Monday, September 10, 2012

Where'd You Get That Black and White Labbit?

I get quite a few queries about my black and white Dutch labbit, Ted DeCoste. "Where can I get that black and white labbit?", "What kind of labbit is that black and white one?", "Did you make that one yourself?"

Ted is a 5" Happy Labbit, specifically a limited edition Christmas Happy Labbit, and he comes from Sputnik Ranch, a shop in New Orleans, LA. In the next picture you'll see the box he came in, the four accessories (elf legs, Christmas tree light, present and candy cane) and what he used to look like - all white (that's Pipkin helping to model).

Ted, being a Christmas labbit, made a special Christmas wish, and his wish was that he could be a black and white Dutch labbit. "They look so dapper," he said. "And all southern labbits need to look dapper." And so, he got his wish.

First, we started with an image search of Dutch labbits. They're easily distinguished ("oh yes, I would like to look distinguished," Ted said) by their markings.

According to the American Rabbit Breeders Association, the Dutch rabbit is described thusly:

The blaze is an even wedge of white running up the rabbit's face. It is shaped by the cheeks which are the rounded circles of color on either side of the face. The neck marking is a white wedge on the back of the head. The saddle is to be a straight line running behind the shoulders and continuing underneath the rabbit to the undercut across the belly. The stops are located on the rear feet, which should be white from the toes to a point one third the length of the foot.

Ted really wanted to have one black foot and three white ones, he didn't care about being a "perfect" Dutch rabbit. He's a labbit after all. So we did a sketch, which you see above. He approved, and the makeover began!

All makeovers start with a clean canvas. That means,

"NO! Don't say it!!" 

Ahem. That means, bathtime for labbit. (Labbits are not fond of baths. Here's how you keep your vinyl labbits clean.)

Into the sink with Ted, with some warm water and some suds. There. Squeaky clean.

Ted was told his makeover would be a lot like spray tanning. "What's spray tanning?" he asked. Right.

We put him inside a box where the spray would be contained. On went a white primer, which would give the black paint something to stick to. To be safe, we plugged his mouth with a cotton bud. As we soon discovered, we should have covered his eyes as well. 

After a couple coats of primer and a full night of drying time, Ted emerged from the box and shook himself off. He was no longer bright white, but a softer, more sophisticated eggshell (so he says). 

His eyes were still visible, which was helpful in the next step.

Ted posed for this picture with Pipkin. See the color difference?

We traced over the eyes and stayed as close to the original as possible, but this turned out to be really difficult. 

(If you've never painted anything before, even with one color, as I've done here with black, may I suggest you practice first and don't start with a 3-dimensional object? This was stressful!)

Phew! He can see now!

Knowing a mask was going to go around his eyes, we decided a white ring around the eyes would look very handsome.

When we got to this part of the makeover, the other labbits seriously considered a Rorschach look for Ted. I agreed that would have been really cool, but it was all up to Ted, and he said he was more of a classic labbit than an artsy labbit. Dutch labbit was the final word. 

With the face and ears done, Ted is pretty freakin' happy. 

Now for the rear end! Ted got his one black paw, and a black tail, too. He's quite pleased.

A night of drying time, one nice coat of Krylon's matte sealant, and another bit of drying time and...

...another bath! Argh!


 The finished makeover!
After a nice rubdown in the towel, Ted was very happy with his makeover. He looks quite dapper, and hopes he never has to take another bath again. (We'll see.)

1 comment:

  1. Ted does look very dapper. He's a lucky labbit to have such skilled makeover artists in his warren.


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