Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Restringing Goes Wrong: SoulKid Linn

I don't know what it is about SoulDoll bodies.  I have three SoulKid girls and one SoulDouble boy.  All have extremely tight elastic.  I can't believe it's all in the engineering, because each doll has a different style body.  I'd sure like to see the muscles on the guy (it has to be a guy) who strings these dolls together, because it takes real strength to stretch elastic so taut.

As I discussed in an earlier post, I bought Linn with SoulKid's old general body.  Last year I acquired SoulKid Ahee with SoulDoll's new double jointed body.  Each head looked like it belonged on the other body, so I switched them.

Linn finally had a body that matched her more mature face.  Still, it wasn't ideal.  The double jointed body's elastic was so tight that she couldn't turn her head without bringing up her arms and twisting her torso.  I decided to restring her.

Not pictured:  a small S-hook that held the arm elastic, neck elastic,
and two leg elastics inside the chest cavity.  The two short elastic
loops each stretched all the way from the chest to the feet.

On many dolls, an S-hook in the head holds all the elastic in place.  The SoulKids have a resin knob that extends from the neck into the head.  It is connected to the main stringing via its own piece of elastic.  This elastic was so taut that I couldn't shift the knob to see how far down it was knotted.  Later in the process, when I could finally reach it with a pair of scissors, I cut this piece of elastic.

I tried to pry her torso apart to locate the knot.  No joy there either.  I released the arm elastic by unhooking a hand.  If it didn't solve my problem entirely, at least it freed the interior body cavity to allow me some visibility and maneuverability.  It now looked like I would have to unhook a foot and let the elastic spring back into the doll.  It didn't bother me that doing so would loosen everything.  That was precisely the point.  I meant to restring her with a new, longer elastic.

The foot design threw me for a loop.  Where I expected a simple metal rod and small S-hook, I found a resin cap with elastic passing through it.  I could only raise the cap enough to see that there was no S-hook.  Instead, the elastic was looped around a resin hook that was part of the foot.  All I had to do was slip the elastic off the hook.

On the left: broken resin hook; on the right: its unbroken mate.

That's when the resin hook snapped.  Broke off completely.  Linn and her now useless body went into a box to wait for me to figure out what to do next.

Super Glue?  Given the amount of stress that small piece of resin has to withstand, I'm not sure that Super Glue is the answer.  I might try it, if only out of curiosity.  It can't damage the foot any more than it is already.

I went to SoulDoll's website and logged in to use the Question and Answer page.  After briefly explaining what had happened, I asked them flat out if it was possible to obtain replacement feet.  They said yes.  The cost of the feet was $18.  All they needed to know was my country, so they could calculate the shipping costs.  I told them.  In fact, I told them three times, and have yet to receive a reply.  That was a month ago.  My request is now buried fifteen pages back in the queue.  At this rate, by the time I get replacement feet (if I ever get replacement feet) I won't remember how to string the body back together.

Meanwhile, I've missed Linn.  She is one of my earliest BJDs -- not the first ordered, but the first to arrive -- and she holds a special place in my heart. 

I looked around at the other dolls, some more recent acquisitions and some less loved.  Could any of them supply a body for Linn's head?  After some trial and error, I found a match in Planetdoll Emma.  The body is very close in size and color to Linn's original body and her head fits.  It did take some muscle to remove Emma's head from her body.  (This was the doll whose faceup I did with her body in a plastic bag, because I couldn't get her head off.)   I just about destroyed the S-hook in my attempt to remove it.  As luck would have it, I needed a larger S-hook anyway to attach Linn's head, to compensate for the resin knob's absence.

So Linn has a new body, but Emma's head has none.  If truth be told, I wasn't in love with Emma.  There was something off about her proportions.  I realized when I saw her next to my other girls that her head was quite a bit larger by comparison.  It made her look more childlike, but more importantly, she didn't fit in with the others.  If by chance I should change my mnd, Planetdoll does sell bodies separately, so I could make her whole again.  The question is:  Do I want to?

Linn's new dress is adapted from Gracefaerie's #30 Play Day.  I
combined the dress bodice, sleeves and ruffle with the pinafore skirt.
Her wig is Pretty Girl in brown-black/blonde from Monique Gold.


  1. I think Linn looks great on this body, good choice

  2. You must have the patience of Job to put these dolls together. She sure is beautiful.

  3. You made this article very interesting. I really had fun browsing this.

  4. Update: For anyone who is interested, I reunited Linn's head with her original body, glued the broken foot hook back together with epoxy, and sold both Planetdoll Emma and the restrung Souldoll body. Ahee's head remains without a body. Now I'm debating whether to sell it, or else to buy another Souldoll body (general rather than double jointed)and make her whole again. One thing is for sure: There is nothing boring about bjds!