Saturday, 25 September 2010

MLP 's 25th Anniversary: Celebrate, Fete, & Jubilee

The MLP brand celebrated it's 25th anniversary in 2008.  Naturally, the custom contest theme for that year's MLP Fair was the same.  I created the Anniversary Trio, who took Second Place.

Celebrate is the G1 unicorn custom, who's symbol is a silver 25th with silver confetti.  Fete is the G2 earth pony custom, who's symbol is a silver 10th with silver confetti (I cheated a bit here, because the G2s came out in 1997, so really it was their 11th year.)  Jubilee is the G3 pegasus custom, who's symbol is a silver 5th with silver confetti.  I wanted to mark the anniversaries of all three generations of MLP with this set.  The G1 and 2 were fully repainted, while the G3 has her original body colour.  They all have blue eyes, and they all have rainbow hair, because the rainbow has always been such a major part of the MLP line.  I also wanted to use an earth pony, unicorn, and pegasus to represent the three major types of MLP.


Sculpting and Sewing and Symbols - Oh My!

Well by this time I had touched on all the major techniques that would, I hope, inform the rest of my customizing life.  From here on in it's all about refinement (well, of course I'm always open to learning about new materials and techniques, too.)  I hope that my customs keep getting better and better.

My first major sculpt was Lilgryphon, a hippogryph done for the Arena Persona Swap v.2 for, obviously, Lilgryphon.  I was still using sculpey at this point, which caused me some grief with cracking and breaking, but in the end she turned out pretty good.  But I was really thrilled to find Apoxie Clay and start using that.  It's so much easier to work with, so forgiving, and is air drying, so much safer for the ponies.

I've used Apoxie Clay for several customs now, mostly for smaller sculpts like symbols, horns, and pets to go with the ponies.  Annabelle Lee, who was done for Barbgirl1999 in the Arena Literary Swap, was my first attempt at full wings.  I just love how she turned out and I'm really itching to make some more wings now!  It was really difficult to box up this pony and send her away, but Barb loved her, so that made it worthwhile.  She is based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe.

In the meantime, I was also working on some sewing projects, namely corsets.  Corsets and stockings were big on custom ponies at the time (still are, I suppose) and I loved the look.  A lot of people were sculpting them, but I wanted to try some sewing instead.  So I created a pattern and sewed a pony corset.  They are done with the ribbons stitched in place, but they can be removed using a snap closure at the bottom.

"Wicked" for Hindsight, MLPArena Halloween Swap v.1
I also realized that, when it comes to symbols, I have a tendency toward eye-straining tiny detail.  This wasn't a conscious decision so much as a natural development.  With my earliest customs I tried to mimic the style of G1 symbols, i.e., basic shapes repeated.  I don't know if it was the new, more elaborate style of symbol that Hasbro used on the G3s or just my own progression, but I found that I was thinking "outside the box" if you will when it came to symbol development.  As a result I was doing symbols with tiny detail more often than not.  This really helped me improve my technique for eye painting too.  Those tiny eyelashes can be tricky!