Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

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Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:24 pm

So my pre-change makie Gil arrived! Very Happy


He arrived in the tyrannoshorts outfit with the cutest shoes (I think they're mary jane style shoes) that I keep forgetting to take a picture of. But I changed out the shorts and shoes for pink leggings and trainers so he could look characteristically garish and 90s. I'm not sure Aurella is impressed.


Here's his face as he arrived. Not a happy bunny (...goat).


I tried out the eyes I made for him, and here's where I ran into my first problem: his eye mech seems to be incompatible with the girl's eye mech? Meaning the eyes I made for him, whilst they fit the girls perfectly, are too big for Gil. They slip off his mech with the slightest touch. His mech is 1-2mm smaller in every way than the girl's mech, and that makes a massive difference with eyes. I don't know if his mech is representative of all makie boy eye mechs, or if he's just had some weird shrinkage somehow, but it's frustrating. I have eye putty, but that's exactly what I was trying to avoid. I think I'll try making him some 16mm eyes, and seeing if they fit any better.

None of the following pictures will have his wig because it likes to repel itself from his head. Very Happy (It'll be trimmed and styled later)


Next I started to carve his eyes. He didn't have quite the eye shape I wanted anyway, but I got increasingly frustrated that he has (had) such tiny eyes in comparison to the huge eyes Aurella and Elisabeth have, he's stylistically entirely different, almost like he's from a different doll line. So I got to work bringing him in line!


The light was fading here, but you can see the new wider eyes, and the start of a faceup. Very Happy Gil is a piebald goat, so there's a lot to do.


Next, I carved his armpits! Much to my dismay, the makie boy's arm mobility is severely hampered by the shoulder joint. When I realised he couldn't do all the same gestures as Aurella and Elisabeth, I couldn't really settle for that. Being able to put his arms by his side or touch his tummy should be a standard in articulated dolls. So I carved out the shoulder joint to allow the arms to relax and rest by his side (and also touch his tummy). His legs also suffer the same problem, being stopped from having the same mobility due to the way the crotch is shaped. Rolling Eyes I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to sand the crotch down, but I may eventually. Mobility aside, it's sort of unnecessarily bulky. He doesn't wear trousers very well, they bunch up around it.

Here's another photo of it while it was in progress:

The left side is uncarved, the right side is carved. Both arms are pushed as close to the sides as they can go. The uncarved side can never actually have the arm hang naturally, and the hand can't reach the stomach, or most of the body. Whatever the reason for the shoulder joint being like that, I wasn't having it, and carved it out so that he has just as much range of motion as the other two makies.

Whilst I was doing body modification, I also revisited Elisabeth. It's always frustrated me that she has breasts when she isn't supposed to. Replacing her torso with a male torso was my first idea, but having checked out how she looks with Gil's, it's just not right. She might not be a cis dyadic female, but she's still a very slight person with a figure that's more hourglass than martini glass. I really hope MakieLabs will consider a wider range of available body types eventually.


Slicing open her chest to do this was pretty nerve-wracking. And also took forever and was pretty painful on my hands. While the plastic cuts easily enough with an x-acto knife, it's still very tough. After an hour or so though, I managed to carve out her chest and sand it down enough that the breasts were removed.


Here she is with epoxy filling the space and smoothing over her chest. She'll be waiting a day or so to cure before I can sand her again then start to paint. Already she looks much much more like herself, and even if I end up not being able to colour match the chest very well, I'll be happier with her anyway. Very Happy

So yes, that's today's progress! This is the first time I got a makie boy, and admittedly I'm less impressed with him than the girls, there's lots of small frustrations like the eye mech, the hampered movement in the arms and legs, and the strange stylistic-switch. The hampered movement and stylistic switch are things I can and have fixed myself, so I suppose that's all right - though most people aren't going to feel as comfortable as I am to just take an x-acto knife to a doll, I can really only fix these things because I heavily customise stuff. 
The eye mech problem is quite annoying though. Once I get in some 16mms, I'll see how they go, but it's frustrating that he doesn't wear eyes so well. Even the normal makie labs eyes are a bit loose on his mech. Those of you with makies to compare, is this an overarching thing? Or has my Gil just got a kind of rubbish mech?

Since I can modify him to my liking though, I do very much like Gil despite these problems. After today's work, he's already far more endearing to me, and while he still doesn't quite have the same range of motion as Aurella and Elisabeth, he's part of the way there. There's still quite a large chunk of work to do on him though, he's definitely my most ambitious makie yet. XD More pics to come next time I can work on him in good daylight!
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by jupiternames on Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:57 pm

Wow, Elizabeth looks great! I imagine that was HIGHLY nerve wracking. I felt some level of stress about dying Theral, but what are you going to do when your doll isn't quite who she's supposed to be? I really love Gil's outfit, by the way. Will he still wear it once he is finished?

Once I get Dvakvar in I'll compare his eye mech unless someone else has an answer. At the moment the only guy I have is Garrak who is a classic, so he may be different for that reason. Frankly, I always liked the classic male faces better. They were also pretty different, style-wise, but I've seen so many that look great. It wasn't until very recently that I started to think about buying any of the boys I'd designed.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:12 pm

I've never noticed any problem with the boy eye mechs, their eyes seem to fit them just as well as the girl mechs... I'll grab a couple down and have a look at them closely as i've never actually compared them to each other.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:25 pm

Ok I took Alias and Cat's eye mechs out, they're exactly the same size as one another. Sounds like his mech might be wrong, which is very strange.

I have um... 9? boys here and yeah, their eyes fit fine and are completely swappable with the girl's.

I never really noticed the arm thing till you mentioned it, and you're right! the boys have sticky outy arms lol.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:32 pm

Thanks P_M! That's actually really reassuring to know. I did think something funny was up given that makie eyes are shared universally between the dolls, but I also wondered if the boy heads having a different 3D model had something to do with it. I guess poor Gil just has a bad mech. Thank you for checking for me! I'm glad, since it means I can continue making the custom eyes I was making, and know that they should universally fit makies.

Yeah, the boys arms can't stay down haha! Their legs also can't cross in a tightrope-walking motion, because the crotch bars the way. The legs are less of an issue, because you don't gesture with legs much, but I didn't care for the arms losing mobility like that, there's no good reason for it. Thankfully I've fixed it with Gil though. Now his arms have the same mobility as the girls.

@Jupiter - Thank you! It was scary yeah, though since I've carved a Monster High down before, I felt ready to be able to do it. Plus, now that makies are cheaper and everything, Elisabeth is SLIGHTLY more easily replaced if I mess her up (even if that meant she got an IM body instead). So I felt more confident doing it finally, I couldn't be happy with her body remaining as it was.

As for Gil's outfit - haha yeah I imagine he'll end up wearing that again! I can't pass up the opportunity of doing him up in purple and pink again. The actual character-outfit he's supposed to wear is a lot more boring (think drab hoodie), but I don't have it yet and definitely can't justify commissioning it right now after all these recent expenses. So he gets his 90s outfit for a while!

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Tesa on Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:20 pm

I only have one girl as of now, so good to know that the boy's bodies are so different. Maybe MakieLabs has so many orders right now that they can't keep up the high quality? People in the facebook group had issues with some of the wigs if I remember correctly. Good job on Elisabeth, I wouldn't have dared to to that Smile


Last edited by Tesa on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:14 pm

Yeah my boy had a flawed eye mech, the prongs from his head piece snapped as soon as any pressure was applied. I suspect some microfracture. Thankfully blue tac keeps it in place hahaha.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by jupiternames on Sun Sep 06, 2015 4:43 pm

I looked up piebald goats. I'd seen piebald pigeons, cats, dogs, rats, but I'd never thought about that trait in goats. So cute! Gil is going to be so cool!

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Almostreal on Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:28 pm

Please tell me he's going to have a little goatee! ;-)
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:37 pm

@Jupiternames - it is possible I'm not using the term quite right. I think of just about every furred animal with patterns/splotches as dappled/piebald, but I know that people often apply those labels to only certain coats.  Either way, Gil is a white and brown goat, so his skin is splodgy accordingly!

@almostreal Haha, yes, he has a full beard actually! Here's a sketch of the character from my instagram:

I won't be doing the fur on his arms/body unfortunately, mostly because I want to keep his hands cross-compatible with Elisabeth. But I may do his skin all over his body barring the hands.

So, today's progress!

After a bit more blushing and contouring, I jumped right in with the piebaldism. Scary! But rewarding.


Here's the moment I fell in love/bonded/whatever you want to call it. The makie that arrived was definitely fine, but it wasn't the character until this moment. Gil started to emerge. Very Happy The red eyes aren't permanent, but his weird dysfunctional eye mech thing actually holds glass eyes way better than the mechs normally do. To make sure I didn't have to keep opening up his head to realign his eyes when I wanted to test how they looked, I just let him keep the red eyes for now.


The wig is now trimmed, though I haven't finished with it entirely. You can see the start of his white beard here too!

I also took another photo that compares the eyes before and after the carving!

It makes a massive difference to his expression/overall look, and he matches Elisabeth and Aurella much better now.


Aurella's pretty pleased to see her best friend slowly coming to life. XD

Here's a little update on Elisabeth's torso too:

It's all nice and cured, and also sanded now. Plus I've begun the process of repainting/colour-matching the torso. In general it's probably not going to look fantastic, but that's okay, Elisabeth never really shows any skin. As long as the area around a v-neck opening looks okay, then she's good. Very Happy
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Miss Heny on Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:50 pm

Wowzers...I am in love haha. I wish they kept the 3dbodies because...so many ideas looking at this!
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:01 pm

Very Happy I'm glad you like him!

There's the possibility this will be still doable with the IM bodies. I've carved and painted Monster High bodies in a similar fashion, and they're hard smooth plastic. In fact, I think sculpting with epoxy will be MUCH better with the IM bodies, because hardened epoxy has a smooth nice finish just like the smooth plastic of most play doll bodies. So Elisabeth's chest mod would potentially be far easier and nicer on an IM body.

It's definitely harder to paint on them though, because they're not porous like the nylon. However, a good coating of a toothy sealant will let you paint on them.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by jupiternames on Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:37 am

He looks amazing! I love how his beard comes in white over the brown spots. Also, I think you're using the right term; the way you're using it is scientifically correct. Maybe people who raise goats have some other term that I don't know, but piebald spots are a genetic trait where there are large unpigmented areas. It happens in many different animals. And it definitely describes Gil's appearance.

Anyway, I'll try to keep the science nerd stuff to a minimum, but I really love learning about animal coat color differences.

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Miss Heny on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:28 pm

Hy Jupiter I can PM you that Smile I live on a farm with dairy goats *one of which is in my avy haha* it really cool it the genetics work.

*returns thread to owner >_> *
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by xxamis on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:11 pm

He's amazing! I'm not sure if I missed it but what exactly did you make his spots with? My Makie still hasn't arrived so I've only heard of what other people have done and it's always been with watercolor pencils. This here looks a lot richer Very Happy
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:13 pm

Thank you all!

@xxamis - his skin is done with inks - I seriously wouldn't recommend this to anyone who doesn't know what they're doing or doesn't have much experience. It's permanent (sanding may remove it if you're desperate, but it's likely to remove the finish altogether).
If you do know what you're doing though, alcohol based inks make incredibly rich colours/dying materials. I'm surprised nobody has dyed a makie with inks as far as I know since the colour is vibrant, permanent, and smooth (not blotchy), but maybe there's some deeper reason for not doing it I'm unaware of. I idly coloured in Elisabeth's eye mech red, green, blue and orange while I was waiting for some other paint to dry haha. Now she literally has a rainbow inside her head.

If anyone tries this method, as with anything else I'd recommend lots of practicing on the inside of the skullcap. With quality inks, there should be no bleeding, it should only affect the surface layer just like the ordinary dye. It needs to dry for a short while (don't touch it in case you lift the ink back out of the material), but after that: bam, rich strong dyed bits. You can then work over them with watercolour pencils and the like just like you work over the rest of makie skin. You can fix it, gloss it, anything, just like normal makie skin.

If I had money to literally burn, I'd buy a few white makies and create actual full-body works of art with inks. XD

Bear in mind this method will likely not work with the new IM bodies. The Makie nylon is porous and absorbant, which makes it take to the ink immediately and wonderfully. I highly doubt the new hard bodies can be worked on this way. They tend to be resistant to inks (that or they just stain badly and don't look very customised).

Edit: Actually while I'm here, I might add that the level of alcohol content likely makes a difference. Alcohol can be fantastic for making sure that a pigment sticks to something (that's why it's in lots of stuff), but a large amount of it also acts as a clean-y/dissolve-y thing. Sharpies have a very high alcohol content, I wouldn't recommend letting them get anywhere near your makies. Whilst I could never say for certain, my makie Elisabeth suffered severe damage to her skin after being near the wig I was dying with sharpie inks, despite that she was protected with clingfilm. Her skullcap is also stained beyond all repair (luckily it's covered by the wig!) because of this (though the wig was rinsed enough that it no longer poses a threat to things thankfully). So yes, this is why I wouldn't seriously recommend it unless you're super careful! Try to use something with a lower alcohol content. I only worked on Gil after testing it out on his skullcap and noticing that the inks I used were safe and didn't affect the surrounding skin.
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by Miss Heny on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:34 pm

There is actually a blog that did it before, but I have no clue were the link is haha.


I am actually going to start practicing with ink because i love how rich of markings those are!
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by xxamis on Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:36 pm

Ahhh ok. Thanks! I'm totally not qualified for all that but I do like the idea of my girl having permanent beauty marks so it's something to think about. I have some India ink on hand that I could test with on her eye mech or one of the plates.
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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:29 pm

@Miss Heny: Oh good! I'm glad to hear it, it would seem strange for nobody else to have tried this. I'm glad it's been tried before in some regard.

@xxamis: Yeah I think it's definitely a good option for something you want to be permanent. I don't know how effective india ink would be, it might end up too wet and bleed a lot unless you use a very fine applicator (like wetting a tissue with it and using that, rather than wetting a brush). Definitely practice it on the inside of the skullcap first, just in case. Also... it's been a long time since I used india ink, is it waterproof? Or water resistant at least. The benefit of permanent inks is being able to play with your makie a lot with no damage. I can handle Gil's inked parts with no damage because of the type of ink used.

The best advice really is: Always test stuff out!
I have the advantage that I want my faceups to be as permanent as possible, because the character's appearances are set in stone (or set in printed comics, as it were). That means I have less to worry about. Many people want part or all of their faceups to be removeable though, and that's why I wouldn't recommend this in the slightest if you want it to removeable - it simply won't be. XD

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by nattherat on Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:50 pm

Just a tiny update this weekend!


I finished his horns and attached them. I went with magnets in the end since that's the least intrusive way of attaching them (and removing them).

I'm saving some of the final work on him until a friend visits next week. I promised I'd show them the process of doing things like applying eyelashes. Very Happy We're having a bit of a doll meet with some other peeps, so I'll be sure to take lots of pictures!

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Re: Here's Gil! (...and a whole lot of modifications!)

Post by MissRead on Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:03 pm

Some great work there.  

Boys are generally built differently to girls anyway, so the differences you mention I hadn't really thought about to be honest.  Just looking at the way my boys walk and hold themselves (real life boys) the certainly don't walk in a " tightrope-walking motion", Wink
Plus they seem to hold their arms out more as well...I think the bodies are quite a reasonable representation to be honest.

Sounds like you had a faulty mechanism with the eyes though as like PM mine are all interchangeable with no problems whatsoever.

Love the beard!

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