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Well, the concept percolated in the back of my mind, as did the idea that Mellifer needed a makeover with a brighter palette. When Mellifer's hair arrived, along with some eyeballs slated for Ginevra, Mellifer spoke up. He informed me that he was the fire fairy that Labas should have been; furthermore, he was ditching his yellow eyes in favor of the reddish orange glitter ones. He said that Ginevra could have the golden eyes. He also asked for bright red clothes.
Annoyingly enough, I spent all that extra money on a default faceup [$30.00], body blushing [$50.00], wig [$20.00] and eyes [$8.00], as well as a Biweekly Clothes outfit [$57.00], and he's having none of it. He must be getting his demandypants from Jareth....
To add to my irritation, I suspect that Mellifer will end up with a cheap and simple outfit like Flower's, which is a floor-length skirt made out of a raw length of fabric held in place with a safety pin. Something like this Biweekly Clothes outfit for Mini Gem girls would be great in layers of orange and yellow, if I could figure out what it was made out of.
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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Meanwhile, Ginevra is giving her current Dreaming Tree silver 8mms to Lucian. Since she needs replacement eyes, I got her DD-Anne 8mm imperfect glass ones in light purple and also in red glitter. I couldn't decide which ones would look better, so, since I cold afford it, I sprang for both.
I had just enough $$$ in my PayPal account to cover Ginevra's two pairs of eyes and an improved wig for Mellifer. He's getting a long, straight, center-part maroon wig in size 4. I wanted a brighter red, but the maroon is close enough.
Anyway, since they're coming from China, God knows when they'll arrive. For example, I ordered Jareth's Captured in Glass eyes recently from Hong Kong. They were mailed on September 27th, and they arrived on October 2nd, which is truly impressive, especially since they were sent registered airmail across the ocean, as opposed to first-class mail across the country. It's even more impressive when you consider that, if you're sending registered airmail from the US, the USPS won't even give you an estimated ETA. It "varies according to location," which means that it usually ends up taking 1-3 weeks. I have problems with the USPS... >_>
Size. Will they fill the eye sockets without leaving gaps? Will the irises make the doll look younger [if larger] or older [if smaller]?
Material. Eyes can be made from urethane, glass, silicone or acrylic. Each material has its pros and cons, as well as price variations. I tend to go with cheap glass.
Color. Is the color visible in the doll's eyes? Is it accurate to the character?
Dome height. High-dome eyes have definite bulbous lenses over the iris areas, which means that the irises and pupils sit further back in the doll's eye sockets. Low-dome eyes bring the irises and pupils closer to the lids. I prefer low-domes because high-domes tend to create too many shadows.
Reflectivity. Do the eyes eat light or reflect light?
I'm currently frustrated by my lack of appropriate eyes for my 1:6ers. For some reason, I have way too many pairs of 6mm blue acrylics that photograph like mud. I really want to swap them out for highly reflective eyes in light colors.
Jamisia currently has a pair of said muddy blues. Anyway, she needs better eyes. She'd look great in 8mm light violet eyes, even if I have to remove some of her hair in order to install them.
Mellifer does not have the muddy blues, but he does have pretty dark brown 8mms that don't fit his character. He'd look great in 8mm light yellows, and I need to remove his muddy wig anyway.
I think Lucian might need some new eyes too. He has 6mm browns [I think], and they just photograph like black holes all the time. :( I should try swapping in Ginevra's 8mm silvers to see what they look like in his head.
Then Ginevra would need new eyes! I think she'd look good in 8mm light pink or red. Ooooooh...
DD-Anne sells cheap factory second glass eyes in 8mm.
Ooooh, I also see that the maroon 4-inch wig she sells is just the type I seek for Mellifer!
Too bad I have shit for money right now and can't buy anything.
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Eyeco's Ultra series might work.
Mid-calf laceup black platform-heeled boots and thigh-high black regular-heeled boots with buckles from Alice's Collections: $47.79
Pants: $0 [already have]
Red frilly blouse and long black tailcoat from CheeryDoll:
Calf-high black platform heeled boots and thigh-high black platform heeled boots = $45.98
Ringdoll Frankenstein outfit = $124.00
Total: $1549.28 [assuming $800.00 for the custom heads]
It would be really nice if the custom heads cost on the lower end of what I've projected.
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Flower represents my first male Soom Faery, as well as the first Soom Faery I've gotten with a faceup and blushing. I'm not too thrilled with the silly blushing all over his delicate white body, but I love the purple, sparkly, shimmery blushing on his ears and his wings. Both his ears and wings remind me of flower petals...hence his name.
I love Flower's gentle little face. He reminds me of Soom Sabik, a [very large] doll that I used to have. [I mostly got him because he looks like a small, portable, less expensive Sabik...with bonus shimmery ears and wings!] I do, however, think that his narrow, finely drawn head would fit better on a less muscular body. In fact, as with most of Soom's sculpts, Flower's headsculpt is versatile enough to be used for a doll of any sex.
Some owners of CW Soom faeries have reported that the CW resin starts to turn "beauty green" after exposure to even mild, indoor, artificial light! Sadly, I think that will happen with Flower. His head especially already has green undertones, even more noticeable than his body. However, now that I think about it, green skin -- or skin with a green tinge -- is perfect for a flower fairy, so I'm not too perturbed. Greenness will not detract from Flower's beauty!
A picture of Flower without his wig follows, then a picture of Flower in his default wig, then a picture of Flower in Lucian's wig [tee hee!]. I'm not sure what to do about hair for Flower. Unlike Ginevra, he definitely needs hair: a long, flowing abundance. His default wig, a poor quality, plasticky, light purple one, seems to be slightly too small, but maybe I can hot glue it into an acceptable position. I really want him to have purple hair! Alternatively, he does not look that bad in Lucian's slightly larger blond wig, but he certainly does not appear as otherworldly.
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So today I ordered my Angelsdoll Hyang, who came, avec faceup, to $309.00. Her name is Lola, inspired by the classic Kinks song, and her concept is that of a cool, somewhat mismatching, ‘80s style girl.
I met her in a club down in North SoHo
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like Coca Cola,
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance.
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said, “Lola.
I’ve been shopping for her since this morning. I chose her some 14mm Captured in Glass eyes that are colored like a muzzy pie chart in various light pastels. I hope that the light colors of her eyes will catch light, which apparently none of my dolls’ eyes really do.
Her faceup will be a custom job painted to look like this one, shown on Angelsdoll’s Cat Avatar Ieseul. Look at all that blue and yellow eyeshadow!!
Not sure what I’ll do for her wig, but I do have a nice light pink candy floss mohair wig that Divas by Design sent me along with Araminthe’s custom order. Or the hot magenta fur wig! Or she could wear the violent pink yarn one, assuming that custom order ever gets finished. :(
For her outfit, she’ll be wearing some of the default pieces that come with her, namely the black stockings, red snakeskin fur-trimmed jacket, black hot pants and black turtleneck sleeveless shirt. I hope to add hot pink leggings that go to the top of the calf, matching short armwarmers, as well as yellow stockings with white polka dots, worn slouched down, and black pleather platform pumps. I’d like to fit some neon green in there somehow too. She’ll look so obnoxious! :D :D :D
Lucy is such a delicately sculpted doll, very light and highly jointed. I love the little open mouth and the combination of chubby cheeks and pointy chin.
Ergh...now that I see the photos, I recognize that her eyes are wonky. I'll deal with that later. I may just give up and push her left eye in toward her nose and say she's blind in that eye. I HATE adjusting eyes. ( Read more... )
EDIT: I gave up and ended up making her blind in that eye. She also has different pants. Much better. ( Read more... )
Frank borrowed Jareth's body for some quick photos this evening. ( Read more... )