Monday, September 27, 2010

Iplehouse gets more amazing, just when I thought they couldn't!

Yesterday, I picked up my Iplehouse Tokyo Story Tedros from the post office. Again, the actual doll is more beautiful in real life than in any of the pictures I've seen of him. The sculpt is gorgeous; Iplehouse is truly the leader in beautiful and realistic dolls! On top of that, the resin color is indescribably rich, even & only adds to the beauty of the doll.

I was able to take part in the Summer Event, which meant that I received some free gifts along w/my doll. In addition to the Tokyo Story Kimono set that I bought (which I have yet to try on him), they sent a blond wig which is a fine wig (as theirs tend to be), but doesn't fit with any of my dolls, so I'll probably be offering that for trade on Den of Angels. They also sent a pair of the Grey Cargo Pants, which I never would have ordered, but they actually look quite nice on Pakko, I think.

They're Super Hero body sized, but he has the Model Body, so they're a bit big in the waist for him, but that allows them to sit on his hips so yummily!

And the back view.  ;o)  Like I said, I wouldn't have ordered these, but since Pakko is a modern member of the Water Tribe (from Avatar: The Last Airbender), the grey pants with blue accents are actually very appropriate for his character (though I'm not a fan of superfluous zippers & straps, so I may be modifying that aspect of them).

I wanted to do a "Fashion Show" with some other Superhero-Sized clothing on him, but I'm afraid the rest of Ismael's wardrobe is in storage. Once I can reunite with said wardrobe, though, I'll definitely be seeing how some of these other clothes fit on him.

His blue eyes (Eyeco 12/13 mm eyes in color P056) are perfect for a member of the Water Tribe.

I took a few quick shots to compare resin color with my other kids. Here, Irena (Tan Limhwa Luna) is getting super cozy with the new sexpot on the block. Pakko obvs enjoys the attention, but he's more into Ismael.  ;o)

Since I mentioned it, I should clarify further: Ismael & Pakko 'messed around' a bit when they first met, but that attraction was fleeting & now they're quite good friends.

A couple of looks at Iplehouse's RealSkin resin (Ismael: EID Akando w/Superhero body) & Tan/Lt Brown (Pakko: EID Tedros w/Model Body).

One of my favorite things about the Tedros sculpt is his nose. That slight 'bump' gives him such character & makes his the most distinguished-looking & interesting nose I've seen on a BJD to date. Such a handsome doll!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Noctarcana Realness

The doll meetup this past Sunday had a  "Masquerade" theme. I wasn't sure what to make, but I found this fabric & knew it would look great fashioned into a tight shirt stretched over the hotness that is the Iplehouse Superhero body.

As I was working, I realised that the look has a bit of Noctarcana Circus in it, which makes sense, since I've been smitten with Akando since the Pierrot edition was released as the premiere doll of that series.

The shirt is still kind of "unfinished" in a few ways, but I like the way it looks thus far, & it served its purpose at the meet. A few passers-by even stopped to take pictures of Ismael! Yes, that is a cool feeling!

It's uncommon to see BJD's with dark eyes in general... in fact I think they're almost a rarity, but I think Ismael's gaze looks extra smoldering with dark eyes.

Boots, jeans, belt, & wig by Iplehouse. 
Shirt by me
Eyes by Eyeco (12/13mm "Ebony").

There's something very intimate about this last pic. Whenever I see closeups of faces like this, I think of them as a "lover's close up".

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Living Dead Dolls: Jubilee

There's more BJD hotness coming down the pike, but I wanted to share one of my other favorite line of dolls: Living Dead Dolls. I love horror movies, I love dolls, & this line brings those two favorites together like no other. Sure, there are other doll series that appeal to the "goth" crowd, but I particularly love the way these kids (because they are kids!) bring the realness with the perfect blend of cute & creepy. For example, here we have Jubilee.

Wrapped up inside this present,
A gift for you awaits.
By opening it you have condemned yourself,
And sealed your own fate.
So hopefully your birthday goes off without a hitch,
And Jubilee is not around.
For if you invite this ghoul to your celebration,
Evil will surely abound.

I love how this picture--with the sinister eyebrows out-of-frame--illustrates the almost-cute factor of this doll. If her coloring were more rosy instead of greenish, & if she didn't have the green saliva dripping from the corner of her mouth, she'd be really cute.

I think that part of what I like about her, though, is that she's clearly a little girl who's dressed to go to a party--probably a birthday party. She reminds me of a brief bit of a British movie I saw once on PBS when I was a wee tyke in Texas. I didn't catch the full plot, but I gathered that there was a birthday party, & that there was a special cookie intended for the Birthday Child, but a guest of the party (another child) snuck into the kitchen & ate the cookie instead. That child got really sick--maybe she died, & dunno, I didn't get to watch enough find out what happened to her. I tend to think that Jubilee is that child, though, with her (poisoned?) green sputum dribbling onto the crisp white collar of her party dress.

Details like her green nail paint & the blushing (shading) at her wrists, elbows, & on her knees just make her a great doll. It's those little details that make the look comprehensive & allow the imagination to believe that a grisly fate really did befall this kid.

She's not "just another" cute doll, but she's definitely a damned cute & creepy doll...& now she wants to play with youuuuuuu!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Look at Ismael

My Iplehouse Akando is here! I really wanted to wait to post pictures of him until after his faceup & aesthetic work was done, but my desire to show him off won out, I suppose. Before I even placed my order, I had seen plenty of pics of this guy in all of the different skin tones available for him. Ultimately, though, that couldn't prepare me for how gorgeous he is in real life! Note: there are pics of resin doll peen further down, though the first pic doesn't show dollpeen. Please use your discretion when scrolling further down.  ;o)

I picked him up from the Post Office mid-day, then had to head back out for an appointment. My stupendous excitement meant that I had to open the giant box & at least have a peek at him, though! I swear my hands must have been shaking as I sliced open the packing tape & tossed aside the little bubble-wrapped bundles of clothing, shoes, & other accessories I ordered with him.

Here are they eyes that Iplehouse put in his head for his homecoming. They're really a lovely color for him, but it looks like they're 14mm. I wanted a more realistic, smaller-pupiled look for him, so  I ordered a set of 12mm acrylic eyes from them as a "stand-in" until I can order some Eyeco Soft Glass eyes for him.

Here's the ubiquitous "look! he can stand right out of the box!" shot. He's wearing his wig & his new eyes--which are Glib Acrylics, so I'm assuming all of Iple's basic acrylic eyes are Glib. They're actually very lovely. The green ones have a nice life-like glint to them. The tawny/fawn ones may have this glint, too; I haven't stared at them as much as I have the sage green ones. ;o)

Here he is after I was able to come back home again. I knew of Iplehouse's habit of stringing dolls loosely for shipping, but I wasn't prepared for how freakin' floppy he'd be! His hip fell out of socket when I picked him up, as you can see here. At this point, I felt like Dr Frankenfurter, what with having this giant 'baby' who doesn't quite know how to behave yet & all.

I laid him on my bed while getting other stuff ready, & he happened to end up right next to my cat. OMG he looks especially huge in this pic! My cat is somewhere between confused & unamused.

Another pic of his 'default' eyes, this time w/better lighting. Like I said, lovely color choice, just too damned big.

This color doesn't look all that bad w/his hair color, either. Notice how those big brown eyes make him seem sweet & he almost looks like he's about to smile.

I love how small changes can make such a difference in the look of a doll! The smaller pupils definitely make him seem more mature, & even a bit 'stern', no? I'm definitely sticking w/green eyes for him, though I'll have to try a few different shades for him to see which suit him best.

At this point, the only thing left to do was to try on the stuff I bought for him to wear. All clothes & accessories are by Iplehouse. Here he is in the 'Rainy Jeans' & black suspenders. The jeans are fitted, but they're def not the skinniest pants he got!

Getting saucy during wardrobe change time.

In the Hoodie Cargo Pants Set that looks so good on these boys. I'm trying to figure out how he wants to wear his boots, which is why one pant leg is tucked in & the other isn't. True story: it wasn't until the next day that it occurred to me I could just change the way the boots are laced to help them fit differently when I tuck the pant legs in. Yeah, I have my special moments for sure!

Doesn't he have that 'Mona Lisa smile' look again in this pic?

I like the fit of these 'leather' pants overall, but I'm very not excited about the superfluous chain action.

Fortunately, though, they are removable. I may cut off the little tabby things that the chains hook to at the hip.

The 'Long Hooded Vest' set. Those are the skinniest pants he got! They're a bitch to get on, but he looks so good in them! I kind of hoped they'd be black in real life, but they're a deep indigo. I think I'll deal. Maybe I'll dye them black for him. The shirt has an asymmetric slope to the hem, & a slouchy cowl kind a thing happening at the neckline. I'm not wholly sure how I feel about it, but I think it's growing on me.

Somehow I didn't realise that this beanie actually came with this outfit.It looks ruhl cute on him, though, so I'm glad it did!

I'm not sure yet if he actually likes pulling the hood up on these, or if he was just doing it for 'dramatic' effect or something. Ah well, he's cute; does it really matter why he does this? ;o)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Volks Dolpa NYC 4 2010

When I first heard about Dolpa, I was skeptical, to say the least. The scant information I got made it sound like many other fan conventions, meaning that I expected it to mostly consist of a roomful of vendors selling dolls & doll-related goods. That could be fun, but I don't always enjoy looking at pretty things that I can't (afford to) buy, & the... interesting state of the economy lately meant that I likely wouldn't be able to do much buying.

As the event got closer & I read more about the planned events, as well as events from Dolpas past, I started to get more excited & I was looking forward to it more & more. Among other things, I was curious to meet more people who are as enchanted by these dolls as I am. As it turned out, I wasn't able to spend money at Dolpa, but there was plenty of hanging out, lots of people who were willing & eager to talk about their dolls, plenty of dolls to admire & photograph, & more than enough engaging activities to keep the weekend event fun & exciting.

In addition to the faceup workshop (which I couldn't participate in, but would love to do so next year) & the services that Volks staff offered--like the opportunity to order a doll via Volks' Full Choice System, or FCS, the 'dolly doctor', who provided service like removing hot glue from eyes & replacing & repairing broken doll pieces--& the "audience participation" games that Mr Shigeta, the President of Volks, used to engage us, it was much more than I expected. 

I truly got the sense that this business of making & selling dolls was more than an act of commerce for the Volks staff. Mr Shigeta wore a "Mad Hatter" style hat & ascot on Saturday, & I never got the vibe that he begrudged the idea of "dressing the part" to reflect the Alice in Wonderland theme of the party & the limited-edition dolls. The other Volks staff were dressed as playing cards, in keeping with the theme, but something about Mr Shigeta--a man with more than a few Winters behind him, so to speak--donning such a costume brought a real sense of fun & whimsy to the event.

I had a friend snap this pic of me on Saturday, standing next to the foamcore standee of Williams as the Mad Hatter (one of the Fashion Doll Quarterly Limited Edition Dolls for the event). At the end of the event on Sunday, the Volks staff gave away the banners, posters, tapestries, placards, & other sundry decor they had brought to decorate the event space. Naturally, I wanted to take this standee home with me. In order to make distribution of the decor more 'fair', Dolpa attendees who wanted items that only existed singly (like the 25' tall banners of the limited edition dolls) played Rock, Paper, Scissors withe Mr Shigeta. For most of the groups, people were 'eliminated' in batches as the people who threw the 'losing' option against Mr Shigeta fell away. For the competition for the Mad Hatter, though, I was very lucky to not only win him, but to win in the first round! GO ME!!! Even better is the fact that he had been autographed by Mr Shigeta & the members of the Volks staff who were in attendance. Most of it is in Japanese, which I can't read, so one day soon I'll need to post pictures of these so that hopefully someone can translate for me.  :o)

As I mentioned, there were lots of pretty dolls to admire. Here are pictures of just some of the very pretty dolls in attendance. Fortunate for Volks (&, perhaps, unfortunate for me), several of their dolls have found their way to my "want" list after this weekend.





Sunday, June 13, 2010

Irena Magdalena Luna

I've had some absurdly good luck in terms of my "doll wishlist". I found a Tan Limhwa Luna for sale secondhand at what I considered to be a ridiculously good price. I add the caveat "what I considered to be a ridiculously good price" because a "good price" on the secondary market is highly subjective. Highly. But, in this case, the doll was in excellent condition and offered at a fair chunk below "retail". On top of that, 'Luna' had been high on my "dream doll" list since I saw a Limhwa doll in person for the first time at a BJD meetup a few months ago.

There was some foolishness with the local Post Office, and for a few days I feared she might have been outright lost by USPS! Fortunately, the seller had opted for both a tracking number & insurance at my behest. No way was I gonna shell out the money for my Dream Doll only to have her get lost en route to me! Finally she was home (she arrived with the wig & eyes pictured above) & it was time to co-ordinate with a local faceup artist to get her the look I had envisioned for her. There are two meetups happening this weekend, & Dolpa is next weekend, so I wanted to get her look together as quickly as possible!

I had ordered a couple of wigs & some clothes (also secondhand--I think I'm officially 'sold' on the idea of shopping secondhand for BJD's whenever possible!), & this one arrived while I was waiting for her. I very much like the way she looks with black hair, though I'm not sure this style is a "keeper", though it definitely works for now. Friday evening, I took her over to the faceup artist's house & we talked about how I wanted her to look, what I thought her personality was like, & what her overall look would be. I bought some smaller peepers for her from his stash of eyes while I was there, to give her a more 'human' & less 'doll-like' look.

Eye size is ultimately a matter of personal taste, though conventional wisdom is that larger irises will make the doll look 'younger', since the human eyeball is pretty much "full-grown" at birth. The faceup guy tried to steer me towards larger irises, but I knew what I wanted & stuck to it! LOL! Ultimately, I really want dark brown eyes for her, but this pair was the only color he had available in the size I was going for. They don't look bad on her at all, & they'll do for now! I was reassured on my choice of eye size when he was photographing the completed faceup for his portfolio & said, "she looks real!" Of course, part of that was in reference to the gorgeously realistic tone of the resin & to his amazing work on her aesthetics, but the eye choice helped, too! ;o)

These last few pics are from the BJD meetup I went to today. They're pretty focused on her face, but only because it's so amazing! I'm getting acquainted with my sewing machine & I have some more clothes in mind for her. I'm sure you'll see more of her when I have some amazing clothes to show off with her!

This is my favorite pic of her right now. She looks particularly 'human', since you can't see the seams or joints of her body, & would you look at that beautiful face!