Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 314523 times)

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Offline Shiral

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #180 on: May 02, 2012, 01:16:45 am »
Quote
Maybe he ought to spend a few private moments with Duncan or Denis seeking absolution for that.... ici

Duncan:  "She found you WHERE??"

Richenda:   "You were WHERE?????"

Kelson and Dhugal:general snickering and envy
 
Duncan: "Alaric this one is REALLY going to cost you, sorry!"

Alaric: "All right, fine. How many Hail Mary's are we talking, here?"

 Richenda: "You should be MORE worried about all the nights you're going to be spending sleeping in Duke Dominic's Tomb!"

Melissa
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #181 on: May 02, 2012, 01:24:23 am »
Quote
Maybe he ought to spend a few private moments with Duncan or Denis seeking absolution for that.... ici

Duncan:  "She found you WHERE??"

Richenda:   "You were WHERE?????"

Kelson and Dhugal:general snickering and envy
 
Duncan: "Alaric this one is REALLY going to cost you, sorry!"

Alaric: "All right, fine. How many Hail Mary's are we talking, here?"

 Richenda: "You should be MORE worried about all the nights you're going to be spending sleeping in Duke Dominic's Tomb!"

Melissa

"But...but...I hadn't even met you yet, dear!"   ;)
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #182 on: May 02, 2012, 08:40:39 am »
You found Alaric!  Yay!  :D

He may not be perfect, but he's a good start.  I look forward from his transition from the Barbie Bin of Delight to the Duke of Corwyn.  ;D
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #183 on: May 02, 2012, 10:41:44 am »
I was browsing through pictures of 12th Century men's clothing online when I unexpectedly ran across this:



OMG, is it actually possible?  Did someone in the Middle Ages actually capture a likeness of Jass MacArdry chowing down on a slice of pepperoni pizza?   I mean, look at the man!  Reddish-brown Border braid, drink in hand (that's a Transha ale or a whisky, you know it is!), his right hand resting on a triangular slice of...what the heck is that?!  Maybe it's meant to be a wedge of cheese, but with those red spots on it, I'm going with it being pepperoni pizza!  Now I just need the pictorial evidence of those chipmunks swimming across the Atalantic Ocean with tomatoes in their mouths....  ;D

Seriously, I think this picture just made my week!   :D
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #184 on: May 03, 2012, 02:32:02 pm »
OK, another quick update:



I began a new gray silk shirt for Alaric last night, to be paired with black trousers and tabard later when I get around to making them.  I know it looks like a purple silk in this photo, but that's just the lighting.  It's actually the same dove gray silk I used for Richenda's chemise.  If I can figure out how to transfer a clip art outline of a gryphon to some light fabric so I can embroider or fabric paint an applique, I'll add that to the tabard as well. 



Here he is trying on the partially constructed shirt.  I've finished sewing the yoke together and attaching the front and back panels to it and one sleeve.  Still need to add the other sleeve and then finish the side seams and hems.  The lower half of the collar opening below the yoke is lined with light interfacing and then buttonhole stitched, so it took longer to finish that edge than to do all of the other hand stitching.



Sorry for the out of focus shot, but I had less than stellar lighting.  I took some industrial strength acetone to Duncan's facial stains and Kelson's faux wrinkles.  Kelson's wrinkles wiped right off within seconds, but Duncan's stains didn't.  I got a little of the Sharpie ink off his forehead, but far from all of it, and the black stain on his nose might have gone from smoky black to smoky blue, but that's about it.  Fortunately the tracking info on my eBay purchase shows that my new Ken Fashionista bodies should be arriving in the mail today or tomorrow at the latest, so once I combine one of those with the replacement Duncan head that's pretty much identical to this one without the stains, I'll have a Duncan who looks good as new in a day or two.



Here's Kelson's close-up after his acetone "face lift."  He looks much better without the silly painted-on wrinkles.  Now he needs his pretty gray Haldane eyes, but that's for another evening.  If you've forgotten what those old wrinkles and bags under his eyes looked like, here's the "before" shot again:



And finally, here's another face I cleaned up with the acetone while I had it out:



My daughter donated a Queen Amidala doll's head to the cause.  This is her "before" photo.  I used acetone to strip off most of her face paint and the accumulated grubbiness (God only knows what this doll went through before I acquired her; I'm pretty sure I cleaned a dab of modelling clay from her ear!), leaving only her eyes and eyebrows as a guide to follow, although I intend to paint over those eventually.  If she turns out nicely, she might end up being Sophie Arilan, since she's got the lovely long brown braids for that fanfic character, but really her main purpose is to be a practice head to work on before I try an eye repaint on someone like Alaric or Kelson or a lip repaint on Helena and Richenda.  I forgot to take an "after" photo after I stripped her paint off, so I'll have to post one later.

OK, back to finishing up the latest chapter of Visionaries!   :D
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Offline kirienne

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #185 on: May 04, 2012, 11:36:28 pm »
Oh my gosh, I am loving this project of yours, and your wonderful commentary had me nearly falling off my chair I was laughing so hard. You have made some wonderful finds for your action figure cast of characters. Hugggles!!

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #186 on: May 05, 2012, 12:47:35 am »
Thank you, Kirienne!  As it happens, it's time for another update, so hopefully you'll find this one amusing as well.

First off, though, here's the picture of the cleaned-up Queen Amidala face that I forgot to take earlier, just so you can see the difference after her acetone wash.  Sorry about the intense flash glare; she ended up being pretty pasty white under all that paint and grime, and every photo I tried to take reflected back so much light all you could see was a head-shaped glow.  Believe it or not, this was the best shot out of several.



And now here are the newest Fashionista figures I won for less than half price on eBay earlier this week, freshly cut out of their boxes:



 Notice the silly modern sticky-up bangs on the brunet.  Definitely gotta fix that if his head is to be at all useable!  Otherwise, I'll just have to settle for using his body.  (Stop snickering; for parts, I mean!  Though that "1961" date on his shirt refers to Ken's 50th Birthday--that is to say, the 50th anniversary of the first release of a Ken figure--so at least I wouldn't be robbing the cradle.)



All right, so the new arrivals have been deboxed and had shampoos, and I gave the brunet a scalding water head soak followed by an ice water head dunk and wrapped his little noggin in Saran Wrap for an hour or so to make his bangs (fringe, for those of you across the pond) lie down and behave.  I was only halfway successful with my first attempt, but at least they're not sticking straight up like some starched tidal wave anymore!  Comparing their sizes, it appears that the rooted blond is a bit taller than the molded hair blond (and it's not just the difference in the types of hair; look at the waistline levels), so maybe his body would be better for Alaric if the heads are interchangeable?  For that matter, since he's a blond, he could actually become Alaric, although there's only a slight shade or two of difference between his hair color and the replacement Duncan head's hair, so that might not be enough of a difference.  I really like the guy with the dark brown hair (at least assuming I can get the front hair to lie flat on his forehead rather than stick up like a porcupine's quills!), but unfortunately I still think his hair might be a bit too dark for Duncan's. 

The more I look at my golden blond molded-hair guy, the more unsure I am that he's actually a Ken, but heck if I can figure out what else he might be.  I've not run across him on any of the websites that show pictures of Kens throughout Barbie history, but all I have to go on is a "Made in China" stamp on his back just above his tighty whiteys that dates him to 2001 or thereabouts.

And yes, that's Luke's tail.  Wherever my figures are, you can count on him being somewhere close by, snoopervising everything.  Tonight while I was sewing up the remaining seams on Alaric's shirt, Luke was sitting in the new blond guy's lap.  I mean that quite literally; I had the figure seated near the table's edge, and when I looked over, Luke was stretched out across its legs and its arms were lifted high in a pose of surrender!  Yeah, I might surrender too if a giant cat was sitting on top of me!  Unfortunately my camera was nowhere nearby at the time.



Here are the closer views of the new guys together.  I rather like the middle guy's face; it's similar to Duncan's but not quite the same sculpt.  When I put the replacement head next to it, it looks both have a mix of both very blonde and light sandy brown hairs, only this one has more blond with just a few strands of the brown mixed in, while the other head is mostly sandy brown with a few blonder highlights.  (Don't have a photo of that since I haven't deboxed the other figure yet.  The difference is so subtle, I'm not sure it will even show up in a photograph.)  And no, I haven't bagged the brunet's head because he's ugly!  He's still going through his spa treatment to tame his bangs.  Notice that the middle guy's shoulders are a little bit broader than the brunet's, even though they're both from the same Fashionista line (although the guy in the middle is an earlier model).  Also, both Fashionistas' arms bend much more easily and retain a pose than the mysterious blond figure's arms,  Those other arms don't have enough of the soft latex cut away from the joint, so they tend to unbend after a few seconds, unlike the knees which are jointed properly.



Since the first attempt at restyling his hair didn't work as well as I'd hoped, I microwaved another cup of water to the scalding point and poured it over his head again, quickly blotted it with a towel until it wasn't totally dripping and rewrapped it in tighter Saran Wrap with a twist-tie to hold it in place, then I redunked the head in the ice bath, blotted the plastic wrap dry again, and left him that way.  Tonight I'll loosen the plastic so air can circulate under it, but leave it in place to continue holding the bangs down until they're fully dry.  If that doesn't do the trick of forcing them to lie flat, then there's no hope for it except perhaps to trim his hair in the front and hope that doesn't result in it simply sticking straight up like a 1950s style crew cut.  I really hope I can fix this hair, though, as I'm pretty sure this is the same face and haircut that the Fashionista Ryan has, only with the weird bangs updo added on after the factory haircut. 



Here's "Hottie Ken" (no joke, that's the name on the box) trying on Alaric's new shirt to test the fit before I finish sewing up the other sleeve cuff, side seam and hem.

OK, now here's where y'all get to think outside the box a bit.  I've been comparing this head sculpt to online photos of Jaime Lannister from the Game of Thrones miniseries (since a few people in the chatroom have mentioned that they think the actor playing him would also make a good Alaric), and I think it might actually be possible to make this figure look at least a bit more like Ser Jaime Lannister / Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, if not exactly identical to him.  When you compare close ups of Jaime side by side with this figure, both have bangs that start at around eyebrow level, then the hair on the side of his head reaches to about midway down his ears, and it's about collar length in the back.  This figure's hair is styled almost exactly the same way, except that instead of being parted in the center, the part is offset to one side.  With rooted doll hair, you can't really change the location of the part because of how that rooting is set up (there's actually a double row of holes on either side of the part, with strands of hair "thatched" across that dividing line to the other side of it to give the illusion of parted hair without any latex scalp showing through), but the rest of the hair style shape might be able to be combed and snipped just slightly in the right places to heighten the resemblance.  Nikolaj's lips are narrower, and while the head sculpt's lips can be repainted, the lip shape is actually molded into the latex, so deviating from that basic underlying shape would just look odd.  And Nikolaj's nose is also bigger, but I don't think anyone really wants me to stick a glob of Apoxie putty on this guy's little plastic schnozz just to give him a bigger beak.  He'd have to have an eye repaint anyway, so maybe something could be done in that area to make him a bit more Nikolaj-like? 

So, should I go ahead and make the effort, even though that would mean ending up with an Alaric whose hair color is barely distinguishable from the hair on the head I'll probably end up using for Duncan's replacement head (and no, I can't safely darken it...not taking that risk again!), or should I continue trying to make over the molded hair blond head instead?  Or should I use this figure for Alaric and heighten the hair color difference between the characters by using the Ryan-clone's head for Duncan, even though the brown is probably a few shades too dark for the character?  I need some help deciding!



I don't know if you can see any difference through the flashbulb glare, but I dry-brushed the highest strands of this head's molded hair with some "champagne' colored acrylic paint to give him subtly gleaming highlights.  The paint is a pale pearlescent golden-cream color.  I had originally planned to mix a drop of yellow ochre in with it, but upon opening the bottle and seeing the actual paint, I figured it was "white-gold" enough as it was.



The flash is a bit more toned down in this shot, so maybe you can see a bit of the highlighting more clearly.  It really doesn't seem to photograph well, though, at least not with my phone camera. The highlights are subtle, but easily enough seen when you're looking at him directly rather than in a photo.  It's a pity I can't change rooted hair colors just as easily!

Since I took those photos, I've finished Alaric's shirt and unbagged the brunet's head, with somewhat mixed results on that hair.  Yes, the hair in front is lying more or less flat now, but since the hair was originally cut in funky layers designed to accommodate those upswept bangs, from certain views the poor fellow looks a bit like...um...the unholy love child of a menage a trois between a badly designed topiary, a terrace, and a porcupine?  It's as if Fashionista Ryan got ambushed by a homicidal maniac armed with hedge clippers and only narrowly escaped with his life.  He's even got a tiny bald spot, and unfortunately it's nowhere near where a tonsure ought to be.  Truly sad.  I think, despite my tendency to get lost in those gorgeous blue eyes and that luscious dark hair and...where was I?...oh yeah, I think he's going to have to end up becoming a test head after all.  Oh well, I've been needing a spare face to test how I might make convincing "five o' clock shadow" on a male figure's jawline so my fine featured men don't end up looking too pretty to be male!

Will upload more photos once I have them.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #187 on: May 06, 2012, 01:01:43 am »
Here are tonight's photo updates:



I used acetone to remove as much of the painted on blushing as I could from the Viking head without risking cutting into the hairline, then I got adventurous and wondered if I could also use it to remove just his beard and leave only the mustache to make him look a bit more Dhugal-like.  I ended up with mixed results, as the acetone wiped away the surface paint with no problem, but I still haven't managed to get all of the beard paint off because the "stubble" pits are pretty deep.  I had originally intended to brush back over this area with a bit of reddish-brown pastel dust to create a "five o' clock shadow" look, and I may still do that in order to try to blend the fairly stark difference between flesh tone and "stubble" stippling.  After I cleaned up the beard area as well as I could, I decided to see if I could transform his eyes from a dark, almost teal shade of blue to the amber shade Dhugal is described as having in the books.  I was happier with the results of that experiment, so I went ahead and sealed the eyes with gloss sealer afterwards.  I'm still not crazy about this head sculpt for Dhugal, but it's awfully hard to find any figures with brownish-red hair, much less a mustache (and without the texturing underneath, most painted on mustaches I've seen simply look cheesy), so I figure this one will do until a better one comes along.



There's one side benefit to this head getting a makeover.  My kids have stopped calling him "Sexy Jesus"!



The test head gets a makeover--bright blue eyes changed to gray and eyebrows accentuated.



After discovering that this guy's hairstyle was unsalvageable, I decided to try my hand at changing his blue eyes to gray ones so I could figure out the technique before doing it on the Kelson or Alaric head.  It took me quite a bit of experimentation to get a result I was happy with--it turns out that the "Payne Gray" paint in my acrylics kit is more of a bluish-gray, so even when painting the eyes in multiple tones of that color, I ended up with eyes that looked more blue than gray to me.  Finally I managed to mix in enough of both black and white into the original gray to get a truer color that I was happy with.  It still needed a little something extra to give the eye that extra bit of "life" after I got the basic eye color down, so I added just a touch of amber around the pupil area, as many gray eyes in real life have small specks of amber or brown in them.  That gave me a look I really liked, so once the pupils were accentuated and a highlight added to each eye, I decided to stop before I messed things up.  Once the eyes were sealed with the gloss sealer, I used a dark brown paint to accentuate the eyebrows slightly.  I tried testing a different lip color, but all my efforts turned out too lipsticky, so I cleaned it all off and turned to my pastels to add just a hint of shading on the jawline area.  I didn't have any sandpaper to create pastel dust that would brush on easily, so instead I used a cotton swab and rubbed it along the side of a dark blue pastel stick and then rubbed the swab along the jawline, then went over that with another swab that I'd rubbed on a dark brown pastel, then I used my fingers to blend the color into his jaw and lower cheeks.  I'm still not sure if it looks more like a proper beard shadow or if it just looks like his face is smudged. 



I had trouble getting a good photo of the hairline, but here's the bald spot that became quite conspicuous after I got his bangs to lie flat.  There's no way to re-comb the hair to disguise it, plus the bangs are now in two very obvious layers with about 2 mm of space between them, so this is why this guy's head became a test head.  I really love this guy's face, though; maybe if I learn how to reroot hair, I can manage to save this head and use him for someone someday.



Here's Alaric's completed shirt, and in the background, my daughter practices face painting on the former Queen Amidala head.
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Offline tenworld

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #188 on: May 06, 2012, 03:17:37 pm »
Have you incorporated yet?  Deryni-R-Us might be contested so lets see.  Shiralads & Shiraladies?

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #189 on: May 06, 2012, 03:28:52 pm »
LOL!  "All original characters are copyrighted to Katherine Kurtz, etc., hastily insert standard disclaimer here."  ;D
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #190 on: May 06, 2012, 09:36:48 pm »
Yes, I think that is the Alaric I like best.  The molded blond is just a little to "pretty"; I prefer Alaric with a little more maturity.

On the other hand, I'd take just about any Alaric.   ;D
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #191 on: May 06, 2012, 10:55:32 pm »
I'm glad you like him.  Fortunately, that's the one KK expressed a liking for as well, so I've gone ahead and modified him accordingly:



I went ahead and repainted Alaric's eyes this evening after chat was over.  I had an even harder time getting the color right than I did with the practice head, and even now I'm not certain I'm satisfied with the results, so I might go back and try to lighten them just a tad.  I think I watered down the paint just a bit too much this time around, and it was much harder to work with.  Live and learn.  But here's what his new gray eyes look like for now, at any rate.



I'm examining the side of Alaric's hairstyle to see if I dare take scissors to it to crop it any shorter.  I'm tempted to go just a little shorter with it, but the knowledge that if I mess up and hate the results it won't grow back is more than a little daunting.



Alaric stops by to visit Duncan after the head swap surgery.  The renewed Duncan cradles his body donor's head carefully, knowing I'll need it for future experimentation.  (Besides which, I really want to use it for someone someday, despite his bad hair.  He's too cute to just get rid of!)  Duncan's hair is still damp in this picture, so it might look slightly darker than it actually is, but even after it's fully dry, I think it ends up a little bit darker than Alaric's, if not quite as much darker as I wish it were.

And yes, all three heads are the same size.  if the detached head looks larger, that's just due to the false perspective created by the camera angle.
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Offline Alkari

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #192 on: May 07, 2012, 12:48:41 am »
I think the posts on this thread need to be published in the next collection of Deryni short stories as:  "The Deryni Adventures of Dr Evie Frankenstein". 

You do realise that when I bought some of the trim I sent you, the shop assistant admired it.  But when I told her it was for a medieval bishop doll,  I got a very funny look.  :(    Don't know why ...

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #193 on: May 07, 2012, 05:13:37 pm »
I can't imagine why either.  Doesn't everyone go around dressing miniature bishops?  You mean it's really just me?  *puzzled look*  Cool!    ;)
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Offline kirienne

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #194 on: May 08, 2012, 11:36:34 pm »
I must remember not to take any sips of my drinks as I read these posts as the make me laugh much I'd either spew the drink on the keyboard, or choke on it. I am loving all these descriptions :-). I like the rooted hair Alaric much better, but just like Jerusha, I'll take any Alaric ;-).
Yes, these adventures should be published, perhaps in the next DAtZ (I'm sure Julianne would find a spot for them.)
I can hardly wait to see all the pictures of the finished dolls.