Zoner Barbie (and Burt)

Recently, I’ve been working on kit for my new 5k REM character, and setting up a pond in my living room.


REM stuff first. I’ve been working on bits of the kit for a while. I’m making a crossbow bolt holder at the moment and couldn’t decide on fabric, so just had to dress up in everything I’ve put together so far to see what would work best. This was in no way just an excuse to play dress up!

This is what I have so far. I got some Primark chic mens cargo pants and tweaked them a bit to make them more suitable. I threaded some elastic into the existing waist band to make them fit a bit better, they are a mens cut. I swapped out a couple of the buttons for mismatched old ones, and added buttons and loops on the little patch pockets on the leg to make them actually usable. I stitched some strips of black cable tie along the pockets flaps too, in an attempt to make them look more future-ish and rugged (and less like Primark pants).
The black leather top is a fashion (plastic boned) corset from Corsets Uk. I could have made something, but I’d have probably spent more on materials than just buying this one as a base! It looked like this when I got it;

I took the ribbon off the front, sliced off the zippy bits and took it in a little at the sides to fit me better. I also sliced down the front and added in a nice chunky zip so I can get it on and off by myself, and added some shoulder straps for better support. The back is made from elastic straps, so it’s actually really comfortable to wear.

Here’s a better pic of the changes to the corset, which I probably shouldn’t really even call a corset now. Basque maybe? Zippy fake leather top thingy.

I couldn’t get a black chunky zip, so used a purpley-pink one. I like it, makes it a bit more Barbie. I’m still working on the belt bits and pieces, I’ll have my bolt holder as well as the bum bag I’ve got on here. The beads are an old rosary I put my compass onto, not sure I’ll stick with those or use something non-religious to avoid offence.
The black sleeve top thingy is cut down from a long sleeved t-shirt. I’ll be trying to wrangle it into some sort of reinforced clothing type armour with my rubber circles.
Oh, and don’t forget my crossbow, inner tube reinforced hat and mirror sunglasses! I love it. It’s so much fun to wear. I couldn’t help pulling silly poses. Can’t wait to actually play out in it now!


I’ve been working on my turtle tank too. Burt has been needing a bigger home for a while, but nothing I’ve tried to put together has quite worked out. Then I spotted this in a local garden centre, and figured I could make it into something that would work for Burt.
It’s a above ground pond set up designed for goldfish. There are clear acrylic panels in the side of the liner to let you see the contents of the pond. It’s a really interesting product, and comes with a filter and attachments.

There were a few little snags for using it for a turtle though. Burt needs heated water, and somewhere he can climb out to bask. He’s also a bit of an escape artist.
After a bit of playing round, I think I’ve managed to solve the problems. I’ve used a length of drainpipe with many holes drilled in it as a guard for a large aquarium heater, which should protect the pond liner from the heat and stop Burt burning himself on it. Or attacking it for being strangely warm, as he did with his last heater. I’ve fed the wires for the in-pond filter through there too so he can’t chew on them.
For the basking platform and guard panels, I’ve used sheet acrylic. It was a job and a half, but I made brackets to hold them in place by bending more acrylic with a heat gun. The brackets slip onto the pond walls without damaging it.
The basking platform isn’t quite working out. I did roughen the ramp on it, but Burt is still struggling to climb it. I’ll have to tweak it a bit.
Overall though, he is one happy turtle. There is much more room for him to swim in, and he seems to be really enjoying the little windows. It’s a much nicer set up to have in my living room than his old tank too.




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