PERSONAL DEMONS

Last modified:
Wednesday, February 4, 2004 9:17 PM

 

Ya know, I thought of being real clever and start doing reviews of stuff I'd already bought, since that wouldn't involve spending any new money. However, a review of Hasbro's Hall of Fame figure might give the impression that I was going senile. So instead you get this crummy project... or do you?

 

01/29/04- So yeah, another year, another project, another Demon Dude. Just to be clear about this-- I don't have a thing for demons, or evil things... I consider them to be interesting inventions of our culture. I realize that there are a lot of folks out there who have "colorful belief structures" and who take things like this a little bit more seriously than I do. It's not my intention to belittle anyone's beliefs (no matter how misguided they may be), but I just have to say

(***blasphemy deleted by The Almighty***)

I'd pre-doodled this one and on paper, it looked like it might be fun. But once I started making it, it didn't seem like that much fun. This one started off with the concept of a large male armoured demonic figure, with a hint of The Lord of the Rings' Sauron-in-Armour. I like the look of that costuming with it's ornate and spikey armour, but like all helmeted characters where you can't see the eyes or facial features, I thought it looked a little too distant and well, faceless. That's a pretty terrifying effect, and appropriate attire for entities who are destined to become giant fiery eyeballs. However, I was interested in a more mundane and down-home look; hence the usual eyes, nose and teeth thing. Another vague inspiration came from the Japanese live action video, "Zeiram 2". The antagonist in that is another faceless entity, but I'd always liked the general look of its head, with its tall spikey things, which might be ears. So my doodle sought to convey some of that, in a general tall-eared demonish way.

I selected a Lord of the Rings Ringwraith for the basic body stock. This is a tall, skinny figure under the robes, with decent but somewhat iffy/prone-to-become-loose articulation. I figured that this would be a quickie since I really didn't want to muck with altering the body: It's harder for me to find the motivating interest to heavily revise a male body type, and my libido certainly doesn't kick in any extra motivation. Even though the figure is tall and scrawny, I figured that it would be hidden by costuming, and I'd even be willing to sculpt his costume directly onto the figure. If the sucker could stand, I'd be happy.

The first active step I took was to chop off his molded hood thing. This left a tiny rubber stump which permitted head rotation, upon which I could build up the head. The first deviation from the doodle was in giving him a large, toothy articulated jaw. I thought this would be fun to make and slightly different-- the opportunity was there by virtue of the rubber stump. The jaw was formed from a sheet of copper, decorated with teeth, and attached to the stump. The outside was then fleshed over and the rest of the head built up from that.

I experimented with eyeballs a bit. I'd first given him a pair of white eyeballs and then added slit pupils to them. It looked pretty hilarious, sort of like an insane rabbit (or to my wife, "Bad Booboo" for our manic little cat when he's in a devilish mood). This was not what I'd been aiming for, so it took a lot of tweaking over a number of days to escape from that quagmire. It's still not quite right and I can't identify what quality I think it lacks, but I'm reluctant to trash it and start all over again. It's kinda depressing.

In the meantime, I decided that the figure really needed an articulated neck-- A creature like this should be able to cock his head to the side. This necessitated some structural changes to the body, and since I was doing that, I might as well set him up with a abbreviated version of elastic tensioning. I was deterimined that I wouldn't muck with the leg and hip articulation since this wasn't supposed to be a figure project. Yadda yadda yadda... Hey, you awake?

Well, that's where this project has been stalled for several weeks. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

 


 

Nuts. You weren't really interested in that either, were you? (Tell the truth, shame the debbil...)

I started the demon project because I felt that I shouldn't make only large-breasted Amazon Warriors-- Otherwise, folks might think that I was impossibly fixated. So I thought that those projects needed to be balanced out with some healthy variety-- like large-breasted demonesses, for example. And maybe some -ugh- boring demons, boring male heroes, boring villagers, etc. Zzzzzzzzzzz...

Stupid me. I stay awake better when I'm entertained.

 

01/31/04- (In case you didn't notice, I've cleverly switched projects, mid-stream. Just like the old Energizer Bunny commercials, and the recent Geico commercials. This is probably the first time this has happened in the history of 1/6th scale customizing narrative on the Internet. Wow, huh? Remember, you saw it here, first.)

The racoon-eyed gal shown above didn't start with any advance sketching, but has came a lot farther than the demon dude in far less time. It probably has something to do with hormones, but I'm sure I can think of a more intellectual reason for it. To create a female figure, you don't need a lot of advance designwork since the general blueprint is pretty well established. The figure's overall physique requires a little bit of advance thought and commitment, but still leaves quite a bit of wiggle room for what ultimately gets made. Eventually though, you have to deal with the doll's identity, as it may require the figure to have special features, and of course, there's the costuming...

This project was prompted by the purchase of Takara/BBI's "Bloody Rose" and "Electra" dolls, which feature the new version of the Cool Girl body. Electra was all-around kewl looking; Bloody Rose had neat costuming, but a homely face (by my tastes). I was willing to sacrifice Electra's costuming since I already have enough variations on their Space-Vixen-with-Big-Guns theme, so I swapped heads with the Bloody Rose body. This gave me an attractive S&M doll for display (in my opinion, the best thing are the realistically-scaled zipper castings) and a complete figure to violate. I thought that it would be interesting to dissect a new body type; although Takara/BBI did a good job with their improvements, I still enjoy the opportunity to remake a figure.

As fodder for such a project, this figure isn't a much better starting point than any other I've used in the past. The main attraction is the arms, with double-hinged elbows and fitted with a pair of the double-axis hands. Their double-hinged elbows are a subtle improvement over others that have been produced: The lower forearm hinge is slightly looser than the upper hinge so it activates first when the elbow is bent. When it reaches the end of its travel, the upper hinge engages for the small bit of remaining travel. The advantage of this approach is that it preserves the pointed shape at the back of the elbow through most of the flexing motion. With other designs, the hinges usually give the arm an unnatural, multi-segmented profile almost as soon as you start to flex the arm. As usual, I have some reservations about whether the extra range of double-hinged elbow joints (which can be small in some cases) is worth the hardware overhead (more parts = more seamlines + a separate bicep swivel), which mars the appearance of a bare arm; I still find it a little bit easier to accept the appearance of bare naked simple hinges.

I N C I D E N T A L L Y...

1:6 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Discussion Forum There's a new EZBoard community for folks who are interested in talking about 1/6th scale Fantasy and Sci-Fi themed stuff. (Personally, I don't know where folks find the time, LOL) It's full-featured and there's a neat section for you to post pics of your custom creations and bask in the warm oohs & ahhs of others (as they plunder your ideas, nyuk nyuk)... Check it out!

Jess is such a nice guy that I wanted to plug his site, Figures.com. It's an easy-to-remember URL that takes you to the latest word on what's going on in the world of kewl toyz... with an insider's eye on the Future! Yeah, he's the guy to ask if you're wondering whether this head will fit on that figure, heh heh. Just kidding. (Sorry Jess!) Check it out!

The version 2 figure also features a redesigned thigh/leg joint. This is an interesting design, more complicated than the original, which results in a higher quality joint. In my case, this was not really a good thing-- it took a little more effort than usual to gut since the innards are constructed of a few different types of plastic. The knees have also been redesigned so that they allow a little bit of swivel. Again, it's not a major improvement, but it's a better-quality joint. I left them as is, not really disturbed by the slightly compromised appearance, since all the seamlines are on the back of the leg. Finally, the lower torso has been split into an additional section. In theory, this would provide some extra range and perhaps a more natural distribution of the torso flexing on a clothed figure. In practice though, it's not too different from most figures that have included this extra segment-- it doesn't vastly improve anything that needed to be improved. For my purposes, this was just another improvement that I had to undo.

Although their neck/head articulation design hasn't changed, I found that joint to be unacceptably floppy with both of my v2 dolls. This was due to a loose ball/socket fit; not a big deal, and probably just a production tolerance problem specific to these newer figures, or maybe to mine in particular... it happens. I still felt compelled to add neck/torso articulation. I think that this adds significantly to the useful "posing vocabulary" of the doll and is actually easier to conceal with costuming than the neck/head articulation (if you don't mind your dolls wearing chokers or necklaces).

At the other end of the figure, Takara/BBI has come up with some kewl thin-spiked bootfeet. I was pretty sure that they wouldn't be appropriate for what I was making, so I replaced them with some rubber feet from BBI's Joanna Dark/Perfect Body figure. Unfortunately, those feet suffered from a design brain-fart: The ball-peg which secures them to the figure's ankle socket is made of hard plastic, but it's inserted into rubber feet. Stuff like this makes me insane... If you want a figure to stand reliably, do you want its weight balancing on flexible rubber feet? I grinded out the soles of the feet, located the underside of the hard plastic peg, inserted a screw, and filled the cavity with putty. This gives a solid contact from ground to the rest of the figure- when the figure is placed, it knows immediately where its center of gravity is, since it's not wobbling around on rubber feet. Sheesh.

The Cool Girl figures are meant to be tall and glamorous, so the extra shin segment that the bootfeet plug into helps to achieve this look. My figures tend to go the other direction, which shows my preference for an alternate version of the human ideal. Therefore, after I finish adjusting the figure's legs, torso and arms, the figure was considerably shorter (and perhaps less glamorous)-- she's a little under 10.25" tall (in bare feet, versus the CG's 11.5" in spike heels).

My marching orders for this figure had two objectives. Firstly, I wanted to make a female figure which didn't have the typical snarly face that I instinctly make. To an extent I think I've succeeded, and her face has some weird cherubic doll-like features. However, I seem to have sabotaged that somewhat by giving her squinty gold-irised eyeballs... and the quickie slut makeup. (The eyeballs aren't as easy to change as the makeup though.)

My second objective was to make a figure with a lewd but perky body-- a huge ass, thin but short waist, and enormous gravity-defying boobs. Indeed, working on the sections separately, I ended up with a luxuriant ass section and a titanic tits section. Then I assembled the figure... Ack! I'd created a mutant! The huge ass went through many grinding sessions and the enormous gravity-defying boobs were totally remade to get to them point where I felt they didn't look downright freakish. In case you don't know, the definition of "freakish" is a relative thing. I probably have a broader-than-normal interpretation of what I don't consider to be freakish. Still, I do have limits: Self-censorship kicks in, so most of the stuff I make tends to look similar, within those boundaries. Hey!...but I don't wanna be a slave to my own standards of indecency, so I returned one more time to nudge the boobs over the line, into balloon territory. Damn! This stuff is hard!

Although I dived into the figure alterations and didn't do any preliminary costuming doodles, I did agonize about what she was to eventually be as I was making the figure. My compulsion to make dolls which fit in with my BB&J ("Brass Bras & Jockstraps") theme can be a real limitation. This can be seen as a good thing since it keeps me selective, and discourages me from making oddball things on a whim-- stuff which would create isolated little islands of thematically-orphaned dolls, which I'd have to eventually box up for lack of display space. The downside of this compulsion is that it discourages me from making oddball things on a whim, which would be fun. Oh well. Since I've been doing the BB&J thing for quite a while, the opportunities for doing interesting new characters have shrunk, and I hate doing webstuff when it's just the S.O.S. (however, lack of novelty doesn't bother me outside of the web context though, and I've been known to eat the same thing at the same greasy spoon daily, for years). But I do like the BB&J theme and fortunately, I've been able to squeeeeeeeeeeeeze one more new idea out of it...

 

big boob angel doll 1:6
(squeeeeeeeeze... POP!)

 

 

big boob angel doll 1:6

Yep, it's a Downtown Angel™, the kind who offers protection in various colors, ribbed or lubricated..

It's not a new idea of course, but it's a first for me. It's loosely inspired by a Christmas™ doo-dad I bought a year ago. Originally, I'd intended to play it straighter, without the carnal angle, but I wasn't very confident that this would fit within my BB&J menagerie. The appearances of those Amazons, heroes, and demon characters suggest simple-minded, stereotypical good/evil orientations, but the context is purely fantasy, not religious. In my opinion, Demons have a more universal and secular flavor, whereas Angels with wings in white garb seem to be more specifically linked to Christmas™ decorations. Anyway, I apologize if I've offended by debasing a cherished holiday icon, but heck, my President marginalizes my beliefs all the frickin' time! If it's any consolation, the angelic trappings might be purposely misleading: Besides the bawdy body, she's got gold eyes and some mean, sharp claws.

(Darn... If I'd only used a Vintage Joe, I coulda made a beefy "Rambo™ Angel Mama".)

big boob angel doll 1:6

 

"My tits have been tested and found to comply with the limits for a class B orgasmic device, pursuant to part 44F of the FCC rules."

 

big boob angel doll 1:6

"Oooops... uhhh... Houston, we've got a slight costuming malfunction."

 

big boob angel doll 1:6 02/04/04- Despite my initial doubts, I'm pleased with the way she turned out and how she fits in, or stands out with the others. Her exaggerated and simple look is similar to most things I've made-- I wouldn't call any of it "realistic", but more like a Russ Meyer-ized version of Reality. Once again, the finishing touches may not be noticible, but were a lot of grungy work-- I just avoided photographing the funky stuff before. The costuming hides a lot, but I carefully avoided showing full views of the arms and the hands.

Although I like CG hands, I have to admit that the ungloved hands are oversized and it's especially noticible if you reduce the height of the figure. I didn't want to believe this and was hoping they'd work out-- I'd pinned the fingers for a better pose and given 'em cat-like claws. However, I couldn't get used to it so I looked around for replacements. The best size match was from a Selena doll (used to make my Lilith doll)-- those hands are cast in a flexible plastic and fitted with vintage Joe-style hinges. I was going to adapt the forearm to accept the larger wrist pin, but instead, tried to adapt the hands to fit the original CG wrist pin & hinge. Fortunately, that assembly is easy to remove from the CG hand and install in the Selena hand via a just-big-enough drilled hole -- no need for a special socket-shaped retaining hole. The Selena hand pose is Barbie-ish and not designed to grasp things; Angels typically don't carry a Browning Hi-Power or a Cat 'O Nine Tails, but I separated the fingers, pinned and slightly re-posed the hands.

Before dealing with the hands, I'd spent some time thinking about what sort of accessories this doll should have-- a sword? a staff? Given the nature of an Angel, a staff seemed to be more appropriate, so I slapped together a quickie and posed her with it. While trying to get her to hold it just right, it occurred to me that accessories like that can be a pain in the butt: It's a large awkward loose part to contend with, and isn't stowable on the doll's costuming, like a sword. Why not do something completely different and give her nothing at all? Simplicity. Wow... What a concept.

The wings were made with padded coathanger wire covered with leather, to which the feathers were glued. The hardest part was getting started. Although I've seen plenty of birds in my lifetime, I discovered that I had no idea how bird wings were actually constructed, and how the feathers were stuck on. Did they have skin like bats? (no.) Internet to the rescue... it reminded me that I've eaten plenty of chicken wings (yummy), and that was enough for me to go on. (It's a good thing I didn't have to buy a parakeet to dissect.) I was more surprised by the revelation that there are probably tons of everyday things that I assume I'm familiar with, but really haven't thought about.

Anyway, my concern about defiling sacred icons has taken a back seat after seeing a pic of Milena Velba... ooooops... sorry, I meant this pic. With this country becoming more nutty every day, it's a pleasure-- no, a duty --to be a thorn.