Last modified: Sunday, October 28, 2001 9:10 AM
WARNING: Nipple in picture. Other pictures of boobs may follow. Maybe some
salty language too. Maybe not.
I haven't written the goddamned article yet, so I don't know.
10/15/01-- Is it safe to customize
yet? Is it safe to be offensive yet? Could all this strange powder in my
workspace be Anthrax, somehow delivered through my TV set? (There's an awful
lot of suspicious dust on the screen...) I got tired of waiting for the
uncle cry of the Terrorist Guild, so I decided to start another project.
Yep, given the global outlook, I figured that the best thing to do was to
minister to the aspiritual needs of the 7 regular but abnormal visitors
to this website.
If you're one of those 7 and have been following this stuff in sequence, you know that the last thing I wrote about was Dragon's Bubble Boob Eve (on the left in this pic). In that insightful review, I stated that her hips looked dangerously realistic and posed a serious threat to the moral fiber of prepubescent male Joeheads. Thus I felt it was necessary to do my part to thwart that assassin of innocence by presenting this way-out vision of what bared hips might look like-- just to keep 'em guessing. This amiguity might help those male youngsters retain some of the magic of discovery for the first time they cajole the panties off an naïve coed. If it helps just one poor soul, my time has not been wasted. I approached the breasts with a similar attitude. I think that manchild coming of age should be filled with wonderment to discover that gravity has absolutely no effect on large female breasts.
To foster this confusing bit of tail-chasing, I fused the hip section of America's dream gal Barbie with BB Eve's other parts, which resulted in a new plastic toyform, the "Barbbeve". That's the quick account of it-- the tedious and unglamorous reality was that it took days and included a near-total disassembly, replacement of pressure tensioning with elastic tensioning, leg & arm shortening sessions, trial and error shaping sessions and a lot of assembly/disassembly trial fits. Somewhere in there I had a vacuum cleaner accident which nearly gobbled up my big toe. As talking Barbie might say, "Life is Hell." or "Vacuuming sucks."
Originally, I was going to use the Svetlana head as-is: At first glance and with a different hairdo, she looks pretty good. But I didn't want two of these heads hanging around, so I modified it. Instead of scratchbuilding, it was easier to build over the face, retaining the original eyes and part of the nose. Svetlana's face is pretty flat featured, and I wanted to give it a more dimensional, exotic look, so this worked out okay. At this point, it's a sort of an exotic, drunken look. To disclaimerize, there's still lots of stuff to fix. The head hasn't even been sanded; the paint was put on just for the pics, and she's using borrowed hair. So yeah, I know her cheekbones are lopsided (at least now I do). Dragon didn't sculpt her eyeballs with much curvature, so that remains to be fixed. I haven't decided whether Dragon really uses professional sculptors or just people they know -- if you've ever seen a well-sculpted garage kit up close, you'd have some doubts too.
10/17/01-- Now that we're into
the week, it's harder to find time to work on this. Some of the issues with
the head have been addressed-- the eyes, the meat above the eyes, the bushy
eyebrows, the cheek meat, the forehead --but I'm still not completely satisfied.
Her jutting & pouty bottom lip is deliberate, but may be part of the
problem...? Her neck could stand to be slightly longer too but I'm inclined
to use the existing neckpin structure and not mess with it. That's something
which I don't like about these Barbie-style necks with the extra ball articulation
at the head: The junction where the head meets the neck isn't as subtle
as the traditional rotation-only connection, so it can't be blended as easily.
It makes the jaw look fatter from a front-on shot.
She's temporarily wearing Lindsey's old bra, which confirmed that the BB Eve figure's upper torso section has a small circumference. This was been a recurring frustration for me, as I'd wanted to make her more meaty (like my Livia figure). Blending the hips to the upper torso was a challenge, and it looked like she could either be a reed or a bowling pin. I ended up using a corset-like hip flare, which isn't terribly natural. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be an easier Frankenbabe formula than any other I've used.
10/20/01-- Wow... I just adjusted my
main monitor to match the way the rest of the world is probably seeing this
stuff and everything is soooo dark! I don't recall why I set it that way
or how long it's been that way, but if you want to see the rest of the site
as I was seeing it, adjust your monitor's gamma curve with a hump
in the middle... I've adjusted this page closer to how I intended it to
look, but that ain't gonna happen to the hundreds of pictures on the other
So, what do these two pictures show? Sometimes I can be awfully particular about subtleties of a face, and in this case, I've been chasing something that I felt wasn't quite the way I wanted it. I've spent a lot of time trying to analyze what I could do to fix that. I was on the verge of grinding off the nose (which is slightly large, but not unreasonably so) and mouth (which captured some of what I wanted). That's a throw-in-the-towel solution and doesn't guarantee that you'll get any closer the next time. Fortunately, I decided to test what was bothering me through digital photo editing since that's a non-destructive way of simulating drastic changes. The brain can only guess, but the eyes know. In my first edit, I shortened the nose bridge... nope. In the second edit, I shrank the nose... nope. In the third edit, I enlarged the upper lip... Voilà! I'm a step closer to what I wanted.
Digital editing in a paint program is two-dimensional so only gives you a rough idea of how to proceed: It would appear that you could achieve the same result simply by painting. But it's more than that and once you undertake the sculpting, there are additional subtleties of depth involved. These are difficult to see in a paint program with a single frontal view, and two views wouldn't make it much easier since they wouldn't be linked. A computer 3D modeling program would work, but as I've learned, that's for folks much brainier than I. Mere mortals have to rely on imprecise clues and instinct.
I tried another really subtle (as in, "not perceptible") trick with this figure, inspired by the Playboy figurine: eyelashes. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it as they did-- precisely positioned and fine individual lashes. It's true that this figure is a smaller scale, but I doubt I'd be able to do it at 1:4 scale either. Instead, I used a peacock feather which has a narrow shaft and superfine lash-like detail under magnification. They look sort of like lashes with a heavy dose of that stuff ladies use to make them thicker (Mascara? It dawned on me that I'm not sure of what the stuff is called and my wife's asleep). As you can imagine, gluing them in place is challenging, best attempted with one more hand than you've got and an Exacto blade.
10/22/01-- Rather than show you
pics of the same old stuff over and over as subtle changes occur that you
can't see, here's something different: I don't think I've ever done justa
navel shot before. That zone has been twiddled with a few times between
work on other areas, but isn't ready to be finished yet. The creases are
still a little too stark. Hmmmmm... I didn't notice the little bump until
this pic-- Maybe it adds "character"? But this isn't about that.
What this is about are things that probably should have received mention in the BB Eve review. Besides working on the head, I've spent a good deal of time refining the Barbbeve body... Making do with what's given and correcting some of the correctible stuff that was driving me bananas.
Right behind the waist deformity, the arms are pretty high up there. Nevermind the fact that the shaping is tube-ish (That's true of Dragon's male figures, so I guess we can consider it a "style"): They're freakin' LONG. The upper arm isn't the culprit; it's the additive effect of a bunch of different things going on with the forearm. As a result of my experiences herein, I've decided that I'm not enthusiastic about Dragon's wrist & removeable hand design. It doesn't help that the hands on this figure are somewhat oversized with index fingers that are longer than the second fingers. To make matters worse, the wrist articulation is well upstream from the long hand, and seems as if the rotation and deflection functions are spread out over a wide area. In isolation, each part doesn't look wrong-- the length of the forearm up to the wrist looks reasonable. This works against you when you're trying to figure out what to do to address that feeling that something's not quite right.
It's important to see that the total forearm
length comes from the forearm and the armside part of the wrist hinge. This
takes some getting used to. It's impossible to see the true arm length with
the hand removed, and it's hard to ignore the the rotation seam that you
should ignore if you want to see the true length. Shortening the
wrist would be very difficult...so we try the forearm segment. The forearm
segment should be shortened more radically than you'd feel was right. I
ended up removing almost a full centimeter, but bear in mind that I've adjusted
the length of other stuff throughout the figure, so this might not be sage
advice for a stock Eve 2.0.
In addition to that, the hands needed to be fixed. Working with soft rubber is never fun, and it took lots of time and a delicate touch to thin, shape & shorten fingers and some fleshy parts of the hands. And lots of time to clean up the mess. Fortunately, the most salient detail-- fingernails -- can be added as separate pieces. In addition to that, the unnatural length of the hand gives you a good reason to put the extra rotation articulation there, before the wrist joint. In the process, you can shave off about 2 milimeters of the hand without it looking weird.