A brief primer of how I convert dolls and make plush toys, etc.
Also, some of the individual pages for the 12" dolls have in-progress pictures, generally after the pictures of the finished
product. Another way of saying "Scroll to the bottom!"
The Stalker Sheet
As you can see, I've printed out pictures collected from DVD screenshots
of a few characters that interested me. I call them Stalker Sheets mainly to amuse myself, because let's face it: cover
your tables, floors and walls with sheets like this, and you're either trying to reproduce likenesses, or you're a stalker.
And woe to those who, like me, bring any of them into your 9-to-6 job in case you get some time during lunch to work on some
sculpting. Chances are they won't believe your explanation.
As you can see, I've grabbed a few screenshots of different angles.
Usually each person takes up a few pages as I try to print many front, side and 3/4 view angles.
Picking the Base Doll
Hm. You know, I'm going to send you to this site, which a friend discovered
(Hope he doesn't mind the plug!) I've been doing this sort of thing before
finding that site, but it sums up better than I could here the process of finding a base doll to work from. In my case,
more often than I'd like, I start with figures that require a lot more imagination before seeing any likeness. The rest
is up to my own hacking and sanding and squeezing and... er, creative efforts.
Aves' Apoxie Sculpt! I use this now instead
of Magic Sculp. I still have some leftover MS ... somewhere... but I can't imagine that it's still workable
this many years later. AAS is a two-part, air-drying clay (1:1 ratio) that's workable for about an hour
(in theory, longer than that, but never for my needs). If I have to work directly on vinyl, I use this, not Super Sculpey.
SS needs to be baked in the oven, and vinyl doesn't like heat.
Magic Sculp! Like Apoxie Sculpt, this is a
2-part epoxy that is workable for about 20 minutes (a little longer if wet), and lasts much longer than its small containers
Super Sculpey! As mentioned above, it's a tan, polymer-based clay that
bakes at low temperatures in a regular oven. By low, I mean no more than 200° It doesn't air-dry like Apoxie
Sculpt, but the older it is, the harder and more crumbly it gets. I sometimes sculpt accessories with this, then cast
them in resin. Just about every hobby store carries this. For the various full sculptures I've been
doing lately, I've been using the colored Sculpey blocks due to a dislike of painting.
Resin! I use Smooth-on's 2-part rubbers and resins to make castings of
pieces and heads whenever I can. Better hobby stores (and I don't mean Michael's or A.C. Moore) might carry them.
By the way - working with them makes gooey messes, so be careful. As for moldmaking itself, well, finding reference
on that is a whole 'nother area I'm not experienced enough to cover.
Everything else! By that I mean fabrics, glues, leathers and suedes, the
dolls themselves, parts and accessories from other dolls, doll hair, and whatever else is needed to make it work!