TC's Collectibles

12" Custom Dolls
Bas Reliefs
How did you...?
How did you...?

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 recently:
(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 would suggest..
It used to be carried by Monsters in Motion, but doesn't seem to be anymore.
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!

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