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Messages - Kara Zor-El

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Monster Discussion / Re: It's almost Toy Fair time!
« on: February 16, 2018, 12:40:16 PM »
12-inch dolls?!

Monster Discussion / Re: Grief over the end of G1?
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:45:17 AM »
I don't feel grief, but I do feel frustration, because I don't feel that a reboot was ever the answer to issues popping up in the Monster High line. 

Monster Discussion / Re: It's almost Toy Fair time!
« on: January 20, 2018, 10:21:29 AM »
Oh!  I also hope Mattel has the guts to make a WWE Superstars doll of Nia Jax!  That would be amazing.

Monster Discussion / Re: It's almost Toy Fair time!
« on: January 19, 2018, 08:58:23 AM »
I canít wait to see videos about what itís all about :) I canít go sadly since I am in Nevada far far away from there. SDCC could be a possibility though. I hope they will show howleen there! :)

Toy Fair isn't a fan event like a convention; it's a retailer event.  It's the time each year that manufacturers show off their wares to retailers to secure orders.  If a line doesn't generate enough retailer interest, it could likely die before it's ever fully produced.

Over the last two decades, the things shown have become much more visible to the public thanks at first to toy collecting magazines, and later to websites and bloggers, but the average person can't attend Toy Fair. 

I'm most looking forward to seeing if Monster High does anything to try to stop its sales tailspin, or if it seems like they're phasing out the line for now.  And I also hope Hasbro launches a Marvel-based doll line.

Monster Discussion / Re: Headscarf in the Monster High universe?
« on: January 18, 2018, 08:20:56 AM »
First off, this is a really interesting discussion point and I hope it's allowed to remain on the board.

It's your monster, which means you make the rules of the design.  If you want her to wear a headscarf to honor her culture which her religion is a large part of, then that's what you should do!  Monster High is all about accepting the students from different cultures and letting them show off their culturally accepted looks in fashionable ways.  Like you mentioned, Skelita and Jinafire have a lot of Mexican and Chinese culture woven into their identities and appearances.

Another character that comes to mind, although a bit more controversial, is Isi Dawndancer.  Some of the imagery associated with her IS religious for Native Americans, and there was much discussion about whether the character design was insensitive due to the mixing of imagery from different tribes.  The creators seemed to come from a mindset of 'we don't want to risk offending a culture by getting too focused on one tribe's imagery, so we mixed a lot of different Native ideals in the character' without considering that in a way, that might be considered insensitive too.

I would suggest, if you are Muslim yourself, that you trust your desires to represent yourself in your character and give her a lovely headscarf.  If you are not Muslim, I would recommend speaking to some people who are, and ask them what the most respectful way to depict your character would be.

Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul from the US, and it was amazing!  I was nervous going, not wanting to be disrespectful to the culture, so I was sure to bring only long-sleeved clothes with no prints/advertisement on them, and brought a head scarf with.  When I arrived, I was surprised to see that, although there were women in full hijab and more, that there were also a lot of women whose dress wouldn't look out of place in the US at all!  I even saw Superman tee shirts in the streets.  I had way overthought things.    :blush:  I know some things have changed over there as in the last decade the people in charge have become more conservative, but I'm happy to have had a chance to visit someplace so different, but still so familiar to me.

Rather than search for an alternative reason for her to cover her head, I would say that you should embrace the culture of Istanboo and, if you want to avoid specifically talking about religion, use the term 'cultural.'  Like I said before, the Muslim religion is a foundation of the culture of Turkey, and just like how Skelita taught her friends about Mexican culture, your character can teach them about Istanboo.

Customs / Re: Changing a doll's skintone
« on: January 11, 2018, 08:30:22 AM »
I checked my supply, and this is the primer I'm currently using:

It works great, although soft parts like CAM hands and boy CAM feet stay a tiny bit tacky.  I fix this by soaking them in ethyl alcohol for a half hour after drying for a day, and then removing them from the alcohol bath and letting them air dry.  Works like a charm.

As for 'taking the doll apart,' I mean as much as I can.  CAM dolls, for example, I paint as their individual pieces, not as a fully assembled doll.  Regular MH dolls, I paint with the heads removed, and the forearms and hands separated from the bodies.  It just makes covering every part of the surface much easier.

Customs / Re: Changing a doll's skintone
« on: January 10, 2018, 11:06:58 AM »
It's a couple days later, but here I am coming back to this!

Doing a full body paint job on a plastic doll *is* possible.  However, it takes patience, high-quality materials, and preparation work to get good results.  I've been doing full body paint jobs for almost a decade with no chipping or peeling issues on even my oldest dolls.

The first thing that is important to understand is that you need to have high quality materials to succeed.  Grabbing a brush and painting on the 99 cent craft paints you buy at Michaels or Jo-Anns is going to result in a disaster. 

The second important truth is that you have to prep a doll several ways before you ever apply the first coating of paint.  The doll needs to be cleaned with a solvent like alcohol to remove surface plasticizers that react with paint.  It needs to be sanded lightly in some places so that the surface will have a 'tooth' the paint can grip to.  Joints may need to be carved or sanded down so that they won't rub up on each other and wear paint off after painting.  And you have to be aware that a doll is made up of parts that are built from several different kinds of plastic - each of which may act differently when painted.  For example, soft, rubber Monster High hands may stay tacky after being painted with acrylic paints that the rest of the body takes just fine.  And the vinyl of a doll head make react differently than the hard plastic of her body.

The third important truth is that what's under the paint matters, and so does what's on top of the paint.  You need a base coat (like a primer), a color coat, and usually, a good top coat for a paint job to be successful and look good.  AND you need to have patience between each layer!

Here's how a typical paint job for me goes;

1.  First, I clean the doll in ethyl alcohol, the kind you can get a hardware store.  If they have soft plastic hands or feet, like an MH CAM doll, I soak those in alcohol to remove some of the plasticizer and give them a better chance to take paint.  Now is when I remove the hair or any face paint if I find that necessary for the project.

2.  I use an Xacto knife to carve down slightly any joints that look like they may scrape in the future.  Or, if the joint is going to be covered with clothing, I usually don't paint it at all.

3.  I take the body apart as much as I can, and spray each separate part with a light layer of spray on white primer, like Krylon's primer for plastic.  I do the front, wait an hour, flip everything over, spray the back, wait an hour, and spray anything that I may have missed.  This is also where I test joints and see if anything is scraping and needs to be sanded or carved down further.  I do not prime vinyl heads.

4.  Now, I paint the body, at least one day later after priming.  I've used an airbrush, but I've also used a regular brush to paint the body by hand with high quality model acrylic paints. Adding a little water and doing thin coats looks best.  Don't be upset if you can see brush strokes a little bit, because the topcoat will help to even those out.  After rerooting, I paint the heads directly with acrylics with no coat underneath.  MH heads take acrylic paint really well.  They may have a slight 'rubbery' or very slight 'tack' feel to them after drying, but this will go away with the topcoat.  I give things a day or more to fully dry.

5.  For most dolls, I use MSC for a topcoat on the head/face and any rubbery hand or foot parts, and Testors Dullcote for the hard plastic parts.  If a character is shiny, I may use Testors Gloss instead.  Another day to dry, and it's done!

I have had good luck using water-based spray paints (the brand name is Montana Gold) as well as an airbrush for full body paint jobs as well.  Now, sometimes there may be a paint failure, or I may mess something up by touching it/working on it too soon.  If that's the case, I use alcohol, strip off the paint job, and start over.  Luckily, plastic dolls are a very forgiving canvas.

If you haven't, you can see the results of my work in this thread.

Customs / Re: Changing a doll's skintone
« on: January 07, 2018, 01:59:19 PM »
Tagging this post to remind me tomorrow to add some information about full body painting.  Itís not impossible, and you can get great results, but it takes patience and experimentation.  Once I have some spare time, Iíll lay out some tips for beginners.

Customs / Re: Haven't posted customs in a good while!
« on: January 07, 2018, 01:56:39 PM »
You did a fantastic job on all of these!  Super creative!

Monster Discussion / Re: Which Cleo it is?)
« on: December 27, 2017, 08:03:50 AM »
I disagree with those who've posted before; I believe this is actually the Cleo from the Fearleading three pack from Toys R Us.  If you look closely, you can see that she has the braids in her hair and the more fuscia lipstick.

I found the below image on Google, and you can see that the Fearleader Cleo even wears those short bandage shorts like your doll has.  Also, this doll has the Gloom Beach Cleo hands, which signature Cleo did not have, but Fearleader Cleo did.

Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

Monster Discussion / Re: Fakies! Thread 2.0
« on: December 10, 2017, 11:40:16 AM »
Iíll report more once my ďSupergirlsĒ arrive.

Monster Discussion / Re: Fakies! Thread 2.0
« on: December 09, 2017, 09:22:38 PM »
6Ē for the first picture and 11Ē for the second, according to the listings.  Very odd!  Apparently the second one also yells?!

Monster Discussion / Re: Fakies! Thread 2.0
« on: December 09, 2017, 06:36:11 PM »
There are some crazy DCSHG fakes on eBay!

Monster Discussion / Re: Rebodied MH Siblings?
« on: December 05, 2017, 07:46:29 AM »
You don't have to, but I would advise spraying zip kicker in an open area.  The smell disperses pretty quickly but it is a bad smell.

Monster Discussion / Re: Rebodied MH Siblings?
« on: November 29, 2017, 08:26:45 AM »
Iíve reinforced them with zap-a-gap, and itís worked great! :)

What's that?

Zap-a-gap is a hobby cyanoacrylate glue (a superglue, basically) that is used in model building a lot, not just as an adhesive, but as a way to fill gaps in a sculpt (hence the name).  Zap-a-gap can be coated on something, or poured into a hole left by an air bubble, and then sprayed with a chemical accelerator to instantly set it.  It's helpful when you're assembling a model and pieces don't quite fit and you need some filler material that can be carved and sanded after setting.  When I was working in a toy modelmaking shop, and we made resin castings of the original clay sculptures, sometimes the castings would have air bubble holes or other flaws, and we would use zap-a-gap to fill them and fix the flaws rather than try to cast a perfect resin copy every time.

Just another tool in the ol' craft toolbelt.

Monster Discussion / Re: New book series! Little Sisters Stories
« on: November 29, 2017, 08:22:56 AM »
Is Fangelica supposed to be Lala's biological sister? Original canon had Drac be Lala's adoptive father, is she the bio daughter in this version?

Her full name is Fangelica Van Bat, according to the new webisodes, and she was discovered by Draculaura and the Ghoul Squad living on her own before being brought to Monster High.  It hasn't been explicitly said in the webisodes that Dracula has adopted her, but the three vampires have interacted quite a lot and seem to be a family unit.

It's also not clear what her age is; she's attending Monster High but the box art and the doll make her seem much, much younger than a high school vampire.

Monster Discussion / Re: New book series! Little Sisters Stories
« on: November 27, 2017, 12:26:47 PM »
I hope we finally get some more info about the siblings in these!  Like...maybe Fangelica's age?!

Monster Discussion / Re: Rebodied MH Siblings?
« on: November 23, 2017, 06:11:46 PM »
There are several different Equestria Girl lines with varying levels of articulation.  There are some that have all of the articulation you described (their heads only swivel though, no tilt). The proportions arenít quite right for Kelpie, who also has all that additional sculpting, but there is a chance they could be useful for creating a hybrid modification.

Monster Discussion / Re: Rebodied MH Siblings?
« on: November 22, 2017, 07:47:16 PM »
Iíve reinforced them with zap-a-gap, and itís worked great! :)

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