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Archive for the ‘BJD’ Category

I Got a Makie!

Now some of you are no doubt saying to yourselves “What the heck is a Makie?”

Allow me to explain: a Makie is a 10 inch tall doll which has a customized 3-D printed head and an injection-molded body with detachable parts. Like the hands and the feet so they can be dressed easily and so that optional extra parts; like alternate pose hands* and cool shoes (some are slip on and some are like alternate feet).

Yes, I totally missed the boat on the entirely 3-D printed Makies (last ones went at the end of the summer) but thanks to a wonderful review of the new body by flyingpurplemonkfish I now have one of the new dolls.

Here is my very first Makie, named Thorn, fresh out of her box:

makie thorn box opening

Please note that she is bald because I asked for her wig to be left unglued so that I could swap out her wigs (that cookie envelope on the right of the photo is a blue wig). Also please forgive the background, this is the only spot that still had enough sunlight for photos.

makie thorn closeup

This closeup shows the body color vs the head color. The match isn’t too far off — I think part of the problem is that the head color has a depth and radiance due to the white nylon showing through the skin dye, whereas the body color is opaque solid plastic. It matches better than this in real life to human eyes.

And here she is with her wig on:

makie thorn wig

Now that she’s here I can see a definite resemblance to “Carla Conner” from Coronation Street though I didn’t plan it that way.

Her digital preview:

Makie Thorn digital preview

The create-a-makie on the makie website is addictive, I can spend waaaay too much time here designing faces. Oh yeah, the primary attraction of a Makie is that you design the face, including choice of three skin colors. If you try it make sure to click on the more options button to turn on the custom face screens. The ears don’t show in the digital preview so here is a screen shot of the settings I used for Thorn’s ears. Yes, Thorn is Fae, as in Faerie.

Makie Thorn Ears

I guess I should mention that Makies cost $75 US, they ship worldwide, and that they are very poseable and fun. They also have a range of disability accessories (like hearing aids) and they encourage kids to be Makers. The new career packs (Musician, Veterinarian, Archeologist, Photographer) that they have just released for the holiday season are very cute. So are the new shoe packs and glasses packs.

So head over to Makie land and have some fun.

*The alternate pose hands for the new body aren’t available yet, but hopefully soon.

 

 

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Or, Danger Will Robinson . . . Danger!

Does this face look familiar to you? It reached right out and grabbed me even though it was tiny thumbnail size image on the site where I first saw it. So I clicked it.

Wow! and Ouch! Is it just me or does this doll have more than a passing resemblance to the girls in Mark Ryden’s paintings? She’s a new release named Trisha from D.I.M (Doll in Mind).

I am a huge fan of Ryden’s work and have been since my very first exposure. If you’re not familiar; do a google image search right now — I’ll wait.

It is perhaps a fortunate thing that I can’t afford to buy this girl as I’m certain I would feel an overwhelming compulsion to make her clothes to match Mark’s paintings. Which would be lovely fun and a perfect opportunity to make outfits that are simultaneously dark, twisted and massively sweet. Which would inevitably be way too time consuming.

She would certainly demand a meat ball gown for starters. Dangerous!

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A couple of years ago Pat Lillich started encouraging me to try making a ball jointed doll. Pat is an utterly magnificent artist — google her! She sent me some great background and technical information. OK, so the website she directed me to was in Japanese but it really was the most in depth tutorial out there. So being particularly persnickety I used Babelfish to copy and paste and thusly translated the text from Japanese to English and slung the whole thing into a Word document so I wouldn’t have to do this process every time I wanted to refer to the tutorial. Which I am now very glad I did because I can’t find that particular site now, it’s seems to have gone away.

So here I was with all this terrific information and no really compelling reason to use it — until the challenge theme for last year’s NIADA was announced “Make a piece using a medium that is new to you”. Well I do use polymer clay to make the face masks of my work but I don’t do whole figures and this one would be jointed and I wanted to try this different clay mixture to see what it’s properties were like. I figured that was “New Medium” enough. So here is my BJD experiment:

His name is Alexander and he’s about 6 inches tall. He and his pal Happy Duck have steadfastly refused to live in the display cupboard and spend their time chasing each other all over the living room. Which I have to say is far better than them playing tricks like “hide the car keys” or “build a fort out of DVDs (in the middle of the night) in the exact center of the living room”.

The technical low down: I made him out of a super sculpey-primo blend; his head and torso are completely hollow (which lowers his center of gravity enabling him to stand better); his upper arms and legs are made like shaped tube beads with a channel for the elastic down the center; I used brass rod at the joint terminuses (lower arms and feet) and strung him with round elastic from the fabric store. His wig is made from some upholstery trim (which I think has been discontinued). He balances on his feet just fine and has a nice range of movement. All in all, I’m satisfied with the experiment and may make several more.

Happy together!

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