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Happy Turkey-day...from the Kids

The Grand Opening will take a while to put together, but I must introduce you to the Kids. The first pic is how they arrived…well, not the robes. Morgaine had dark purple eyes and Vanye dark grey. I’d already gotten pale grey for M and golden-brown for Vanye. I traded them out, then I swiped the white wig from one of the shinigami crew for M and now I had the head to fit it to, I made one for Vanye from one of the fur samples I got a while ago. They’re far from perfect, but will do until I have time to make some wigs for them. Anyway, they’re quite beautiful and obviously we’re dealing with (ahem) post Exile’s Gate relationships! I’m appalled to discover that I goofed on my order! I thought I’d ordered all the possible Wiishu hands but only got a couple! Ah, well. Future presents for him. 😀

104 comments to Happy Turkey-day…from the Kids

  • dhawktx

    Yup, terrible posers.

    They look great!

  • WOW! Eerily beautiful. Like that they are post Exile’s Gate.

  • Jane, I think you’ve hit them spot on. M looks convincingly distant and aloof and Vanye definitely looks like he’s going to deal with anyone who tries to mess with M.

    Will you be making chain mail for them?

  • Donna, they’re fabulous, but more of a challenge than Wiishu, for sure. His center of gravity is so much lower, he’s a lot more stable. And while their feet are better, proportionally, than say Barbie/Ken, they’re still on the small side, esp for standing. Do you know if people have tried slightly oversized boots to help that?

    Smartcat: I’ll need to placate them with this kinda stuff cuz when they go work, it’s all hands off! 😀 Back to GoI.

    And right now, Joe, they have no face makeup on! That’s all just with their posing. It’s going to be fun to try and keep their “look” while enhancing their facial shape and and skin tone. As for their chainmail….I’ll let Donna tell you about that. Yes, eventually, they will definitely have chainmail!

    • Lessee…..
      First question: It’s now 6:49AM in Smoked Ham, why are you up?
      Second question: When you put on their makeup, is it a permanent thing, like paint? The faces are flexible so that you can change their shapes? Hmmm. (yeah, that was the third question)

      I was going by the cover art for the paperback edition of “Exile’s Gate”, I think Morgaine looks good with the wig you’ve got on her now. Oh, and let’s see, Vanye needs hair long enough to braid. A bow, and a sword, and of course, Morgaine needs Changeling. All details to be sorted out later.

    • Boots will help them stand better, or shoes that are a little larger. You have already dealt with that with Wiishu’s little feet in the larger tennies – they do help stabilize him, especially if they have rubber soles.

      My Dark Soo can stand fine in the red FL high heel cut-out boots. I was shocked she stood so easily.

      Look for Matt O’Neill shoes for Vanye. Some 16in action figure clothes and shoes work, too. Tyler Wentworth for Morgaine. She came with flat and high-heel feet but all the Tonner girls have heeled feet. You may want to look at the Harry Potter dolls for flat girl shoes.

      And since you are willing to sew for them, find some Tonner patterns you can redraft into the clothes you want for them.

      My cat girl Onza goes barefoot with her flat feet (she’s a Jaguarundi so no shoes) and my Dark Soo, named Naamah, is a Succubus so she needs high fashion and heels.

  • Oh, I’m generally up by 5 or 6am. Especially when I’ve got so much still on my plate. Finishing up the files today! YAYAYAY. Once those are done, I might go to bed and sleep for a week! 😀

    The “faceups” are what I’d call semi-permanent. They’re done with pastels, acrylic and fixative, all of which can be lifted off and redone and which can wear over time. Theoretically, you need to be careful when playing with them because hand oils and dirt are not their friend. You can wash them, but then you’re going to risk the paint job. Poor Wiishu gets pretty mauled on a daily basis! 😀

    The faces aren’t flexible, they’re cast resin, but they can be modified…sanded, added to, etc. For instance, these two came with sleeping faces as well as these. I’ll probably open the eyes up on the sleeping faces and mod them into either a different expression or possibly different characters. I’d love to do Dancer, tho neither body is remotely right. V’s is far too manly-man (we’ll see if we can get him to do an open-shirt shot) and Morgaine is quite beautifully curvy, even with the “small boobs” option.

    The fur is extremely full and to get the length on M’s, I had to add a segment of fabric in the back. V’s is the best color we had, but not blond enough, and as you say, needs to be longer. I’ve always done both of them with slightly wavy hair, which you can get with mohair. I don’t really like any of the wigs I’ve found online, tho I found one I could modify for either of them:

    http://www.dollmore.net/shop/step1.php?number=5912

    It comes in a pale blond as well, which I could darken to work for V, but I’m still not thrilled. I think they’ll brush out to be not so curly, but I don’t like the really straight wigs for them either. It’s hard because their heads are really small and the hair is too thick. It’s also hard to get the wigs to stay on. I have some electrical cord markers which are essentially wide but small rubber bands that I put around their skulls then just glued the wig to that. I’m hoping it won’t damage the resin, but it seems benign enough. I’m more worried about pressure on the resin.

    Changeling is going to be a challenge. I’ve had my eye out for something I could mod, but even if I could find swords the right size, I think the cost w/b prohibitive. The ones I’ve seen for larger dolls are the better part of $100, which is kinda silly. OTOH, they do become good wish list fodder…if I can find them in the right scale. I’d love to find a beautiful bow for when V need to double for Roh….which reminds me..V needs at least two wigs! 😀

    • I had always visualized Vanye as average size, but rather wiry, rather than Hulk Hogan-esque. Good upper body strength, as would be necessary for a fighting man, long legs for riding. As for Morgaine, her boobs never entered into the picture (so to speak), unless you knew from close up that she was female, you could mistake her for a smaller version of a warrior. Granted, she’s probably as tall as Vanye, that from her father’s qhal heritage, but I would guess that her body shape would have been inherited from her mother.

      Oh heck, what do I know???? The subject matter expert lives there with you, anything I put down is simply conjecture.

      Swords….could you fabricate one? A piece of aluminum or stainless steel, or brass, and then have it either silver-painted, or plated (not cheap). I’ve often wondered about what Changeling’s blade would be like, I envisioned a broadsword, though not as heavy as a two-handed sword. I think the hilt would be the hardest part, as Carolyn’s description made it quite complex to make.

      It would be nice if you knew someone who could do miniatures like that, and not charge you an arm and a leg.

  • I am now fighting the “me want” urge, the one that’s trying to justify one or two of these as mannequins for posing for drawing aids. I seem to recall giving a certain someone that very reason too. I will likely not resist the urge to at least look.

    And…I think I have read at least one of the Gates of Ivrel books. Now, of course, I need to reread them.

    Moraine and Vanye look good but I take it this is before they get really done. Right now, to me, they feel like they’re missing something.

    And oddly, I think I’m getting interference style-wise from Vallejo’s and Frazetta’s beautiful but always beefy/voluptuous covers. …Erm, and for whatever it’s worth, beefy is OK, but not exactly my type. Whereas with the art I’ve seen for CJ’s and your books, which suit me more, it’s usually more realistic and less high fantasy. I like V and F’s work a lot, it’s just a preference.

  • Thanks to Ready, WOL, or WoW for recommending the “Going Medieval” History Channel special. That was really good viewing. — I’m sorry I don’t recall for sure which of you recommended it. I looked back at Jane’s and CJ’s blogs, but didn’t find your post. On Jane’s, iirc.

  • Isharell

    OMG! They’re like super posable Barbies! I MUST HAVE-*WHACK* 😯 *THUD*

    [Evil Ish, walking away twirling a (dented) frying pan.]”And they say Evil Twins don’t have their uses! Ha! Ishy, you can’t have the super-Barbies. You know you’d only get bored with them in a couple of months. Now go back to NanoWrimo. You’re only 8000 words behind – you can do it.”
    Evil Ish looks around, shify eyed, “please don’t tell the Evil Twin Association that I did something good-I’ll be chucked out again for sure!”

  • Joe: I probably will end up fabricating them. Certainly I’ll have to fabricate Changeling.

    BCS: “Going Medieval” is definitely a great show.

    Both of you: there’s not a lot of choice! I wanted posable models with a much muscle definition as I could get. The male is taller. That’s how they came. M is hippier than I draw her, but that’s part of her engineering. Even Wiishu is delightfully “hippy”. There was a choice in male for “muscular” or “slim” but the actual size difference is negligible. It’s the muscle definition that’s in question, not the size, so I went for the “muscular.”

    Ishy; they are that, indeed, tho a bit taller and more realistically proportioned. I’ll post some comparisons in the next couple of days.

    They are more of the Neal Adams style 8 heads high rather than realistic 7-7.5, but since I do that anyway in my own art, that’s not a problem.

  • CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING THEM HOME! WOO HOO!

    Nice strong sculpts that really don’t need a faceup right now – they are beautiful together!

    Oh, the outfits are AWESOME on them! My ladies are SO envious! Did you stitch them or are they artfully draped scarves?

    To those who want one of these beauties – they were a limited run from the company who honestly did not want to make them again, but enough of us griped and begged so they relented. The order period is over and the company has pretty much said never again. However, you never know with Fairyland. We never expected them to re-release these lovelies.

    You can sometimes find them on the secondary doll market, but dhawktx usually buys them. LOL! She is THE source for ChicLine dolls!

  • Those are the most dirt-simple robes. I just happened to have these pretty, very drapey fabrics downstairs. Morgaine’s is a recycled shirt.

    Basically, you take a chunk of fabric the height of the doll (I made these long because the fabric was so light) and wide (or long) enough to go finger-tip to finger-tip twice (or you can do it shorter, depending on how annoying long you want it over the hands.)

    Clean finish the short ends to whatever fancy degree you want. Fold the ends to the center. Cut an armhole on the folds (again, size is whatever you want. On human size, about 10″. Clean finish…again, you can just do a double fold or facing. Stitch the top seam, clean finish the bottom and you’re done! It makes a really nice lounge-about for us big people, too. (Wiishu is soooo jealous! He doesn’t have one, yet.)

    BTW…there do seem to be some others about this size. Did I see them at Dollmore? I doubt they’re as good at posing, but they do seem really nice.

    • I haven’t looked at Dollmore lately – they have built up their 16in line more than when I looked last. They have some nice sculpts but they are taller.

      Dollmore Fashion men are 43cm and the ladies are 42cm. This is the same as regular msd-sized dolls, however these are thinner and more proportionate than the typical child-like msd-sized doll.

      CLines are 40cm for guys and 37cm for the ladies.

      Remember those horrible knees my large Eiri had – or should I say, lack of any any true ball joint whatsoever? He’s a Dollmore and the fashion dolls have the same knee technology-meaning, none! Epic Fail!

      Another thing, the Dollmore Fashion dolls are off-topic at DoA. CLines are okay for some reason.

      Maybe dhawktx has tried some of the Dollmore clothing for her CLines. I may have to go out and check DoA at some point to see if they are compatible. Dresses probably aren’t too much a problem but trousers may be too large/long.

      I can see why the DM Fashion men could tempt you. Some of the male heads might work for Steevling and Wessling. If you would want dolls of that size to represent them, Dollmore can do a custom faceup for you so the dolls look like your characters. They did that for that tiny Eiri I brought for you to see. I got him back in 2006 and they wiped the default faceup already in place for sale (look at the Banji Doll link and look for the Banji sculpt) and did a custom so it looked like a grumpy little Eiri. AND they didn’t charge more.

      • Nope. Not a chance if they’ve got lousy knees. 😀 I hadn’t actually looked much at them, just noticed in passing that they had something called fashion or some such. But if I can’t post them, I’m not really interested. I don’t need more setabouts, but toys…wheee!

        In all honesty, if I find I can do the faceups (and I see no reason why not…someday when you visit I’ll show you the 3D stuff I’ve done off and on for years)…anyway, if I find I can do them, I’ll probably never have anyone else do one of my characters. I have to “find” them myself, if that makes any sense. I know what they feel like more than what they look like. I know…weird… And the dollmores…as I recall, virtually all their sculpts in that size have super pouty lips. Not really my style. I’d have to do some serious sanding before even beginning to paint.

        For clothes..I’ve got good basic patterns for the CLines, and need a specific look for the kids’ outfits for the graphic anyway. Once they start making money they can start spending it. 😀

        • I’m stupid. I cannot picture your directions on their robes. I think I will try again after overcoming turkey stupor.

          I have only known one doll friend who aced her first faceup. I know you will be able to do it after a little practice plus trial and error with the materials.

          Pan Pastels are the best but I haven’t made the investment yet. I used them at the Mushroom Peddler workshop at A-Kon and was sold on wanting them.

          Volks pastels are second best in my opinion and I finally got the entire set at BJDC in Austin a few months ago.

          I also use decent pastels for colours not available in the Volks line and I got a white/greys/black set for animals.

      • dhawktx

        The proportions on the DM Fashion Models are off – collars too big, cuffs too wide – just looks wrong, like a smaller man borrowed his friend’s clothes after sleeping off a drunk from a party.

  • dhawktx

    Jane, when you’re trying to get them to stand, pose the body THEN press each foot flat to the ground. Holding the feet in place, adjust the pose until you get them balanced on their own. It usually involves slight twitches of the torso and hips. A pose with a bent leg is the hardest as the weight of the resin will overcome the resistance of the elastic and friction within the joint, which equals ‘faceplant’.

    When you get ready to do the faceups you WANT to use the Vallejo sealant. It’s the only non-toxic sealant that has been vetted as safe to use on the resins – and the toxic sealants are TOXIC and very sensitive to humidity, to the point that you can have to scrub off the PERFECT faceup just because the last layer of sealant went wonky.

    If you let me know what other body types you are looking for maybe I can point you towards the right doll companies…

    I’ve got lots of pics of my Cline guys on my Flickr, as well as the other, more bizarre characters.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhawktx/

    RE: Swords. If you can get some good line drawings made, I can recommend Catherine Hajek of Acrylic Eyes as a 3D print designer. She’s made doll scale weapons of messy destruction for several sizes of BJDs and is busy designing a line of resin dolls starting with 3D for the prototypes. She’s the one who made the fencing foils I showed you at FenCon. She has also designed custom rings, cane heads and other accessories for 3D printing in nylon (marketed as White Strong and Flexble). A 3D printed Claymore would still be light weight enough for a CLine to hold, as well as tiny fiddly bits like Morgaine’s gun.

    http://www.shapeways.com/shops/acrylic_eyes

  • dhawktx

    onna, I resemble that remark! JUST because I’ll have 11 of them after my current layaways are over is merely incidental, I assure you!

    Oh, and I added a 26cm Soom Elemental Metato to the layaway pile today. 26 cm Hunky Boy. Even if he DOESN’T pose as well as a CLine.

  • Re: posing: I figured that out with Wiishu, but I do, uh, challenge my poor kids….

    Oh my…is she the one who did that new line of dolls you mentioned on DOA discuss? They’re looking fabulous! Is that how she did it? Is she the one that does the chain mail? Does she go from a 3D model? David (CJC’s brother) does that kind of stuff in his sleep. If I knew the specs, maybe I could give her a file 2b printed and save some $$, since she wouldn’t have to do the 3D rendition.

    If the flicker pics are her, she looks like a kid! Is she really that young? (Oh, 2b starting out with all the techno-toys available….)

    THANKS for the sealant info. I was hoping there was something less toxic. Can this be used for all the layering and “tooth” required? Oh…and I wanted to ask, can any good quality pastels be used? Seems to me you just want a fine-grain powder for the blushing, then use acylics for the details, yes?

    Also…the reviews all say that even the matte is shiny and doesn’t give much tooth. Don’t know how old the review was, but…

    • I have done an entire doll using just quality pastels I scratched to get some powder and watercolour pencils for line work. I even wet a brush and go over the watercolour lines to smooth them. Everyone does a faceup differently so check YouTube for different techniques.

    • dhawktx

      Spoke with her today and she’s totally UP with helping make Changeling a reality – if you want it as an exclusive item, you’ll need to talk to her about pricing her work. If it’s OK to you for it to be ‘open stock’ on her shop she’ll likely do it for freebs or a mild upcharge over cost. I’ll email you the particulars on what she needs from your brother.

      • dhawktx

        Gah! I just re-read… David does 3D too? Send him straight to Shapeways and he can upload the files as a private item and then you can order it and have it delivered straight to you!

        • I’ll have to talk to David about it, but he did 3D modeling for microsoft for many years. It’s what he’s teaching now.

          I’ll definitely get in contact with her! I think it’s an excellent idea! And I’m really watching the development of her dolls with interest. She has one of the better adult male faces I’ve seen…and they’re beautifully posable.

  • dhawktx

    Going out for the evening but I’ll respond in detail tomorrow Jane.

    Long story short – higher quality pastels are better. Pan Pastels are the best(IMNSHO).
    Vallejo can give you as much or more tooth than the others, it’s just technique.
    Yes, Kiki (Catherine) just graduated from CAD school this year. She doesn’t do the chain mail, but she HAS done chains (see her Shapeways shop). A good clean set of line art pics from different angles plus finished dimensions is all she needs – and she’s done work using only manga art-books as a reference.

    onna, yeah, you can rib me all you want, I been SOOMed… would have happened sooner if I’d known about their mature tinies!

    • I like the Barbie-sized mini Gems. I have one on my list of wants.

    • There’s something seriously wrong with my online technique. I got there via the link, then went to look at the others in the series and never could find him again! Very very pretty… (to say the least) but looks like the torso is all one piece which would seriously limit posing.

      And as far as I can tell, they aren’t even selling the basic doll. The only minigems offered on the site are female. I tell you, these companies have the collector-market mentality nailed! 😀

      Fortunately, I now have LOTS to play with, and I’m already behind on the slideshows, and M&V are going to start bringing the graphic to life as soon as their outfits are done.

  • Jane, Wiishu has something coming from Junky Spot. Should arrive in less than a week, knowing Emory’s swift shipping practices. It will need some work to get it the way you want it but you can practice your painting on it before trying the Kids.

    Hint – you commented on one at Fencon.

    😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

  • OMG…what’ve you done this time. ARGH!

  • Re chain mail: Why not create something with a “nubby” or “pebbly” surface on a square grid, then uh, pinholes all over or slice it? If the nubs are thick and the valleys are thin, could stretching it while still warm create the pinholes? Trying to think of a simple way to produce the look of chain mail. I might be wrong on the grid, it might be hexagonal, dunno.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never started a sentence, “Re chain mail.” Heh.

    I looked at a couple of BJD sites this morning and about fell over at what seems to be the pricing. I didn’t do the cm to in conversions in my head, about sizes, though. So that greatly tempered a case of the “I wants.”

    One thing that frustrated me in looking: Both sites have a more stylized manga-like proportion to the facial features. Meaning that the heads are larger, the eyes are bigger, the noses longer, the chins and jaws are lower and pointier and not quite broad enough. For the guys, this means you get a more reedy, willowy, uh, more effeminate or androgynous look, which isn’t what you’d want in most(?) male characters. An artist would have to mentally adjust those aspects for drawing/painting. Hmm, it also seemed to be that the dolls were generally younger, male or female, esp. in smaller sizes. In other words, fewer choices for older kids, teens, or adults in body and facial types. I’d imagine that’s a frustration for collectors. — Or maybe it’s just the sites I saw, or I’m being too critical, looking for something else?

    Not trying to ruin it for anyone, I’m just wondering what’s out there. — And it might indicate a market niche for Catherine to explore/consider.

    Also, if I’m talking out of my hat and there are better choices out there, hey, tell me. 🙂

    • Want dolls with realistic faces, muscle men and large-boobed but believable women? Iplehouse is your place.

      These are the 70cm dolls – not girly men.

      http://www.iplehouse.net/shop/step_submain.php?b_code=B20080426021929

    • Pricing: No kidding. You see why I want to make everything for them. It’s definitely a collector’s market…the difference being, this isn’t something you hang on a wall or set on a shelf. It’s interactive. It also requires more than a mechanical print job to reproduce. Think of the people who invest thousands of dollars into art prints which they may or may not even hang on the wall.

      The real market in these dolls is still too young to have much of a resale value, but it’s getting there. The real difference is, they’re high-quality, interactive, creativity-sparking toys. They’re meant to be handled and loved and photographed and individualized … unlike something you hang on the wall or put on a shelf.

      And yet, ultimately, they’re beautiful works of art. They are all hand cast/finished of extremely high-quality materials, and by their very nature, hand-painted. The clothing is beautifully made and I’m here to tell you, the cost of materials, just like in people clothing, is negligible to the cost of time to produce.

      Does the market go for the “Limited edition” pricing. OH, yeah. They also have that “limited time to order” thing going to nab the impulse buyer.

      OTOH…Families spend far more than the price of a doll for a weekend of skiing. Good, outdoor fun. Memories made and all that, but the dolls are ongoing. And the dolls are frequently a family affair. These things resonate with people’s creativity in a way few things do. They spark community and healthy interaction across the world. I think, for most people who get into them, they pay for themselves. They aren’t something you buy, admire for a few weeks, then set on the shelf and ignore.

      It is, however, definitely a manga aesthetic, and yes, I think that limits their appeal and why more people aren’t aware of them. That’s also why there are very few that actually tempt me. I like manga/anime, don’t get me wrong, but mostly I love the characters I’ve met, not necessarily the formalized look. Most of the dolls are extremely pretty to look at, but not particularly inspiring—FOR ME!!!! Let me emphasize that!

      The LTF Shiwoo is, for me, the ultimate Chibi. He just makes me smile, and by his nature, he creates this priceless little imp persona. M&V came in with ready-made duties and personalities. But I’ve actually looked off and on for several years now with thoughts of a S&W pair, and even now, having spent hours looking with a lot more knowledge, have have yet to find anything that remotely felt like them.

      Just sayin’.

      Yes, the aesthetic is aimed at youth. What beauty aesthetic in the world these days isn’t? Would I like to see more with real bone structure? Sure. But that’s also why god invented sand paper. You can mod these! As for size/age: as I understand it, the original concept was the (very ballpark numbers) 60-80 cm dolls were adults, the 40-60 cm were adolescents and smaller ones little kids.

      Then came the fairies and other imps.

      The CLines are/were about the best I’ve seen for reasonable-sized adult figures. That’s why I took the leap and got them while they were still available.

  • chondrite

    About chain: do you know anyone who does crochet work, or knitting? If you can find a shirt pattern in the doll size, have them knit or crochet it with silver thread or fine yarn.

  • dhawktx

    I actually have a source for 3D printed chain mail via an English gentleman who sells his designs via Shapeways (http://www.shapeways.com/shops/stop4stuff). I gave Jane a finished sample of some Japanese 6-in-1, but I’ve made a sleeveless hauberk for a 25cm doll. The original material is white nylon powder that is fused with the laser head. My photos showing the process from receiving the printed panels to final assembly are here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhawktx/sets/72157627400697310/with/6027490835/

    • Oooo thanks for those links! What amazing stuff he does! I’ve added a pic of Morgaine showing off the chain mail.

      See her with it…do you know if he makes it even smaller? Or I suppose I could go with larger. Mainly, there’s a distinct difference between M and V’s chain.

      • dhawktx

        He made a MUCH smaller one that had to be of a different material/process – but I can’t recommend it as it has a waxy support material that is almost IMPOSSIBLE to remove. If Morgaine’s mail is exceedingly finer I’d say go with movie faux-maille, which is silver cord/yarn/thread that’s been knit in garter stitch. At her scale you could even knit it of beading wire. Now I gotta find my lace needles…

        *toddles off to find the pic of Morgaine*

  • dhawktx

    Jane, Metato has a chest joint in the same place as the CLines but no lower torso joint. I have no idea how good a poser he may be. I’ll find out when he gets here! I was mostly interested in getting another ‘properly’ scaled doll that has a similar aesthetic to the CLines, even though he’ll be significantly smaller, since he’s Fae that’s not a big issue.

    BCS: the original aesthetic for the dolls was based on Anime/Manga and follows those proportions and look. Several doll companies started making dolls with heads closer to natural proportions, but the doll bodies were still relatively unremarkable. Then some larger (70cm) dolls came out with a more natural aesthetic, and even more have come out in other sizes and the more natural look has started to gain headway against the existing Anime/Manga look. Depending on how realistic the dolls are made they can look very much like an oversized Barbie or Tonner, or they can look realistic enough that folks can be fooled.

    The market is now exploding with new talent from many of the folks who previously were making ‘art dolls’ and has matured enough now to suffer from ‘pirated recasts’. Before anyone goes out and buys a doll (after getting over the sticker shock – these are NOT Barbies!), please ask bakayaro onna or myself for advice. We can steer you away from the most blatant unscrupulous sellers, or help you order straight from the company – often the best way.

  • WOL

    Have you thought about some kind of clear plastic armature to help with the posing? On some of the TV/movie shows where chain mail is required, a lot of it is actually knitted out of metallic thread, partly because of the actors, but partly because real chain mail is (still) expensive. Broadswords and chain mail notwithstanding, warriors like M & V are not going to look like body builders. Body builders want to bulk up; their whole exercise regimen is geared toward that, and the exercises are very, very specific. Someone trained to wave a big sword around while wearing chain mail would not necessarily look all that muscular; how much definition they have would depend on their sex and the amount of body fat they have. Of course, even if they were equally as strong, V would be “bulkier” than M because men bulk up more than women do — it’s a testosterone thing.
    I always thought M would be played in the movie by the likes of Milla Jovovich as a platinum blond.

    • It’s “Milla” time! 😆

      Bulky muscles don’t lend well to the flexibility needed for swordplay. (Why do they call it “play” when the idea is to kill your opponent?) Most warriors would have to be muscular, but more wiry than say, Schwarznegger.

    • I takes wot I can get! 😀 My job as the artist is to adjust for all these things. M&V will still be fundamentally the same as in the extant books. I’m not going to turn the graphics into photo-stories!

      Morgaine, one must take note, doesn’t swing a sword around. I don’t think she ever, in any of the books, takes anyone on mano a mano. She holds Changeling out and lets him eat things! And she runs. A lot. 😀 She doesn’t fight. She’s also qhal-proportioned, long and slender. (I should have gotten the other legs for her, seeing these. I got what I thought would give perspective better, but these are a bit heavier….but I’ll manage) She and V are the same height, but the dolls aren’t and I’m not about to cut V off at the ankles! 😀 😀 😀

      Re: muscles and flexibility: as in so many things, it’s finding the perfect balance. Oh, dear…I just wiped out what was promising to be a tome. Suffice to say, you need both: muscle and flexibility, esp if you’re going to wave a sword around wearing armor of any kind. How much it shows depends a lot on your body type/genetics and nutrition. You can also get definition and size without sacrificing flexibility, but too much size limits the range of motion of the joint because, duh, muscle gets in the way.

      Re: MJ as Morgaine. Didn’t know who that was til I looked her up. Certainly she has the bone structure and can play a strong female lead. But…I look for underlying body language. I’d be curious if she could really shed the slightly turtle neck which seems there whether she’s playing the tough fighter or Lady deWinter. She’s certainly a fine actress, but there’s a look, a slightly tucked chin with the neck slightly forward, that’s very much a “I’m going to be beautiful and no one’s looking up MY nostrils” model look that kind of pervades all her images. Not saying she couldn’t, just saying I’m not seeing M in many of her photos.

      For me, Morgaine has an arrogant facade. (Facade being the important qualifier.) Head lifted. Staring down her nose. Leading with her chin and daring you to smack her. It’s a facade because underneath everything, she’s terrified most of the time. She needs a vulnerability I’m honestly not seeing in Milla’s photos.

      For instance, do a google search for images of Milla, then (because she’s got lots of them) Angelina Jolie. I’m not saying AJ is the actress I’d choose, I’m just talking body language in stills. There’s more range, IMO, in any random five images chosen out of her online “portfolio” than in all of Milla’s. And many of those have the “dare you to make my day” look I’d want from M. (This is opposed to the “make my day” look of Milla.)

      In fact a quick scan of actresses and models find very few willing to give you a nostril shot. They all tuck their chins and thrust their necks forward. Modeling 101 and, IMO, extremely limiting. Not saying they couldn’t, just saying what I’d be looking for if I were casting. And I’d want to see it w/o coaching. If it’s not in them naturally, there’s too much chance it will be forced when put on film.

      Think of it as two women standing there looking straight at you, one with their head tipped back looking down their nose at you from under lowered lids, smizing, the other with the chin tucked, neck thrust slightly forward to accommodate the lowered chin, and looking at you from under lowered brows, glaring. Morgaine needs to be able to do both. I see that flexibility in AJ, but not in Milla. Again, not saying she can’t, but I’d think, for it to be natural, I’d expect to see it in a random array of images like that.

      Does that make any sense?

      • Yes, it makes sense.

        Speaking for myself as a swordsman (albeit a bamboo shinai and a wooden bokuto), you can’t be musclebound and hope to be able to swing the sword properly. Most people think you have to hit hard in order to get the sword to cut. Maybe after the first 20 minutes or so in battle, if you survive, and the edge has dulled. But, the Japanese sword was designed to be light, flexible, yet have a hard cutting edge. When you swing the Japanese sword, the idea is to have the timing to get the blade on target, and then it’s the legs and lower body which provide the power for the cut. IYRC the book I loaned you, Ozawa-sensei described it as letting the blade do its work. It’s basically a 3-foot long razor blade, so trying to muscle it is going to tire you out quickly. The blade that Vanye would have would be balanced so that he can swing it almost effortlessly, but the edges are still sharp enough to cut. If you’re wearing chain mail, it’s a lot easier to use the sword. Plate mail was fine, for mounted warriors, but extremely heavy, and you couldn’t very easily fight on foot with it. I do like CJ’s description of Tristen and Uwen selecting armor in “Fortress in the Eye of Time”, and I think that FWIW, Morgaine probably doesn’t need chain mail,except for protection against ambush, since all she has to do is lift Changeling and whatever missile is coming her way is immediately gone. Since the people she’s fighting do not have her little black weapon, she doesn’t have to worry about that.
        I don’t see the fascination with big boobed women warriors, other than the appeal to the young male readership. One wonders how Red Sonja would have fared trying to swing a broadsword with her 38D’s swinging around, too. I could think of all sorts of things to say about that, ala Frank Zappa, but I think I’ll let it rest. I’m not sure who I would pick to play Morgaine in a movie – actually, I think I’d shoot the person who thought it would make a great movie. There is nothing like the imagination brought to life through the written word.
        Your interpretation of Morgaine in the graphic novels is nothing like my interpretation. Mine is more on the line of the cover of the paperback edition of “Exile’s Gate”. There she definitely looks aloof, but under it all, there is still that look of haunted apprehension in her eyes. Because Vanye doesn’t understand it all, he’s more concerned with the threats he recognizes, rather than what comes from qhal technology.
        I’ll bet the reason those models pose with the lowered chin is because you might see that there is no brain up there in their heads. That’s not necessarily true, just that it sounded better than braided nose hairs, or partially solidified mucus. :mrgreen:

        • Shhh…if they make a movie, we can afford to hire people to do some of this stuff! Like…plumbing and electrical!

          And nobody say anything about what I just spent on these two! It’s my pay for doing the plumbing and electrical…and cheap I am!

          You think there’s no sign of haunted apprehension in the graphics? Then I certainly didn’t do my job. 🙁

          Vanye swings what he can lay hands on! 😀 I gave him sort of a bastard sword, i.e. something between a double-handed long sword and a single handed short sword. CJC told me way back when that he had a long sword, but she’s tempered that statement over the years. Anyway…longer than a katana, heavier…and not as efficient, esp with the devolution of tech since the time of the High Kings.

          Likewise, Morgaine’s chain mail is from that earlier era that also produced Siptah. It’s much finer than Vanye’s (He makes something of a point of this in the novels. He’s quite in awe of her mail. Not to mention, as far as I can figure, it’s stainless steel since she never has to clean hers! They both wear chain. Period. Plate…is just downright silly for them. Mobility is the key to their survival. (Not to mention, if Vanye ever had it, he’d have hocked it in his first year of exile! 😀 😀 :D)

          I have to admit, I’m not overly fond of the EG cover, but that’s just me. As I understand it, Michael had been given a suit of armor and was all excited to use it on a cover. I wish he’d chosen a different book. I actually much prefer the other three, even with M’s bare legs (ouch!) Besides…Vanye’s ever decreasing wardrobe was just starting to get intrustin’! 😈

          Oh…it’s fun to be talking “Kids” again!!!!

          • Before you get upset, let me go back and look at the graphics. It’s been awhile since I’ve looked at them.

            Re: Vanye’s sword, did you know that there is such a type of sword called a bastard? Or was that what you were trying to say, that his sword IS a bastard style? Not an estoc, not a gladius Hispanica.

            A katana is usually less than 1kg in mass, with most of the weight back behind the tsuba.

            M’s chain mail could be a platinum-iridium alloy, which would NEVER tarnish, because even stainless steel will rust if not properly tended, but P-I alloy won’t even lose its luster. (My wedding band was P-I alloy.) Plate is just too damned expensive, too difficult to care for, and if you get a dent in it, it looks terrible until you can get an armorer to pound it out and polish it back to its original appearance.

            I have NEVER liked the “bikini babe” Morgaine cover. Who did that, anyway? Urf! Look, I’ll check out the bikini babes – at the beach or the pool – but when they’re carrying a portable Gate, my credulousness just kind of goes out the window. If you’re gonna carry a sword, then you need to be dressed as if you’re comfortable with that sword. A bikini just doesn’t do it….I guess I liked the EG cover because it was the first of the series that I read. I picked it up in the Stars and Stripes Bookstore at Andersen AFB, Guam for our flight to the States. I haven’t given that book away, even though I have the hardcover version with her riding away on Siptah.

            • Ah, I’m not upset. 😀 I know it’s a risk doing a visual of a novel. Some people will agree, some won’t. It’s not a problem!

              Yeah, I used the term purposefully, but I try to explain to the lurkers who might not know what a bastard sword is.

              Micheal Whelan did the “bikini babe” cover and it put both him and CJC on the map. 😀 What’s great about it is that her clothes don’t matter. It’s her attitude (as well as Vanye’s) that makes the statement. It’s actually a clever takeoff on the classic Frazetta sword and sorcery cover, except Vanye’s not clinging to her leg, but crouched at her feet, ready to attack anything that gets past Changeling. Just like the book, it takes the tropes and turns them seven ways from Sunday.

              I can certainly understand, under the circumstances, why you’d love the EG cover, but…what hardcover? Was there a book club edition? I wonder why CJC never got one? One of the stupidest moves DAW ever made was making CJC’s first HC the ill-fated Angel with a Sword rather than EG (which was scheduled for HC but which they took out of the HC schedule because of the sales on Angel.) STUPID! Angel was a minor, shared worlds book. EG was a book readers had been waiting for for over a decade.

              ARGH!!! Don’t get me started…

              • dhawktx

                I have a Doubleday Book Club edition titled The Book of Morgain with all three in it. I found it only AFTER FenCon or I’d definitely have gotten it signed. It was decrepit when I got it. The cover art is by Doug Beekman with her riding out of a Gate in a breastplate, tight pants, and a cape. I see nostrils!

              • There was a HC EG put out. My apologies, it was the Book of Morgaine that had her riding out on Siptah, EG’s dust jacket had Vanye and Morgaine fighting the wolves, Vanye with his sword, Morgaine with the LBW (little black weapon), while Che was getting his left wrist chewed by one of the wolves. It was a book club edition by DAW, the artist was Todd Ferris. What’s unusual about the dust jacket is that there is no picture of CJC, nor anything about her. Usually, there is the picture of her in OKC with the cat statue beside her, but none here.

                I had 2 of Frazetta’s books of paintings but lost one of them. Of course, the Conan series made Frazetta a household name in some circles, and even the Southern Rock band “Molly Hatchet” used one of his paintings for their debut album.

                The Book of Morgaine’s cover has her wearing what’s probably a short-sleeved undergarment under her breastplate. she’s got gold colored greaves on her legs, that almost look like her boots are gold. This painting was by Doug Beekman, and again, no reference to CJC and no picture on the back flap. Publisher Nelson Doubleday.

                I wonder if maybe these books should not have been issued?

          • I just hauled out the 3 graphic novels “Gate of Ivrel”, “Claiming Rites”, and “Fever Dreams”, and yes, looking into Morgaine’s eyes, there is more than just apprehension, especially when she tells Vanye that of the 5 who started out, she is the only one left.

            I think you did a great job on them, and not bad for a physics major who just wanted to take some art classes. I hope those people in the art department are choking on their oil paint fumes, marble dust, and have ink all over their fingers.

            BTW, I like your curly hair in the picture on the Acknowledgements page. Hard to believe now we were that young. You’re just 3 months and 12 days younger than me. But you look so much better at our age than I do.

  • Hey all, thanks for the advice. I think the sticker shock has cured me. But I’m curious, even though not planning to take the plunge. If I later do get one, I’d ask for advice from y’all. — BTW, I’m hoping to attend ApolloCon next year here in town.

    Dhawktx’s and Onna’s explanations — that makes sense. I could see room for both manga style and more real-life body and head types, and varying proportions. If there’s a market, and there would be, the artists making these would want to design and sell to it. I can tell they are good quality.

    I can see the fascination, and the fun and the art appeal — and the practical aspect for artists wanting posable mannequins.

  • WOL

    And then, there’s Charlize Theron. . . (Aeon Flux, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus)see http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20587871,00.html

  • What about the differences (which I don’t know) between Asian and European armor? Such as, did the Chinese and Japanese even use chain mail?

    Uh-oh. All the talk of armor and costuming reminded me of one college roommate’s favorite winter saying. He was from deep east Texas, sounded like he was from the previous century, so we all nicknamed him Grampa.

    He used to say it was “colder than a witch’s t**s in a brass bra. Ahem.

    I’ll just go stand over here in the corner for a while.

    I dunno, the “bikini babe” and “loincloth guy” looks could make sense, if it gets up to 100 or more for days on end, like the summer before last. There probably were Bronze Age and early Iron Age warriors running around like that, just less, ah, sizzling than a Frazetta or Vallejo cover. Not knocking their art, btw, beautiful stuff. I’ve liked many of Michael Whelan’s covers. Some, he did better than others. Heh, but of course the idea with a cover is to grab reader’s attention and get them to want to buy a book. There was one with cat-like aliens (not hani) that grabbed me like that. The books were pretty good, too.

    That’s one real big (or rather small) problem with ebooks. The dang covers get reduced to tiny icons in whichever online stores and in the ereader or app libraries. Cover art’s gorgeous, and a big selling point. It shouldn’t have to be an icon size. Then again, my ebook library is getting so that organizing it is more trouble.

    • WOL

      My mom and her family are from “east” Texas (south of Houston) and their expression was “Colder than a wedge” which is rather enigmatic, but possibly refers to an iron wedge used to split logs. The tendency of metal in general, and iron in particular, to take on ambient air temperature is well known. . . .

      • SCA jokes about mornings around a campground as women put on their fancy metal bras abound!:D My biggest problem with Morgaine’s outfit was not the lack of fabric but the leather straps around her legs and between her and the leather of her saddle. OWIE!

  • dhawktx

    It’s a lot like the loss I feel in the difference between LP cover art and CD cover art… which is itself going the way of the Dodo with straight to online MP3 sales!

  • I didn’t really appreciate Frazetta until I got hold a book of all his art and really studied it. Moody doesn’t begin to describe it. I never liked Vallejo. His sketches were beautiful, but then he did his stupid photo realism, and they went stiff and dead. Michael has some phenomenal ones…and then there’s his cover for the Bloody Sun (gag) I’m sure he wishes that one simply didn’t exist. My absolute favorite cover Michael ever did was for Moorcock’s Sailor on the Seas of Fate. OMG. Stunningly beautiful cover. Overall, however, like Vallejo, once he began painting, his work stiffened up. Never as much as Vallejo, but his sketches are to die for. Sailor is one of the few that kept the loose, atmospheric feeling.

    The readers increasingly have “bookshelves” that show the covers. Considering the amount of time I’ve spent on ours, I certainly hope they aren’t dodos in the making. 🙁

    • At WorldCon in Chicago this past August/September, the featured artist was Rowena. Not all of her paintings appeal to me, but there are some very nice examples that were hanging there. Of course, if you wanted to buy it, well, $10K was the asking price. Unfortunately, she was sick and in the hospital during the Con, so she couldn’t attend.
      There were so many great pieces there, not just Rowena’s, but lots of paintings. There was one artist who designed a dress that lit up similar to Kato’s space pirate costume. I think my favorite was Daniel Cortopassi, (www.dacort.com)whose pictures were of cats. Not just any cats, but sentient cats that were not quite at the level of hani, though.

  • WOL

    I like Whelan better as a “painter” than as an “illustrator,” especially his “unpopulated” (no people in them) pictures. Some of his “personal landscape” stuff is just stunning. I don’t like Boris Vallejo either. His figures were too “pneumatic” for my tastes– particularly his women. Looked like they were inflated, not just in the forecastle, but aft as well. I’m rather fond of Palencar’s style and palette, and he’s done some nice colors. Giancola’s figures are a little static sometimes, but his palette is gorgeous.

    • Michael’s “quickie” illustrations, i.e. layouts for final paintings, are gorgeous. Airy. Full of life. Then he starts turning them into covers and the figures get static. Even the landscapes tighten up. But, yeah, some of his “personal stuff” is gorgeous.

      Palencar’s pretty cool! Just did a search…which turned up this, which isn’t by him, but under the circumstances, I find it’s funny. BJDs will take over the world!
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/wormintruder/2804661993/in/photostream/

      Giancola’s fabulous. If any of you ever have the chance to see his original work, his use of color is stunning. (And he’s a really nice guy.)

      • ….somewhere in the Horsehead Nebula, in a quaint library filled with old tomes, Derek Dobbin opened a musty book to find a slip of paper marking a spot. Written on the paper were the words, “17 by 32 by 84”. What the hell could this mean?

        • Someone has a carton of newsprint? LOL, just a guess. 17 * 22 inches would be a single newspaper sheet. That wouldn’t be a usual before-trim size, though.

          besides that, 17 is prime, 32 = 2^5, 84 = 2^2 * 3 * 7; I’m not sensing a Clarke monolith or a Von Neumann device there, but how would I know?

          ;D

          Then again, it could easily be a Hitchhiker’s reference and I missed it. Or a Terry Pratchett reference, haven’t read his books, shame on me. But I have heard of the Orangutan Librarian.

          GEtting Warmer anywhere in there?

          BCS is currently listening to: “Real Folk Blues” by Rayzd, theme from Cowboy Bebop. Itpopped up in my playlist. :shrugs: Yes, I have the CD for the Cowboy Bebop songs. Really cool.

          • Actually, I pulled the numbers out of the air. So, no monoliths, no Von Neumann devices, nor outlandish librarians. Just my imagination running wild.

            I have a copy of “Real Folk Blues” with Seat Belts, featuring Mai Yamada, who did the original trailer for CB. “Ai ishitetato….” it’s NOT a nice song, it’s pretty damned depressing lyrics…..but I still like it.

            • Joe: 😀
              BCS: I love the Cowboy Bebop music!

            • @ Joe — I haven’t studied enough Japanese to know the translation. I do remember seeing translations for some of the songs for Cowboy Bebop and some other anime. Yeah, they can get pretty gloomy, can’t they? Or quite bizarre and wacky. Or very nicely poetic. There’s so much that’s so different, and so much that’s different yet the same. I have a feeling I’d be mystified if I ever was over in Japan, until I got the feel of things. …Or maybe I wouldn’t even think so, I’d just let it soak in. My one trip out of the US, to Mexico, with a culture I knew something about, was that way. I was enjoying soaking it all in, norteamericano that I was, seeing and hearing the good and bad, but I liked the experience a lot.

              I’m lucky to have grown up in a major city, an international port city, Houston. So I grew up with people, immigrants and Americans, from lots of different backgrounds, from all over the planet. So I *enjoy* that, even though some, I have had very little exposure to, despite that it’s right around here. (For instance, I need to try Indian and East Asian foods more.)

              The last few years have limited my chances to discover more, but I think that’s created a hunger to do more exploring, to learn more.

              Anyway, y’all can expect questions and enthusiasm here. Good stuff.

  • Speaking of ChicLine – I FINALLY got my Dark Soo’s arrival photos posted. (Dark Soo is the head sculpt.)

    Here is the link: http://onnas-baka-gaki.livejournal.com/300375.html

    • She is totally gorgeous. The pale eyes with the dark hair is stunning. BTW, both my boxes came through without a scratch. You want one? Resale is pretty much meaningless to me. 😀 M&V’s box opening was a bit less…organized, considering Wiishu was in charge of it….

      • Oh, no! My box is functional! It’s normal wear and tear and rubbing. Thanks for the offer, though. The box will protect her while moving, etc. so that’s the most important thing.

        Oh dear – Wiishu in charge of the box opening? Chaos strikes! 😀

        Just checking in to let you know I replied to all your DoA comments! DoA’s conversion lost a LOT of my threads so some of my box openings will only be seen at the doll LJ.

        I do have height comparison shots of my little yo-sized boys. I have LOTS of yo-sized dolls. In DFW we call all our dolls that size the Zo Army. They may not be official Volks YoSDs but they are all around the same size. They include BambiCrony, Iplehouse BIDs, Dollzone BBs, Fairyland LittleFees and Dream of Doll Dream of Babies, just to name a few.

        • dhawktx

          That is SO not fair! Of the existing Horde at my place I only have TWO boxes that are remotely decent. The rest have huge cracks in the paper along the folds.

          Of course, then there’s the REALLY sad box from a 2nd hand doll that was shipped with only a Hefty trash bag taped around the actual doll box. I posted THAT one on my Flickr on how NOT to ship an expensive doll!

    • YAY! I’ll have to go look. Maybe now I’ll get over on DoA a bit more. Have to share a bit of Wiishu love over there.

      Sounds like the DoA conversion was a disaster. That’s too bad. I know there’s an adorable little LTF thread over there…the little guy who has nightmares and morphs into a little girl that got lost… and she’s had to completely reconstitute. That little guy has the most wonder tiger-wig….

      Hefty bag? OMG, that’s TERRIBLE! Dare I admit that all three of mine have pristine boxes? 😐 M&V arrived in that big box and each of their boxes was bubblewrapped. I was very impressed. Hmmm…guess I’d better get at that opening slideshow…

  • dhawktx

    I have mine all in a closet with postits saying if it’s a guy box or a girl box and whether there’s a fullset in it… My crew doesn’t wear their fullsets very often – just not their speed.

  • dhawktx

    Hey! For M’s ‘maille’, have you thought about reworking Whiting and Davis style mesh?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhawktx/7049773229/in/photostream/

  • That mesh stuff looks great. Reminds me of the Romulan TOS uniforms. That’d be fantastic on a costume, big people, little people, young people, or doll people. Fur people might not go for it, but everybody’s a critic. Hmm… Might work on a hani or mahe fine.

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