Sunday, May 8, 2011

Putting Chibi Roron Together

I had huge plans for this weekend:  do several faceups, put Roron together, and make a dress so that Roron would be presentable for her grand entrance.  The dress is not quite there but the rest is done.  Two out of three's not bad.

I started with the faceups.  Along with Roron's default faceplate, I had ordered the Punska face option (or Punsuka, depending on which side of the enclosed card you happen to read).  Think of it simply as the Pout.  Also, in an earlier order I picked up the Lilin Osumashi face option.  I've seen this translated as the Cool face.  Roron has a Cool face, too.  I'll buy that one later. 

The faceplates left and center still have a thin layer of resin
inside the eyes and mouth.  This must be removed before
painting.  I use a craft knife.  Likewise, two of the three
mouthpieces above have small projecting pieces of resin
that must be removed before they will fit properly
inside the mouth.  They can be snapped off with pliers.

This time I tried my softer Sennelier pastels, instead of the Holbein set I generally use.  I was able to load my brush with color simply by brushing the side of the pastel stick.  Where I would usually blend the colors with a foam applicator, I stayed with the brush and employed a kneaded eraser to lift excess color.  I made less use of the watercolor pencils, reserving them for the eyeliner and lower lashes.  At the very end I added a few strokes of watercolor pencil to the eyebrows to pick out details.

On the other hand, do not snap off the projections at the top of
each faceplate, as these are necessary to hold the faceplate onto
the head.  These three (Cool Lilin, Default Roron, and Pouting
Roron) have their first layer of pastel.

I was tempted to sand down the sculpted eyebrows and try my hand at painting them freehand.  I'm glad I didn't.  One of the faceplates had fainter eyebrows than the others.  I had a devil of a time trying to make the two brows come out even.  I figure if Gentaro Araki has done me the favor of showing me where to put the eyebrows and what shape they should be, who am I to say I can do a better job?

Nearly there.  All that is missing is eyeliner and lashes.  The
faceplate in the upper left is the Sist Bully face, before I
dabbed eyeliner where it didn't belong.

While I was at it, I repainted the Sist Bully face.  I don't know what it is about that one, but I am never satisfied with the results.  I'm not sure I like it this time, either.  Sist is such a cute doll -- it's hard to make the snarl work.  This time my brush slipped as I tried to paint the eyeliner.  Instead of watercolor pencil blended with a wet brush, I used acrylic paint.  She ended up with a black spot on her eyelid and it is proving very hard to get off.  No doubt I will eventually wipe her clean and start over.  For the fourth or maybe fifth time -- I've lost count.

The shorter of the two lengths of elastic is for the arms.  To ensure
that I have the same length for each arm, I pull the same amount
out in each direction, then clamp one with a hemostat to keep it
from slipping through to the other side while I string the pieces.

Chibi are assembled in pretty much the same way as U-noa Quluts, with the exception of the head.  Other dolls bury their elastic inside the body.  On the Chibi, the elastic comes out through the head and wraps around it in grooves hollowed out for the purpose.  The wig then conceals the elastic.

The leg elastic goes up through the neck and into the head.
Many owners sand their dolls for aesthetic reasons, to conceal the seam lines left when the resin body parts are removed from the molds.  I confess to utter laziness in that department.  The same with body blushing.  If it won't show under clothing, why do it?  I'd rather save my energy for something that I can see.  That said, I really should give my girls manicures, because the hands do show and a little nail varish goes a long way toward polishing off a look. 

The leg elastic is shown wrapped around the head following the
grooves.  Lift the top elastic slightly to hook on the faceplate, then
reposition it to hold the faceplate snug against the head.
Speaking of hands, I have acquired several extra pairs, both from Noppin and on eBay.  For Chibi I have the Gu hands.  (Gu are fists.)  Then for the Quluts girls (Lusis and Sist) I have Tsunagi hands and Yubisasi/Yubisashi hands.  The Tsunagi are clasped; if you put one each on two different dolls, they can hold hands.  The Yubisasi set includes one flat hand and one with a pointing index finger.  Obviously, if one is to mix and match, all have to have the same manicure and nail color.

Here is another projecting bit of resin that you must not remove. 
Can you see it at the top of the leg on the left?  This piece fits into
a corresponding notch in the buttocks and allows the Chibi to sit.
(See photo below.) The wire dangling from the elastic is used to
 pull the elastic through the limbs.

When I first saw Roron on the U-noa website, I was puzzled as to his/her gender.  There is a unisex look to this doll that could go either way.  I have decided to portray Roron as a girl, but if I ever change my mind, there is a little boy part that can be glued in place to effect the transformation.  Again, the lazy part of me says, "Why bother?  It won't show.  Just dress her as a boy."  As the only clothing patterns I have found for U-noa Chibi are feminine, Roron won't be turning into a boy anytime soon.

I gave my girls Safrin eyes this time.  From left to right the
colors are Safari (a pale green), Pale Lilac, and Melon (a
bluish green).  The piece in the upper left that looks like
binoculars is the eyepiece.  It fits inside the head and holds
the eyes in place with a bit of tape or putty.  It can be used
only with eyes that have a narrow stem.  I prefer to affix
 the eyes using putty alone.  That allows me to use
 half-round eyes such as Safrindoll makes.
I'd better get back to that dress...  Then there are Lusis and Sist sleep faces that need painting.

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