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THEMA: [customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll

[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 03 Jun 2013 13:35 #1

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Some of my "duplicate"* Monster High dolls were set aside for repainting and customizing. (* There is only one doll I actually bought twice because the first one came with a faulty face, the others are just different variants of the same doll.)
The plan is to make them into beautiful fantasy princesses, complete with gowns and custom jewelry and accessoires.

The first one to get a repaint is Draculaura. Here's the ongoing story of our adventure. Since I need decent daylight for good painting results but the weather insists on staying rainy and cloudy this is taking much longer than expected.

First preparations

After removing all accessoires and clothes the first thing that had to go was her hairdo. The first pic shows her original face makeup and hairdo for the last time, the second gives a good impression of how weird it looked from the side. The third and fourth picture illustrate the dilemma after removing the rubber bands from her hair - it was stiff as a brick. So as a first action Draculaura got a hair wash.
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[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 03 Jun 2013 13:36 #2

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Tadaa, now the hair is soft and even her bangs lost their stiffiness. I also got rid of a lot of hair gel that had left stains on her face.

Sanding

To sand her old face off I used extra fine sandpaper that's actually for working with stone or soft metals. It's black and only works when wet.
As a first test I removed the little heart from her cheek and ran right into the first problem: Obviously the doll faces are stickers that get attached by a machine, and that machine seems to pinch them and leave little marks. No matter how much I worked on it the two marks on her cheek just don't go away.

Nevertheless I kept sanding, which was a lot harder than working with Pullips due to the soft material. I had to squeeze Draculaura a lot. (Sorry, dearie!) The worst was the region around the nose. The fourth picture shows what she looked like after several hours. There are several marks around her eyes left that won't go away.

The poor dollie looks like a blind larva now, brrrr. *shudders*
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[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 03 Jun 2013 13:36 #3

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Just so that Darkest doesn't start to cry for the poor dollie, this is how Draculaura looks right now. She's not blind anymore. ^^

The basic eye shape and colours are done and I hid the remaining dark spots of lipstick beneath a light base of pink.
I had to use metallic acrylic paint for the makeup. Actually I wanted to grind a piece of colour pencil into powder and use that but the dark dots from the machine required something more drastic. Still, in my opinion the makeup is quite light.

Next up I'll add a thin line of darker metallic purple above her eyes and then I can start painting on the eyelids, lashes etc before I take care of the pupils and white areas. Then the lipstick and eyebrows. I would love to do a wet looking, glossy lipstick like I see it on those gorgeous BJDs all the time but I'm not sure yet if I can pull that off without knowing the secrets to it.
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[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 03 Jun 2013 13:37 #4

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Another wip shot.
Draculaura now has brows and eyelashes. I'm not very happy with how the doll turns out as I constantly seem to tired to hold my brush straight. If this doesn't change soon I fear for my tin miniatures. : /
There are also black shadows on her face which only show up in certain light and I can't seem to get them off, neither with nail polish remover nor with (sparingly used) sanding paper.

I think if I could I would switch to Monster High dolls for my customizing and photo stories completely. No need to order expensive eyechips, they are cheaper, I now know how to change the hair, I can get extra outfits with new shoes every now and then with no need for Hongkong imports, they are not that top-heavy and can be posed easier... but the lack of decent guys and the really awfully hard work to clean off their faces are too serious downers.
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[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 03 Jun 2013 13:37 #5

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Draculaura still isn't finished but I already started two more customizing projects. *headdesk* This one is the easiest though and will be finished first.

As some may know I recently got a "Create a Monster" set which included two complete doll boys - a vampire and a gargoyle. I won't show the vampire here, that's a case for the gallery, but I bought it for the gargoyle anyway to have a gargoyle couple.

Now, the set only came with one wig and I gave it to the vampire because it was short and not well made anyway. (I might end up making a custom wig for the vampire, then he'll show up here after all.) I couldn't leave the gargoyle bald because a) I don't like bald men and b) he has a hole in the back of his head where the plug for the wig goes.

So here's a work-in-progress piccie of the dreadlocks wig I make for the guy. It's made of faerie wool and for the first time ever I use wet felting instead of needle felting. It's not pleasant work since it requires very hot soapy water and a lot of rubbing with high pressure. This will probably stay the only project I ever do with this technique. The cheap wool doesn't felt that easily but it looks much better this way than my feeble tries with a needle.

To make the wig I used a circle of tulle, shortened it to some kind of oval with some stitches and added a rubber band to it. Then I glued some velcro to the guy's head and stuck it on. The dreadlocks are sewn on with black thread, I sew three times around the middle of each strand.
Once it will be done I'll style it. I want a ponytail like Caesar in White Knight Chronicles has, let's see if I can get it done.

Btw, I want to sew him new clothes, and for the female gargoyle too so they look more like fantasy characters and less like modern fashionistas. I soooo want to make a photo story romance about them, at least a short one.
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[customizing] How I repainted my Monster High doll 05 Mai 2014 13:37 #6

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Here is my second custom project with a "Create A Monster" set and after more than a year of collecting dust it's finally nearing completion!

The materials: The "Create A Monster - Skeleton" set and a regular doll of C.A.Cupid.

The skeleton set contains only a partial doll - a head, lower arms with hands, lower legs, a wig and a dress + shoes and a hair clip to spice her up. This was long before Skelita (a true skeleton doll) came out and I wanted this so badly!
Since there was (and is) no "Create A Monster" set with white skin to complete this I bought a Cupid at regular price.

Exchanging the arms was no problem, since the clothes of Monster High dolls are often so tight that the sleeves won't go over the hands and thus they are designed to to remove the lower arms for dress-up. So it was just a case of "plopping out old arms, plopping in new ones".
So far, so good.

The legs, however, turned out to be a major problem. I thought they were removable too but I was wrong. The original legs have a thick peg which holds them in the thigh. I tried with a scalpel first but it wasn't possible to just open the seam of the leg. My husband had to break the leg open to get the first shank out, and it left some very ugly marks at the back where the material was overstretched.
It was also impossible to simply insert the skeleton leg because it does not have such a peg at all. I wrapped wire around the pin and glued it in place with strong superglue, but that was not thick enough.

Since the thigh looked so bad I gave up on the idea. Instead I cut off the other original leg directly above the knee and did so for the removed leg too. Then I drilled two small holes in each knee and inserted pieces of cut up fixing pins into each hole with superglue. They went ~3mm in and were ~6mm long, so half of the wire stuck out.
I placed the cut off peg of the original leg back in place in the thigh and then drilled two matching holes into both thighs. Then the new skeleton legs were glued in place with two-component superglue. I also used this to close up the thigh again.

It's not perfect but it worked. The doll can not safely move the knee from right to left. Which a normal human knee can't do, anyway, but for some poses it's nice to cheat that way. The bond is strong enough to bend the knees regularly - the knees are VERY stiff out of the box though and they stayed like that although I put a lot of work into making them move more smoothly. Therefore I do not bend the knees when it's not important.

My first try with plastic glue didn't work at all, btw. Usually that stuff is gold when gluing plastic miniatures and model kits since it melts the materials together, but as the plastic of the original legs was clearly different from the plastic of the new legs nothing melted at all and there was zero bond.

Now all that's left to do is to repaint the face. So far I only gave her a regular lipstick, removing that heart-shaped weird look that was seemingly popular in 1920.
She's supposed to get new eyes and other makeup too though and the lipstick isn't detailed yet.

Although there is Skelita now I still love this skeleton doll. Her limbs are made of much stronger material than Skelita's and it's not bad two have two unique skeletons at the school!
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Letzte Änderung: 05 Mai 2014 13:46 von Eph.
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