Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mid-June Thrifting, plus Custom Paint Update.

"Um! H-Hi!"
This is Stormer, aka Mary. She's another custom attempt I made, using a Moxie Girlz head, a posable Bratz body, and (unwittingly) two very different types of blue hair.

She's based on the character from Jem, and represents my first attempt at a 100% from scratch faceup. She's shy, don't stare too hard.I obviously didn't do her makeup to the 100% super 80's authentic Misfits look, but honestly I think she looks sweeter without it.

Rapunzel met up with her on the shelf recently while I was moving things around, so I thought it might be fun to let them show you some of my latest thrift shop acquisitions!

Alright, we'll pretend it's fun, anyway. Don't look at me like that!

First up, we have a bed! Stormer was really excited about this initially. There are grand notions of what could be done with the Little Tykes mansion I got for free (missing the door!), and the notion of actual honest to goodness furniture made it seem like the inspiration bug might finally make me reclaim the house from the two household cats. There was just one problem.

"I'm gonna need more than a blanket.."
This bed is for a 1960's or 70's Ginny doll.. and even though she's short, Stormer just isn't short enough to make it work. Maybe if she could take off those giant boots?

As long as she doesn't actually lay down on it, the bed could make a good prop, though. Too bad it's not just a bit bigger.. Rapunzel can use the headboard for a seat!

"Spot you? Spot you?! Are you NUTS?!"
I also found this ladder! I'm not sure what it was originally for, but it looks a bit out of scale for the dolls.Maybe from a Christmas climbing Santa?

"Look! Look! I'm 'Generic 80's High School Senior Portrait Pose #12!"
It makes a fun background piece, though. No way was I going to let it languish in that store room! I should have had Eugene give it a whirl, to see how he looked with it.

It's not *terribly* over-big, but it does sort of make you look twice.

I'd seen this case a few times while browsing the store, and never really thought much of it. While I was stuck in line on this trip, I decided to open it up and see what the "all" was that it encompassed.

Ribbons! Florist's wire! Wooden half-eggs(!?) Random doll hair! Ribbon roses! Originally, it was all a huge wad that barely fit in the case, but after tossing some of the stained, broken, or otherwise trash bits, this is what's left. And it's still a LOT! I'm not sure what kind of doll hair these two big tangles of curls are. Nylon, maybe? It seems to be the stuff they sell at Michael's and Hobby Lobby.

I also snagged a partially used baggie of plastic stuffed animal beads, a bag of more doll hair, and a couple of sacks of moss.

Rapunzel's favorite thing was the ribbon roses.

My latest attempt at painting a Monster High doll (model car primer, after acetone wipe down and light sanding. Matte sealant) has been a mixed bag. The paint looks great (if a little texturey) on the doll, but once again, the paint scrapes off in the joints. Even after two coats of sealant, it only took about a half dozen knee bending experiments to start the paint flaking off.

You can see some of the paint flakes on the sheet under Frankie.

Here you can (barely) see the large flake that's come off her shoulder. I'm not sure where to go from here. Paint pens or auto interior spray paint? I've heard good things about the auto paint, but I've heard good things about the Krylon Fusion that disappointed me, too.

Just to end on a higher note, I'll say that so far, my attempt at using Crayola Model Magic for putting horns on a MH head has held up wonderfully! I'll probably go around them with a bit of glue just to make them seat a little better before I start rehairing this first head, just to be sure. Has anyone ever tried sanding Model Magic? I'm curious if I can do some things with texture. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Paint test #3

Doing paint test number three today. Previous experiments used Krylon Fusion for Plastics, which had the unfortunate tendency to scrape off of high-friction areas on the unsanded, acetone-wiped doll. Today's paint is a plastic model paint I got from Hobby Lobby's Model Master's line. 

Truth be told, what I'm testing with is primer, not paint. So far I've done two rather uneven coats with it, and though I held my breath while moving the joints between coats, I didn't immediately notice paint scraping off in huge chunks like I did with Krylon. The down side is that the paint does leave that gritty primer texture. I'm divided on this. Either I can hope that the matte coat (another Hobby Lobby plastic model brand, Testor's, I think) will cover that up and leave no descernable trace, or I can do a light dusting of Krylon Fusion on the larger spots that will be catching light before sealing.

I'm honestly not sure which method would be better. It might have been a good idea to try sanding down a doll and try the Krylon with it. I'm running out of body donors, though!

Edit: Decided to do a dusting of the sealant first, then see how it looks. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Berry secret work in progress!

Still sanding (and sanding and sanding!) my test doll for my custom experiment. My previous Draculaura is being swapped out for a grayscale Frankie. Getting Lala's spraypaint job off has proven to be... problematic.

I'm using the 1,000 grit sandpaper, recommended by another customizer. It's really hard to get in all the little crevices in the joints, but hopefully this will yield a better result than the previous, unsanded effort.

I've also been told two different approaches on how to paint. I've been told to seal with matte coat before painting AND afterward, and also that forgoing the pre-seal is better. I guess we'll try the first time without and see how it holds up.

As you can see, I've got a non-paint work in progress going on, too! Forget the Novi-Stars/MH hybrids, Strawberry Shortcake/MH hybrids is where it's at! I'm sure I'm not the first to do this, but isn't she cute? She's going to be re-haired and repainted, and given a custom outfit.

The best part of this hybrid? NO special cutting/adapting/whatever needed! Just yank the head off both dolls and shove the new head on the MH doll body! It's really that easy! If you push the neck post in too far, just gently pull until the head sits naturally on the ball at the top of the neck. TADA!

I'm trying to figure out how to get a S.Shortcake head on a male MH body so she'll have a buddy. The male MH neck is a lot wider, and it's going to need some cutting to work. I've already tried cutting a little on one head, only to create a big tear in it when I tried pushing it on the neck. The "ball" on top of the male neck isn't as curved as the female, so it's a little harder to center on. (If I had a dremel, I could try reshaping it a little).

I may end up trying out something like Muff's suggestion for making a cardboard collar to hold it on. I have a spare head to try with ruin in the meanwhile, so we'll see how it goes.

I had found some knockoff Ddung dolls at the Dollar General store that I originally intended to use for this project, but I'm kind of in love with how the Strawberry Shortcake head mold looks with the MH body. I don't intend to paint the body on the gal here, but I might put a little paint on the head to make the skin tone match better. Or... I might just wait until the Ever After High dolls come out and use one of their bodies.