Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Commission for Skello: 1/6 Action Figure Misaka Mikoto

NOTE: Post moved up to make it easier to find.  July 4, 2015

Misaka Mikoto, from season 2 of A Certain Scientific Railgun ( Toaru Kagaku no Rērugan )

It's been a long time since I've worked with 1/6 range action figures, so we're starting with a simple commission of 1 t-shirt with a false under layer and painted on hearts, and 2 pairs of cuffed shorts (khaki green, denim blue) with working pockets.  This project has a 'work on in between' timing on it, because we're waiting on the doll to be delivered, and I have to adjust to the tiny details in the patterns.  





I have Obitsu, and Volks Dolfie 1/6 dolls to work with, so I'll be starting the patterning in advance to get comfortable with working with the tiny-tiny again.  So much of what makes the little outfits look real is top stitching and visual trickery, so it's theoretically a lot easy to MAKE the smaller items, but not so much to SEW them as one has to be very careful that every last tiny stitch is in line, or it stands out like hell.

One of the doll blogs I follow, Special Toy Box, is a perfect example of making excruciatingly detailed clothing for the 1/6 dolls, Momoko.  Keeping in mind that Momoko is actually a bit smaller than the standard 1/6 doll!  However, I can't find the items that must be available over in Japan for this type of work just yet.  I'll have to hunt more though the Japanese shops later and see what it is I'm missing on this side of the planet.

May 19, 2015

I have the test stuff cut out, I just haven't been able to get to it until this week.  I want to finish the test items for detail purposes and then compare them on the bodies Skello lodged with me for the project to see how to change the patterns for the different sizes and mechanics of posing.

June 10, 2015

Progress! It happens.  But not as well as I'd have liked.  Ah well, between too thick thread, (hand quilting not good but it matched the color!) too thick winter t-shirt weight sample testing, the main thing was to get the pattern sorted.  Having started with the Very Cool body, and down sizing to the Obitsu, something got lost in translation.  But now I have the pattern for the t-shirt tested and it's just a matter of down sizing.



The shoulders and neck line are great. The sleeve caps sit right if a little bumpy with this fabric. I'm going to have to go with loosing the shoulder seams, they make the sleeve caps too bulky.

Now for the fun part.  Her arms are very thin, and I'm thinking 1/8 off the amount of sleeve will give a natural look, but the side of the t-shirt, ppffftttt!  what the hell!  So yeah.  (never mind the barbie skirt she's wearing, that's just for decency's sake.)  It's too short, too, by a good 1/4 inch, just for a basic t-shirt.  So yeah, progress.  I'm going to start working on the sample shorts this week, too.


July 4, 2015

I finally found that little stash of fabric in the last blasted box I looked in.  It was literally the last box I had to look in. Never fails, so don't give me that it's the last because you stopped thing, nonsense. >.<;;  

I have everything BUT the right forest green.  I'm going to take my 2-3 tones too dark forest and get a lighter version of it next week in between all the running around to doctor appointments.  


July 14, 2015

I actually got this last friday but it's been a roller coaster ride with a stray cat to take to the animal shelter Saturday and appointments up the wazoo!  The fabric is in the hot water now to preshrink and prep.  When I hold it up to the html codes it looks exactly the piney green we were looking for, but I used these when I went to the shop.


July 25, 2015

Okay, I've finally got the patterns as realistic as possible.  Everything but the little bits of yellow are cut out and ready to sew.  The one thing I've run across in all the small and fashion doll books is a tendency to make the front of the pants look real, and have the opening hidden in the back seam.  I want to test some very thin Velcro brand velcro I got recently to see how flat it lays before I decide how to handle that.  The Volks velcro which is a thin tissue clear plastic based stuff I've had for ages is showing signs of deteriorating.  I put it in the back of this dress and it's flaking to bits.  The Velcro brand is more fabric based.  


The black t-shirt is long because when it's on the body it might tend to get shorter, so I want to put it on her, then mark the hem.  I have the square cut pocket for the green shorts and the patch pocket for the denim shorts. 

July 27, 2015
I got the t-shirt done to the hem today.  I want to put the finished shorts on and pose the doll about before I mark the hem and cut it short.  I thought I had the front photo but in the computer it was very blurry compared to in the camera view screen.  The side seams need a press, too, so the armpits aren't so crumpled as they are now, but I don't iron after 10 am.  I've got a stack of ironing in the morning before the sun hits the living room on two walls and the slow roasting starts.  Once I have the shorts done, and then the hem done, THEN I'll stencil the hearts on.  If you right click and open in a new tab, you can see the larger photo.  

blurry front
back
July 29, 2015

Shorts!  I realized that the back pockets could be set higher and look better.  I've had to reset one pocket by hand, so it's not a biggie.  I'm still considering the closure, so there's a pin stuck in to hold the overlap on the back.  I tried the t-shirt on to match up the hem and basted it, then looked again and thought, okay, 1/4 more.  These dolls are comparatively tall and thin to the anime characters, so I have to strike a happy balance.  It's like here's the girl next door, here's one of those strange ethereal alien boned runway models.  


front's great, just needs a bead button.

Back, move the pockets up a bit, live with the fact that
her bum doesn't curve naturally when she has her leg lifted in front,
and snap or hook and eye or velcro?  Also they hiked up a bit high
on her waist when I laid her down to photo.  It's those blasted pockets!
Also her shirt's all over that slippery plastic.  Sock glue or water soluble glue stick will help a lot in posing for photos.  

t-shirt hem test. Shirt's pinched in where I picked
her up by the waist. 

Yep, t-shirt needs to be a little shorter than
test basted . And it needs sock glue to keep
it from sliding all over her plastic skin.
(and a good press still)
After I sort out this mess, the jeans shorts will be easy. I really like the way the cotton shorts crumple like real shorts, that surprised me.

Aug 5, 2015  Finished!

Okay I've just about had it with the chambre I used for the denim shorts.  I think next time I will just draw the line at denim color cotton.  Even the thinnest chambre comes out like 'real' jeans on a tiny doll, stiff and heavy.  But I managed this time to jam it into the effect needed.  Next time I'll go with the fashion doll cheat and buy 'denim' printed cotton at Spoonflower or something.

I really like this thin velcro, it has a much lower profile than snaps or the other stuff on the market.  You still have to avoid it in photos, though.

One thing I am finding out, with this project and a personal one, is that the Obitsu, Azone, Volks 1/6, etc are all a bit too stretched, too thin for most anime characters to look quite right.  I thought it would be easier to dress them and have the layers build up the figure, but then there is still the problem of the too long limbs making normal anime characters, just kids in the neighborhood types, too tall, too thin looking.  It's okay for the knockout older sister characters, and the pretty (bishounen) boys, but not for just day to day characters.

Really happy with the plain cotton, it looks great.


Chambre: 'look' achieved, but that's about it.  

Obitsu's have no butts, sad to say.  If you want to make
her photo more realistic, cotton pads. 

And now you know why i'm almost insane.
Kiki MSD, Toshi 'Uncle', Karin SD.
Obitsu 27cm
So, this was a test project for both the customer and myself and as it goes, I'm happy enough to say, okay, a few lessons learned, some changes in fabric choices, and procedures, etc.  
But I really want to see her with her head on!  ^_^  

August 14, 2015

After a good look at the finished blue jean shorts at the customer's request, yes they are a bit long, and I could shorten them but what I've decided needs doing is just to toss them and make a new pair from a plain cotton.  

Even allowing for the visual lengthen/shorten of her position
the pockets are too long on her body, and the shorts are
rolled too thick, which is the best I could do with Chambre.

Obsessive fabric hording to the rescue!
There are four areas of this marbled print that look great for the shorts!
It's a thinner cotton and will work up more like the green shorts with
lots less fraying, while still looking like a favorite old pair of jean shorts.
August 23, 2015 

The redone shorts, a bit better, but I'm still having issues with 'tiny' things.  Adjusting the fabric helped a lot.  




Really happy with the little brads I got a while back.
Too big for 1/6 rivets, too small for anything larger,
but just right for 'buttons'!
Ready to ship when customer is!  

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