ULTRAWOMAN LULU

"Using the Beta Capsule, Waniwatanakanya becomes Ultrawoman Lulu!"

 

ultraman female lulu doll 08/11/05- Wheeee! This time around, I was able to conjure up some design mojo, so I didn't need to steal the head design of any existing ultra females; instead, I think I stole from Tetsuwan Atom. This one's not exactly finished... in fact, the back of her head just got sealed up, and I brushed a quickie coating of silver on her face because I wanted to see what she looked like with her eyes lit. Yep, the second time around you get to plan a little better. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any other non-red LEDs, so I didn't wire the Color Timer on her chest. Of course, you don't want to use red, for that's the color that announces to the Ultra foes that Ultrawoman is almost out of power (great idea, huh?).

The head required prep for the lighting: First, the eyeball areas were thinned to act as a diffuser. Next, the other areas were masked with aluminum tape to block the extraneous glow. A white LED was positioned in the head, and powered by a 3-volt lithium battery (a watch battery) in a thin battery case, adapted from a keychain flashlight. The only brain-scratching part was coming up with a solution to the switch problem-- I used a miniature plug/socket, a really tiny one with a super-thin profile, left over from my Hexpander guitar synthesizer installation. The great thing about this is that the LED isn't hard-wired to the battery, so the head can be removed (which was helpful while working on stuff). The battery pack is zipped in the suit and is removeable. It's a little bulky, but isn't really noticible either in the small of her back or a little higher up: The suit's tailored with a bit of an "air pocket" in the arch between her buns and shoulders (which makes her look a little chubby).

This time I used BBI's "Perfect Body" doll. (gasp!) Elsewhere in this site I've trash-talked this one, but surprise!-- there's a time and place for everything. For rubber-suited dolls, you can throw finesse out the window: Ratcheting clickety-click hinges may be the only way to get such a doll to hold a pose.

Another shocker: I'd trash-talked BBI's Joanna Dark's rubber squishy boobs before, but this was clearly the project they'd been waiting for. Without the hard plastic support frame underneath, they made it much easier to dress her in the skin-tight outfit. Not only that, but she can even bring her extended arms inward at her chest, because the hollow rubber boobage compresses! Clearly, you wouldn't want to try this on a doll with exposed skin, for the breastpiece is a thing of great ugliness. However, there is a time and place for everything... sometimes.

The Medicom RAH dolls reinforced a doll-making truism: It doesn't matter how ugly the underlying armature is if the suit is all that's meant to be seen. It doesn't matter that the PB doll has some unsightly articulation gaps and strange balls at her shoulders if they're hidden under the suit. To take that concept further, it doesn't matter if you stuff those gaps with polyfiber to help the line of the suit. We only need to consider our own construction to realize that underneath our skin suit, we're an ugly mess of gooey stuff.

The painted outfit should have worked out easier & better-- silver is a lot closer to white than gold is. However, I had to be experimental and tried Testor's spray chrome. Hey, it looked great! Unfortunately, it's a real nasty paint that takes forever to dry. I'm not a real patient person, and soon realized that it was a mistake. My advice? Stick with acrylic.

The neck thing is a problem. I didn't make this like a real Ultra suit, which has a neck/hood and mask. Consequently, the neck covering hits the bottom edge of the one-piece head and doesn't have anywhere to got. The problem is aggravated by the thickness of the fabric, but I didn't want to muck with the suit. Maybe later...

 

ultraman female lulu doll

ultraman female lulu dollultraman female lulu doll

 


UPDATE, 2015

Ultrawoman Lulu
Facebook's New Logo Is A Visual Nod To Gender Equality
07/11/15- Ten years later and I'm here to report: CY GIRLS PLEATHER SUCKS! (At least in some cases.) The outer plastic layer delaminates from the stretch material underneath. It's not a pretty sight when bits of the top layer peel off, leaving the clean white stretchy layer showing through. It wouldn't be quite as bad if you could just peel it off in a few big sheets, but it comes off in tiny bits. The suit is a lost cause, partially because I'd attempted repairs, which don't flake off.

Even when the pleather suit was new, I knew something wasn't quite right because if you overstretched the material, it would create broken lines in the top layer. What's happened through time is that whatever bonded that top layer to the elastic layer has become less adhesive and the top layer has become less stretchy. The increased difference in "stretchiness" between the two layers is what causes the top layer to break up in pieces. The top layer was never deeply bonded with the elastic material underneath, unlike paint that seeps into the weave of a stretchy fabric. That's why it flakes off cleanly.

To be fair, I can't say if painting the Pleather had any role in this, but by my reckoning, it's a moot point. I've seen the broken lines in brand-new, unpainted Pleather when overstretched. There's mention in forums of other folks experiencing the flaking problem too. I don't know if it's just the particular Pleather that Takara sourced for some Cool Girl outfits. Overstretching may be the key: The Cy Girl outfits were very tight-fitting, probably at the limits of the material's specs. Aged, the material's specs may have changed.

I'm going to assume that this affects my other project with a Pleather suit, Fearmu (somewhere in storage) as well as anything else that wears this nasty stuff. Fortunately, this didn't affect Dadamama, which is wearing a homemade (less stretchy) painted fabric suit.

I didn't want to shitcan the project since I like the headsculpt, so I sacrificed my Medicom Ultraman to harvest its suit. I was willing to do this because the improved version 2 Ultraman is still available at a fairly reasonable price; this also gave me a spare RAH body.

It was tricky to adapt the suit to fit the female figure-- lots of cutting and gluing, so the suit isn't removable and the battery plug isn't accessible. I'm not entirely satisfied with the fit (the crotch is kind of low, and the shoulders and back are awfully ugly; boob fit isn't ideal).

Changing the paint pattern slightly helped make it look a little more female (a bikini bottom always helps, as does exposing more of the belly-torso area). Compared to the original Lulu suit design, the base color is reversed from silver to red. I think this helps it look different enough from the almost-identical Ultraman suit, which appears to be wearing long red swimming trunks on a silver body.

The Medicom rubber suits seem to be holding up much better than the Cy Girls Pleather suits, so hopefully I won't have to deal with this again for quite a while.

This close-up of Medicom's Mother of Ultra figure (from a Medicom forum posting) shows that Medicom uses Pleather on some of its suits (it's sewn, and note the material's texture).

My circa 2005 Medicom Ultraseven figure's suit is made of Pleather as well. Overall, the Pleather appears to be holding up fairly well-- no major flaking or peeling. This may be because the Ultraseven suit is a looser fit than the Cy Girl's. However, there is some damage along edges where the rubber castings are glued to the Pleather. This is an area where the Pleather is subjected to some stress from the rubber's tendency to straighten out/lift.

While my concerns about this stuff may be overblown and conditional on a case-by-case basis, the material appears to have some issues over the long term.

 

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