Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cosplay Makai Ishi Mephisto, 72 cm Dream Realm

So, this is Part Two of the project.  Part One is here.

Now that I've finally got the new eyes, I'm not so certain they're right.  It's not the size of the iris.  It's that the whites look so--white?  The color is gorgeous!  It's exactly what I wanted when I ordered them from Safrin Doll.  I will now order all my doll eyes from Safrin Doll.  I like that they are flat back, without the crazy high dome that interferes with the sockets of so many of my dolls.  I love their range of color combinations.
But I think I'll switch Kyou back to his smoky purple ones for this character.

I've got to the point where I have all that hemming on the cloak to do by hand.  Just in time for a triple digit heat wave.  So I photographed him this morning, sans yeux still.  Oddly, total attitude.

Then the eyes finally came with the mail, and I put them in.  About 1 pm, and getting very hot.  I'd just shut the windows and turned on the AC and fans.  I hate working with the dolls when it's hot.  I haven't learned how to do those crystal clear close ups yet, but this really shows the Lily Pad color.  It's just what I ordered them for.

And by the time I was done fighting with him in a hot room the sun had been on all morning, we were both ready to quit.  Not so much attitude.  I was going for the character's slightly messy hair and didn't have the patience to walk away and let the damped strand dry just enough not to look like "Oh, someone wet the dolls hair for the photo shoot".  I mean compare this wilted shot to the first one up there.  I need to tighten his strings, he does get floppier in the heat.

I think this set of eyes would be great for a night shot, where the light and slight sheen of the iris would be wonderfully creepy, but in the bright light, not so fitting for the character.  I might order some black eyes from Safrin Doll next, I need normal dome ones that look this good.

I'm really happy with the cloak pattern.  And it's so easy to re-size for the other dolls.  But this pattern takes yards of fabric, more than any other doll item I've ever made.  And while the machine sewing is quick, there's all that hand sewing to get the miles yards of hemming done.  Because it's all bias curves, it's not worth my sanity to press twice, rolling the hem and sewing it on the machine. Not in full on Summer.  I'll park in front of the AC and save some electricity and time by just hand sewing.

Next is patterning and making the Mongolian shirt in a cotton gauze, and what I'm giving up and calling the Silk Road Tunic.  His pants will be just pants.

June 27, 2013 Update

Despite the heat today, rather than any hand sewing, I got the patterning done. I'm afraid I'll be right in the middle of machine sewing and So-Cal-Edison will flip a switch and out goes the power and we roast for hours on end.  Either that or the whole building will over load and we'll loose the main breaker and have to wait the whole day for the repair man to come turn it off and on again.  That's not SCE's problem, you see.

So, I went with the idea that since everyone in the Makai Ishi Mephisto manga is wearing some pretty odd ball clothing, half over exposure, half acid rain protection (yeah go figure on that one...) and pretty much influenced by 'what ever', and decided that my mongol shirt pattern could be slightly upgraded with the sleeves being separate pieces from the shoulder, but with a kimono sleeve effect, it meshes.  I'm keeping the wide band around the waist area, but rather than pleat a skirt to it, I've shaped a tunic and will sheer the fabric onto the band and top stitch it.  See, I even cut it all out today!  Go me.  *wilting*  I used a almost gauzy cotton muslin, so the sheering and sleeve gathering shouldn't add much bulk at all.

The Tunic has been giving me grief since this project started.  I didn't want to go all white, and finally after rummaging, found some cream jacquard in the big box o'scraps.  The white lace looks so WHITE next to it, but I give up. Nothing is going to make that lace happy. It knows it's perfect for the art work in the manga, so it's not going anywhere.  It's absolutely perfect, proportion, design, everything.

For the tunic, I wanted to go with a 'medical look' while retaining the manga art, as well as the Silk Road theme.  We'll see how that works out.

As for the pants, sparkly won out.  When I make outfits for my own dolls, I'm experimenting with fabric that might later come in handy.  This stuff makes a good faux leather look for smaller dolls requiring a hell of a lot less stiff bulk than even pleather can deal.  It's just tiny dots of clear shiny on a black background.  I know this stuff from theater work. It wears off under arms and all the places body parts rub, but for a doll, maybe not so bad.

June 28, 2013 Update

I had to give up sewing early today. It's just too hot.  I can't turn on the iron without the room heating up as if there was a space heater on. Which sucks, because I have another project I want to work on that involves pin tucks and lace insertions and would be a quick one if I could stand the heat. 

July 3, 2013 Update

I've been slacking on the hand sewing again, but I did find out one thing. The character has pitch black eyes to start with, then later acquires a gold sheen, according to the author.  That explains this:

Where I was 'reading' this as being a green-ish sheen.

So in frustration, because while SafrinDoll has gorgeous eyes, they don't have black with a gold sheen, I went to the source and bought the stuff to make my own BJD eyes.  I bought 3 pairs of 16mm with stems, no pupils, and I'm going to give it my best try.  Seriously, it takes me 4 years into the BJD fandom to finally get a clue and realize, I can make my own eyes? DUH! The only thing I have to worry about is keeping the layers of paint down, because these eyes are usually the kind that get printed stickers put in them.  

July 12, 2013  Update. 

Yay, the Pupa Paradise Eyes came yesterday!  Now for some time to sit down and paint the inserts and the steady hand to glue everything together.  I was so jazzed up over the "I can make them myself!" part, I forgot the whole, hold your breath and micro-glue part. I'm going to paint paper, then cut out the circle, rather than paint directly on the plastic of the eye piece.  I'm hoping to get that gold sheen on black with black, then a layer of litely mixed metalic gold in clear varnish.  If that looks good and survives having the cornea cap put over it, I'll be happy. The nice thing is, I can make mistakes.  And when it's dry, I can just lay the cornea over it to double check distortion.  
The hand sewing is still languishing. I have to be 'in a mood' to hand sew.   

Later that same day...I took a break from crinoline net wrangling, and decided to tackle the eye project.  OMG, with the Gorilla Brand 'crazy' glue and the tiny little irises to cut out, I was certain I was going to waste a pair, which is why I had bought 3 pairs (the price of ONE already made pair with the shipping and everything!) so I just went for it.  I think I got more glue on me than on the eyes.  I photographed one while the other was drying, to compare the way one brand shows against the other.  This light from a window on my work table.  I made a black iris with just a touch of grey for definition, with water color pencils, then used a drop of gold metallic in a few drops of clear gloss, thinned out with a bit of water to a gold wash, and using a very 'dry' brush, brushed it on from the middle out, two layers, to get the gold sheen.  

Kyou's pairs of ears have all remained very white while
 the rest of him has turned a wonderful ivory.
  I can't find a way to get them to 'age' with the rest of him! O_o 

 The purple smoke eyes are from JunkySpot, and I love them so much, but they are high dome and you can see sit a little back in his socket.  They also have a clear cap that goes all the way down to the middle of the eye, where the new ones are white plastic except for the lens.  

 I think the only thing I might do with the fact that the white on the new ones is so very white is tint some clear gloss and paint the white over to give it a more natural look.  It just seems to make the eye look flat in the socket this way.  I thought it was the color of the iris before, but now I know it's the very white white, and a very easy fix. I love how the 'normal' level eye fits right into the socket of the doll's eyes.  Now my smiling and narrow eyed dolls can have nice eyes, too.  

  August 24, 2013  I could cry, stupid t-mobile just cut out and lost my update.  

I found bling at Hob/lob in the hair clip and band decorating section.  $5 total for just enough stuff that would have cost 15$ or so in the bead sections of most stores! >.<;  Bad cell phone pic fixed up with photoshop.  So happy, but lost my initial enthusiasm after fighting with the service to get back online.  The button-like things for his cloak broach, and everything I needed to make his bracelets on some sort of decorative patch epaulet thing. O_o 

September 7, 2013 

Spending the weekend trying to get the clothing done at least.  I finished his shirt and tunic today, then realized I had somehow misplaced one half of a snap and it needed to be moved. And in this heat, poor Kyou is limper than ever.  He really does need restringing.  The jewelry part of the cosplay will probably take the rest of the week. The jewelry bits are all just directly sewn on the patch and have to be linked with  chain links. 

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