(Also known as an unexpected Humbrol Acrylic Varnish product review)
Milos's sleeping faceup was the first one I ever did, which in itself was a daunting prospect, but sealing such an obscurely-coloured resin? Without it lightening?
While researching sealants I heard quietly positive things about Humbrol's Acrylic Varnish, and it's pretty affordable for a small can, so I decided to risk it and although it did lighten the resin a little, it wasn't as bad as I feared. It has excellent tooth too, so it's nice for laying colours down on with pastel, and it's not glossy in the slightest.
It turns out, however, that it has an interesting feature: it's bloody hard as nails.
Milos's face took a dive — a common Dollshe faceplate issue — while I was photographing him in the conservatory. Luckily I think the gods heard the prayer I bellowed as it threw itself from his head and it didn't shatter on the tiles. It did, however, pock air bubbles into the sealant which couldn't be disguised with the careful placement of hair, so I set it aside from wiping and got off my lazy arse and did the faceup in his open-eyed face instead.
(As an aside, Milos's faceplate is now securely washi-taped to his head. I have absolutely no desire for this to ever happen again.)
Fast forward almost exactly a year — I checked the date on the photo — and I get the urge to finally wipe his faceup. (Might this have something to do with the fact I have another face and a half to complete? It might.) I've got the (sort of) appropriate tools: Windsor & Newton Brush Cleaner and cotton wool buds and pads, so all that remains is wiping the faceup off, right? Simple.
Except... Humbrol Acrylic Varnish is bloody hard as nails.
This... did not involve a simple wiping.
I hadn't sprayed many layers due to not wanting to discolour his resin any further, but the few I did spray had absolutely no intention of shifting. These cellphone photos were taken over the course of several hours.
By half past midnight, I'd managed to narrow the remaining faceup down to patches around his inner eyes, his inner mouth and his ears. (Not pictured due to frustration and poor lighting.) This morning, I finished off his mouth as best I could and spent another couple of hours cleaning the resin around his eyes. I've left the pink lacrimals because... well, I can't shift it and it didn't even get a heavy coating of sealant.
I've left his ears as well because I've never once claimed to have the patience of a saint.
In short... if you're perfectly content with your faceup skills and you never want your sealant to shift ever again, then I whole-heartedly recommend Humbrol. If, like me, you're just starting out however... maybe try something a little less stubborn.
I'm now desperately hoping I didn't seal RQ's face with it as well...
In an effort to clothe my poor prince, who despite being my oldest doll is sorely lacking in the clothing department, I found a pattern for a tunic in one of my crochet magazines and started working on it.
What? I like crochet.
It's... going. Sort of. I'm not sure how I feel about it right now, but if I turn out to dislike it on Gabrys I at least have plenty of other dolls it'd suit...
It's an interesting challenge because, unlike a few other doll-size projects I've done, simply using a smaller hook and thinner yarn didn't result in a significantly smaller item, so I've been having to modify the pattern as I go along.
Hopefully, starting to write about it will 'keep me honest', since I'm painfully aware that I tend to start projects and never finish them.
Or it'll be the final nail in the coffin. One or the other.
I've been on the lookout for a shorter-sized doll to shell my grumpy little assassin Lirio for a while, and when I found Doll Family H Lingfeng I fell in love. His sulky little pout is absolutely perfect, and at 62cm or so he's pretty much the right height as well.
Yes, Lirio is very twitchy about his height; it's best not to mention it...
Since it doesn't seem possible to do an overseas order from DFH I had to do it through an official distributor, so I chose Jeeryama on eBay. I paid in full, confirmed the skin tone and asked whether a promotion for a free wig was still ongoing (it was), so chose one of those and confirmed I knew it wouldn't fit (I chose it for smaller dolls).
Annnnnd that was the last I heard from her! Somehow, between paying on the 6th January and the back-and-forth between Christina and myself that only started on the 12th, I was never sure exactly what the order date was... and after I saw someone else on the Den of Angels waiting room who had ordered around the same time had received their shipping notification on the 13th April, I waited a little and then emailed her on the 24th April — just jokily, asking if she'd heard anything and saying I was looking forward to meeting him.
Nothing. I still don't know if Virgin Media has eaten it, although usually when it does try that it tends to spit them out a few days later, so I'd expect to have it by now. Owing to certain mental health issues I didn't think it was really worth emailing again, but when I got home from a NaNo / local writing group meetup on Saturday 6th May I found a Customs notice from Parcelforce; I'd never received a shipping notification or tracking number.
So l'il Lirio arrived on the 9th May and for a moment, as I was unboxing him, I had that always awesome moment when you look at your new doll and go "have I made a mistake...?"
'Cause after everything else, what I really needed was to make a very expensive mistake...
But then I sat him up and even without eyes or hair, that little pout just made me realise yes, that's Lirio.
The eyes I put in him — that I ordered specially for him, damnit! — don't really fit so well so I've ordered some new ones, but he's completely cast aside the wig I'd ordered for him in favour of one of Gabrys' spares (a short version of Gabrys' current one), so I guess not only is he a talented l'il assassin, he's quite an accomplished thief too...
No pictures of him wearing them (yet), but he's currently naked but for a red ribbon and is sitting on my kitchen table with the most displeased expression I've ever seen.
I absolutely love him.
When Kana of Kana by KaNa / Rosen Lied announced the preorder of one of her stand-alone doll heads I pounced on it. Her sculpts are so pretty! And, after ordering and waiting very patiently (honest), he arrived home, wrapped so securely that all my quiet worrying turned out to be for nothing.
When I ordered him I hoped he'd make a good Alex, which is why Milos is helping — albeit reluctantly — with the box opening. But now I'm not sure... in part because he looks surprisingly good with some blue eyes I had around. Much better, actually, than their actual owner.
So while I figure out which company's body will go nicely with him, I'll have a think. He may yet surprise me further.
A noodler with a doll obsession.