’s both bodies with Pyrrha and her Azone-like body.  (Not sure which Pure Neemo size her body is like.  M, maybe?)

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My first thought was just to do a side-by-side size comparison, so I took this shot of Rovam with the Picco Neemo body, but then I realized something:

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I only had one Little Pullip+ that seemed like a really good candidate for re-bodying, and that was Miss Green here.  (Most of my Little+ dolls are actually Dal, and Little Dal+ looks a lot better as-is than Little Pullip+.  To my eyes, anyway.)

And that would have been the end of the post.  (It was originally going to be the end.)

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But then I de-boxed Miss Green while I was on the phone, and I was certainly glad I hadn’t intended to keep her stock, given that the faux leather on her belt stuck to the packaging and half of it stayed with the packaging!

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While I was at it, I also opened the Picco Neemo dress, just to see how it fit her stock body.  It turned a short dress into a long one, but otherwise it fit pretty nicely, if a bit loose in places.

Then, as my dinner was cooking, I started messing around and trying to get her wig off so I could see how (in)compatible the Little Pullip+ neckplug and the Picco Neemo one was.

Well, it turned out that they were both very incompatible, and supremely compatible, all at the same time.  The Picco Neemo plug had no hope of fitting without my doing massive work…but it could be pulled out, and the end of the neck fit beautifully into the neckhole at the base of the head…

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The result’s not perfect, of course.  She’s got almost no neck now, and can only turn her head side to side, unlike the range of motion the plug might have given.  (On the other hand, she could only turn her head side to side on her original body.)  And that little blue dress is so short that if she sits down it’s indecent.  (Actually, once I order her a dress from Etsy, I’m probably just going to give that blue dress to some other Little+ doll.)  Also now her wig slips around a lot, but some double-stick tape (or something) should fix that. 😛

When her new clothes get here, I’ll do some shots of her with other dolls, to give more perspective on her size.  (Of course, I haven’t even ordered the new clothes yet, so who knows when that’ll be.  But I did favorite some shops that sold Picco Neemo clothes at the same time that I ordered this body, so at least finding her something to wear shouldn’t take too long.)

All right, so that’s all I wanted to share right now about these two orders.  The gallery is here.

Tomorrow or the next day, I want to post about my surprising haul on Friday, which was totally unintentional, and became quite expensive…though actually I probably won’t be posting about the stuff from GameStop, at least not right now anyway.  (I only went in to pick up my pre-order for Hyrule Warriors Legends, but there was other stuff, and a used game, and…yeah, it goes that way sometimes.)  But the other two shops are more in sync with this blog, so…yep, I wanna share.  And, of course, I have a doll review still waiting to be written.  *sigh*

Also, by tomorrow, I should know if something very, very exciting is happening this weekend.  Or rather, I know something very exciting is happening this weekend, I just don’t know if I’m going to get to take part in it.  It’ll depend on what happens at my doctor’s appointment tomorrow.  (Hopefully, it’ll go the way I want, and I’ll get to take part.  If not, I just know I’m going to buy something sinful to get over the hurt.  Despite that I just spent all this money.  *sigh*  My dolly urge apparently does not have the much needed “off” switch.)

Body Swapping

Fixing Pyrrha’s eye mechanism is still on hold until I can go look for plastic-sticked cotton swabs, but I finally got around to some re-bodying.

So I’ve been wanting to give my Dal Len a male Obitsu body pretty much since the day he arrived here, right?  I’d seen this lovely tutorial on re-bodying Pullips with Obitsu bodies, so I thought I knew just what I’d have to do in order to make the swap from Dal body to 23 cm male Obitsu body.  Then I got a look at the 23 cm body’s neck:

Obitsu 23 cm boy body

And, as a reminder, this is the neck on the Dal body:

body swaps 1

In the conventional Pullip swap, you just need to get the two plugs compatible, right?  But this one has an added challenge above and beyond reducing the size of the plug:

Screwed!
Screwed!

Apparently, the larger body sizes (or maybe it’s the female bodies?) have the screw below the plug.  But here it’s at the top.  And this is the plug that goes on top, viewed from the underside:

body swaps 5

See the lip at the far end?  That would be the first thing to go if I was to simply sand the plug down, but that’s also the part that holds it in place on the stick below.  So sanding really wasn’t an option here, and I had to find another solution.

My solution, in the rough.
My solution, in the rough.

I made a mold of the plug on the Dal body neck, and cast a rough plug in opaque resin.  (Which I haven’t worked with since learning I couldn’t add paint to color it, and I had the unpleasant surprise discovery that a bit of partially catalyzed resin had gotten on the interior of the lid of one of the bottles, so I had to cut a hole in the side and transfer the rest into an empty water bottle.  Fortunately, it was the yellow stuff, so I won’t mistake it for water later on. 😛  )

Of course, then I had to cut off the excess, sand it down to a more-or-less flat surface and drill a hole through it, then sand down the stick it connects to, and use the drill to extend the screw hole further than it originally went.  But eventually, I got it to this point:

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Honestly, I should have kept going; there’s a lot more gap there than there is on the Dal body, but I was afraid to sand any further down.  I think what I need to do is to widen the hole on the resin so that it’ll pass down around the stick a bit.  But I’ll have to take poor Len apart again to do that, because he’s now re-assembled on his new, male body:

Tada!
Tada!

His head is way wobbly, and his clothes fit awkwardly, but at least he no longer has breasts.  (His head should get less wobbly after I adjust the resin plug a bit more.  But I’ll want to figure out where the heck my set of jeweler’s files disappeared to yesterday before I can do that…)

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He can now look like he’s really playing his…um…keytar?  (What the heck is that thing called?)  I do love the changeable hands, but I wish he came with a V-for-Victory set of hands.  That would have made that earlier picture perfect. 😛

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I sorta want to get Rin an Obitsu body now, too.  After I figure out how to fix the problems with Len’s wobbly head, anyway. 😛  (I also really need to figure out a good way to re-style his hair, ’cause that is so not what it’s supposed to look like.)

Anyway, not being the type who likes to have dolly parts lying around unused, I had to find a new head for the old Dal body, and that was easily accomplished:

Yay!
Yay!

Technically, the Licca clothes are a bit baggy on the Dal body — and the shoes are laughably large for tiny Dal feet — but they don’t look too bad…except for one tiny problem:

"Hee hee...don't tell!"
“Hee hee…don’t tell!”

Miku now has the wrong number on her arm. 😛  (Maybe she’s getting ready to perform “Rin-chan Now!“?)  Anyway, my Licca Miku is now just as poseable as my Pullip Luka:

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(Yeah, it’s been a while since I posted anything that crazy/creepy, right?)

Anyway, the Licca body has moved over to another Miku:

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The reason I wanted to give Yuki Miku the Licca body was because of those black tights.  They didn’t fit the Azone body properly.  And so instead of giving the Dal body to Yuki Miku here and leaving regular Miku as she was, I thought I’d do this swap, so that the tights would actually fit.  The Azone body now belongs to Sakura…not that I’ve actually started applying her face or anything yet.  (Syaoran’s face is almost done, though!  And both of their wigs are on the way.)

Speaking of black tights, though, I need to get some in Pure Neemo XS size.  ‘Cause I ordered one of the bendy Sakura dolls’ outfits off of Etsy, but it didn’t have its black tights or its kitty-ear headband.  I can make the headband (eventually), but the tights…I’ll need to buy those.  I didn’t find any Pure Neemo XS sized clothes on Etsy, though.  Not any black tights, at least.  I should probably check AmiAmi before I order black tights in another doll size, huh?  (Only just thought of that…)

The headbands are going to be another question entirely, of course.  I tested the one headband I already had on Mei-lin’s head, and it didn’t fit her.  So I’ll need to make a mold of a headband blank, I suppose, and then make resin copies of the wings off the headband I have, and add those on to one blank headband, and add kitty ears on to another blank headband.  I just have to figure out the size of headband to use for the mold first.  (Monster High will be a bit big, but I think Barbie will be a bit small…and I’m not sure I can find a blank Barbie headband anyway.)

Face-ups, Re-bodies, and other updates

Well, I’ll start with the easiest, and happiest update.  Remember this?

Noooooooo!
Noooooooo!

Well, now it’s this:

Ta-da!
Ta-da!

The drilling worked, mostly.  (Thanks, BlackKitty!)  The broken-off plug is still rattling around in there, but I’ve put a big enough hole in it that I can get the other hands in now.  There’s a bit of a gap, but…it’s much better than no hand at all.  (And I’m afraid to keep drilling, because I was starting to wreck up the lip that holds the hand in place.  The plastic is pretty soft.)  She’s not currently wearing her little lilac…thingies…’cause I forgot about them.  😛

Anyway, Yuki Miku has more changes in store in the future; I’m going to give this body to either Sakura or Tomoyo-chan, put this head and outfit on the Licca body, and the regular Miku Licca head and outfit on Len’s old Dal body, once that’s available.

Speaking of that….remember this?

Len is excited to have his new (boy) body arrive!
Len is excited to have his new (boy) body arrive!

Len was less excited to have me rip his wig off, unscrew his head and remove his body.  Especially because when I then tried his clothes on the Obitsu body, it turned out I’d ordered the wrong size. 😦  (I should have tried his clothes on the body before taking him apart!)  So now I have this male Obitsu body just lying around uselessly, and Len needs the next size up.  On the other hand, there’s that head I wrecked up by trying to sand its mouth off, so I’m going to give that head to this body.  (Not sure what I’ll do to remedy the flat chin situation.  Possibly a fake beard, in the Egyptian style.  I could make a pharaoh.  Or, given my limited skill, maybe I should wrap it entirely in bandages and make a mummy…though that would be something of a waste of an Obitsu body…)

Anyway, you may recall that earlier I said Suve’s face-up was finished and just awaited sealing?  Well, she’s been sealed, and is now wearing her wig and clothes:

Suve, all put together
Suve, all put together

The white shirt really highlights the yellowish tone of her skin, unfortunately.  I don’t know why they made a skin tone that looks jaundiced.  (I wonder if I could dye her?)  Anyway, I think her eyes worked out well, although I didn’t strictly speaking intend to give her a side-glance:  the first eye I put in there got nicely positioned that way, and I decided it would be easier to make both of them looking to the side than it would be to try re-positioning that first eye.  (Though even so they’re still not quite aligned with each other…)

Face-up close-up
Face-up close-up

I’m pretty proud of her eyebrows.  (I already knew I was putting a pink wig on her, so I went ahead and made her eyebrows and eyelashes pink to match…though the shade’s not actually the same, unfortunately.)  However, her lips make me want to cry.  They looked so nice before I sealed them!  But apparently the sealer I was using (Testors Dullcote) melts my pastels. 😦  The colored pencils stayed, but not the pastels.

Anyway, before we move on to my other big over-the-break project, I want to give a bit of a further update on the Cardcaptor Sakura dolls.  Drawing a large open mouth does seem to work (thanks, Olive!) but I don’t have any pictures to show yet:  my first attempts were good enough to show that it’ll do the trick, but not good enough to keep, so I’ve already erased them.  I’m going to have to dig out my CCS artbooks and try to reproduce each character’s real smile, if that makes sense.  (Not like I’ll be able to come anywhere near reproducing CLAMP artwork, but…I can at least use it as a guide.)

And — quite literally in between those two pictures of Suve — my package from AmiAmi arrived, with the two Pure Neemo XS boy bodies.  (Also with a cool statuette of Yosuke.  I’ll post pictures later.)  It was a struggle, but I’m pleased to say that I was able to get Mei-lin’s clothes on the boy body (unlike the girl body) so while it’s sort of sad that she has to have a boy’s body, at least she will have a body!  Yay!  😀  So I’ll have to get on painting those mouths and getting the eye decals in place!  🙂

Okay, so now I can move on to my other major project…

This is Pyrrha's current state.
This is Pyrrha’s current state.

Getting her taken apart wasn’t too difficult (though a few of the inner bits were kind of tricksy), but…I felt like it was a partial waste of time.  Why?  Because it turned out I didn’t have any glue sticks to get her eye chips out!  I was sure I had gotten some, but evidently not. 😦  And I don’t know when the heck I can go and get some, ’cause every place is crazy due to the impending Christmas.  (Unless the grocery store would have them.  But I somehow doubt that’ll be the case.)  I guess it’ll probably be safe by Monday…but that means I won’t be able to do anything to figure out if the eye chips I’ve made look even halfway decent until then. 😦

Anyway, sanding off the shine was pretty easy (though a few bits linger, particularly around her ears) but getting all the color off her lips was nuts.  I had to use a teeny tiny jewelry file to get at the color in between the lips, and I think there’s still a trace of pigment remaining even so.  *sigh*  Once the sanding was done, I figured I’d just put a coat of sealer on as a primer, so the plastic would more readily accept the pigment, particularly the pastels.

By the time I had put the cap back on the can, I noticed bubbles forming on her forehead, and on the plate that’s the back of her head.  I’m not sure if that was the sealant having a negative chemical reaction with her plastic, or if I just didn’t shake it up well enough (it’s a new can, which doesn’t help; maybe they changed the formula?) or if they were just air bubbles or what.  But I wasn’t about to take any chances, so I wiped it all off.  (I should probably also give her another going over with the sandpaper, just to be sure.)

Thus my Junky Spot order took on an emergency nature, and I placed it right away, adding a can of MSC to the new body for Len, and the replacement head.  While I was at it, I also ordered a wig for Mei-lin, and a wig for the mystery new guy…which I guess means I’m not making a pharoah or a mummy after all.  😛  (I will still probably go “beard” route to hide the chin problem, though.  Or he could be a cowboy with his bandanna over his face like a bank robber. 😛 )  When it was just the head and the body, I was going to wait and see if they had a post-Christmas sale, but when the sealer needed for Pyrrha’s face-up became involved, then it couldn’t wait!  (Though, of course, it still won’t come until around the 4th, according to the e-mail, but…it’d surely take even longer if I wanted until after Christmas, right?)  This will also let me fix up Suve’s lips, while I’m at it.  I ordered the wigs because they’re actually cheaper than most of the wigs that size I found on Etsy.  (And Mei-lin has long, straight hair in pigtails, so the only styling I’ll need to do is putting the hair in the twin tails, and I think I can handle that much.  The wig comes with bangs, so no cutting is required.  That’s the important thing.)

Okay, so that’s all the updates on direct dolly situations.  Now I’m going to bore you with accounts of my further experiments in resin casting. 😛  But I’ll start with the eye chips.

Painted eyes
Painted eyes

At some point earlier, I’m pretty sure I said that I had bought something at Michael’s that might let me paint perfectly round pupils.  Well, that thing — I think it was called a “dauber” — was for use with stencils, and turned out to be a dowel with a small sponge on the end.  I probably would have been better off with just the dowel, because the sponge would splort out extra paint to the sides and…well, the end result is still a lot more perfectly round than anything I’ve painted free-hand, but it doesn’t look too great, either.  And it’s still up to my bad visual centers and poor hand-eye coordination to get the pupil in the center of the eye, so…well, you can see above that while they’re better than my previous attempts to paint an eye, they’re still not great.

(However, I am crushed to report that at some point between starting work on this post yesterday and right now, I have somehow lost one of these eye chips.  I had them lying out on top of the table by the chair where I sit in here, and suddenly I looked over this afternoon and only saw three instead of four.  (The other two being the pair pictured below.)  I had left them out because I wasn’t sure if I needed to maybe seal them or something.  But one of them seems to have been knocked off the table.  And there’s a lot of stuff in the way of searching the floor. 😦  I’m going to have to move everything all over the place and shine a bright light into the nooks and crannies and hope I can find it.  Probably that’ll be tomorrow morning, before I get dressed to go to my parents’ place for Christmas.)

More painted eyes
More painted eyes

The pupils on these are a bit less centered — and a bit less perfectly round — than the other pair.  I can’t begin to imagine how people successfully paint realistic eyes on the backs of eye chips.  I mean, seriously, how do they do that?  You have to paint the details on first, and then the larger colors on top of them!  It’s a little nuts.  Anyway, if these don’t look too crappy in place (of course, they do look too crappy), they have the bonus that the white stripes are actually glow-in-the-dark. 😀

Heart pupils
Heart pupils

Another idea I had was to put beads in the resin to be the pupils.  I bought some round ones for that purpose, but they were too wide and too thick. 😦  However, these little hearts are a good size for it!  Except with the slight flaw on that one…  Anyway, I haven’t decided if I want to paint these, or put them in front of one of those printed sets of eyes.  (Probably the thing to do would be to paint them a solid color, or maybe a blotchy color?)  The resin on the sides looks scratched in the photos, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a weird angle on the air bubbles giving an optical illusion of a scratch.

Fail.
Fail.

This was an idea that would have been really awesome if it had worked.  And the “fail” is not because one of them is totally off-center, btw.  (Though that doesn’t help.)  No, the fail is because those aren’t teeny tiny little mirrors.  Let me show a comparison shot with these eye chips and duplicates of what I had placed inside the mold to be pupils:

face-ups 9

The focus isn’t as good on this one, but you can see what they are, anyway.  If this had worked, it would have been so cool!  But the gem-like parts melted. 😦  (In the previous shot, you can actually see the melted bit surrounding the silver backing.  Which makes me want to try it with a colored gem-like sticker to see how that would look.)  I think the reason I wanted to do this is because I’ve seen some fashion dolls that actually used this kind of thing for the eyes.  I had one as a girl — a Barbie-inspired doll, possibly with a fairy theme, which also had wonderful purple hair, but all I have left is her little plastic flower crown — and I’ve seen more recent Disney princess dolls that did that.  (Probably from the early 1990s.  There’s one in the museum’s collection, but I don’t think they were around at a time when I was actively collecting, so I’m not sure of the date.  They’re Mattel made, though; the museum’s catalog had identified the doll (who is clearly Aurora) as Barbie.)

Anyway, I wanted to try and make gem-cut-shaped eye chips, so when I was at Michael’s…last weekend?  This past weekend?  Ack, I’m going senile?  Well, whenever it was, I went there unexpectedly, so I didn’t have an eye chip on me for size comparison, and I had to find something in the store that was labelled as being 14 mm in diameter, and then compare it to beads that had the right cut.  My intention was to make a mold off the bead, and then use it to make eye chips, right?  Unfortunately, the height difference from the place where it reaches the 14 mm diameter and the top of the gem-cut is about twice the thickness of an eye chip, so that turned out to be a waste. 😦  I still think it’s a good idea, though.  I’m going to actually remember to have an eye chip on me next time, and I think I’ll try at Jo Ann’s, too.

face-ups 10

So I’ve been making a lot of different eye chips filled with glitter.  I’m not sure how any of them are going to look in a Blythe face, though.  This was my first experiment.

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This experiment was more subtle, and a much better idea, but it unfortunately didn’t work very well.  I had placed large snowflake-shaped pieces of glitter (more like sequins without holes, really) in the center of each mold, and then added the glitter-filled resin on top.  Unfortunately, in filling in underneath the snowflakes, it rendered them all but invisible. 😦

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I did the same thing with these — made in a Mod Podge mold intended for hot glue…? — and as you can see it worked perfectly on the small one on the top, but the larger one has the same basic problem as the eye chips.  (I’ve been playing around with these gem-shaped molds a lot, in part just to get rid of excess resin, ’cause you can’t really mix only enough resin to use with the eye chip mold, and it’s a shame to just waste the rest.  Though I suppose in a way it’s still a waste, as I have no idea what I’m going to use these for.  I’m not going to bore you with all the photos, though.  They are in the gallery, however.)

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This is jumping ahead a bit, but I tried again with the snowflake pupil eyes.  (Because I’m thinking that next factory girl I get, whenever that’ll be, I may want to make each of her sets of eye chips relate to one of the four seasons.  That seems like fun, right?)  This time, I filled the mold with clear resin, and then just sprinkled glitter on the back.  It worked better, but there are still problems, in that the blue glitter wasn’t enough to cover the whole back, and there was so much of the white glitter that it made the resin spill massively over the side on one of them.  (Obviously, if I just trim that off, it should be fine, though there’s still a lot of unglittered area.)  For all of these, I can probably just use a similar colored metallic paint on the back and it’ll be okay, but it’s still not ideal.  I think the thing to do is to put in a small layer of clear resin over the eye chips, let it harden, and then fill the rest of the mold area with the glitter-filled resin.

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These were made at the same time as the first snowflake attempt.  In this case, I tried to liven up the eye chips by using two different sizes.  There’s fine silver, and then a purple and teal mix that’s the same size as the orange and gold mix in that first set.  The purple and teal is largely hidden by the silver, though, so you mostly just get a hint of it.  (Not sure what else I expected to be the case, mind you.  It’s called an experiment for a reason, right?)

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TARDIS blue, right? 😛  I have some little gear-shaped charms (beads?) that I’m going to use as pupils and back them with this kind of glitter to make a new pair of eye chips for Romana.  (Since there was one of hers I really didn’t like.)

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These have a medium-sized glitter.  It’s probably the best size for this kind of thing.  Assuming, of course, that solid glitter eyes don’t look hideous in place in person.  (I’ve seen photos of other people’s all-glitter eye chips, but I won’t know what I think until I see these in Pyrrha’s face, y’know?)  Although, obviously, this particular color will not do for Pyrrha, being bright red, since she has pink hair.  But I was mixing up red glittery resin for another reason…

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That reason being this.  The mold was a novelty ice cube tray I got at Target for about $1 a couple of years ago.  (I know, weird, right?)  But I’m sure you’re wondering what I wanted a red, glittery lightning bolt for, right?

Tada!
Tada!

It’s a barrette!  For me!  (Finally, I’ve made something useful!)  I look terrible with my hair pulled all the way back, but I can’t have it just loose, because it would then fall in my face, and I used to wear headbands, but the ends of them conflict painfully with my glasses.  So I’ve taken to braiding the sides, and using the braids to pull the hair out of my face.  But the best thing to hold them in place is a small barrette, and it’s really hard to find those that are in any way interesting.  I’ve mostly been wearing the same barrette over and over and over again, and that gets dull.  (I also have some plastic ones that I got cheap at…ack, I forgot the name.  Claire’s?  Is that it?  Jewelry store aimed at the early teen crowd.  Whatever it’s called, the plastic ones are in bright colors that only match maybe a third of my shirts.)  Anyway, I wanted to make some that would be fun and maybe match some of my clothes, and this was my first attempt.  It’s good enough to use, but it still has issues.  I used too much resin, so it’s much too thick; there’s too much red, and then there’s too much silver, which makes it hard to open and close the barrette.  I have some other fun novelty ice cube trays (all of which I had bought planning to use them for molds with polymer clay) so I’m hoping some of the others are also the right size.  (Though why I would need Space Invaders themed barrettes I’m not quite sure…)  In any case, since these barrette clips are so small, these could also work as large barrettes for dolls with big heads, like Blythe, Pullip and 1/3 scale dolls, so if I ever decide to start selling things on Etsy, I can sell barrettes, too. 😀  (Though I’d probably want to make something in polymer clay and make a mold off of it, so I wouldn’t be using a professional mold.  That’d sort of be, you know, unethical.)

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While I was putting the silver-glitter resin on the back of the barrette, I also made some more eye chips with it.  The red splotch on the one in the center on the lower register was another experiment:  there had been some dribbles on the side of the mold for the red part of the lightning bolt, and I put them in the center of the eye chip mold for these, wanting to see what the result would look like.  They moved as the new resin was added, though, so the result is mostly just messy.

Okay, now I want to share a bit of the continuing story of my attempt to make some charms for Blythe pull strings.

First, you may remember this:

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I did my best to get him polished up, and now he looks like this:

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Not a big improvement.  Barely any improvement at all, in fact.

Anyway, I tried again with the TARDIS mold, but it was partially just using up excess glittery resin from the eye chips earlier:

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Halloween with the Doctor?  I guess?  Anyway, the important thing is that it’s got that same residue on it as Mokona.  A second attempt at the K-9 charm proved no better, and showed that his tail really didn’t get added into the mold at all.

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I found a new mold-making material, and made a new TARDIS mold.  The light on top still has a tendency to get ravaged by an air bubble, but if I was going to make a charm, that’s the part that would get drilled for the connector, so that’s okay.  And there’s no horrible reside now, so yay! 😀  Of course, I’m not sure what purpose there is in a glittery red TARDIS (Christmas with the Doctor?) but…it was mostly an experiment to see if the new mold worked, and I was partially just using up resin I’d made for that barrette anyway.

So, that’s about where I stand with resin-casting.  I need to make the new K-9 mold, and do some more work before I can figure out if any of my non-plain eye chips are going to work.  I think the barrettes are pretty promising, at least for my own use if for no other reason. 😛

I’m still hoping to find something I can use to make a gem-cut mold that’s the right size to be gem-cut Blythe eye chips (or Pullip eye chips; that’d work, too, especially since Selina needs new eye chips), but who knows if I’ll find anything.  Anyway, as work progresses, I’ll continue to post about Pyrrha’s face-up and new eyes (those’ll come faster than the face-up, what with the delay to wait for the MSC to arrive) and I’ll definitely show the results of the new Obitsu boy, and the CCS dolls (though I haven’t even ordered hair for Sakura, Syaoran and Tomoyo yet (not to mention I still need to order another female body)) and Len’s eventual rebodying, and the Licca Miku rebodies that will accompany that.  I also have a post planned called “Wig Swapping,” but I’m waiting on another two wigs that are on their way before I post any photos.  (Rather, I don’t wanna have “Wig Swapping, Part 1” and “Wig Swapping, Part 2,” y’know?)

I may or may not still be making some “I shouldn’t be doing this” orders in the coming weeks.  I feel like I need to get Ciel Robin to go with Private Tutor Sebastian, and there are a few others that are almost gone that I feel like “ack, I need!” even though technically I know perfectly well I don’t need them in the least.  (Ugh.  Why is my brain wired like this?)  I’ve decided not to get an Isul or a Taeyang to be perpetually redressing dolls, though, because of the difficulty in finding male doll clothes.  (Of course, that doesn’t exclude the possibility of getting a particular Taeyang to redress once into a certain mythological figure…)

Basically Back (+ Small Business Saturday purchases)

Well, I still have two research papers due mid-December, so I don’t have a huge amount of time to devote to blogging, even though NaNo is over, but I have two research papers due mid-December, so I have a lot of procrastinating to do, and some of that will surely end up on the blog.  (In my own defense, I have written the rough draft of one of them already.)

Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Dumbass Tuesday, I’ve spent too much money already.  (Uh, yeah, that last one’s just me.  I’ll go into detail later.)  But before I go into detail about any of it, I want to show you the Licca head for the Pure Neemo XS body, ’cause it finally arrived!

Say hello, Yuki Miku!
Say hello, Yuki Miku!

The hat and cape are badly creased from being folded, and her clothes are a bit big on the Pure Neemo XS body — except the tights, which barely went on — but overall I think she looks pretty cute.

Continue reading

The diva Kaiko is born!

(Or something like that.)

Byul has finished her transformation into Kaiko.  More or less.  She still has to borrow Len’s headphones/microphone for every photo shoot, and I should probably get her a scarf that matches her shirt a bit better, but…otherwise, I feel like she’s pretty much come into herself.   (Though I still want to fix up her hair at some point; it’s still a mess.)

Showing off her diva stuff!
Showing off her diva stuff!

The one thing that annoyed me, in taking these pictures, is that I felt like no matter what I did, I wasn’t really capturing the Kaiko essence of her costume.  😦  It’s that coat; it’s too small for her, being Monster High, so it doesn’t photograph very well.  Maybe I should re-body her with a slightly smaller body, so it’d fit better.  (God, that would be dumb reason.  There are plenty of good reasons to re-body her, but that would not be one of them.)

Playing her guitar.
Playing her guitar.

Actually, I have no idea if Kaiko is usually depicted with a guitar–it doesn’t seem like a typically KAITO instrument, so probably not–but it matches her so perfectly that it absolutely is her guitar, regardless.  Besides, Kaiko’s just a fanloid, anyway.  I can do whatever I want with my version of her, right?

Singing her synthetic little heart out.
Singing her synthetic heart out.

The Byul mouth is perfect for a singing mouth, isn’t it?  I’m surprised they didn’t use Byul for any of their official Vocaloid dolls.  Actually, they should have done some UTAU dolls; Byul would make a great Defoko.  Okay, yes, stop me now.  I promised myself I wasn’t going to go there.  I’m not buying (or making) any more Vocaloid Pullips.  Except maybe KAITO…or MEIKO…or….

I have to figure out how to make Kaiko her own set of headphones.  She can’t keep borrowing Len’s.  It’s not fair to Len, plus what if I want to do a photo shoot with both of them?  (Not to mention the fact that I have to be careful about angles, since the yellow on the earpieces reveals them to belong to Len, rather than Kaiko, as hers would have blue.)  I looked for doll headphones on Etsy, but the closest I found were some Blythe-sized ones that were very un-Vocaloid in design.  Being Blythe-sized, they’d be too big, and being un-Vocaloid in design, they wouldn’t work even if they were the right size.

I’m thinking I’ll have to make my own, but I’m not quite sure how.  I bought some resin at Michael’s, and I already had some mold materials from my polymer clay days, so I guess I’ll try experimenting with that…if I can find the free time.  If.  Ugh.  So much reading to do…

Anyway, speaking of Etsy, I did finally place an order.  I ordered a Moxie Girlz Teenz dress so that Madra Lord can have the Gene dress one of mine has been wearing all this time, and a dress for Pyrrha, and a mold to make blank eye chips for Pyrrha, plus a download to print out eyes to go behind those blank eye chips.  Won’t look as nice as hand-painted eye chips, but if they don’t fit, then I won’t have spent as much money, right?  Plus maybe I’ll find I’m good at making eye chips.  (Unlikely, but weirder things have happened, I’m sure.)  I already got the clear resin to use with the mold, and while I was at it, I got super-fine sandpaper to get rid of the shine on her face, too.  (Didn’t need to buy anything to do the re-paint, as I’ve already got a huge number of such supplies from various semi-abortive attempts to re-paint Monster High dolls.)  For the moment, I’ve told myself “no buying vintage toys online.”  I can look all I want, and create lists galore, but I can’t buy them.  That’s the rule I’ve set myself.  Hopefully I’ll be able to stick to it.  (Though it’s sorely tempting, seeing some of the stuff from my childhood that’s available on Etsy…)

Byul the Diva

I was trying to figure out a good name to give to my Byul Insane Humpty Dumpty.  I came up with some names based on the blue of her hair–Glauke, Hyacinth–and the entirely inappropriate Eglantine, to tie into the egginess of her original incarnation, but those were thoroughly rejected.  (Though Glauke and Hyacinth are both good names for Pullip-type dolls.  Eglantine is suitable for a more old-fashioned type of doll, I think.)

Anyway, I also wanted to keep trying some new clothes on her, and see what clicked personality-wise.  So I tried this dress on her that came off a rock-themed Bratz doll, and borrowed Pyrrha’s car for the photo shoot.  The idea was for Byul to be sitting in the car.  That wasn’t what happened.

Posing for the camera
Posing for the camera

Then I realized the truth.  This girl’s a diva!

More than that, on thinking about it for a while, it dawned on me that she wasn’t just any diva.  She wanted to be a Vocaloid.

She wanted to be Kaiko.

Kaiko, for those less obsessed with Vocaloid than myself, is the gender-bend of KAITO.  Now, Byul here does not actually look much (or, in fact, anything at all) like the Taeyang KAITO.  Her hair’s a different shade of blue, her eyechips are totally different, and her skin tone is probably different, too.  (Haven’t seen him in person (yet) so I can’t say on that part.)  But I just couldn’t shake the idea that that’s who she wants to be.  So I thought I’d let her test out some Kaiko-like clothes.

Now, as a gender-bend, Kaiko isn’t an official Vocaloid.  She’s what’s known as a fanloid or a pitchloid:  her songs are created by recording KAITO singing something, and then the recording is manipulated into a girl’s register.  (Or something like that.  I don’t know how it works; Vocaloid voicebanks cost at least as much as a full-size Pullip, so I don’t have any, and don’t know the detailed intricacies of the software.)  As she isn’t official, she doesn’t have one official costume, but is generally depicted in a feminine version of KAITO’s outfit, the major feature of which is that big, white leather jacket.

So I thought I’d put her in the white leatherette coat off the Scarah Screams TRU exclusive, but she’s sewn into that thing, and I don’t want to cut it off her and wreck it up, so I put her in Ghoulia’s lab coat instead, which is the same size, except having shorter sleeves.

Kaiko outfit test run 1
Kaiko outfit test run 1

Of course, this test run photo is so chaotic that you can’t see a darn thing other than her new guitar.  (I went back to Toys R Us, and they still had some of those Beatrix Girls things on clearance, so I was like “heck, yeah, I’ll get another guitar!”  And this one’s a good color for Kaiko, so it doesn’t need to be painted if she is, indeed going to be Kaiko…which she pretty much is, at this point.)

Anyway, I took another shot, without the guitar, and without the scarf (KAITO is also known for his scarf, though his of course is blue, rather than stripey, but I didn’t have a blue one handy, and I did have a stripey one), but it was naturally made awkward by the fact that she needs a shirt to go under the jacket.

Kaiko test run 2
Kaiko test run 2

Looking at her this way, she almost looks born to the part, doesn’t she?  It’s eerie.  Well, to me, anyway.  :p  (I had her borrow Len-kun’s headphones, to complete the illusion, naturally.  Not sure where the heck I’ll get her some headphones of her own, though…)  So I’m going to have to buy another Scarah–fortunately, though TRU no longer has her, she can still be had at a decent price from Amazon, as of last night–to get another of those lovely leatherette jackets, though I don’t know what she’s going to wear under the jacket.

I’m worried I’m about to start sliding down a slippery slope, though.  Not only are the other Vocaloid Pullips now hard to come by–apart from KAITO himself, and I think Pullipstyle may still have regular Miku–then there’s the fact that what I really want are the other Vocaloids.  Other official Vocaloids like Gumi and Gackupo and Lily, and other fanloids like Neru and Haku and Zatsune.  Yikes.  I mean, some of those wouldn’t be too difficult.  Zatsune is just a palette swap on Miku, after all.  But Gackupo?!  OMG, no freakin’ way.  I would have to pay someone a lot of money to make his costume.  It is seriously complicated.  Lily’s is also pretty complex…and probably wouldn’t actually transfer very well to Pullip anyway, being rather risque.  Oh, but there’s Iroha!  She’s super-cute and would work well as a doll, and I’d much rather have her than Lily anyway!  And, of course, then let’s not forget UTAUs like Teto and Defoko and Ritsu and…ugh, the list could go on forever.  Seriously, one could have an entire doll room just of Vocaloid and UTAU dolls.

For the moment, I’m just going to give in to Byul’s desire to be Kaiko, and order that Scarah to get her the jacket (it helps that I have the perfect outfit to put that Scarah in to make her fit into the Freak du Chic line-up, making it a more appealing purchase overall) and try to tell myself that she’ll be my last Vocaloid Pullip purchase.

Except maybe KAITO.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha is feeling neglected.

Pyrrha's sad face
Pyrrha’s sad face

But I had some spare time at the museum on Sunday, and I was looking at Etsy–which I have so far tried to avoid, because do I really need yet another place I can spend money?–and saw tons of gorgeous eye chips, so I’m thinking of getting her some replacement eye chips soon.  Not sure how many, though.  I mean, the pink ones with the B in the middle are definitely going.  Really don’t like those.  Actually, I think the question is just if I’m keeping the violet ones, or if I’m going to replace all four.

Of course, I’ll need to find some tutorials about how to go about replacing eye chips, and how best to sand off the shine on the face plates while her head’s disassembled–I’m assuming re-painting the face is the same as re-painting any other doll’s face, which is something I’ve done before–and how best to give her a good hair cut.  But…yeah, it needs doing.  She’s been languishing in factory state for too long, and I think it’s really annoying her.

(But at least this gave me an excuse to post that Cinderella picture!  I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to use that for quite a while now! 😛 )

(Oh, if you want to see them, there are about four other versions of the “diva shot” on the car.  They’re all in an album on Dropbox here.)