Modding Tips and Tricks for an Easy Makie Makeover
Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world fashion
Last week I got (and reviewed) my Makie, a posable figure made a 3D printer with features I designed based on my Second Life avatar back in May. My ultimate conclusion about the alpha release Makies is that while they may not be ready for someone who wants out-of-the-box perfection, they're excellent for modders and people who want a truly one-of-a-kind item.
Of course, I can't make a statement like that without doing a little beginner-level modding of my own. Check out the side by side comparison above: on the right is my Makie just 7 days ago, and on the left is my Makie today. In my opinion they're worlds apart, and all said it only took a couple hours to bring a little life to a plastic version Iris Ophelia.
I expect eventually we'll see tricked out badass night elf makies with expertly made armor, but since I'm not quite that talented this article will be a great starting point for Makie modding even if you don't have much experience. So, let's get started!
Makies come apart pretty easily, and they come with instructions on how to do it safely, so before I got started I took the figure apart completely, even removing the eyes. I removed the wig from the headcap and used some rubbing alcohol to get rid of the excess glue. You could also use acetone-free nail polish remover, but be aware that it can melt or disturb the plastic (and if it's coloured it may stain it as well.) I mentioned last week that some people may want to sand areas of their Makie-- even though I don't, this would be the time to do it!
The really crucial step in all of this is to add a little colour to your Makie. I put a couple in-progress pics on Instagram while I was working on this, shown above. MakieLab has shared that different skin tones will be available in the future, but for now you can make up for that blank whiteness with some artfully applied chalk pastel color. I used makeup brushes to add the color to large areas, and finer paintbrushes and q-tips for more definition. Defining the brows alone like this makes a tremendous difference in reducing the "creepy" factor that turns some people off of these super customizable dolls.
I used black acrylic paint for the eyeliner. Because the plastic is fairly porous, watery paints may spread out a bit before settling, so a thicker consistency will go on much crisper. If you don't want to buy paints or pastels just for this small project you can use makeup instead, but just be aware that most makeups are oil-based and will probably stain the plastic so it's not a good choice if you want to be able to redo your Makie's makeup in the future. I sprayed it with a protective topcoat of Mr. Super Clear to keep the color from smudging (Testor's Dullcote would work too) and glued in some lashes before putting the figure back together again.
I decided to use a longer, wavier wig instead of the one my Makie came with. While Makies' bodies are 1/6 scale (like most fashion dolls), their heads are closer to 1/4 scale (more the size of a larger collectable doll), so they fit doll wigs around size 7 if you want something beyond the standard options, or if you want to create or style your own. Likewise you can replace the eyes with something hand-picked or hand-made, though irisses that are around 20mm in diameter will look best.
The last step (and my favourite) is clothing and accessories. Because Makies are shorter and stockier than most fashion dolls it may take some trial and error to find the right outfit. If you want to make them yourself you'll have more options, especially when MakieLab starts releasing the patterns they're designing specifically to fit the Makie form. I went with a couple pieces pulled from a Pullip doll instead, along with some other accessories from Re-Ment, a Japanese brand of pint-size collectables that are just the right size for Makies. Pro tip: Use a little plain white sticky-tack so your Makie can easily hold even the tiniest little items.
Though the look I went with for my Makie isn't as wild and wonderful as something a truly talented modder could make, I think it's made a world of difference. I can't wait to see what some of the amazingly talented people online will make of their Makies in the future.Tweet
Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.