Friday, December 28, 2007

Supergirl (Old-School)

Supergirl. Kara is, uh, the last daughter of Krypton. Younger than Superman, she lives with the Kents and hangs out with her "cousin" when she can. As featured in S:TAS.


Kara was another rescue from the box o'figures I bought last summer. She had some damage to her hair and shirt, which I sanded down and smoothed over. I gave her almost a complete repaint, to fix her color scheme. For some reason, her hair was bright primary yellow, while her boots/skirt were done in muted red and blue. Changed that. I cleaned up the paint on her shirt, gloves, and face, added the black edging on the shirt and her headband. To save myself the headache of redoing it, the S symbol is original. I also added the cape tabs with Magic Sculpt, and the cape, made of a light plastic-like fabric, cut from an ugly skirt donated by an urban type Barbie.

In the end, she's not a perfect animated Supergirl, but she goes well with the Old School Superman. Besides, I prefer her to that tiny mutant thing they released for Justice League, who looks as if she'd be about 3' tall and 20 lbs. I have one of those, and eventually she'll become somebody, but not Supergirl.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

World's Finest

Well, it's been 9 months since I stopped posting here. I haven't been doing much toy work, been too busy with life and pay-the-bills work. I do have a backlog still, some projects I submitted to CustomCon last March that I'd like to also put up here, and maybe I'll finally get to that. For now, here's a minor project from this summer.

So this summer I bought a box of action figures on Ebay. One of the more interesting was the Supes you see on the right. After some searching, I've identified him as Quick-Change Superman, from the
line for Superman: the Animated Series. I thought he was neat, as we don't have any Animated DC figs from the early waves. I know he isn't terribly accurate to S:TAS, but his look is so different from JLU, etc, that I think it gives him a real old-school feel. He had some serious dirt and paint-scuffs, particularly in his hair, which I touched up.

But the real project was to give him a friend. So, I took a fairly generic Bats, cleaned him up, took apart one of those ugly clip-around-the-neck capes and carefully glued the fabric onto his back, like Kal has his, along the line where the paint color changes on the back of the shoulders.

Tada! World's Finest Batman and Superman, complete with matching fabric capes.
Simple, I know, but I think the end effect is nice.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Princess Lysandra, the Caterpillar

The infant Princess Lysandra, darling of the Faerie Court. In some ways, she is the inspiration for the whole project. It occurred to me that if Fairies look like butterflies, shouldn't baby fairies be caterpillars?


The Princess is a Kelly doll. Her insect, obviously, is the caterpillar. Her segmented hind quarters, seen below, is permanent, but flexible; made of nylon, accented with dimensional fabric paint.
She also received a costume, consisting of a collar, chiffon wrap skirt, and circlet. Her eyes and lips were painted to match her mother. Completed 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Olivia Flaversham

The Adorable Miss Olivia Flaversham. From what is possibly my very favorite Disney Movie, The Great Mouse Detective. Based loosely on the books by Eve Titus, the movie is notable for early CG use and that two of the directors went directly on from this to helm The Little Mermaid. And it's awesome. Trust me.

Olivia started life as a Magical-Do-Re-Mi PVC Figure (Left). About the only things remaining from that figure are the hands and the edge of the skirt.
She stands about 2" tall.

Extensive carving followed by extensive sculpting, a complete paint job, and she's ready to face anyone in Mousedom! Completed 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Faerie Queen

The mysterious Queen of the Faerie Court. Her Insect inspiration is a Spanish Lacewing butterfly.

She was a Princess of Ancient Greece Barbie. I chose her for her hair-style and eyes, both of which are kept. I gave her a new lipstick color, new eye color, and her costume and wings. Her dress is made out of silk flower petals and lace. Jewelry, Crown and accents are hematite, crystal beads and wire. Her wings are clear plastic, covered on the front with "scales" cut from feathers, colored with Sharpie on the back for depth of color. They are mounted to her back with wire, so they are slightly moveable. Completed 2006.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy, as seen after the redesign on Batman: the Animated Series.

Mostly based on recipe from Inanimate Objects: Hawkgirl base, Animated Witchblade head. She has sculpted hair, glove- and boot-tops. My Ivy also has her dress made out of glue-stiffened nylon, which takes away from the animated look, but lets it lie flat over her hip joints without gumming them up. I'm not thrilled with the way her hair came out, but it was my first time working with Magic Sculpt.
I also experimented with the paint to try and capture the strong highlighting seen in the animation, and I like the way that turned out. Completed 2006

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fairy Ginny

Designed and made as a gift. I had a small collection of Ginny dolls as a child, but they are not common. I do not know of any other Ginny fairy dolls.

Base: Ginny Doll purchased on Ebay. Ginny is produced by Vogue Dolls, and is not sold in most toy stores. She retains her original hair and face paint, simply received a good cleaning. Her new dress is made from lace and silk flower petals, her crown from silk flowers, wire and crystals, and her original shoes were painted to match. Her wings are clear plastic, covered in feathers. All costume pieces are removable. Completed 2006

Monday, February 26, 2007

FYI: Before and After

Today I thought I'd share with anyone who's interested a few before and after shots from some of those early projects. (I forgot to take before shots for most of the more recent projects.)

So if you're unclear about just how much has changed, or not changed for some of these, here's some examples, click for larger versions.

Denim Blue/Queen Lizzie, Daydream Bear/Ninja Bear
It's hard to tell in the pics, but among other changes, small symbols were painted out of the eyes in both cases.

After....... Beach Barbie/Amazon, Sport Doll/Mermaid, Fashion Fever Drew/Rogue
Sharp eyes will note that the Amazon's arm band started as an accessory for another doll.
And now you know.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

First Projects: Mermaid


Another early experiment, I know very little about this girl other than she obviously lives in the sea. Not a true fish-finned mermaid, but some relation.

Base: generic Barbie knock-off from the dollar store. Hair dyed with paint, yarn streaks added, full body paint treatment (Note scales on shoulders). Hand sewn costume from scrap fabric. Completed 2005.

First Projects: Amazon


A preliminary experiment when I was first beginning to explore customizing. Initially I thought about trying to hack off one of her breasts, but the discovery that Barbie torsos are very hard hollow plastic put me off that idea, leading to this simple doll. The toy set-up in the back indicates that this photo was taken in DC shortly after her completion.

A beach Barbie, chosen for flat feet and closed smile, got a very different hair-do, removed toenail polish and toned down facial makeup. Hand sewn costume. Dress: linen with button/paint and wire accent, Sandals: Leather scraps and necklace cord, Spear: carved out of craft wood, balsa or similar. Completed 2005

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Queen Lizzie


Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of Ponyland, Dream Valley, Flutter Valley, and The Volcano of Gloom, Fidei defensor, etc.

Conceived and created as a gift, Lizzie began as a G3 "Denim Blue". Received full mane and tail re-root, new symbol (including tiny symbol on off front hoof, not pictured), eye touch-ups to cover ugly little hearts, and hand-sewn costume. Given in custom packaging (not pictured) created by Erin.
Completed 2005

Marle, Home Time: 1000 A.D.


Marle. Second of only two completed Chrono Trigger figur

Another ugly "Flavas" Barbie. Hair removed and re-rooted with gold. Face completely repainted. Costume sewn from scratch. Marle's Pendant came with some other figure, got some paint touch-up. Completed 2006

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Talia al Ghul


Talia, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, and love interest of Batman. Here's hoping she'll turn up in a movie, when we see Ra's again.
(Side note: Say it with me... Raysh Al Ghul. Long A sound. There. Now you know.)
Seen here in her costume from the wonderful B:tAS episode "The Demon's Quest".

Head from a Talia figure on an unknown body, some sort of catlike warrior figure. Dremeled
off all the armor and removed the paint to find a nice flesh tone underneath. Slight resculpting on the hair, repainted hair and facial features. Skirt, top and bracelets added with various sculpting compounds, paint. Completed 2006.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ayla, Home Time: 65 Million BC


Ayla. At one point I began a set of Chrono Trigger figures, but only completed a couple before losing interest and moving on to other projects. She came out pretty well though.

Began life as a hideous "Flavas" Barbie, chosen for poseability and height. She looks oddly short next to a normal (i.e., inhumanly tall) Barbie, but she would have looked right in scale with the male dolls. Had I finished them. Her hair was restyled and trimmed, and her face painted. Made the outfit out of fake fur that was given a paint treatment.
Completed late 2005

Friday, February 9, 2007

Catwoman (and Isis)


Batman: The Animated Series Catwoman.
Just my design tastes really; for the more villainous Gotham girls, I worked off of the redesign (AKA:The New Batman Adventures, AKA: BtAS:Gotham Knights), but for Selina Kyle I decided I preferred the older style.
Selina/Catwoman is, of course, a cat burglar, sometime wildlife activist, and major love interest for Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Isis is her beloved cat.

Catwoman is made from a Talia body and Wind Blitz Batgirl head. Took off all of Talia's detail work with knife and Dremel, then cut off one leg and one arm at the elbow to reposition them. She's not as awfully bowlegged now. Cut off and reversed Batgirl's 'ears', did major reconstruction on the back of her head, and minor resculpting on the mask and mouth area. A full paint job, added the belt and whip, made Isis out of bendable Sculpey, and she's out for a night on the rooftops. Completed 2006

Ninja Bear!


A very early project based on a sketch done by Erin during the year in Sunderland.
I think Ninja Bear decided that the Care Bear Stare isn't enough anymore.
It's time to take the war to DarkHeart's doorstep. Or something.

A new "Daydream Bear" (Who??) got his tummy removed and some of the over stuffing taken out. I removed the existing symbol from the white piece,
hand embroidered a new throwing star and heart symbol, and restored the piece. Ninja mask made from scratch, toy scale katana in sheath bought later. Completed 2005 (Sword added 06)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Elemental Pony of Water

Here's a companion for Fire, Water. I wanted to give the impression that she's formed of water, not just representative. Note the puddle spreading from the hoof in the rear view picture.

Water started blue, but received a full body paint treatment. Same as Fire, a G3 who got a full hair re-root, sculpted elements are Magic Sculpt. Also on both, I removed the magnet in the front hoof. Vintage My Little Ponies contain no magnets! I suppose it's all very well if you need it to interact with whatever the play sets are nowadays. Personally I'm uneasy about leaving a fairly strong magnet in a toy which I know I would forget contains a magnet and leave it near some videos or something. I was lucky when I took her apart, she contained very little glue at the neck joint, and I was able to put her back together without using any, so she has some articulation there. Completed 2006

Monday, February 5, 2007



Oh come on. Rogue. Only not annoying, whiny, "I got my personality crossed with Jubilee/Shadowcat" Rogue from the movies. Or....*reading*... new Sunfire-powers Rogue? The Rogue I know and love has flight and super-strength, as well as power absorption. And sounds like Lenore Zann.


Rogue started as a Fashion Fever Barbie. I put a wave in her existing hair, added the white streak, and the outfit. She's sewn into that bodysuit, unfortunately, and if you were to see the back, you'd see that the stitching isn't so lovely. Rogue was one of the first custom dolls I completed and so a lot of experimentation went into her. Her 'gloves' are bits of sculpting compound over her wrists, painted along with her hands. Also received paint touch-up on eyes/lips. Completed 2005

Friday, February 2, 2007

Charane, the Spider

Charane, first completed member of the Faerie Court, is a mystic and adviser to the Queen.

Removed the lower part of the donor doll's legs, then made the hollow spider body out of Sculpey, attached with glue and some Magic Sculpt at the seams. Did you know that the hard plastic rod in the center of a soft plastic Barbie leg is white and even looks a bit like bone when you cut it off? Said donor doll was a twist-and-turn Barbie, and Charane retains both a twisting articulation at the waist and a vertical articulation at the hips. The Spider legs are silk flower stems covered in nylon. Her dress is also painted nylon. She obviously received a full repaint of all exposed skin and hair. Here's a couple more pictures. Completed 2006

Close up

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Harley Quinn

My favorite Gotham Girl, Ms. Harleen Quinzel. Ain't she cute?

Based on New School Harley recipe from Inanimate Objects. (Many Awesome DCU Customs. Much better than mine.) JLU Hawkgirl body, Harley Head. Transferred boot-tops from Harley figure. I kept Harley's hands as well, filled out the hat tassels and added the neck tassels with Magic Sculpt. Bright clean paint job and she's ready for trouble!
Completed 2006

As you can see, I'm a bit of a fan... Here's my new Harley with her store-bought cousins.

Calendar Girl gets no love

Calendar Girl. I like her. Nobody likes her. Maybe it's because she's from one, single, kinda mediocre, episode of Batman:TAS. Based on the lame old supervillain 'Calendar Man', who based crimes on things like seasons and the days of the week, Calendar Girl is a has-been supermodel. Her MO: attacks/kidnaps the jerks who won't hire her now that she's 30, and has multiple different colored outfits over the course of the episode, based on holidays. Seen above is the final, Halloween. I think she's fun.

Calendar Girl was my first true foray into action figure scale, and she's certainly not perfect. She is part of a set of Girls of Gotham. Made from a JLU Vixen base, with an animated Witchblade head and Sculpey hair. Her skirt and glove cuffs are nylon soaked in glue and painted, which is my own technique as far as I know. Completed Spring 2006

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Here's the lovely and tempestuous Stormy. Yeah, from Rainbow Brite. Never released as an official doll (except possibly in Germany?) she is a pretty standard project for RB customizers. Cause she's awesome. The Color Kids have powers like... they don't have powers. Rainbow makes things colorful. Stormy can call lightning and make winter happen.

Started life as a original 1983 Rainbow. Received full hair re-root, paint touch-up on face to change eye and lip color. New soft body and removable dress sewn from scratch, patterned off of Rainbow. Upper thigh and hand pieces saved from original doll. Completed 2005

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Elemental Pony of Fire

As you can see, I work in many different media....

First of a set of Elemental Ponies, here is Fire. I first wanted to do this Pony over 2 years ago, after going camping. Fire is lava and flame made flesh... okay, plastic.

Started life as a G3 My Little Pony with the unfortunate name "Sparkleworks".
An "evening wear" Pony, she came with an ugly pink tutu and crown, which didn't rescue her from languishing on the shelf until finally marked down to under 2 bucks.
Received a complete hair re-root, extensive sculpture, body paint and a new lease on toyhood. Sculpted elements are Magic Sculpt. Completed Summer 2006

Monday, January 29, 2007

Aya, the Dragonfly

So here we are. In the internet age.
Aya is here to welcome you to the cyber home of my custom creations.

Not the most perfect picture of my girl there, but enough to begin.

Aya is a member of my 12" Barbie-scale Faerie Court. Each doll in this (slowly) growing set is inspired by a different insect. Aya, the dragonfly, is the exotic governess and maid for the infant princess (under construction).

She received a face repaint/touch-up, with some body paint on the back. Her hair is original to the doll. Dress and shoes made out of silk leaves. Her wings are acetate with a front of painted silk chiffon. I'm not thrilled with the look of them, but not unhappy either. All four wings are poseable up and down. Completed Summer 2006

As I get the hang of this blogging thing, and get the time to take some good photos, more customs should be posted here. Enjoy!