Sunday, November 29, 2020

Baha Cat's boot lasts

The final piece of resin casting was making a pair of boot lasts for the Baha Cat. I used the last I made using balsa wood. I made one latex mold, then placed it beside the last when making the second one, so the two molds are connected and, thus, easier to keep upright when pouring the resin into them.

I cast a pair of lasts from the regular resin, and as I had some clear resin left, I used that for making an additional last just for fun.

Friday, November 27, 2020

More resin castings

As I was using the last of the resin as long as it was still usable, I decided to make some castings for boot making. For shoes, you only need the casting to be up to the doll's ankle, but I wanted to make boots for Gooliope. 16" dolls are especially difficult to handle when making shoes, so having just the leg below the knee makes things a lot easier. As I was going through the trouble, I thought I might as well make some others. The other doll in the picture below is a Living Dead Doll.

The picture shows how messy it is to create latex molds. Latex keeps dripping for some time after dipping the doll's feet to it, so you need some protection, in this case a newspaper, on the table.

At this point, I had to start calculating the amount of resin required, so I wouldn't have any resin mixed without having a mold to put it in. The easiest way to check the amount needed is to put some water in a measuring cup and put the doll's feet in it. The rise in the water level shows the amount needed. Unfortunately I didn't have a better measuring cup, so the numbers were only approximates, but that's better than nothing.

You also need to remember that if you're using resin with the ratio of 1:1 between resin and hardener, you need half of the measured amount of both. Elementary, but can be easy to forget when you keep thinking that one number you just measured.

The latex molds I made were fairly thin as you can see in the picture. They were only needed for one casting, so I didn't see any need to make them real sturdy. The third pair in the picture is for a My Little Pony Equestria Girls doll. 

Below are some castings waiting to harden. The big pair is for a 16" male doll by Robert Tonner. The ones with flat soles usually stay upright by themselves, but the Equestria girls molds needed some support, so I put them into a small plastic cup.

Finally, here are some hardened castings that have been removed from the molds. They still need to harden some more after removing them, although these are so thick that there was no risk of anything bending. When making shoe soles, it is important to always check immediately after removing them from the molds that the shape is correct, and if it is not, fix it as long as the resin is still soft enough to do it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The first Doll Shoe Projects book

I finally finished the book, and it is now available in Amazon. I was planning to make it -50% for the first few days, but it seems that I can't do that. The promotion page says it needs to be available for 30 days first. So, it's $3.29 or whatever that is in your currency. To check it in, click here.

Edit: It seems that the price is actually $2.99 like I set it when publishing the book, but I'm seeing $3.29 due to VAT being added to the price, so your price will be equivalent to $2.99 plus any applicable taxes.

This is the first book in a series of books of doll shoe projects. Each book will have a theme, like this one, and all the materials used for the projects are selected so that they will be as easy to find and as affordable as possible. The projects are described step by step, and everything you need to know is explained, so although some of the techniques are the same as in Techniques for Making Doll Shoes, you do not need that book for making these projects.

Stiletto heels for Gooliope

This is one of the projects that have remained unfinished for a long time. The idea with these was to create resin soles that would require little additional work for finishing. Of course that didn't turn out to be true, because the painting alone took a lot of effort as these had to painted a bit at the time and using several coats.

The first thing I did was creating a universal sole (same for both left and right) using modeling clay. In this sole, there are holes on the sides for attaching the strap that goes over the toe part. For making the latex mold, the holes are not punched through, but just depressions in the modeling clay to make it easier to drill holes in the resin soles after casting.

In the picture above, the sole is attached to a piece of cardboard with double-sided tape for making a mold. A made two molds (below) to be able to cast a pair at the same time.

Latex molds aren't the best for resin casting, but I managed to cast several pairs using these molds. Below are two of those, and you can see on the leftmost sole that the holes on the side have been drilled through. In the master, I also made a depression for drilling a hole for the heel. In the rightmost sole, you can see a hole drilled there.

The next step was painting. I used enamel paints as they work best with resin. First I painted the inside with a light color as it will touch the doll's foot and I wanted to prevent any staining. I guess I could have left the inside unpainted as the resin is so light colored, but I thought painted inside looked neater. Then I painted the outside edges. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't smudge them, so I painted the outside in two parts to be able to let this first stage dry so that there was no risk of anything touching the paint.

Then I painted the undersides. I don't remember how many coats this needed, but I think it was at least three. With resin, the first coat is always a primer, because there is no way to get it to be even. Once you have one coat of paint, the next coats will stick much better and spread more evenly.

After all sides of the resin had been painted, I attached round wooden sticks as stiletto heels and painted them.

The strap going over the toe part is made of silver-colored plastic, and I used silver-colored thread to attach it in place. 

Here is one finished shoe. I have that plastic also in black and silver (I used that for Sybarite's shoes earlier), but that didn't look good with red. I think I might make another pair with that and soles painted with black and silver.

Finally, here are the shoes on Monster High Gooliope Jellington. They aren't a great fit, but they still look nice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The first Doll Shoe Projects book

I've had this book unfinished for a long time. I started it after I wrote Techniques for Making Doll Shoes, but I had so much other stuff to do that I left most of the doll shoe projects for a long time. Now I finally got the last project to be included in the book finished, so I've got all the pictures I need. All text is also written, but it's going to need some editing. This is going to be a series, one type of shoes per book with 4-5 different variations, easy to find and cheap materials, and every step from start to finish explained in detail. 

The most common complaint about the technique book was that people wanted instructions from start to finish, but it was a reference book. So, these smaller books will provide just that. Another complaint was that it was mainly about fashion doll shoes (high heels), so this one is for flat-footed dolls, but I'm sure I'll be also doing some high heel projects later.

The editing and publishing will take a few days, but this should be available next week at the latest. I'll probably also make it -50% for the first few days. I'll let you know when it's available by posting here and in Twitter.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Soles and heels

Some time ago I had to get rid of some resin before it got bad, so I made some new masters for soles and heels. The soles were wedges, because those are much easier to handle when using latex molds. The master on the left is for Monster High Gooliope Jellington and the right one for 16" Miss Piggy.

Here are some of the soles I made after making the molds. The reddish sole in the middle has some glitter mixed in the casting resin. I wanted to see what that would look like. I'll probably just paint those soles when I use them for shoes. The clear sole isn't clear enough to my taste, so I guess clear resin should be used with silicone molds treated with wax.

The next one is a master for chunky heels. I haven't got any plans on how to use them, but I'm sure I'll come up with something

Another chunky heel, and yes, it's the right way up. Browsing books about shoes can give you some strange ideas.

As I had some transparent resin, I decided to try heels that could be filled with glitter or beads or some other small items. Master in the middle, two latex molds on the sides.

I'm not sure the heels are transparent enough, but maybe they'll work. Or they can be left empty and used as clear heels that were just made using a method that saves resin.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Follow me on Twitter

If you want to get a notification when I update the blog, follow me on Twitter. I will post updates on new blog posts, some other stuff about my projects, and occasionally some Nintendo Switch screenshots.

Foot lasts with modified toe part

Monster High Gooliope Jellington is a really good doll to make shoes for because of her foot size. And it's possible to make really high heeled shoes for her, unlike for Miss Piggy. I wanted to make foot lasts for Gooliope for making pointy toed shoes.

I started by shaping the bottom of the toe part using paper and glued those to plaster castings of the doll's feet. This ensures that the toe parts will be as identical as possible.

Then I used modeling clay to shape the toe parts. If you're only planning to make one or two pairs, this kind of foot lasts are fine for it, but I wanted something more durable. I wanted resin castings, so the process continued from this.

I attached the foot lasts to a piece of cardboard and painted them. The paint helps in making the surface more even, especially if you apply several coats.

After painting the lasts, I applied some glossy sealer on them to make sure the latex molds would be easy to remove. Latex is fine for resin casting especially when you only need to do the casting once.

Here are the final foot lasts. Resin is so hard that it will be easy to stretch the shoe material tightly around the toe part to have a smooth finish. Of course you'll need to fill the toe parts with some sort of stuffing once the shoes are ready to make the toe part keep its shape.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Shoes for Miss Piggy

I haven't been posting in this blog for a long time, but I'll try to continue now, like I'm continuing the Crafts blog. I haven't been making many doll shoes while I've been gone, but there are a couple of projects I've done since the last post that was actually about making doll shoes. I'll start with those before starting any new projects.

The first project is from 2017, shoes for the 16" Miss Piggy. These have resin cast soles, leather insoles, fabric uppers and foam clay on top of the fabric. The foam clay was a bit tricky to get to cover the fabric entirely as it didn't stick to the fabric properly.

I did my best, but there was no way to get the edges even. These were planned to be a closed toe design, although they look like sandals in the previous picture. The idea with this was that the toe part is much easier to shape when it's entirely made of the modeling clay. The only part that really needed additional support was the part going over the foot.

I used glitter glue for the edges where the resin sole was showing through a bit.

The result was neater this way, and the glue also makes sure the clay does not come loose on the edges.

Here are the shoes on Miss Piggy's feet.

I have been tempted to try making shoes that are entirely made of modeling clay, but I always have a hard time making two identical pieces of anything without using molds, so that problem needs to be sorted first, if I want to do it.