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Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 312217 times)

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #165 on: April 27, 2012, 02:31:57 pm »
Been looking at other head possibilities on eBay and elsewhere, and here's what's turned up so far:

2012 Fashionista Ryan



From close examination of this face in the store, it seems to be cast from the same mold as the current Duncan head, and it comes with a nicely articulated body which can be used for someone else if not left with the original head, but the hair color is a very dark brown, so possibly too dark for Duncan's.  However, this choice has the benefit of being very easy to find and inexpensive.

2005 Prince Stefan



This has a more medium brown hair color that is very hard to find, but unfortunately so is this particular figure.  I don't like his facial features quite as much as my current Duncan's, but on the other hand they're far better than a lot of the Ken faces out there, and I happen to have found one on eBay that has a damaged box, so is around half the price for what these out-of-stock Kens normally are going for now.  So it's a possible at least.  And as with any other doll with rooted hair, some amount of hair restyling is possible, as long as you don't go too far outside the bounds of what the original rooting was meant to do.  Here's another photo of the same figure whose hair has been played with and restyled a bit:



Yes, I know, I already hear Alkari threatening him with the barber shears....   :D

Here is another one that is going quite cheaply on eBay at present (about the same as the Ryan is), but again, the hair seems a bit too dark and I like his face even less than the others:


And with less plastered-down hair (though I think I'd have restyled it a bit less fluffy...yikes!):



And then again, I can always go back to the same kind of head I'm currently using for him, although given his extremely golden-blond hair, that would mean a complete re-root of his head to turn his hair brown, since I don't want to go through the Sharpie marker staining of his forehead and clothing all over again.

Ideas?


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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #166 on: April 27, 2012, 03:40:53 pm »
Hmm, Prince Stefan almost has grey eyes; if he had blond hair, maybe he could be.....*ducks, knowing Alkari is holding out for a Jaime Lannister action figure for Alaric*  ;D

Seriously, I like the Prince Stefan head, but the eyes need to be the more intense blue of the Fashionista Ryan.  Ryan isn't bad; is there a way you could safely lighten the hair just a bit?

I don't like the third one at all.  The unplastered hair version looks like he stuck his finger in an electrical socket.  Or in Gwynedd, stood under a tree in a thunderstorm!
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #167 on: April 27, 2012, 11:49:08 pm »
Hmm, Prince Stefan almost has grey eyes; if he had blond hair, maybe he could be.....*ducks, knowing Alkari is holding out for a Jaime Lannister action figure for Alaric*  ;D

LOL!

Quote
Seriously, I like the Prince Stefan head, but the eyes need to be the more intense blue of the Fashionista Ryan.  Ryan isn't bad; is there a way you could safely lighten the hair just a bit?

Unfortunately, I don't know of any way, and having already ruined one head with experimenting before reading up on the topic, I'd not want to risk another one through similar experimentation.  Repainting eyes would be much easier, so for an Alaric it would be better to find a blond head and repaint the eyes as needed.  Either that or find a completely unrooted and unpainted head and truly begin from scratch, though I don't fancy that as a beginner's project.

Quote
I don't like the third one at all.  The unplastered hair version looks like he stuck his finger in an electrical socket.  Or in Gwynedd, stood under a tree in a thunderstorm!

LOL!  Yeah, it's a bit on the wild side, but truly it's nothing that a dunk under some very hot water followed by wrapping it tightly in Saran Wrap or the like so that it's plastered down to his head and letting it dry that way wouldn't fix.  That would at least tame it so it would lie flat again, and since it wouldn't have the styling wax or whatever they put in it at the factory to turn it stiff and helmet-like, it would still look like hair rather than some weird crispy cap like in his first photo.

BUT...I might have discovered an alternative to any of the above!  I had to make a run to Target this morning, so I took a detour through the toy section, and found this guy on sale:



It's the same head sculpt and almost the same hairstyle as my original Duncan head, only instead of the golden blond hair the other head came with fresh out of the box, this one's hair is sort of dirty blond/light sandy brown.  While it's a little lighter than I'd prefer for Duncan, at this point I'm willing to consider it in the acceptable range of hair color even left as-is, given the near impossibility of finding a more medium brown haired Ken aside from the very difficult to find Prince Stefan (who also, because he's a fairly rare model who came out in 2005, tends to be pretty expensive).

So let's compare this guy to my current Duncan:



I hadn't realized how extensive the damage to Duncan's head was until I compared him to what he used to look like.  The camera is being very kind here; in person the staining on the original head is far more obvious.



The mint condition head is paler and less orange-tinted than Current-Duncan's fleshtone.  I suspect the color difference is due to the Sharpie marker rubbing off on the vinyl over time. 

Unfortunately this new guy doesn't have the jointed Fashionista body, but the Fashionista dolls are pretty inexpensive and the skintones match well enough that it might be worth getting a Ryan or some other sort for the body and using this new head on it.  Currently Original-Duncan's head is still on the body that came with the Arilan head, but the extreme color difference between head and body is starting to really grate on me, so if I do find a Fashionista body that matches the head better, I might use that instead despite it not having the nifty interchangeable hands.  (Don't know if the True Type 19 hands Duncan currently have are interchangeable with the ones on a Fashionista body, and unless I have a spare on hand, I don't really fancy taking one apart to find out.)  I'm sure Arilan would really like to have his body back, especially since it's such a high quality one.  Or I might still look at other options that are closer in color to the Ken skintones without being as pricey as the True Type bodies.

For the moment I've still got the receipt for this new guy and have kept him mint in box, as I'm still not 100% convinced I'm ready to turn him into a replacement Duncan yet.  But at the moment he seems like a closer option than anything else I've seen so far.
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Offline Shiral

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #168 on: April 28, 2012, 12:47:32 am »
Been looking at other head possibilities on eBay and elsewhere, and here's what's turned up so far:

2012 Fashionista Ryan



From close examination of this face in the store, it seems to be cast from the same mold as the current Duncan head, and it comes with a nicely articulated body which can be used for someone else if not left with the original head, but the hair color is a very dark brown, so possibly too dark for Duncan's.  However, this choice has the benefit of being very easy to find and inexpensive.

2005 Prince Stefan



This has a more medium brown hair color that is very hard to find, but unfortunately so is this particular figure.  I don't like his facial features quite as much as my current Duncan's, but on the other hand they're far better than a lot of the Ken faces out there, and I happen to have found one on eBay that has a damaged box, so is around half the price for what these out-of-stock Kens normally are going for now.  So it's a possible at least.  And as with any other doll with rooted hair, some amount of hair restyling is possible, as long as you don't go too far outside the bounds of what the original rooting was meant to do.  Here's another photo of the same figure whose hair has been played with and restyled a bit:



Yes, I know, I already hear Alkari threatening him with the barber shears....   :D

Here is another one that is going quite cheaply on eBay at present (about the same as the Ryan is), but again, the hair seems a bit too dark and I like his face even less than the others:


And with less plastered-down hair (though I think I'd have restyled it a bit less fluffy...yikes!):



And then again, I can always go back to the same kind of head I'm currently using for him, although given his extremely golden-blond hair, that would mean a complete re-root of his head to turn his hair brown, since I don't want to go through the Sharpie marker staining of his forehead and clothing all over again.

Ideas?




Oh wow, he's having the MUTHA of all bad hair days! 

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Offline kirienne

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #169 on: April 29, 2012, 07:16:18 pm »
My goodness, you have done amazing progress on this project!!! I am very impresses at your attention to even small details. !!!!!!!

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #170 on: April 30, 2012, 12:46:40 am »
So sleepy, so just a quick progress report.  Today I finished hemming Helena's blue Court gown, colored every other "diamond" on Kelson's crown red so now he has both rubies and diamonds on it, and I sewed a poet's shirt for Dhugal (or whoever that former Viking ends up being if I repaint and keep him) to wear over his borrowed jeans so that my son will hopefully stop calling him "Sexy Jesus" and posing him in beefcake poses.  (No, don't ask.  The kid's weird; that's all I know.)  Granted, poet's shirts aren't strictly medieval, or at least not early-12th-Century, but it ought to look nice paired with the McLain great kilt and I found the pattern online as a free download.  So dagnabbit, if Richenda can wear a lace kerchief, Dhugal can wear a poet's shirt.   ;)

I'll see if I can take pictures to upload tomorrow once there's better light available.

Also, I won the following two Fashionista Kens in an eBay auction last night. 



Even with shipping added in, the pair of them together ended up costing me less than just one would cost me if I drove down to my local Walmart to buy it, so I couldn't pass up that much of a bargain.  The body of the guy on the left, with the odd sticking-up bangs, is going to end up salvaged for Duncan if it's a better skintone match, so Arilan can have his former body back. If I can do something with that hair to make it look less ragingly early-21st-Century, I might try to save the head for someone--no idea who yet--but if not, it will become a practice head.  I hope I can save him, though, since I think that's the Ryan head with different hair styling, and I rather liked that model.  The blonder (or light brown?) haired guy might be usable for someone else, possibly even as a replacement Duncan head if the hair is brown enough, although I'd have to get a closer look at the head sculpt to see how it compares to my current one, and then see if I can modify the hair style a tad.  From this photo, it looks a little dark to be Alaric hair, though I've learned that colors don't always translate well in photographs.  But even if I don't end up using either head, the poseable bodies should make this a good deal regardless.

There's also a "Four heads for [currently] $5" auction going on for the next 23 hours and counting down:



Bottom left head might be golden blond enough for an Alaric, although his eyes would have to be repainted gray, and the hair might need a little restyling.  Bottom right looks to be my original Duncan head before I took the brown Sharpie marker to it.  Can't really envision anyone for the top two heads, though they're good for a giggle.  I know Derry's hair is meant to be curly, but...wow.  Maybe not a Bozo 'Fro.   :D
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #171 on: April 30, 2012, 04:29:12 pm »
OK, here's a longer progress report with lots of pictures!

First off, I realized you haven't seen most of the treasure trove of fabrics and trims that Katherine Kurtz sent me, so I created a fabric collage on the floor to show them off for you:



Gigi displays her indifference to Mom's new fabric and trim while Luke takes it upon himself to inspect the new treasures.



Luke can't resist checking out the metallic fabrics and the itsy bitsy dagger.  To give you an idea of how stuffed full this package was, I didn't even know KK had included that dagger until this morning!



An assortment of fabrics and trims sent to me by KK, sans one curious kitteh.



Sumptuous fabrics fit for royalty, or at least a Duke or Duchess.



The green fabric came in the same bag with some silver tissue and a pattern of a hand print.  Maybe this is leftover fabric from a Healer badge or sash?



Some trims from the treasure trove.



A few more bits of trim and accessory from KK's package.



I colored in every other "diamond" to turn it into a ruby.  Not sure whether to leave this as is or if I should color them all red, or go with some other color (like amber?) for the alternate stones.  What do you think?



Richenda acquires a new body and a coronet suitable for a Duchess from a Fashionista Barbie.  The golden ponytail ornament is from a Queen Amidala action figure.  Don't worry about that plunging neckline; I know she looks like she's on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction, but I'm thinking a nice chemise made from the grey silk beside her should provide better coverage, and there's enough of that fabric to also make a nice shirt suitable for Kelson or Alaric.



This is the poet's shirt I sewed last night.  I also added Stitch Witchery between the pleats of the kilt this morning, so now they should remain in place without the need for frequent ironing.  Still not very happy with the Viking head that's being used for Dhugal for lack of a better choice right now.  I might use it as a practice piece and paint it with appropriately amber eyes, and try to remove the beard paint while retaining the mustache if I can (the beard is etched into the face, but I could just brush over it with pastel dust to make razor stubble rather than a full beard), but I don't like how the back of the hair is actually molded in one piece with the neck, and it makes the collars of his clothes lie funny, so if I accidentally ruin the head while trying to modify it, it won't break my heart too much.



Richenda, Dhugal and Kelson show off some new or revised finery.  Kelson's new belt came from the trim selection that KK sent.



Close-up of dagger.  The little jump ring on top will need to be removed, but DH should be able to do that easily enough.



This is the new dagger compared in size to the 1:6 belt dagger that came with my Viking figure.



I also repainted Arilan's head today.  I darkened his hair with a black wash, then mixed in just a tiny bit of dark brown with black and did a dry brushing of the hair with that color to give it some slightly lighter highlights, also retouching the eyebrows to match.  I also took some violet, thinned it a little bit, and then painted over the blue irises to get a more blue-violet look, then had to repaint tiny black pupils after that.  The hair got a coat of matte sealer once the paint was dry, and the eyes got a coat of gloss sealer. 



And here the color-adjusted Arilan looks out at the viewer.  Even with the magnifying visor, painting those teeny little irises and pupils was really hard, and my hands are less steady than I'd like, so when inspected at this close a range, you can see a few bobbles here and there, but when held at arm's length he looks OK.  The black smudge from the inside of my new tote bag remains on his cheek and nose, and I have yet to figure out how to remove it, but if it starts to drive me too crazy, I might eventually get around to doing a full repaint on his duplicate head, now that I have some idea of how to do it.

Oh, and one more surprise find!  While going through the pieces in an Indiana Jones board game, I found something Duncan might find useful.  Here's the game:



And the treasure found within:



Duncan finds the Holy Grail!  Or at least something I can use to create a mold for a new chalice.   :D



"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline tenworld

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #172 on: April 30, 2012, 06:37:01 pm »
 "The black smudge from the inside of my new tote bag remains on his cheek and nose"

So make the setting thursday after Ash Wednesday.  The priest at my church is very "generous" with the ashes.

and the charcoal from the incense burner had a way of smudging too when I was an altar boy

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #173 on: April 30, 2012, 09:40:07 pm »
What an amazing load of treasure!  This should keep you busy for at least a little while.   :)

In spite of the smudges from your black tote bag, I'm liking action Arilan more and more - he has an appropriate "intense" look about him. 

What size is the little dagger?  I have a "sword" pin that would be a bit bigger.  Maybe mine would be a short sword?
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #174 on: April 30, 2012, 09:42:22 pm »
Nice looking cats.

The head you are using for Arilan looks kind of mean; I'd use him for a more villanous character.

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #175 on: April 30, 2012, 11:52:24 pm »
Quote
Nice looking cats.

Thank you!  They think so too.   :D

Quote
The head you are using for Arilan looks kind of mean; I'd use him for a more villanous character.

Oh, that's not his mean look, that's just how Denis always looks after hearing Sextus's confession!   ;)  And after spending as much time as I did trying to repaint an iris that's only 2 mm across without mucking up the job too badly, he's just going to have to remain one Arilan or another, because I'm not going to change his itty bitty eyes back from blue-violet to some other color!  Fortunately the Barbie and Ken heads have much larger eyes to work with.  (Well, "much larger" relatively speaking, anyway.  I was going half cross-eyed trying to repaint Arilan's eyes even with the magnifying visor set to high magnification!)

Quote
What an amazing load of treasure!  This should keep you busy for at least a little while. 

For a while, though part of the trick will be finding suitable uses for the swatches I have.  Some of the remnants are too small to cut a full garment from, but might work for things like contrasting yokes or cuffs.  Some remnants are large but are very stiff and wouldn't drape well enough for clothing, like the red fabric.  But they might eventually lend themselves well to something like a large banner or backdrop or even camp pavilion fabric.  And there's an absolutely gorgeous periwinkle silk I want to figure out a use for, but it's got sun fading at the folds, so I can't simply use it for an undergown or the like as-is.  But I might be able to carefully pick and choose areas of it for something like lining fabric for wide sleeves.  So yes, a lot of fun stuff to play with, once I have a chance to work out which bits will work well for what purposes.

Quote
In spite of the smudges from your black tote bag, I'm liking action Arilan more and more - he has an appropriate "intense" look about him.

Maybe he's intensely focused on trying to get those stubborn Ash Wednesday smudges off his cheek, as tenworld suggested earlier?   ;)

Quote
What size is the little dagger?  I have a "sword" pin that would be a bit bigger.  Maybe mine would be a short sword?

OK, here are the measurements:

bone-handled dagger = 6 cm
jewel-hilt dagger (which Kelson, seeing it has a red stone on it, has now appropriated) = 7 cm
sword (not pictured, but it came with the other Viking accessories and I can post a picture of it later) = 6 inches, so around 15.2 cm

And now here are a couple more photos of this evening's project:



No more wardrobe malfunctions!  Richenda's new silk chemise helps to cover the skin above the low-cut gown's neckline.  The sleeves are also gathered at the wrists.



Here you can see the bottom of the chemise/undergown.  My gray thread was a bit lighter than the fabric, so the so-called blind-stitching I used for the hem shows up a lot more than I'd hoped it would, but since this is an undergarment, hopefully no one's going to notice that besides Alaric.

All right, that's it for now!
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #176 on: May 01, 2012, 01:28:51 pm »
Richenda is living up to her reputation as a great beauty in her new blue gown. Somehow, I don't think Action-figure Alaric is going to take much notice of the hem of her chemise at all.   ;D
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 01:31:39 pm by Jerusha »
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #177 on: May 01, 2012, 02:03:14 pm »
Oh look, it's Grub all dolled up, so to speak!   :D



She's selling for nearly $100, though, so too rich for my budget.  I couldn't resist sharing her, though.  Not a lot of black haired, blue-violet-eyed little girl dolls available for sale, after all, especially dressed in medieval clothing!
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #178 on: May 01, 2012, 06:59:44 pm »
Oh look, it's Grub all dolled up, so to speak! 

If you ever got Grub into an outfit like that, she'd look like that for about five minutes.

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #179 on: May 02, 2012, 12:42:51 am »
Quote
If you ever got Grub into an outfit like that, she'd look like that for about five minutes.

LOL!  Too true, Elkhound!   :D

All right, here's an update I wasn't expecting to make tonight.  I had a little time to kill before my SCA meeting tonight, so I dropped by my local Thrift Store to peruse the toy section.  I really wasn't expecting to find anything useful--maybe, if I got really lucky, an articulated Barbie or two whose joints weren't too loose from rough play--but as I walked up the Barbie Carnage aisle, to my astonishment this was one of the first figures to catch my eye:



Yes, suddenly there he was, on top of a pile of naked Barbies!  Maybe he ought to spend a few private moments with Duncan or Denis seeking absolution for that.... ;)



All right, so maybe he's not Jaime Lannister, but at least it's a decent head sculpt, especially for an older figure (2001)--neither too pretty nor too fugly to turn into a decent Alaric--and the best attempt at a blond action figure head that I've seen so far.  Still a bit too matte-straw-yellow for my liking, but at least it doesn't look like someone just slopped a bucket of Yield Sign Day-Glo Yellow paint on his head.  (I'm serious...have you seen some of the blond GI Joes and other painted male figures out there?  Yeesh!)  The eyes need a color change, but fortunately they're bigger than Arilan's eyes, so hopefully I won't turn cross-eyed or blind trying to turn them gray.



When we got home, he got a nice alcohol sponge bath to remove the price sticker glue (99 cents, if you're wondering...another reason to fall head over heels in love with him!  :D) and then Duncan found him a nice black tunic to slip into.  All right, so it's really a cassock, but shhh, we won't tell him.   ;)



As I mentioned earlier, this face-up (the paint job) does a better job than most in depicting the lights, shadows, and coloring of blond hair.  At least it's not French's Mustard Yellow like most action figure blonds!  But I want to see if I can make it look a little more hair-like by dry-brushing some highlights over the existing paint.  If I can mix just a tiny dab of yellow ochre into some pearlescent white or cream paint, just enough to give it a shimmery white-gold tinge, perhaps dilute it for translucency, and then just dry-brush it lightly over the highest areas of the surface, hopefully that will create highlights that look a little closer to healthy hair shimmering in sunlight.  I rather doubt Alaric's hair is matte yellow.  I've not tried using a pearlescent acrylic paint to simulate highlights on molded doll hair, but that's a similar technique to what I used to do when painting role-playing game miniatures.  I'd paint a base coat color, use a darker ink wash for the shadows and then dry brush a tiny bit of metallic or pearlescent paint in a similar color (such as copper paint over auburn hair with brown shadows) over the top to bring out the highlights.  Granted, those were on a much smaller scale, but hopefully something similar will work for this hair, and if it doesn't come out looking nice, I'll just remove the highlights with alcohol rather than sealing the paint.
 
I'm a little more nervous about transforming the eyes, though.  I think I'll watch my doll enhancements DVD a few more times before tackling the eye repainting for this head, Helena's and Kelson's.  The irises are larger on these heads, so in theory they ought to be easier to repaint, but I imagine that also means that any mistakes I make will also be more visible.  Le sigh.   :-\



He looks somewhat amused in this close-up.  Maybe because he knows how totally unsuited he is to wear that cassock he's borrowing?  :D



Warrior short hair...no need for Alkari to threaten him with the barber shears!   ;D



"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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