Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where have I been? Lemme 'splain.

 I have been sick now for about 8 weeks.
What, again? You were sick last Winter, and the Winter before that, too, remember all the Physical Therapy?
YES, AGAIN. Only this time it isn't Pneumonia. This time we don't know what it is. It's just too vague to even diagnose.
 So far, two runs of multi-thingy blood tests for various things, all Normal.
An Ultrasound. My liver is a little chubby, I should avoid becoming obese and eat healthy. Okay. But nothing else. Normal. Good, no gall or kidney stones, no tumors.
Another run of blood tests for thyroid functions, vitamin levels, and Celiac? Normal. Good.
An abdominal CT scan, just in case of tumors or cancer or blockages or something? Normal! Phew!! Good.

Nausea about eating pretty much everything that isn't very basic flavors. At times I've been down to Ritz crackers- Most of October was crackers, chicken, eggs, green smoothie and tiny amounts of Toblerone. Currently I can eat a lot more, which has been wonnnnnderful!!
Heats and chills, mono-like exhaustion, and rapid weight loss.
A lot of things have those as symptoms, but not lasting like this. We've ruled almost everything we can think of out.

All the combined powers of the medical community in this area haven't been able to figure out what's wrong with me, or if there is a cure besides Waiting For It To Go Away. Goshdarnit! *flail* Still some of the things we have ruled out were really scary things, so I am very grateful it isn't any of those things.

 I just have to be patient, and we hope it is a weirdo virus that will just go away if I rest enough.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Aneirin - Saint to Monster, Part IV

  (This post and the links below are likely to contain Anatomically Correct Doll Nudity- NSFW or for especially shy people)
This is part 4 of an ongoing project.
See Part 3
See Part 2
See Part 1

I've picked up with this project again, so there'll be more added to this post over the next few weeks as I update.
I got the right paints to go over my modifications, and I've been sanding the mod work carefully, so this evening I put on my mask and did some spraying. The grey is a surprisingly close shade to match the grey resin. Blushing will even it out. The off-white is called Racing White, but it seems to have gone on sort of... glossy, so I'll be trying another lighter coat later. I've also been doing some adding bulk to the thigh parts.

Update, Oct 20

Here's a shot of the built up thighs, in the rough stages:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aneirin- Saint to Monster: Part III

As of April 2013 (just posting this here now!)

This is part III of an ongoing project.
See Part II.
See Part I.

Post contains Anatomically Correct Doll Nudity

Been working on Aneirin's wig. Felt cap, fancy yarn, hand-stitched a loop at a time to the cap. Certain yarns give the effect of messy dredlocks.

Practice shots with those ears of his...

I also worked on adding some better locks to his joints so that he'll be able to stand unaided. Balance is pretty tricky on them big ol' legs.

This is a pre-existing lock at the knee joint, but those little points were not high enough for the fit I wanted, so I added to it.

I built these ridges on the fronts of the hip parts to stop him pitching forward when he's standing. They will get sanded and smoothed like the rest of everything I've modded.

  I obtained Soom wrist parts for long fingered Soom hands! He won't be using his default Little Monica hands that came from that company with his body. They're cute, but hardly right for him.

I have dyed his pinky white Little Monica body parts, so that they now match the more greeny-yellow Dollshe and Soom parts. I used a bit of Rit Liquid Lemon Yellow and a lot of Rit Liquid Apple Green. He's still WS, just a different tone now. Here's an undyed LM hand in pinky white against the newly dyed midsection.

So now the white resin all matches, with one ironic exception- The neck and chest part. It's the right tone but not quite deep enough to match the head, so it'll get some blushing to make it match perfectly.

Advance to Part 4!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

About Aiden Forrester

Click on the "About" Label for more of my characters and info about the dolls that portray them!

 Aiden Forrester
of the Court of Dun Elisedd

Company and sculpt: Volks Yukinojo 2012 head/ Granado 63cm body with jointed hands.
Height: about 63cm
Resin colour: Granado's old Yellow NS, and Volks NS
Modifications: Hybrid.
Faceup: Volks, altered a bit by me.
Eyes: Default Volks Yukinojo
Wig: 8 inch fiber, unknown brand

Name (and nicknames): Aiden Forrester, formerly Lord Aiden Colric.
Age: 28
Birthday: in Autumn

Family and/or relationships: He adored his younger sister, and tried to protect her from the machinations of their ambitious father. Aiden is angry with himself because he couldn't keep his sister from being sold into a marriage to a dangerous man just to gain their father some power and money. He has a twin brother who sided with their father Baron Colric in every argument, and is therefore their father's heir. Aiden betrayed his family to the Royal forces during the Winter War his father started, and has thus been declared to be disowned utterly. Now he lives at Dun Elisedd.

Occupation: Hunting in the mountains behind the castle of Dun Elisedd, to keep the place supplied with wild game as a supplement to the domestic fowls and herd beasts normally eaten.

Pets: None. He wants to train a competent hunting hound for flushing birds. He uses a pack pony sometimes to bring in a kill, but a working animal is not a pet to him.

Personality: Proud as to his personal honor, stubborn, taciturn, cynical about human nature, dedicated when he feels he has a good reason to be or a cause to work for, bold, hardworking even at menial tasks, brave in defense of people he loves, overall rather emotional/passionate. If he does some task, he'll work all day 'til he gets it done right.

Hobbies: He spends his time mostly at his work, hunting. Whittling, sharpening knives, fletching arrows, trout fishing...

Likes: Time to himself, a good take when he's out hunting, getting respect from those he admires, getting recognition for his hard work, being out in the forest, quiet without someone trying to fill it with chatter. He's a Dog Person, considering cats useless freeloaders if they can't catch mice.

Dislikes: Being looked down on, being at the bottom of the social order, being underestimated, chattery people, dancing, Verdani people, dim-witted servants, pompous nobles, people whose only ambition is for power and riches.

Other/misc: People of Dun Elisedd are glad he betrayed his family in the Winter War because it meant a way to win, but they will never really forgive him for being a blood traitor. He's a person who was useful to them, but not a person they will trust, or be seen to be friendly with.

Colrics are known to be hot-tempered and troublesome, and while he might be disowned, he's definitely still one of them in those regards.

He was married once, but his young wife and he didn't know each other very well when they wed. They were off to a promising start on a sort of relationship when she and their first baby died in childbirth. She was only 19, he was 23. Aiden has not sought love or marriage since.

Jenny Marx's Survey II

This quiz thingy dates from the 1860s and was written by Jenny Marx, Karl Marx's daughter. She sent it to her exciting Communist pals to fill out, apparently for the sheer fun of it. Here's the answers of a few of my Doll characters from Dun Elisedd, if we assume/pretend we could get them to answer these.

Answers for Aiden Forrester, Volks Yukinojo/ Granado hybrid.

The quality you like best in a man:

The quality you like best in a woman:

Your chief characteristic:
People say I'm hot-tempered; it runs in our family.

Your idea of happiness:
Being out in the woods, in the fog as the sun rises and the light comes between the branches.

Your idea of misery:
Being caught in the web of lies and power games at home.

The vice you detest the most:

The vice you excuse the most:
Giving in to temptations.

Your chief aversion:
Public appearances. I show up if I am summoned, and then get the h*ll out of it.

Your favourite literary or historical character:
I used to think my family's ancestors were great men. If they were like my father, I doubt it.

Your favourite occupation:
These days I prefer hunting.

Your favourite writer:
( He doesn't read much.)

Your favourite flower:

Your favourite colour:

Your favourite dish:
Fresh caught trout, roasted on an open fire, eaten by the stream side. You can catch trout without a line or net, if you have fast hands.

Your favourite motto:
I'll do Whatever I Must.

Answers for Aneirin, a fae creature, bond-slave to Tiarnach, Prince of the Wildwood (Dollshe Saint Hybrid/Mod)

The quality you like best in a man:
Sense to stay out of my woods.

The quality you like best in a woman:
A nice singing voice.

Your chief characteristic:
I am quite bloodthirsty, usually literally.

Your idea of happiness:
Being free, walking in the woods by moonlight, when the night flowers bloom and the moths dance...

Your idea of misery:
Being stuck on a leash, doing Tiarnach's dirty work.

The vice you detest the most:

The vice you excuse the most:

Your chief aversion:
Daylight is glaring and blinding. Hiss.

Your favourite literary or historical character:

Your favourite occupation:
Tending my gardens- I have a few small patches of wildflowers I watch over when my Lord doesn't need me around. I like my flowers.

Your favourite writer:
( He doesn't read much.)

Your favourite flower:
Oh, wood rose, night lily, Young Maid's Fancy, thistle, pond lilies, crocuses, bluebells, Lady's Slipper, primrose, snowdrops, daffodils.. (he goes on... and on... )

Your favourite colour:
White, like the Moon.

Your favourite dish:
Fresh blood of a young rabbit, with perhaps some of the liver and heart... *slurp*

Your favourite motto:
Alone Is Best.

Making Schatzi, part 1

Schatzi, a Dachshund BJD

I am still working on several other things in the Eternal Rotation, and they will make their blog appearances as I work on them,

 but this is yet another project because I wanted to try making an animal BJD before I do more work on my humanoid BJD sculpting. BJDs need pets, and Schatzi here will be the size of a Miniature Dachshund to the 1/3 or SD dolls, and a Standard Dachshund to the 1/4 or MSD dolls. If he works out well, I want to try a Corgi, too. I don't know how long it will be before I am good enough at this to make a house cat, though, so don't hold your collective breaths for that development. :sweat

I started with a good plan, and some notes on joint types. A stubby wee dog will be basically ALL joints, with very few major straight parts like humans have with their long limbs. The hardest part will be the hind legs, because I want it to be able to sit properly.

I'm working on this one in polymer clay first, which has its pros and cons, but they're pros and cons I know well, since I've been working with the stuff for over a decade now. I sculpt, then bake lightly, then add more, then rebake. Eventually I'll do a home junk cast in resin and refine that rough cast with Apoxie Sculpt. The end goal here is to have something nice enough to cast multiples of in resin.
I made a body tube shape and then cut it into segments, and it looks pretty miserable for the first rough stages. My HS art teacher used to call this the Butt-Ugly Stage, and every project goes through it, so it doesn't make me panic.

I worked the body into socketing segments, and made a paw and some leg sections.

That one paw got duplicated by push-mold, saving me some work in making four different paws. I did have to refine all four paws, of course, but it was a good way to get them all the right size. I also made a headback, and that masky thing there is the rough base for a faceplate.

Neck with headback perched on it. I tried a segmented neck but it looked like a stubby diplodocus... so we're going with a mostly straight neck, with a cup base for mobility. This has been rough sanded for symmetry and shape so far.
The body wasn't long enough compared to the legs and neck, so I added another segment. I also added foreleg/shoulder holes, roughed in.

Progress pic- The body segments and neck, headback, leg and paw, just to check proportions. There's the rough faceplate too!

Without the eyes as more than big sockets, he looks like Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas. But he's coming along.
My sister's family has a Dachshund so I'm pretty familiar with their pointy wee faces and little arched noses.

Testing the shapes!
Sitting up. His legs didn't stay this long, because this test stringing showed me they weren't the right length compared to his body. Finally he begins to look like a dog! I tried a segmented tail, but stringing it turned out to be too fiddly, so this is the only pic it shows up in. Shame, because it was so nicely mobile.

Much refining later:

Dogbutt. Here's the one piece tail, and it rotates in its socket quite nicely so he can wag or slink, as the mood takes him.

This is a bad shot, sorry, but I've fixed his body joints to be much, MUCH smoother and closer fitted. Symmetry is the hardest part, I think, and he's almost at 50% done. He begins to show the shapes the final sculpt will have.

His little ears turn in their sockets too. The faceplate is nearly done, but I need to work out his eyes so they can stop being big old holes in his face.

More to come!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Aneirin- Saint to Monster, Part II

This is Part II of an ongoing Mod Project.
See Part I

Update! 4/12

Had a stressful month so far, and having this project to work on is good therapy.

Here's an example of the progress on the ears. They start out rough (Left) but I can get them to look smoothly sculpted by sanding them (Right). Later they'll get smoothed even more.

To get the proportions I want, I am shortening the calf section of the legs by a considerable amount.

Each leg piece gets a section cut out of it in the middle.

I am saving the original socket so that it will still fit on top of the foot part. I've joined the pieces back together after taking that middle section out.

The joined sections have to be smoothed out inside so that stringing won't get caught on it.

Then the outside of the joined parts have to be smoothed over too.

I tinted some white Apoxie Sculpt with acrylic paint to get it roughly the shade of the grey resin. That'll make it much easier to blush over and smooth into a nice finish later. (The top one hasn't had Apoxie yet, the bottom one shown has) The Apoxie cements the joined bits and makes them look like they're supposed to be this shape and size. Once it cures, I'll be able to sand it so that it looks much better.

Work also progresses slowly on the knee joints, but there's nothing much worth photographing just yet.

More later!

Update, 2/13

Today I drilled the holes into the headback for magnets and glued them in. They may get a very thin layer of Apoxie and then paint over them.

I'm also still refining the ears, but they got drilled for magnets today too.

I've been sanding and cleaning up the reconstructed legs and still working on the knees. The thighs also need added bulk next.

Update 2/15

I did a test stringing today. It might be a while before I am able to work on him, or it might not, but before I get much further I needed to see how his weight sit on his joints.

Good thing I did, too, because he still can't stand by himself yet. I think some adjustments and tighter stringing will fix the problems easily though. He's starting to look like himself.

He can do the Soom Crouching Pose at least. He's a long way from done but he's showing promise at last.

More in Part III.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Aneirin- Saint to Monster. Work in Progress

(Post contains Anatomically Correct Doll Nudity)

I finally got my Grail Dollshe Saint heads... and then had no idea what to do with them. No character concept I tried would fit, so I thought maybe I should Mod Them. I did a sketch of the head with big wide ears, and suddenly a concept and a character just sort of dropped on me, demanding to be shelled as a doll. So here he is, and boy, is this gonna take work.

(Yes, that's my actual handwriting. Yes, I am a grown woman. -_-;; This is why I type.)

Aneirin is this monster critter who lurks through the forest by night and strangles his prey with his long strong fingers. He's kind of a bogeyman, frankly. He has pale skin, possibly matted dreds for hair, and wide faun-like ears, but no horns or tail. He's got big gargoyle feet.
I have seen one doll hybrid somewhere that was vaguely similar in shape to this, which is probably where my subconscious pulled the idea of the general silhouette, but this doll will look nothing like that one, trust me.

I'll be using a set of Saint heads, probably some Soom Monthly hands, and Soom Monzo feet. I'd always loved Monzo feet but never had an excuse to own any. I found a body- Little Monica Harmony A type, which has beautiful musculature and jointing that I like. I plan to make several changeable sets of magnetic ears for this guy so he can show his moods.

Acquire parts- waiting for the hands

-Sand all seams- Working on these as I go.
-Carve new knees to fit Soom Monzo Legs- partway done
-Alter wrists as needed to fit Soom hands- Not needed, got the right wrists.
-Mobility mods on LM body?
-Apoxie: Lengthen neck a smidgen.- Done
-Apoxie: Modify legs a bit- Done
-Apoxie: build up thighs to have more muscle and bulk
-Apoxie: possibly build up arms, etc for more muscle definition?- Nah.

- cut and sand off regular ears- Done!
-drill holes for rare earth magnets-Done!
- glue in magnets and cover them and smooth the area
-sculpt sets of monster ears - Partly Done
-drill ears to hold magnets, and glue magnets into ears so they work with head magnets- Done!
-cover and smooth magnet holes on the ears.


-cover all mods, smoothing, sanding and painting.
-Sueding- always a Must. Wiring arms.
-body blushing, blending grey legs with pale body
- faceups
-make the wig

Update 1/11

I have finally combined the head with the body. It is a lovely sculpt. I think I'll be adding a bit of height to the neck just to give him a more inhuman and elegant shape. He is a bit on the bobblier side than what I prefer, but adding neck length will help that, and he's not human anyhow. Edit: I am getting different heads for this, in White Skin, but the same Saint.

Testing out the fibers I will be making his wig from- I like the greens and blues against his copper eyes.

Update, 1/16

Got the legs! Here they are, and I will be getting fancy on the knees here to make this combo work.

As you can see, the LM body has knees designed almost exactly opposite to the Soom grey legs I want to use, so I'll be more or less making entirely new knees. The angle will need to be set carefully so that the doll maintains a good center of balance over these digitigrade feet, but I think it can be done. I'll be cutting the LM leg a little higher up, where the width of the LM thigh matches the Soom leg better.

I am altering my mod list of steps up there at the top of this first post accordingly as I figure out each of the steps this project will take. Stay tuned!

Update 1/21
I have figured out a few things, so for the next while I'll be working on the body until I get the rest sorted, and believe me it will take some work!

Here's a ridiculous but useful shot of how the torso looked before I started to do anything to it.

Then today I worked on defining the muscle a little bit more, particularly underneath the pecs.

Those of you who are shy of body parts, avert your eyes please...

The Little Monica body is nicely sculpted, but it had a pitiful representation of what ought to have been anatomical bits, so I am attempting to give him a bit more dignity and realism. I've never understood why a sculptor can include the nuances of musculature, and then stick on an oval dot and call it genitals. I don't care what size they make them but the attempt should be made to get them to resemble actual parts.

I carved the knees away from the thighs to give them the right proportion of length to the grey lower legs, but as I compare them to the lower legs, I think I am going to use Apoxie Sculpt to form the new joints. Then I'll be adding bulk to the thighs, in the style of Soom's Chalco legs.

More to come, of course. When, I am not sure.

Update February 8th.
I've done some work on the Saint head and faceplate set, and started the rough sculpt of the monster ears. The original ears got sawed off neatly.

Here's a shot of the faceplates, de-eared and smoothed out. The sawing took moments, the sanding took hoooooooours. Uf.

This is the neutral-pose set of ears, made out of Sculpey polymer clay. They need refining and sanding of course, but this is the rough shape. Eventually they'll be much smoother and sleeker.

Updates continue in Part II!