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Hasbro Forces of Destiny Doll Action Figures

Lately there’s been a lot of crossover between ‘dolls’ and ‘action figures’.  Though it seems to me that the only real difference between action figures and dolls is whether or not boys are allowed to play with them without social disapproval, I have been told that it comes down to articulation and sculpting.

…ok, whatever.  Either way you look at it, action figures (like the all-sculpted 6″ mini DC Super Hero Girls) have been showing up in the girl aisles while traditional dolls have been gaining more articulation and sculpted clothing while Action figures have been getting bigger and more doll like (Hi there, Hot Toys!)  Madame Alexander Fangirl Dolls and WWE’s Diva dolls have brought classic fashion dolls to the boy aisles.

The Forces of Destiny dolls are hybrid dolls that are simultaneously dolls and action figures and are marketed to both boys and girls.  Great!  Let’s have a look.

Hasbro Doll comparison Continue reading

Folding steampunk wings for dolls!

Ok, so I have a design in mind for a pattern, but while most patterns are all sewing, this one is like 50% sewing, 50% crafts.  I want to make a steampunk outfit that has a birdcage skirt and mechanical wings.  And, because it’s me, the wings have to splay out to the sides to look nice from the front, go straight back to look nice in profile, and be able to fold up so they don’t take up a ton of space when not in ‘use’.

For me, that’s not hard.  I don’t do a lot of mad science projects these days, but when I customize, I go hardcore.  Like that centaur I made a few years ago (long before Freaky Fusion) with articulated legs.  But there’s a huuuuuuuuge gap between something I can figure out for myself and something I can make reproducible in simplified version that an average mom and her 8-10 year old can figure out and make together on their first, or at worst, second try.  Therefore, it’s gotta be something simple, made from parts people can easily get, and take, like, an hour at most to put together.

I took a look at some steampunk wing tutorials, but most of them have like 6 points of articulation.  6 points of articulation done precisely enough on something 3″ long to function?  Oh my god, even millimeter measurements wouldn’t be precise enough.  So I pulled out my graph paper and drew something in scale to what I wanted the finished product to look like:

Drafting the wing

The top sketch is what I wanted the finished wing to look like.  I cut that out of craft foam because craft foam is easy to work with and you can get it everywhere, so it’s probably a good material for the wings.  Then I cut up the craft foam wing into sections to play with to help visualize how the ‘folding’ mechanism part would work (the blue wing bits) and then re-sketched them into individual sections (bottom two sketches) that could be assembled.

working prototype

Took the new sketches and assembled the wing with a single articulation point using grommets (again, something very easy to get as you can find them in any scrapbooking section).  Folded, unfolded, posed on doll, tweaked… oh yes.  It works and it looks good. The wings lock in both open and shut positions, and look very nice in both open and closed positions from both sides!  Pretty much everything I wanted.  Now I just need to make a full set that will be painted and decorated and work out a harness pattern!

So… these won’t be the next pattern, but maybe in a few weeks!  This one is going to take a lot more time and more extensive instructions with pics than usual.

One last BJD post!

Ok, I know I’ve posted a lot of BJD stuff lately, but I swear it’s not a new thing.   I recently did some work on a friend’s doll who came with non-matching extra hands…and only 1 hand that actually matched the body >.<  Customizing to the rescue!

One of these hands is not like the others...

The hand in the middle is the matching hand.  The hands on the wrists were originally white skin.  I covered them in a semi-transparent glaze of liquid acrylic to tint them to match the body, added a little bit of pastel between the fingers for shading, and then sealed them with a light matte spray coating.

This is the method I used to blend Alice Omega‘s white sculpted zombie parts to the rest of her face.  It’s a lot more play friendly than airbrushing and pastels, and gives a much more even result than building up layers of pastels over a large area.

The one drawback is that this method works much better going from light to dark than dark to light…but since very few dolls come in any shade I would remotely consider to be ‘dark’ that shouldn’t be much of a problem!

Testing Valspar Plastics Paint

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint Cocoa Bean

Valspar Plastic Spray Paint Cocoa Bean

Here’s the new paint I’m testing: Valspar plastics spraypaint in Cocoa Bean. There aren’t many spray paint colors that can pass for skin tones.  The dark brown is Krylon Espresso.  Several brands have a close equivalent in color to that, but this is the only mid-toned brown I’ve found. (Krylon Brown Boots is a very orangey brown)

UNFORTUNATELY, so far the Valspar doesn’t seem to be as plastic friendly as it advertised.  On the label in small letters it says it’s ‘for rigid plastics’ and the ingredients include Acetone, which I believe Fusion doesn’t have.  It is the/one of the chemicals attributed to why spray paint turns dolls into a sticky mess–which this head is, several hours after it should have been dry.  But it’s OK, I have some other tricks I can try