Is there somewhere in game that feels like home to your character? Reader Asphydel's characters hail from Pinky Street – literally. Pinky Street is a line of four-inch anime figurines that come with interchangeable parts, allowing you to create trendy, custom figures with your own look. The line encourages customizations, from swapping out parts and accessories to adding entirely new paint jobs.
Asphydel of Ghostlands-US took the look a step farther, bringing her figurine into the World of Warcraft with Pinkycized versions of her Priest and her boyfriend's Mage. "I actually have a background in art and had taken a class in 3D," she explains. "We had a small section on making molds, so it was pretty darn easy for me to follow various suggestions and ideas I had found online. I can imagine that it can be a little overwhelming for anyone who has never looking into it ... O_o I knew it was for me in my first classes."
For all our die-hard crafting fans out there, we visited with Asphydel to find out exactly how she engineered her Pinky Street transformations. In her own words, below, she shares her creative process.
Since I didn't want to ruin the original dolls that these guys came from, I had to make molds of each piece I wanted a copy of. There are a ton of different products out there for making molds; it just depends on the use you're planning and the quantity you need. After some research, I went with a brand called Oomoo. There are also different kinds of Oomoo, each with slightly different uses and dry time. I think the kind I got was a 24- to 48-hour dry time. It comes in two bottles, which you have to mix equally to make the actual rubber mold.
To make the mold itself, I took some scrap cardboard and made small boxes to hold each piece I wanted, sealing each edge and corner (and then just covered the whole box ... ^^;) with tape.
To save on material, it's best to make it as fitting to the piece as possible. Then I stuffed the bottom with some Sculpey and pushed the piece in, making sure to leave half of it exposed, and then poured enough of the Oomoo mix to cover it.
This should dry in a day or two; I let it go nearer to two days just to be sure. Then I just sliced through the tape at the corners to remove it all. After separating the bottom part made of Sculpey, I retaped the box, flipped it over so the rubber mold was at the bottom and the back side of the piece was now at the top, and repoured -- again, just enough to cover it.
When it's dry, the tricky part is to separate the two halves of the mold. Sometimes they came right apart -- and sometimes, well, I wasn't so lucky! Once they were apart, though, I cut a small hole in the top to allow for the pouring of the liquid plastic. Again, there are different types of plastic to choose from. Some dry right away, some take up to a couple of hours, some are clear, some are colored, etc. It just depends on what you are using it for. I used a type of Smooth Cast that dried in about 15 minutes and left the pieces a solid off-white color.
Same as for Oomoo; it must be mixed equally or it won't set right. Each mold is sturdy enough to make many pieces, and since you won't need as much Smooth Cast, there will be enough for lots and lots and lots and lots. You get the idea. ^_~
After the pieces are made, it's just a matter of mixing and matching into poses. I started out using the feet, torsos, etc., as they were, but lately I've been a little more daring and started cutting them up to give a little variation. It kinda makes them a little more action-y, I guess!
I used various super glues to hold them together while I applied an epoxy putty or Sculpey for added support. In my experience with these, the epoxy works better, but it can take hours or even days to dry hard enough for sanding. But when it does dry completely, it's very strong. Of course, even then, there are still accidents, like when it never dries because I sucked at mixing that batch or when pieces start getting soft and melting in the oven. I even had one of my faces start to bubble, which I should have saved as it was for a future Undead character but instead attempted to sand smooth again. The good thing is that most mistakes can be fixed or at least covered up!
Once the body structure is in place, then it's just a matter of adding the clothes, which were also done in epoxy or Sculpey. In the case of Angellus, I had trouble with his long robe, and I could never get the materials to look right. In the end, I had the brilliant idea to use some scrap fabric and sew a long skirt.
Once painted, it took on a harder quality, and I just epoxy-ed it to the torso and the belt. His little shoulder danglies were also done in fabric. The rest of his outfit and his weapon was just made from looking at references on the Primal Mooncloth set on either Wowhead or the WoW model viewer, and a few screenies I had from back then.
Asphy was done entirely in epoxy. I sort of just winged it with her, creating her outfit as I went, though it was loosely based on something I had drawn her in previously. I did change the colors to make it a little less painful. Since she has somewhat developed into her own personality, I decided not to use gear from the game (mostly because Mage robes are pretty painful in design and would be near impossible to paint that small!). I did, however, give her Nef's staff from BWL, since he was never very nice and didn't drop it for us back then. >.<
Both bases are made of a thick board, kinda like that foam core stuff but a lot heavier, with some of that kiddie-craft foam stuff to make the step part. And both are painted to look like each characters respective home faction. The accessories were done in Sculpey.
As for paint, I just used those little bottles of acrylic craft paint that you can pick up at most craft stores. I ended up mixing almost all the colors I used though, just to get that perfect shade.
I'm still looking into getting a clear protective coating to put on them, but I've had some friends make suggestions that I'm going to experiment with whenever I can get to the store next.
Coming soon in World of WarCrafts: a fan artist's portfolio; an entirely fresh sound build for Stratholme; and My Little Lich King (yes, it's what you think!).