Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Out of the Closet...

Recently I started a second blog and thought that maybe I should have a picture for my avatar that was closer to who I am and the spirit that is me.  Anyone who has purchased clothes from my shop DollyDollyFashions on etsy will recognize my little pencil sketch (above). 

When I started this blog, I wanted to have some fun with my critters like Godzilla.  Godzilla or Big GZ is still our official host here on mymonstercrush.  He is not going away- he is a very big deal around here. Still, I have to come out of the closet :)

I am still working on Draken.  Putting a post together takes some time because I have to stop at each juncture and take photos- and then write and so on.  When you see a modding post on here, I have been working on it for days and it has been in draft form all that time.  Rest assured that sometime in the next week another post on Draken will appear.

In the meantime...

New things at DollyDollyFashions:

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Cheers, PB♥

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Modding - Part 3 - Tail and Paint

Draken's Tail & Body

Tail is finished, time for a fitting.  I decide where I want the tail to be, and make a mark with pencil on her back.

Now I need to make a hole for the tail wire.  The wire is for stability and to add resistance that is not dependent on the magic sculpt.  I am using a stencil cutter with a fine tip.  It gets hot enough to make a hole while not damaging the rest of the plastic.  How many crafts have I tried over the years?  Lots.  This stencil cutter is no good at all for cutting stencils- but- I have used it to repair dolls and on many other projects.

Hole is made.

I test it with the wire.  The wire is a little too long so I clip it shorter with wire cutters.

I've mixed my magic sculpt and divided into to balls. 

One is flattened over the hole.

I stick the tail wire in, find the hole and push.  Then I start shaping the clay over the tail end.  I smooth it with water and my fingers.  I add to it with the other clay I have mixed and waiting.

Now she sits for 4 hours to harden.

The magic sculpt has hardened.  The fabric didn't reach all the way after I started sewing.  I could simply attach another piece of fabric, but I kind of like the way this looks, so I am going to go with it for now and see if I can keep the feel of the exposed poly batting.  We shall see.

Beginning painting of the tail.  I am using the violet first.  Green, blue and then violet and black will follow.

I am also beginning the sponge painting of her body.

When you use a cosmetic sponge to paint your doll, remember to not use too much paint.  It needs to go on in thin layers.  I cut my sponges too- make some with smaller surface areas to fit inside curves and such.  Draken will have 2 coats of violet and then a coat of spray sealer before her serious painting begins.  I am using the same method on her head.

This is a short post, but there will be a follow up post as soon as I can manage.

Meet Duvet

The latest addition to our little family of critters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Modding Part 2 - The Tail

It has taken awhile...

to get back in here.

Getting started after the head modification.

I have lots of different parts and pieces from all of the dolls I have made, so deciding on what to use with the dragon head, that is now Draken, it was time to chose a body and such.  Yes, I have the dragon arms and legs from the CAM kit.  I am not going to use them here.  Instead, Draken's body is a Draculaura body and the hands are from an Abbey.  This is because, Abbey is on her way to becoming Marie Antoinette, and her hands didn't work for that... but they sure look good on Draken.

This is all part of the appeal of modding these dolls.  Even the parts that don't fit perfectly can be made to fit. You can swap and change things around until you are happy with the result.  

So, the first questions I ask myself are these:

1. What kind of dragon is Draken?  (besides female)

2.  What color or colors is Draken?

3.  What kind of tail does Draken have?

Draken is a mountain dragon, and she is going to be black and violet in color.

Now, here comes the tail.

To make her tail, I am using:

                                         1. Wire - galvanized 20 gauge  (.88mm)
                                         2. Wire cutters
                                         3. Needle nose pliers
                                         4. Magic Sculpt - but you can use Sculpy or an air dry clay
                                         5. Thread - heavy  
                                         6. Polyester batting -
                                             you can also use fiberfill, but that is harder to use
                                         7. 2 Way Stretch Fabric and matching sewing thread
                                         8. Fabric glue
                                         9. Mohair or feathers
                                       10. Paint and sealer

Decide what shape you want for the tip of the tail, bend it with the pliers.

Decide how long you want the tail, triple that and then add an inch or 3cm.

Begin wrapping the wire beyond the tail tip around itself.  You want 3 ply of wire when you are done.

Compress the wires at the end, leaving the inch of single wire at the end.

Cover the tail tip with Magic Sculpt or clay of some kind.  If you use Sculpy, you can bake it in your oven- be sure it is baked well so it is hard.

Next, cover the other end with Magic Sculpt.

 This tail is being made in a way so that it can be posed.  Using 3 plys of wire makes it stronger and will allow someone to bend the tail lots of times without fear of it breaking.

The next step is to paint the tail tip and the end that will be close to the body.

I start with green and thin it with flat sealer.  Water does not adhere like the sealer.  If you thin with water, the paint will not bond well with the surface.

While it is unlikely that one will be able to see this part when I am finished, I am painting it just in case any of it does show.  All but the part that will be glued to the body- no paint there.

Next is a thin coat of the violet.  Again, mixed with flat sealer.  I do not want this to look like plastic - so I will not be painting it all the same - notice there is more paint in some places than in others.  I will continue to build my color.

Violet over the green.

I have added the blue wash over the other 2 colors.  The tail tip is starting to have some depth.

I will continue painting, but with smaller brushes to add the detail I desire. I will add black to my palette to mix in with the other colors.  Contrast adds to the realism of a fantasy.

When I shaped the Magic Sculpt over the wire, I used my fingers and some small clay tools to add details.  I did not put details everywhere.  What details I have put into the clay I have used as a place to draw details from with my paint. 
The under side of the tail tip I wanted to look and feel like the under side of  your foot. Soft and fleshy looking.  I always finish painting every side of a sculpture- even the parts you may not see.  In this case, it is likely that one will see under her tail- so it is very important to think about what that looks and feels like.

Next Step:  Wrapping the Tail

                                                   1. Carpet Thread
                                                   2. Quilt Tie Thread
                                                   3. Regular All Purpose sewing thread

You will need quilt tying thread or better for this- regular sewing thread tends to break when you try to tie it off here.  Carpet or quilt thread will make the job easier for you.

Cut at least 4 pieces of thread and have them ready to go.

Cut a strip of quilt batting about 1.50 inches or 3.5cm wide.

Begin wrapping it at the tail tip.

Tie off the first stage in your wrapping.

Continue wrapping and tying the tail.

Trim the threads you have tied.

Use fabric glue on the tail tip and base to hold the batting in place.

I am using a 2 way stretch jersey fabric.

I am using a ladder stitch to close the fabric around the tail.  You might be tempted to use glue- don't do it.  It will not do a good job and it will not move with the fabric and tail the way the thread will.  Take the time to sew this and you won't regret it.

Ladder Stitch

I am stopping here.  The rest of the tail and painting will follow in the next post. 

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