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I did all the improvements that I said I would on Delphine, and here she is [at right], done, with Béatrice [at left]. Showin' off one of my few faux furs in natural hair color!
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Delphine, Béatrice's twin sister, arrived today! Here she is [at right] with Béatrice [at left]. Like Béatrice, she came too loosely strung, with elastic of too narrow a gauge. She also has the elastic strung around her headcap hook, which needs to change. Additionally, she has scuzz keeping her eyes in her sockets and a very light default faceup.

Delphine needs all the improvements that her sister required almost a year ago: 1) restringing more tightly with the appropriate gauge of elastic, 2) adjustment so that stringing does not hook into headcap and so that  wrists/ankles have S hooks, 3) removal of eye scuzz, 4) removal of default faceup.

Of course, I'll also sand down her ears, redo her faceup, replace her eyes, wire her arms, make her a wig and find her some shoes. I didn't give her one of my existing wigs now because I had a suspicion that whatever wig I plopped on her would inevitably become hers, and I don't want to fight with her over a wig that I intended for Isabel. :p

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I just put a down payment on another 1:6 scale BJD, a Sleeping Elf/Tinybear Coco in light tan with faceup, wig, eyes and dress. Here she is as she appears now. Photo by previous owner Luann [Gwydion on DOA].

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Like my other Tinybear doll, the Bonbon that I modded and made into Béatrice, Coco comes with long pointed ears and a short, fat body. Pictures on Tinybear's site show the Bonbon/Coco body more clearly.

My Coco, whose name is Delphine, could easily be another short, fat woman with dwarfism, like Béatrice, but I'm not sure I want to do that. [But...MORE FAT DOLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] At one point, I wanted to copy the kitbash of another Figurvore member, who spliced a dark tan Coco with a chocolate Hujoo body. The results were amazing, but Hujoos don't come in light tan [I don't think] to match Delphine's resin. I believe that the chocolate Hujoo I have will be too dark for Delphine, but I'll have to compare when I have both in hand.

Anyway, guess who scored Delphine for $90.00 shipped and insured?! Me, that's who! She goes for ~$220.00 new, but Gwydion wanted to clear her out, so I got such a deal.

One of the best things about 1:6 scale is that they take up so much less room than 1:3 scale! I've pretty much maxed out my available space for 1:3 scale [at least until we move into a house], but I can always wedge another 1:6er in somewhere. Gonna hafta start stackin' 'em like cord wood soon... :p

Ooooooh, I just got the best idea! Delphine could be Béatrice's twin sister! Then Isabel and Carter would not be the only set of twins in Zombieville. YAY TWINS! YAY FAT DOLLS! YAY FAT TWIN DOLLS! [Yay for people's names without accents that require tedious copying and pasting from other programs to render!] Yay Delphine!

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  1. Béatrice's faceup, especially her mouth, is rubbing off. [Maybe I forgot to seal it?] She needs redoing. She also needs her ridiculously large chandelier earrings...and maybe a hat. Her blindingly white skull makes her difficult to photograph.
  2. Theophany's faceup is also wearing away, about which I'm very sad, since I bought her in part for the delicate default Soom faceup. I don't do this light, layered type of look, so I suppose I'll have to commission someone on DOA to replicate the same style.
  3. I really, really, REALLY want a Life in the Dream House Raquelle. All the dolls in the Dream House series have a high level of articulation and, more excitingly, as far as I'm concerned, expressive, slightly cartoony headsculpts that reflect their computer-animated inspirations. The Dream House Raquelle first came to my attention when someone on Figurvore characterized her as the "Shopping While Constipated Raquelle." I immediately loved her smirk, wrinkled eyebrows and asymmetrical features. Picture below the cut.
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Most of the time, there are just a few people on my bookshelf beside my chair: Janvier Jett, Submit, Araminthe and Sardonix.

They were recently joined by Zombieville denizens in various stages of completion: Béatrice, Chaz, Theophany, Novella and Absinthe, who is not an Zombieville citizen, but is hanging around because she is beautiful.

Because Me and My Muses is on hiatus and because I need the desk space for projects, I temporarily relocated the Me and My Muses people to this shelf as well, leaving only the fairies [Flower, Ginevra and Mellifer] and Jareth on my desk.

Here's a shot of the tiny hordes. I swear -- they multiply when I'm not looking. :p
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I sanded down Béatrice's ears and gave her a faceup today. She's now waiting for her jewelry, a pair of big dangly earrings and matching choker.

I learned more about Béatrice's character today. She's a cancer survivor left bald and mostly eyebrowless by radiation treatment. She sews custom clothing for fat women and sells it online on her site, Zaftique. She's a REALLY LOUD person [probably talks all in caps], a confident extrovert who enjoys being the center of attention. [How could she not, with that smile?] She thinks it's very amusing to freak out the straights, like by yelling, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!!" when someone doesn't see her. Though she comes across as intimidating, she's very friendly, and one can win her everlasting friendship by sitting down, squatting or otherwise getting on her level when talking to her.Read more... )

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She's also currently barefoot, which does detract slightly from her overall look. She needs a faceup, of course, as well as heels and jewelry. The jury is still out on hair. I discovered that the masking tape holding her headcap on is pretty much the color of her head, so I may just carefully apply some to conceal the line between head and cap and leave her bald for EXTRA fabulousness!

As a 15cm doll, Béatrice represents in 1:6 scale a 1:1 woman with a height of about 3 feet.

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Primarily so I can get them out of my head and go back to work.

Isabel's best zombie friend is a woman who uses an electric wheelchair, because I'll be damned if I spend all that money to make a 1:6 scale one and then not show it off. She is missing parts of both legs.

Béatrice, another of Isabel's regular associates with a currently undefined role, is a woman who has achondroplastic dwarfism [the most common type]. She also identifies as fat and is a member of the fat acceptance movement. She and Isabel's best zombie friend know each other from PWD activism and often discuss the deplorable accessibility of the state.
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I've been thinking about it, and I've made some name changes...

Kinneret is now Isabel Forrest.

Béatrice keeps her name and adds Doucette for a surname, as well as French Canadian ancestry.

Theophany keeps Theophany as a daily name, but her given name is Tiffany Marvin. [Tiffany was too boring.]

??? is now Chaz, short for Chastity, Loving. It should be obvious why she goes by Chaz. :p

I notice that there are no cis dudes in the Vermont zombie community yet, and I'm perfectly okay with leaving them out. That's because cis dudes are incredibly boring. They've been done before.
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Béatrice arrived yesterday in dire need of help.

First off, her stringing was wretched. She came loosely strung with a flimsy elastic more appropriate for a doll half her size.

Second, she had all sorts of scuzz inside and outside her head. Her wig was stuck on tightly with some colorless gummy stuff that I've never seen before. It was even more adhesive than hot glue, but I managed to wrest her wig from her head. Fortunately, the stuff holding her wig on peeled easily from her skull.

I had much more difficulty with the two types of scuzz inside her head. There was some red putty holding her headcap to the rest of her head, as well as some blue putty holding her eyes in her eyewells. I ended up using an Xacto to pry her headcap off and scrape the red stuff from the notches in the base of her head.

The eye putty gave me the most trouble. It was hard and dry and really, really stuck to both her eyewells and her eyes. I hit her with a thick layer of Pebeo [universal paint remover, hereinafter called Pebeo], both from the inside and the outside of her head, hoping that the paint-stripping powers of the solvent would have the same removal effect on the encrusted putty. [Good thing I wasn't interested in keeping her default faceup, as the Pebeo whisked that right away.] The Pebeo helped, but I had the most success by just poking and scraping with an Xacto again.

Finally I removed 90% of the scuzz from her eyewells. Pebeo easily did away with the small, scattered particles of crud that were left over.

I ended up with a pair of battered acrylic eyes with scuzz everywhere on them except the fronts. I hoped to save them, as they were bright and light-catching. Therefore I soaked them in water in an attempt to loosen the aforementioned scuzz. Unfortunately, all the poking, scraping, Pebeoing and soaking had compromised the shape of the eyes and the clarity of the irises, so I had to trash them.

After entirely too much effort, Béatrice was finally clean. I then took a closer look at her and instantly detested how she was put together. I'm not talking about her sculpt, even though I find everything except her head rather simple and unexceptional. I'm talking about how her pieces were assembled into a whole. As I mentioned, she was strung with shitty elastic. Even more irritating, she had no S hooks in her hands and feet; instead, they were strung directly on the elastic. This method of attaching hands and feet may have been sufficient in 2006, when I got Zephque; however, with the advent of small S hooks and magnetized body parts, there is no excuse for such an outmoded, pain-in-the-ass method of stringing.

Also annoying was the socket in the base of Béatrice's head. With most BJDs, you put an S hook [or a ring] through the elastics at the top of the neck. You then drop the head onto the top of the neck by fitting the S hook through a slot in the bottom of the head long enough to accommodate the hook. To secure the head to the body, you pull up slightly on the S hook and turn it perpendicular to the slot, then let it go. The tension in the elastic and the placement of the S hook keep the head on, while also preventing the elastics from jumping back into the body.

Well, Béatrice is not constructed like most BJDs. She doesn't have a slot at the base of her neck; instead, she has a small hole much too narrow for the supplied S hook to fit through at any angle. To attach her head to her body, you have to pull all the elastics up through the hole in the base of her head and then thread the S hook through the elastic loops. You cannot remove her head with a simple twist of the S hook. Just like the way in which her hands and feet are strung, the way in which her head is attached to her body seems calculated to be as old-fashioned, difficult and user-unfriendly as possible.

I tried to salvage her current stringing arrangement by wiring her, but that didn't help her wimpy, flaccid elastics. Eventually I gave up, took the wires out and disassembled her, throwing her in a Ziploc and placing her in my project queue, where she is currently waiting behind Mellifer and Novella. She currently looks like this:Read more... )

I surmise that Béatrice came to darthmissy [her previous owner and buyer of Nathaniel] with shitty elastic and head scuzz. darthmissy knew about the shitty elastic, as I saw that she tried wiring Béatrice's limbs to make her pose better. I bet, though, that she never tried removing Béatrice's wig, much less her headcap or eyeballs, and therefore remained ignorant of Béatrice's infestation of head scuzz. I get the feeling that darthmissy acquired Béatrice on the strength of her cuteness, but became frustrated by her outmoded construction and shitty stringing once she actually had Béatrice in hand. Thus she jumped at the chance to offload Béatrice in partial exchange for a doll she really wanted.

I have no complaints about darthmissy as a trade partner or buyer, though I would have liked an alert about Béatrice's shitty stringing. No, my grievances lie all with the maker and preparer of the dolls, Tinybear. Why didn't she put an S hook slot in the base of the head like everyone else does these days? Why did she use such weak, flaccid elastic? Why did she string the hands and feet directly on said elastic? Why did she think it was a good idea to use such horrible scuzz for eye putty and for attaching the headcap? [For that matter, would it have killed her to make a magnetic headcap?] I have never been so dissatisfied with a doll's initial condition before.

Fortunately, most of the problems in Béatrice's assembly can be corrected. I replaced her neck S hook with a piece of wire, which is flexible enough to allow easy removal of her head, but also stiff enough to keep her strings from popping back into her body. I plan to restring her with thicker elastic. I will also attach her hands and feet to the elastic with small wire loops. Of course, she's also getting a new faceup, eyes, hair and clothes [eventually].

I will fix Béatrice up; however, this begins and ends my association with anything made by Tinybear. Her dolls are just too sloppily put together and finished.
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Here's a picture from darthmissy of Béatrice as she is currently. As you can see, she has very pale skin, a very pale wig and a very light faceup. I'll have to change her faceup and wig, at least to ones that really bring to life her lively smirk.
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They eat your bank account and spit it out.

In BJD news, Nathaniel is leaving, and Béatrice [that's bay-ah-TREECE, the French pronunciation], a Tinybear Bonbon, is arriving in partial trade. As I've mentioned before, while I do have 1:3 scale dolls, 1:6 scale is my first love. Swapping a 1:3er for a 1:6er benefits me, as well as the buyer darthmissy, who is extremely excited about having a Volks Emma.

I now have a nice chunk of change in my Paypal account, some of which will go toward bubble wrap and s/h for Nathaniel [who is going unstrung in a large flat-rate priority mail box to save on shipping], the rest of which will go toward...

Jareth: "...My wardrobe, obviously! You'll have enough to get me everything on my wish list and then some!"

FLE car: "STFU noob. $350.97 of that is mine."

Theophany: "Yeah, plus she still owes Andrea $106.50 toward me. Wait your turn, person who cost an ungodly amount of money to put together!"

Putative doll based on Elfdoll Doona Ryung: "Yeah, quit pissing and moaning! I don't even exist yet. I am definitely a higher priority than another pair of demandypants for you."

Me [thinking]: I should take a picture of Jareth looking at my checkbook with the caption "SOON..."



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