Author Topic: Re: Work In Progress--Deryni Action Figure Project (was Duncan Action Figure)  (Read 314612 times)

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Offline Jerusha

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Very nice results, but the first picture of Aderyn in the curlers looks like a new form of Medieval torture!

On the other hand, there are probably those who would say the same for modern perm/colouring techniques.   ;D
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Offline Evie

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You should have seen my son's face when he casually asked me what I was doing that evening, just as I'd set the last curler in place, and I told him, "Oh, not much; just about to go boil a doll's head...."   ;)  ;D

OK, tonight's update:


Aderyn gets period clothing by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

This was going to be an undergown for Richenda and/or Helena, but once it was finished, it ended up being just a smidge too small.  The bodice fits the larger dolls--barely!--but the sleeves are about a half inch too short.  Originally I had planned for them to be able to wear it over a chemise, but it's way too snug for another layer underneath.  The sleeve and skirt lengths ended up being just right for Aderyn (who also comes from a fantasy-medieval world), so she gets to keep it and I'll eventually make a slightly bigger one for my Deryni ladies.  I still have a lot of this fabric left over, so I might find other uses for it as well.


Rear view of new gown by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Her hair covers up the back lacing.  The gown is slit down the back to about hip level in order to allow the fitted bodice to slip over the doll's body and for her arms to be able to get into the sleeve openings.  I then used a long thread with needles at each end to lace the gown closed.


Closer view of fitted bodice by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here's a closer look at the fitted bodice.  KK says that this doll could also pass as Princess Silke.  If so, I'd have to assume this outfit would be one she'd have worn in her younger years before becoming a nun.


With Richenda's old overdress by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Here's the undergown paired with Richenda's original Court gown.  The sleeves are a bit long even on Richenda; on Aderyn, they have to be folded into cuffed sleeves.  And that low-cut neckline definitely demands the undergown!  I've got quite a bit of this blue fabric left over, though, so I'm thinking of making another overgown, this time only about knee length so that the pretty undergown fabric will show below it.  The fitted undergown style would also work well with a sideless surcoat like the beaded green one that Richenda currently wears.

This outfit could use a little more ornamentation.  I'm thinking pearls, perhaps, or maybe gold scrollwork on those cuffs, if I can manage that without fraying that fragile fabric.

That's it for now!


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Offline Elkhound

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"Every time Lady Lowbodice swoons
Her boobies pop out like baloons.
But her butler stands by,
With a gleam in his eye,
And slips them back in with warm spoons."

I don't now why these pictures made me think of this, but they did.

Offline Evie

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LOL!  No, see, that's why she's wearing the undergown, so that her leering lackey will stop spooning up her two scoops of vanilla every time she bends over!   ;D
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Offline Evie

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Another photoshoot with my "littles" this evening:


Ducal Dinner by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Duchess Richenda smiles approvingly at the head server and asks him to pass her compliments on to the chef as Duke Alaric and Bishop Duncan prepare to partake of their evening repast of wine braised "coney" served with vegetables in a basil butter sauce and broth-steeped grains, served on trencher bread.  Though if rabbits (or chickens, for that matter) get this big in Gwynedd, I would hate to see their cattle!

(Yes, I have plates and bowls to match the goblets and spoons, but as they are painted plastic rather than actual pewter, I was afraid the sauces might ruin the finish, so I decided to use some crackers for bread trenchers instead.  The small "platter" was too big to fit on my tiny table, so it ended up requiring its own stand.  The diners are using knives and spoons but no forks; I don't happen to have any small forks, but in any case they wouldn't have been in use as eating utensils during the early 1100s in medieval England, so I am assuming unless the novels note otherwise that the same would be true for medieval Gwynedd.)


A guest arrives late for dinner by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The most important part of staging this scene was making sure that it didn't get interrupted by hungry kittehs!  I made the mistake of filling Luke's and Gigi's food plate before I got the food on the mini-platter, so by the time I got the food out to the table, snapped a few shots, realized that Duncan had dropped his goblet and that the food really needed to be on the trenchers as well, rearranged things to my satisfaction, and then took another photo or two, the cats were done with their supper.  Luke, sensing that he was getting left out of all the fun again, immediately dropped in to find out what was going on with "his little people."

For the recipe to the "wine-braised coney" l and why I chose to try recreating it, click here:
http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=896.0

And I will attest to it being even tastier the day after it's cooked!   :D
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 11:48:00 am by Evie »
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Offline Alkari

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Silke looks very Haldane!   Must send you the pearl trim I found - I put it in a 'safe place' a few weeks ago and have only just rediscovered it :D

Offline Evie

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Uploading glitch by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

My next fanfic will be a study in Multiple Personality Disorder, titled "The Three Faces of Araxie."  OK, just kidding; this was just a weird uploading glitch!   :D


Three Araxie Contenders by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I discovered while going through my doll parts collection that I now have three blonde heads and a spare jointed body to work with, so there could be an Araxie figure in the near future.  But which head should I choose for her?  I've tended to picture Araxie with pale blonde hair like that on the left-side head.  The downside of using that head would be that she's wearing too much eye makeup, so I'd pretty much have to swab her eyes off and start from scratch with them.  (Lips can be painted paler with little problem, but eyelids would be difficult to paint something closer to natural fleshtone and shadows without ending up painting over the rest of the eye.)  Somewhere under all that eye paint and bright lipstick is a very pretty face sculpt, though, if I have the painting skill to bring that out after a complete facial erasure with acetone.  On the other hand, I have a skein of pale blonde hair, so I could possibly end up rerooting one of the other two heads instead if one of those would make a better Araxie.  The downside to that option is, since I'm still an amateur at re-rooting, I risk ruining the head if I accidentally split the vinyl at the hairline again like I did with the Kelson test head.


Closer views of the Araxie "possibles" by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The center face has a nice, fresh face with only a little makeup and a charming little dimple on one cheek.  Her lips would need a touch-up, but I'd have to do that in any case, no matter which head I choose.  Her hair is only slightly less golden-blonde than the head's on the left, but it was originally styled in such a way that it only looks good if pulled straight back in a ponytail, and it's too thick and short to look good in a braid.  (Actually, the same can be said for all of their hairstyles; if I don't end up rerooting, I might just have to figure out some way to pull it back and hold it in a snood or caul.)  

The head on the right is the one with the color-damaged hair from my attempt to turn it red with a Sharpie.  I shampooed most of the marker ink out and used some Clearasil on her hair and a little brown spot under her eyebrow, and also on her forehead where the marker ink had stained.  The Clearasil removed all the marker stains from her skin, but the ends of the hair remain stained, and I can't see any way to remove the tiny brown spot under her eyebrow without risk to her eyes (assuming acetone would remove it), so it might need to be left as a "beauty mark."   She also has tanner skin than the other two heads, and I don't think Araxie would have much if any suntanning, given that young ladies of her day tried to keep their faces as fair-skinned as possible rather than seeking out the sun.

And of course, in all cases, she'd need her eyes repainted gray.  But that's an easier feature to fix.

So, any thoughts from those of you following this thread on which of my "beauty contestants" would make the best Queen Araxie?  Because if I don't get any feedback from y'all, I'm just going to arrange them all on my bed and drop naked Kelson on top of them to see which one he ends up landing on.  ;)  (OK, maybe not, though that would be easier than finding a three-sided coin to flip!  ;D )
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 10:49:35 am by Evie »
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Offline DesertRose

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I like the left head for Araxie, even though you'll have to repaint the eyes.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

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Offline Jerusha

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I have to agree with DesertRose - the left one is the best.  I like the one in the middle, but it looks smaller than the others.  Maybe she could be a young Briony, especially with the cute dimple.

But if that is the case, please remove her before Kelson "drops in."   ;D
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Offline Elkhound

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Desert Rose is right.  But I still think of the French Revolution every time I see those body-less heads.  ("And the knitting women count. . . one.")

Offline Evie

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I have to agree with DesertRose - the left one is the best.  I like the one in the middle, but it looks smaller than the others. 

Yes, I noticed that as well.  I think the overall head size is at least roughly the same as the others, but she has a smaller face due to the hairline starting lower on the head and the facial features arranged lower on the head in order to compensate.  Because the resulting face is smaller than the others, she does look more like a teen than a full grown adult.  Granted, Araxie is only 19 or thereabouts when we first meet her, but that's close enough to a fully mature adult that she should have a mostly-adult face by that age.

Quote
Maybe she could be a young Briony, especially with the cute dimple.

But if that is the case, please remove her before Kelson "drops in."   ;D

LOL!  Um, yeah.  I suspect if that were the case and Kelson were to "drop in" on Alaric's young and nubile "baby darling"--especially if quite literally on her, and while in a state of deshabille--Alaric might be tempted to have a few curt words with the young man, possibly even punctuated by sword point.  Even if Kelson is the King.   ;D
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Offline Evie

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Desert Rose is right.  But I still think of the French Revolution every time I see those body-less heads.  ("And the knitting women count. . . one.")

Should I make a Mme. Defarge action figure? ;)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 02:29:26 pm by Evie »
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Offline Evie

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I forgot to mention one other thing about the left-side head, though it might be a "feature" rather than a "bug."  Those earrings she is wearing appear to be non-removable unless I break off the backs of the earring (which are inside her head) before reattaching her head to a body.  The good thing about them, though, is that they are fully plastic, which means the head won't eventually get a bad case of "green ear" like the Barbies of previous decades that came with earrings that had cheap metal posts.  If I do remove the earrings, she'll retain pierced ears, though again, that's not necessarily bad since that just means Araxie could wear different sets of earrings, and I could easily make her some that are a bit less dangly and/or based on actual medieval styles.  Or these could be left as-is (they're not shriekingly modern, aside from being plastic, though at least they're painted to look silver), or even set with "Haldane rubies."  I think the design would lend itself to that, anyway, but I'd need to double-check.  And I also have gold paint, if they'd look better in gold rather than silver along with the rubies.
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Offline Evie

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Tonight I stripped the factory paint off the head that got the most votes and started work on Araxie's new face.  This was the most terrifying doll project I've done to date, I think!  But hopefully you'll like the end result, even though I was starting to get worried for a while earlier this evening.


Starting almost from scratch by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I liked the shape of the original eyebrows and didn't want to have to redo those from scratch, so I carefully swabbed away everything else with acetone, getting up to the edge of the eyebrows with a toothpick wrapped in a tiny bit of cotton and barely damp with acetone.  After I got the rest of the paint off, I rinsed her face with detergent and water to neutralize the acetone.


A clean slate by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I did the same with a test head.  She's very pale because she used to be Queen Amidala.


Adding warm undertones and lip color by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

I used the brick red watercolor pencil and a damp brush to add color to lips first, beginning with the test head and then, once I was content with the results, trying again on the Araxie head.  Once the lip color was sketched in, I dipped the brush in water to thin the watercolor paint on it and applied a thin wash of the same color to outline the eye area.   I also used a thinner wash to create subtle eyelid shading on Araxie, and dotted just inside each nostril to darken them.


Beginning to add eye details by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Next, I added just a hint of gray to some white acrylic paint to give it a more natural "eyeball white" tint, and filled in the eye outlines with that.  Once that white layer dried (a few minutes later), I began to rough in Araxie's irises with "Payne Gray" acrylic paint mixed with white to make a medium shade.  Payne Gray is actually rather bluish when lightened, so if Araxie's eyes look blue in this shot, that's why.  At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if I've made a horrible mistake.  I left the other head's eyes unpainted except for the whites because I plan to make her irises another color, and didn't want to have to go back and forth between two sets of eyes, given how quickly acrylic paint dries out on the palette.


Starting to look face-like by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Adding some extra shades and highlights of gray to the eyes, not to mention pupils, helps to define them more.  I added some of the brick red watercolor to the inner corners and defined the eye shape a little more, then used brown acrylic to line them and create eyelashes.  This is where I began to panic a bit because it turns out I pretty much suck at drawing eyelashes.  Fortunately a bit of blending and defining with a wet toothpick and going back over the area with a barely damp brush helped a bit.  I also used the brush to add a few extra strokes to the eyebrows to add some definition and detail.  The lips got a further application of red watercolor to further define them and blend out the initial patchiness.


After futzing around with it a little more.... by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

After futzing around with it a little more....


Final paint details by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

Once I added a tiny bit of yellow ochre to the iris just around the edge of the pupils and added the white highlights to her eyes, I liked them a bit more.  I also added some white lines to the lips to add definition, and after this had a minute or so to dry, I went back over the white with more of the brick red watercolor to blend the color.  Once the final painted details were done, it was time to blush the face.  I ground a mixture of pink and peach pastel and mixed them to create blush, which I dabbed a cotton swab into, tapping the excess powder off onto the back of my hand before swabbing her cheeks, chin, hairline, and her nose with it to add color and definition.


Fully blushed by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

In addition to the pink blush, I also used a very light golden brown pastel very sparingly around nose (especially the nostril area), earlobes, and I think the jaw and hairline.  I picked up a bit of the brown on a damp brush and used that to further accentuate the shadows in the nostrils and the folds of the ears, dabbing away any excess color.  The blushing is slightly visible in this picture.  It's more noticeable under my lighted magnifying visor, and would also be more apparent in sunlight, but I took care to stop before it looked too pink in room lighting for fear of making her look sunburned in natural light.  This is the final unsealed face-up.  It's so different from her original factory paint job that I think I'll let her dry overnight and have a look at her again tomorrow night to be sure I like the end result before I add sealer to make it all permanent.


Helena inspects the results by evian_delacourt, on Flickr

The Schola magistra takes a close look at the newly created Queen Araxie face.  She can hardly wait for the Queen to get a good coat of sealer.  Gloss sealer will go into eyes and maybe the lip area, and matte sealer will protect the eyelid and undereye area.   Once that's dry, she'll be given a nice jointed body to replace that uncomfortable hardwood stick, and then I'll see what we can do to give her a nice hairstyle.  I won't be able to give her the canonical braids, given the relative shortness and thickness of her hair, but I'm sure I'll figure out something appropriately regal for her.

And just to show the contrast between "Before" and "After," here's a reminder of how she looked before her makeover:


Closer views of the Araxie "possibles" by evian_delacourt, on Flickr


« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 12:26:13 am by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Jerusha

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Nicely done.  Though the heads look very disturbing without their eyes.

I like the photo of Araxie and Helena together; Araxie is already looking regal, while Helena has a cute, sweet look.  The photo also shows Helena's faint freckles nicely.

I suspect someone else may be looking forward to Araxie getting that nice, jointed body, but t'would not be seemly to mention it. *snickers*
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany