Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 314633 times)

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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #195 on: May 09, 2012, 06:03:37 pm »
So, it was "Take Your Mini-Men To Work Day" today.  What, you didn't get the memo?



Duncan got a brand new purple cassock.  I still need to create a capelet for it.  I wanted to use the slightly lighter purple fabric that KK sent me, but upon closer inspection, it turned out I didn't have quite enough of it to make a cassock using my usual T-tunic style of construction.  I could piece one together with the fabric I have, but that would mean needing extra seams at the top of the shoulders and midway down each sleeve.  That's actually a more period-correct construction style, but would take more time for me to do the measuring necessary for a proper fit, so I just grabbed the dark auburgine fabric I bought a month or so ago at Joann's Fabrics and used that instead.  I might make a second cassock out of the other fabric at some point, or else use it for non-clerical garb.  Even bishops sometimes prefer to dress in "civvies."



I don't have enough shoes to go around anymore, so Duncan came to work barefoot.  I discovered he's got fairly well-sculpted feet with adorable little toes, so I got curious about what was inside Alaric's shoes.  Did he have cloven hooves after all, like all the gossips say?   ;)



Duncan's wee tootsies



Alaric's less well defined feet and toes.  Hm, maybe those rumors aren't entirely wrong!   :o

Both of the figures have Fashionista Ken bodies, but the Alaric body is a couple of years old, while Duncan is using this year's model.  I hadn't realized there was that much difference between body sculpts in that short a time.  Duncan's also got jointed wrists but Alaric doesn't, although both of them have jointed elbows and knees.  Alaric's head swivels from side to side, but Duncan's will do a slight tilt at an angle as well.  Both have nicely defined hands (although not separated fingers, so the bishop's ring will have to go to Arilan and I'll need to make Duncan a new one for this body), but Alaric's hands are slightly bigger.  He may also be just a tiny bit taller as well.


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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #196 on: May 09, 2012, 07:17:01 pm »
Taller is good for Morgan.  I notice you have a medal/pendant of some type around his neck in the first photo.  Does it represent somehing in particular?

Morgan and Duncan look like cousins in the photo - excellent!  :)
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #197 on: May 09, 2012, 08:44:55 pm »
The cloak Alaric is wearing came from the Viking figure, whose accessories are very well researched.     The item acting as a clasp is meant to be a bone needle.  It came pre-threaded, possibly just to show it's a needle rather than just a bone pin, but I looped the thread around Alaric's neck to reduce the chance of losing it while out and about.
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Offline tenworld

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #198 on: May 11, 2012, 10:41:19 am »
The cloak Alaric is wearing came from the Viking figure, whose accessories are very well researched.   
that may be appropriate since there are hints that the deryni gene came from the analog to Norse in this world, parallel to how the Vikings spread the gene for red hair throught the world (and wasnt a certain famous  healer redhaired?).  So now can someone write a story on how Alaric got the coat from some ancestor who was one of the first Derynis?

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #199 on: May 11, 2012, 02:27:15 pm »
The cloak Alaric is wearing came from the Viking figure, whose accessories are very well researched.   
that may be appropriate since there are hints that the deryni gene came from the analog to Norse in this world, parallel to how the Vikings spread the gene for red hair throught the world (and wasnt a certain famous  healer redhaired?).  So now can someone write a story on how Alaric got the coat from some ancestor who was one of the first Derynis?

Except that such a cloak would be several hundred years old by the time Alaric inherited it, so I can't imagine it would be in any shape to be worn out and about.  It's probably more likely that his was imported from Nordland (or whatever that Kingdom is that's across the Northern Sea from Gwynedd, and he just liked the look of it when he happened across it at Coroth Market.  Or something.  :D  Though Richenda may have some bone needles in addition to the newer metal sort in her needlecase, and maybe Alaric just borrowed one of those to pin a small blanket together over his shoulders to create a makeshift cloak some blustery day when the weather turned unexpectedly cold and he suddenly found himself in need of an extra layer of clothing.

All right, here's your next Duncan's Wardrobe update:



Two nights ago, I began work on a new capelet for Duncan to wear over his new purple cassock.  It occurred to me last night that I've posted lots of pictures of completed outfits, but nothing that shows what the work looks like while in progress.  So here's just a sample of what goes into making something like this capelet.  The day before yesterday, I started out with cutting a circle of fabric a little bit bigger around than I wanted the finished the final capelet to be (allowing for the hemline).  I cut a neck hole in the center of this and slit it down the front.   Then I sewed a circular facing to the neck opening, right sides of the fabric together, turned it to the inside, pressed it with an iron, did a buttonhole stitch around the edge of the facing to help prevent fraying, and then hemmed the edges of the front opening.  That brings us up to this point--the trial fitting--which I did last night.  The fabric is just a bit too stiff for a full circle capelet to drape properly over such slender shoulders, so the capelet will need to be shaped so it will hang right when it's completed.

I should add that all cut edges were bound with a thin line of Fray Check at this point, because I discovered while doing the neck opening that this fabric is ridiculously prone to fraying when stitched so close to the raw edge.  The Fray Check both helps to prevent fraying and also adds just a tiny bit of stiffness to the edge of the fabric so that the sewing thread won't pull straight through to the edge of it when it's pulled taut.



I add a few pins above each of Duncan's shoulders to get a rough idea of where the new seam lines will need to go when I shape the capelet.



Here's the rear view of the new capelet-in-progress.



Here the capelet is turned inside out again so that all the stitching shows, and repinned more neatly so I can see exactly where the new seams will need to go and what shape to make them.  I begin stitching one side together beginning at the top of the shoulder near the neck facing.



I stitched the entire shoulder seam on one side of the capelet and then tested the fit again.  I did this before cutting off the excess fabric just in case I messed up the new shoulder shape and needed to rip out the seam and start over.  Fortunately that wasn't necessary.



Once I knew for sure I had Side One sewn to the right shape, I trimmed off the excess fabric and then folded the capelet in half, using the finished side as a pattern to mark where the other side needed to be cut.  I adjusted the pins accordingly and then cut the excess fabric on the other side also, leaving the pins in place until that side seam was completed.  Again, I used Fray Check on the newly cut seams to help keep them from unraveling.



After I finished both side seams, I folded the bottom hem of the capelet about 1/4" and basted it into place using a contrasting color thread and large stitches so that I could easily remove this thread once the capelet was finished.  Once it was basted all the way around, I turned the hemline another 1/4" and used a blind stitch to secure this final fold of the hem in place.  Then I snipped and pulled out the ivory thread, since it wasn't needed anymore.



I added a hook and eye fastener inside the capelet at the neckline and then turned the capelet right-side out again. Duncan tries it on once more and says it fits just fine, but it looks a little bit boring.




I think the capelet would look nicer with just a bit more embellishing, and some trim would also help hide the few stitches visible on the surface of the garment, but I haven't quite decided what to add yet.  I might use the vertical sample of trim that's draped over one shoulder as an edging trim along both sides of the front opening, and/or I might add some about 1/4" from the edge of the bottom hem (or possibly all edges, if I leave off the embroidered trim) with the thin gold braid to cover the visible hem stitching.  Decisions, decisions!  I think I'll take a short sewing break to ponder the options.  I might also have other trims at home that would look as good or better with this capelet.

And while we're on the topic of trims and embellishments, did you notice he's not wearing his plain white cincture, or even his Easter white-and-gold cincture, with this cassock?  That red and blue braided cincture is the replacement for the pale pink/baby blue cincture I unsuccessfully tried to dye red and royal blue for his Servant of Saint Camber robes.  Going by the description from the Codex, I've created Duncan's Servant cincture by braiding "cords" of red and blue embroidery floss (since it is embroider floss, it didn't take a twist as well as cord does, so that's one reason why I braided it rather than twisting it into one three-strand thicker cord) and adding one Franciscan knot at one end of the braid and then three such knots at the other end, to represent the knots mentioned in the Codex description for these cinctures.  With the cincture being made up of two fairly vivid colors braided together, the knots aren't as obvious as they might be if made at the end of a plainer cord, but hopefully you can see them well enough in some of the shots above.  If not, I might add a closer view later.

OK, that's it for now, or at least until I figure out what to do to make the capelet a bit less plain.
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #200 on: May 11, 2012, 03:16:43 pm »
Looking really good, but I think Duncan is ready for a tankard of ale, right about now.   ;)
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #201 on: May 11, 2012, 03:34:18 pm »
Something like this?



(And yes, that's 1:6 scale.  And no, at $10 for two beer mugs, Duncan's not getting them anytime soon unless I can find a better deal!)

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Offline Alkari

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #202 on: May 11, 2012, 05:38:16 pm »
Nah, you wouldn't want those anyway - they're too modern-looking glass!  Need nice solid pewter, carved horn or even wooden ones.  Maybe another Viking figure or accessory kit will have "proper" tankards  :D

Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #203 on: May 12, 2012, 11:17:57 pm »
Lots more work done today, including a new arrival:



I finally broke down and added a Sextus Arilan figure.  You can tell it's Sextus because he's armed and ready for trouble, he's got his drinking horn at the ready, a pouch for his gambling dice (but it's probably a bit short on coin), and a lovely wench on his arm in a state of undress that would give his poor Uncle Denis apoplexy.  Poor Denis; no wonder he looks so grumpy!   :D



I originally bought this doll to be a body donor for Helena, since her original body (not this one) came closest of the Fashionista jointed bodies to being a color match for Helena's fair face.  This side of her head was facing the back of the box, so I didn't see the purple streaks in her hair until after I bought her.  If it hadn't been for those, I thought I might use her to make a Rothana, but since she's got them, I'm thinking of using her to make a steampunk OOAK Barbie.



I gave makeovers to four of my figures tonight.  Helena's originally burgundy lips got lightened, her eyes were changed from green to blue, I added a hint of blushing to her fair skin, and then a light smattering of freckles.  (They may be a bit too light, actually.  I can see them very clearly with my lighted magnifying visor on or without it on if she's directly in bright light, but otherwise I can't see them at all.  I want to see her in full sunlight before deciding if I need to go back and darken them.)  If her face seems a bit glossier than the others, it's because I sealed it to keep the freckles from smudging off, and I used what was supposed to be a matte sealer, but apparently it's not quite matte enough.  Sextus got the Arilan blue-violet eyes and some beard shadowing and faint blushing, Alaric also got lighter beard shadowing and blushing along cheek bones and other high spots of his face, and Kelson got gray eyes and beard shadowing.  For some reason I had more trouble getting his beard shadow to stick; his face feels a bit harder than the other doll's faces, so maybe it's a different sort of vinyl/plastic, or else it's just older.  I didn't seal any of the male figures' faces (aside from the newly repainted eyes, sealed in gloss sealer) after seeing how shiny even the "matte" sealer made Helena's face, but since the beard shadowing is done with powdered pastel dust rubbed into the vinyl, hopefully it won't need sealing.  If it wears off eventually, it's easy enough to replace.





I don't know if you can make out freckles in those pics or not.  If not, I might try taking another picture outdoors in full sunlight.  If that still doesn't do it, I might go back and darken them, and this time just not paint more sealer.  Freckles are done with watercolor pencil dampened and dabbed on very lightly (at one point I also picked up the color on a very fine brush tip and used that), left for a few seconds, then gently rolled over with the side of a damp cotton swab to fade them slightly and blend them into the surrounding skintone.  Her lips were a major pain to repaint, because with each new application of the pink paint, bits of the underlying layers wanted to come off and expose the original burgundy underneath.  I had to wipe the pink off several times and start over, until I finally found a technique that worked--brushing it on with an almost dry brush one very thin layer at a time and letting it dry between applications.  The edges are still a bit darker, partly because when I tried to completely cover over them, the lips ended up looking worse, and also because part of a lip repaint is adding lip shadowing to the crease between the lips, and the burgundy there helps to serve that purpose.  When not magnified and under flash, they don't look so much like she's wearing lipliner as just like her lips are well defined, so I finally stopped mucking around with them and decided to leave them as-is rather than risk ruining them yet again and having to start all over for the fourth or fifth time.  Helena is now wearing her (hopefully final) body donated by the brunette with the purple streaked hair.  The new body also comes with a ring on one hand which is, unfortunately, not removable (well, technically it could be removed, but it's not an actual ring, it's more like a peg stuck through a hole in her hand that has a plastic "gemstone" resting on her finger, so removing it would mean leaving Helena with an awkward looking hole through the middle of one finger!), so I will probably paint over the ring at some point so it will be a shiral (or some other stone) in a gold setting rather than just a gemstone-shaped piece of pinkish-red plastic.





The flash seems to be adding a hint of green to those eyes, but they're a truer gray in better light.  I forgot to mention that I altered his lip color just a tiny bit as well, just to make it less purplish.  The pink is actually blended with a tiny bit of green to gray it down slightly so it will make a more suitable male lip color rather than looking too "lipstick" pink.  (Thanks to Shiral for that color blending tip!)  In this close up it still looks fairly pinkish, but again, at normal size and in better light it looks more natural.





For the two dark-haired male figures, I used a blend of dark blue and dark brown pastels to create the beard shadowing, but for golden-haired Alaric, that would have been far too dark (I imagine his beard would come in light brown at its very darkest, not black or dark brown), so for him I used a light golden-brown pastel and a smaller amount of a darker reddish-brown and applied the dust very lightly.





These repainted Arilan eyes started out more of a blue-violet when they were wet, but it looks like they've dried more of a true violet.  I might have to go back and retouch them a tad.  Or it could just be that backdrop that's accentuating the violet in his eyes just a bit too much.
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #204 on: May 13, 2012, 12:51:27 pm »
I wasn't sure about the beard shadowing when you first mentioned it, but I'm impressed with the results!  Such attention to detail, and much more realistic than the classic Ken.

Sister Helena is lovely - poor Bishop Duncan won't be able to allow her away from the Schola without an armed escort soon.  :D
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #205 on: May 13, 2012, 06:27:47 pm »
Duncan and Helena went on a Mother's Day outing with me today, and my daughter took some fun snapshots of them:



Heading down the interstate highway.  Duncan gives Helena an awkward semi-hug, but it's apparent he's a bit camera shy.



The Deryni guarded the car while we went to lunch.  When we returned, I was afraid I'd caught Duncan and Helena in a compromising position, but it turns out he was just checking out her new freckles.



A clearer view of her freckles in natural sunlight.



Duncan has his first driving lesson.  


 
We went to Joann's Fabric, and my daughter and Helena wandered off to look at trim and other items.  They came back later and my daughter claims that Helena had gotten overexcited over all of the trim and tried to shoplift some, and was stuck into a cell to keep her from stealing any.  I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding; that doesn't sound like Helena at all!

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 07:46:11 pm by Evie »
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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #206 on: May 13, 2012, 11:45:35 pm »
A few more shots to show this evening's work, and also a view of Helena's ring, which has given me a new dilemma to ponder:



Here's the ring that will need a repaint soon.  I have some gold paint for the border around the "jewel," but I need to decide what jewel she is wearing.  A shiral would make sense, but I haven't worked out how to paint a believably "translucent" yellow-amber stone.  It's raised above the level of the border around it, so I can't simply put an adhesive rhinestone jewel there because that would stick out far too much above the goldwork it's supposedly set into.  I'd be tempted to turn it into an amethyst ring and give it to Duncan, but unfortunately it's not on an actual ring, but on a peg that goes completely through Helena's hand.  This is her left hand, so that could be her former betrothal or wedding ring, but those of you who have read Visionaries will understand why she's unlikely to want to keep, much less continue wearing, any reminders of Gaston!  And if Duncan were to give a woman a token of his friendship and esteem, I suspect he'd be wary of giving her a ring.  Seems like that would be the sort of gift that's all too likely to be misconstrued by the Court gossips if word got out about who gave it to her.  Helena's father is a wealthy merchant, so he might have given her a jeweled ring, but Helena's also modest enough not to wish to outshine the duchesses, countesses, and other baronesses she encounters at Kelson's Court.  She's embraced the scholastic life, so if she wears a ring, it's likely a simple one with a semi-precious gem at the very most, if not an actually useful sort like a shiral.  So, any suggestions as to what sort of gemstone I should try to turn that gosh-awful lump of plastic into? 



Here's why Helena can't very well go without wearing the ring her body came with, unless my next fanfic mentions that she's suddenly developed stigmata, and only on one hand!



I added some beard shadowing to both Duncan and Dhugal tonight, and a tiny bit of blushing on Duncan's nose, chin and cheekbones.  I went much heavier with Dhugal's beard shadow trying to create a better blend with the original beard stubble that I was unable to remove with acetone, but I'm not sure that was much of an improvement.  What I really need is a better Dhugal, but where I'm going to manage to find a male doll or action figure with copper-bronze hair long enough to braid, much less a mustache, is beyond me. 



I really need to get a picture in natural daylight.  It's meant to be subtle, not invisible!



You can see the beard shadow a little better in this shot, although it looks more uneven in this picture than it actually is.



And then there's not so subtle.



Poor little guy.  I'm not sure if I've done him a favor or not!

And speaking of attention to detail, my daughter suggested going over their tiny fingernails and toenails with a thin layer of clear sealer so that they will be slightly shinier than the 'skin' around them and will look more like real nails.  I told her that some of the OOAK doll artists do exactly that (and/or paint "polished" nails on the Barbies), and I might experiment with that one of these days.
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Offline Jerusha

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #207 on: May 14, 2012, 09:16:15 am »
For Sister Helena's ring, you could consider moonstone.  A pearly white could work, or it can have some blue or pink shading as well. 
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #208 on: May 14, 2012, 10:58:54 am »
I might attempt a shiral first just to see if I can replicate one, but if not, I've already got pearlized white paint that I can tint slightly to make moonstone.
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Offline Evie

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Re: Work In Progress--Duncan McLain Action Figure
« Reply #209 on: May 16, 2012, 10:18:47 am »
More updates:



On Monday night, Helena's ring got painted, and Richenda's lips got unpurpled.



Barbie lips are spawns of Satan, but I eventually managed to get a layer of paint on Richenda's lips (and not all over her teeth!) that was more pink than purple, and this time it only took me four tries.  I don't have a clue why eyes paint over so well but lips are the very devil for me to do.



I tried the shiral effect at first.  It looked OK but not great, since I could duplicate the colors of an amber stone but not the transparency, so I tried going with Jerusha's idea and added just the tiniest bit of a light blue to some pearlized white paint.  It looked right when it was wet, but unfortunately it turned out looking silver instead of milky-blue when it dried.  That still works, though, as I can see Helena using a polished mirror ring for scrying, and a small disk of polished metal would probably be more affordable for the purpose than shiral.

And now for Tuesday's projects:



The fabric samples (plaid and solid burgundy) are remnants from Joann's Fabrics.  I made a new pair of trews from the plaid on Tuesday, and plan to make a matching tunic using the solid burgundy fabric as the main color, trimmed out with plaid cuffs and collar.  I also picked up the bracelet this weekend.  It reminded me of a torc (Celtic necklace) and if I can remove the little lion heads from it, I might make a torc for Kelson.  If not, I'm pretty sure I've seen similar heads as jewelry findings somewhere recently.  Maybe Michaels?  I bought it from a crafts fair this past weekend, and it looks to be made from bits and bobs I've seen in crafts stores, so if I don't find those exact lion's heads, at least I'm hopeful I can find something similar to use.



I spent yesterday making new trousers.  I used the yellow ones that came with the Viking Action Figure to create a paper pattern, and used it to make the plaid trews first.  I wasn't sure whether to use a drawstring waistband or just cave in to convenience and use elastic, but after fumbling with Kelson's fly to get his trousers off so I could make the pattern, and then having to tie that tiny bow to secure them on again, I decided life is far too short for me to spend it fussing and fiddling over tiny guys' flies all the time!  So elastic waistbands it is.  Once I knew the pattern would produce a proper fit, I cut out the leather trews and sewed them together last night.  Alaric is finding them much more comfortable than his old skinny jeans that were so tight he couldn't sit or bend over without the back (Velcro closure) seam coming open.  It's not very dignified for a Duke to go about mooning everyone when he gets up from a chair!  The faux leather is a dream to work with--thin and drapey enough to look right on a small-scale body, a little thicker and tougher to hand stitch through than fabric, but the edges stay together without need for pinning and the edges don't fray at all.  I got a half yard of it, so you'll be seeing it again in the form of leather accessories and probably a jerkin or two, and maybe that leather-and-plate armor that Duncan wore during the Mearan War.  What I don't end up using for my Deryni will be gratefully accepted by my steampunk action figure.



Here's a closer shot of the trousers and that lovely leather fabric.  Alaric still needs footwear, but I have some black boots on order.



I found this on eBay and it's sized for the Fashionista Barbie bodies that Richenda and Helena are now both using, so I figured this would make gown design and fitting a bit easier.



This is the "pants form" rather than the "dress form."   Both were the same price, but I figured this would be more versatile.  Even though I don't imagine Richenda or Helena needing trews, my Steampunk lady might want other options besides a gown or a skirt.

That's it for now, although I brought the trousers pattern and some nice black suedecloth to work with me today, so if time permits, I'll cut out a "black suede leather" pair that will be even more appropriate for the Darkling Duke than the brown pair he's wearing now.  Duncan's wanting a turn at the brown leathers; he gets tired of wearing cassocks every once in a while and wants a change of pace.
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

--WARNING!!!--
I have a vocabulary in excess of 75,000 words, and I'm not afraid to use it!