Friday, July 5, 2013

WIP: Nii

Whew! So I've been working on a little custom project for a while now, and I've finally gotten the rehairing process done on this new doll. If you saw the post with the Strawberry Shortcake head on the Monster High body, you sort of had a preview of where this is going.

First up: Head!
After wiping off the factory faceup and yanking out all the factory hair, I made a set of horns for the head using Crayola Model Magic. I've got a confession, here. I don't have great circulation in my hands, and thus, working Sculpey, Fimo, or pretty much any other modeling clay with a denser consistency than Play-Doh is a huge exercise in frustration for me. The stuff doesn't ever get "soft and malleable", and unless I want to make a lot of snakes, I don't ever get anywhere with the stuff. Model Magic is amazing! I've use knockoffs before, but had problems with the dried clay cracking or becoming really brittle. This stuff really IS magic!

Convex-spiraling horns!
After I let the horns dry for a couple of days, I gently wiggled them loose of the head. A quick wipe-down to get rid of the factory scalp paint and I was ready to glue them on permanently. You can probably see razor marks on this head. I had some plugs that just didn't want to come out. Razor to the rescue!

Second: Faceup!
That is a terrible, terrible attempt at painting and I'm sorry you had to see it.
After securing the horns and appreciating the fact that I should have used yellow model magic instead of just grabbing whatever color was handy, I painted and sealed the scalp and horns. Then I moved on to doing the faceup. This is my first (terrible) attempt at the eyes and mouth. I originally thought I wanted a brilliant, smudgey watercolor type effect with thick lashes for the eyes. I learned better. I also learned that painting with a ceiling fan on is stupid. After wiping this disaster off, I redid the eyes.

Third: Hair!

Please pardon the terrible lighting, the terrible mess and the terrible lack of focus. I have only (successfully) done about three rehairing projects. I say "successful" in that the hair stayed glued in and it looks okay if you squint. I'm still a complete novice at this, and it's easy to tell it.
Nylon hair from in Volcano (bangs) and Pomme d'Amour (the rest). Pomme is CRAZY silky!
You can see Nii's softer faceup here. The Strawberry Shortcake heads have a *tiny* neck hole, and after getting "done" with my hair, I was terribly afraid I'd have clumps coming out the next morning in the first brushing. I poured about a tablespoon of Aleene's craft glue (clear) in her head, and swabbed it around with a q-tip.

"So... 'sup?"
You can tell that the skin tone isn't a perfect match between Cleo de Nile's body and the doll head, but It's close enough for now. My rehairing skills are still rather sloppy. I really wanted to use the factory part in the scalp, but was so afraid of ripping a huge tear in it that I only used it to run hair down one side. The other side I offset just a bit to take advantage of thicker vinyl.. so if you look at her closely, you can see that there's definitely some gaps in there. Plus a few of my plugs just decided to change direction on me and I'm still sorting them out. Maybe a nice dip in hot water would help them lay in the direction I want?

Shameful secret.
She's pretty photogenic as she is, though.
Her eyes look great.. except for the botched highlights.
Nii has a LOT of hair. I have always had a problem with making my hair plugs too thick, even back when I was using the knot method. My original plan for Nii called for her bangs/fringe to only be about chin-length, and the rest of her hair to taper down about mid-back or to her hips. It's so thick though, that I'm a bit afraid that trimming it is going to give it so much lift that it sticks straight up!
"So then I said 'Haircut? No thank you! And then he said.."
Unfortunately, due to all her hair and the enormous glob of glue keeping it secure (only one hair plug lost to brushing so far!), Nii is no longer able to stand unassisted like she could in her original MH incarnation. Strawberry Shortcake empathizes with Nii's top-heavy plight. The awesome lawn chair is a recent thrift shop find. It's actually a bit big for 1/6 scale.

Best friends! Yay!
Here are the two closer up so you can see the difference between their identical head molds.
An overhead view of Nii's head.

Nii is nowhere remotely close to "done". She still needs her hair trimmed and styled, the scuffs on her horn and scalp fixed up (one of her horns actually BROKE during a rehairing accident! Can you tell which one?), and resealed. Then I've got to work on her outfit and find her some shoes.. or make some. (Eeeek!) I'm pretty happy with her overall, despite the shortcomings that I've still got as a customizer. If I could just figure out full body repainting for Nii's companion, I'd be thrilled. 

"Pst! Kid! Let's get out of here and go cause some trouble, huh?"


  1. Those horns are just amazing!

    1. Thank you! I'm really stupidly proud of them, ha ha! I freehanded the indented pattern to make them look spiraled, and to my amazement they actually look somewhat like they match. Entirely a happy coincidence, I was mostly worried about making them the same size/shape overall!

  2. Purr: Yay Nii! Maybe you can try trimming her bangs down to hip/waist length & see how much that causes them to lift? If its a lot you can stop there & if its a little you can try a liitle more.

    1. Her *bangs* are already pretty much waist length. I may snip them a bit just to see what happens. I can always gel them if need be.

      The long hair is growing on me though.. Ree's hair is going to be long-ish, so maybe they'd balance each other out?

  3. I was wondering- where did you get the Strawberry Shortcake dolls to use for Nii? Thanks.