Tuesday, February 19

Monster High 'Siren' Mermaid Mod and Repaint

"Sailors Beware!"
Here is my customized Monster High 'Siren' mermaid doll. I cut out eye holes and gave her some glass eyes, straightened her hair, filled in the gap. I was very disappointed with the original mechanics of the doll and the colors, however I loved the spiky sculpt of the tail. (You can see the original images of the doll at the end of the post.) The tail is meant to be paired with this very ugly belt that looks more like a chuck of plastic, not even belt like. And this 'belt' makes the doll have a HUGE butt. Eventually I decided that a small torso modification and repaint would make this doll much better. Since the doll cannot sit it really doesn't mater if I fill in the gap. I was pleased with my final paint job. It really gives it that evil siren look. Read on to see how I did the modification...

Wednesday, February 13

Momoko Doll Body Comparison

As a big fan of Japanese Dolly Dolly pattern magazines I often wondered at the lack of Barbie doll content in their pages. Apparently Barbie is just not popular in Japan. It could be that she looks too American with that tan skin and blonde hair. Little girls generally want doll that looks like them. The main doll in Japan is Momoko, and you will find there is always a selection of patterns for her in Japanese Dolly Dolly books. I heard that Barbie, Pullip and Momoko fit each other's fashions, but Momoko is slightly smaller. Here are some handy photos taken by 'The Toy Box Philosopher' of different doll bodies so we can compare.

How to Paint Small Fish Scales

This guide uses an airbrush, but with some practice you can also use a can of spray paint. Originally posted on Stripers Online by user 'HighPockets'. This is great tutorial on adding fish and snake skin details to custom dolls like Monster High. Perfect for mermaids and gorgons.

Monday, February 11

Modeling Water Splashes from Plastic

"I gotta tell you this one because it's just too cool! I was at the 97 World Convention and saw Rick Kennair's seminar on habitats (making nature theme bases for sculptures). I use to do splashes based on Newmyer's technique with the resin but Rick showed us how to take a piece of the sheet plastic used for flourescent light fixtures to make splashes (it's called "cracked ice" is is available at most discount lumber houses for about $2.50-$4 for a big sheet). Break off a piece of the plastic and hold it over a heat gun set on high. As the plastic starts to melt, use hemostats or needlenose pliers to grab the edge of the heated area to support it. Just as the plastic starts to liquify, stretch it using the pliers - you'll be amazed how far you can stretch it. Just after you stretch it out, back it off and the plastic will crinkle up. Blow on it for about 5 seconds to cool it and you have an unbelievably real looking splash. Start playing with them - twisting and looping the melted plastic and glue several of these together and it's awesome."- posted by Jerry on Taxidermy Net

"You can use the plastic sheets You just cut it or break it into size pices you want, pop it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 15 min. use heavy clean gloves form it how you want. Cool it by running under cold water, then glue the pieces to your plexiglass, when you have your splash formed the way you want size ect. Just pour clear resin over your splashes, it makes some nice splashes."

I find these look more like ice.
"I did the scene using those pellets from VanDykes spread out on foil in the oven. Started putting them together and this is what I came up with." - posted by Jeff on Taxidermy Net

Sharpie Paint Markers for Doll Customizing?

Sharpie oil based markers work on plastic and can be used on plastic dolls, HOWEVER the ink will bleed deeply into the vinyl and over time spread out much father then you ever intended.  Never ever use these markers for a doll's make-up. The only option I can see is using these is for complete recolors as the paint drys flexible, resistant to scratching, and does not get sticky or chip. The coverage is not very even though which makes a vinyl spray paint the best solution for complete doll repaints. I still have yet to find a supplier who carries more then the regular colors of vinyl paint, like white, black, red and tan. I contacted a custom auto painter and they can only get the paint in large bucket quantities, not in spray can form. :(
I have experimented using Testors model paint (intended for plastic models) with does work on the hard plastic bodies, but has a chemical reaction with the doll hair. (It transfers onto the hair and stays sticky.)
Most doll artists use acrylic paints or chalk pastels as makeup then top with clear sealers. This method is the safest solution for modification as it does not have long term plastic breakdown.
Here is a photo of a vinyl Blythe scalp that has been colored with a sharpie paint pen. You can see the flexibility and color cover of the ink. After removing the paint with acetone you can see the deep ink bleed. When the paint was removed the color bleed eventually faded away after 11 months. But results will vary based on the type of plastics and rubber.

Modify a Plastic Pony with Sculptey Polymer Clay

This is a guide written by Dee-Kary on deviantART. I thought this guide was very interesting as it talks about using polymer clay (Sculptey) to repair the doll using boiling water instead of an oven. This process could be great for creating add-ons to other dolls, like Monster High or Pullip.

Tuesday, February 5

Doll Clothing Buying Guide: Will it fit?

'Dal' wearing Monster High fashions.

What doll clothing fits Monster High, Barbie, Pullip, Blythe and more? Here is a list to make buying new doll clothing much easier! No need to always buy the same brand clothing as your doll. You can find cute fashions in other doll lines!
Pullip doll line: Byul, Dal, Isul, Pullip Type 1, Pullip Type 2, Pullip Type 3, Pullip Type 4 and Taeyang
Phoio via flickr, user Hina Ichigo
Pullip, Liv, Tangkou, Blythe

Pullip

* Liv clothing fits Type 4 , but it’s a wee bit loose.
* Barbie clothes fit Type 1 and 2. But they are very loose on Type 4 bodies, but fit with lots of velcro overlap. It fits Obitsu bodies though.
* Takara Jenny fits Type 1 and 2
* Azone 1/6 fits Type 1 and 2
* Bleeding Edge 12 inch fashion dolls fits Type 1 and 2
* Ever Girl clothing fits Type 1 and 2
* Type 1 and 2can wear Takara Jenny shoes, Lollipop Girls shoes, and Everygirl shoes.
* Momoko clothes fit Type 3
* Hestia clothes fit Type 3
* Bratz clothes fit Type 3, but it’s usually too small for them
* Lollipop clothes fit Type 3
* Moxie Girlz clothes fit Type 3
* Monster High shoes fit
* Star Dolls shoes fit

Dal/Byul (They have the same bodies…)

* Monster High stockings are too long, but that can usually be hidden when wearing their own boots (MH shoes are too big.).
* Monster High dresses are small on them, or VERY tight.


Monster High

* Disney VIP clothes fit
* Monster High Boys can’t wear Ken or My Scene clothing, it is too big. The shoes are also too small
* Teen Skipper clothing is a tad big on them, but works overall
* Bratz clothing is perfect
* Dal clothing is a little big, but works with a bobby pin
* La Dee Da clothing fits
* Monster High Boys can wear Bratz Boys outfits, but it’s a little short
* Moxie Girl pants and skirts fit, but not shirts. (< too big) But the shirts do fit Monster High Boys
* Stardoll shoes fit
* Cutie-Pop Clothes fit
* Blythe clothing fits, but the chest is a touch loose
* Licca clothing fits
* Dal clothing fits


Tangkou

* Barbie clothing fits
* Liv clothing fits
* Moxie Teenz clothing fits

Liv

* Barbie clothing fits

La Dee Da

* Bratz clothing fits perfectly
* Monster High clothing fits
* Barbie shoes do not fit unless they are flat or low arch shoes

Licca

* Barbie shoes fit
* fits Blythe and Dal and Monster High fashions

Jenny & Momoko
* Fits Barbie and Liv fashions


Blythe CCE Dolls
* Monster High fits
* Disney VIP clothes fit
* Teen Skipper clothing is a tad big on them, but works overall
* Bratz clothing is perfect
* Dal clothing is a little big, but works with a bobby pin
* La Dee Da clothing fits
* Moxie Girl pants and skirts fit, but not shirts. (< too big)
* some barbie shoes fit

Monster High Cloak Free Pattern


Scary Tales Clawdeen’s cloak pattern. Drawn by maniahryu.

Blythe, CCE Doll

CCE stands for 'color changing eyes'. This is a fake Blythe doll bought from ebay (from a seller in Thailand). This is great option for wanting a Blythe doll but not wanting to buy an expensive "New Blythe". These doll's bodies often have flaws in the vinyl such as cuts. One of the great things about them is they come with extra scalps that just pop off and can be changed like a wig and they fit many Barbie shoes, and all Bratz clothing.Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket
Sometimes eyechips are not the same size or depth as Blythe.
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CCE Body compared to Bratz Body. The neckpeg  can be used to make any doll body compatible with the CCE doll’s head.
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After sanding she looks quite nice.The CCE doll head matches fleshtone Obitsu body nicely

Monster High: Adding Glass Eyes

My Little Pony:Yarn Hair Mod

I bought this really cute "My Little Pony" plush the other day. It's super cute, but it's mane was looking really awful.  I mean this is 'Rainbow Dash', since when do rainbows come in orange, yellow, blue and purple. Gee, I think we are missing some colors here! So of course I went to work making a new mane out of yarn. It was really easy to do and I unraveled the yarn and styled it with some water to get that spiked look. I think hair gel would give it even better style hold, but it really wasn't needed. I just let it sit overnight and it worked pretty well. Here is a before and after shot.

Monday, February 4

Free Pattern: My Little Pony

This download is hosted on a free file share site, so there are very annoying pop-up ads. So sorry.
Here is a sewing pattern I drafted for a 5" 'my little pony' plush. It is for a basic pony intended to have yarn hair. Feel free to add on to this pattern to make your own customized ponies!

You can also print the pattern at 300% - 'collage' (in the print settings of Adobe PDF Reader) and create a much bigger version.

This pattern doesn't currently have illustrated instructions. Ya, I'm lazy. I'll get to it maybe sometime later. However I did take time to computer illustrate the pattern and seam allowance.

If want to make the pony smaller print at 30% and use felt without a seam allowance. Overhand stitch the edges together. It takes longer but is very cute. Here are different character eyes for you to use as a reference.
My Little Pony Eyes by datNaro on deviantART
Directions:
1. Cut out all your pieces. Mark with a pencil on the wrong size were all your seam lines are.
2. Get some yarn or fabric strips for hair and sew the ends together in a straight line to form the mane. For the tail knot the ends together.
4. Sew ear together good sides facing. Leave bottom open. Turn out. x2
5. Sew together the 'head back' to the 'head sides'. x2
6. Match these head side pieces to the 'head top'. Sew from the tip of the nose to the ear opening. Insert the ear. Continue to the end of the neck. x2
7. Once the head sides are together you add the little chin at the bottom of the snout. Sew together in a half circle. 
8. At this point you can embroider on the smile, and the eyes. You can also hand stitch on felt eyes at the very end if you prefer, or even draw then on using puffy fabric paints or regular acrylic craft paint with is machine washable after 48 hours.
9. Attach 'inner front leg' to the 'under belly'. The front legs get places near the neck. You will attach them at the semi circle. x2
10. Attach 'inner back leg' to the 'under belly', at the semi circle at the end of the under belly.
11. Attach the body side pieces to the under belly. (add the bum 'cutie mark' now if you are embroidering.) Start at the tip of the neck to down the leg, stop at the bottom of the hoof. Leave an opening for the hoof. Sew up the leg and down the other leg... up the leg across the bum and down the other leg... up the leg STOP leave a spot open for stuffing... then down the leg and so on, until the belly is attached to the top of the body. (IMPORTANT NOTE: you will want to leave a small portion of one side of the belly open to turn out your plush then stuff later.)
12. Add on each hoof (make sure the good side of the hoof fabric is facing INSIDE the plush). With a sewing machine you can place the hood bottom flat and sew around the hoof very carefully in a circle. x4
13. Sew the neck to the body. 
14. Pin on the main and tail. the fabric and yarn will be on the inside of the body. Sew from the top of the head to the bum.
15. It's almost complete. Just turn it right side out, stuff using a pencil or a long tool and hand stitch the opening at the belly closed. Add on eyes now if you have not already and that 'cutie mark'!

Free Merry Mermaid Pattern


Free Pirate Doll Pattern

Sunday, February 3

BJD Book Translated to English!


Do you love making custom dolls as much as I do? I recently got a copy of 'Yoshida Style: A Guide to making Ball Jointed Dolls', and it is an amazing book! One problem, it is written in Japanese. :( Boo! With some searching online I found a word document with an English translation. I immediately went to work creating an English e-book version. After may tedious days of cleaning the pages and adding in the new text, the book is finally finished! I cannot stress how much better it is now that I can actually read it! WOOT!
Get it here.