Sunday, January 8, 2012

BJD Maintenance

Sooner or later, ball jointed dolls get loose and need restringing.  Sometimes dolls switch heads and bodies for the fun of it.  Or a bit of makeup flakes off and needs a touch up.  Or a tired old faceup begs to be redone entirely.

Instead of sewing this week, I decided to tackle some of my loose BJDs.  I didn't get around to all that needed elastic tightened, but I made a start.  The most critical was Planetdoll Emma, who has been listed for sale on the Den of Angels Marketplace for a couple of weeks now showing a very forlorn countenance.  I decided she needed a fresh faceup.  She also needed to have her head rejoined to her body, because Soulkid Linn had been using her body for a while until she switched to a Mini Supia body a week or two ago.

Planetdoll Emma's first faceup, March 2011.
First, the faceup.  I wiped her clean and redid her in the style of Kaye Wiggs's girls.  The results were satisfying, except for the red stain around her mouth.  How did that get there?  I figured that the blast of propellant from the Mr. Super Clear can must have carried some of the pastel dust from her mouth and deposited it there.  Emma looked as if she had been eating jam and got it all over her face.  I tried to fix it, but the only sure fix was to scrub it all off with cotton balls soaked in acetone and then start all over again. 

I'm glad I did, because the results were even better the second time.  I didn't follow anyone else's style--I merely let the pastel powder discover and enhance what was already in the sculpt.  Emma turned into a natural cutie.
You can barely see them, but Emma's new faceup has a dusting
of pale freckles.  Her new eyebrows have a quizzical expression.

Rejoining her head and body was another story altogether.  I tried for the first time a week ago, only to watch in horror as the large S-hook that holds the elastic inside the head slipped down into the neck and lodged there.  Undaunted, I decided to take her apart from the feet.  Usually this works.  But this doll was strung so tightly, and on so short and thick a string, that I couldn't budge either foot.  Still undaunted (sometimes my determination doesn't know when to quit) I went for the arms, thinking that if I removed them first I could reach the main elastic from there.  I only stopped when one of the small s-hooks that hold the hands in place punctured my thumb. 

I had to wait for my thumb to heal before tackling Emma again.  Today I finally got the little minx apart, then set about restringing her with new elastic.  After a long struggle, she is now restrung, although not as tightly as she needs to be to stand securely.  I simply don't have enough strength in my hands to do the job properly.  She can be made to balance and stand unaided, but I wouldn't leave her that way unattended.  Her new owner will have the honor of tightening her, because I am not going to do it again.

Linn on the Mini Supia body.  You can tell it's a
Mini Sup by the pointing finger.  The advantage of
this body over her original Soulkid body is the slim
wrists and ankles and smaller bust.  Clothing fits better.

Next step was to restring the Mini Supia body Linn has been using.  Piece of cake!  I think this one took me all of ten minutes, if that long.  I reused the same elastic, merely cut off a length of it and retied it.  Good as new.  I took photos, then took a closer look at Linn's face.  One of her eyelashes looked odd.  The end of it had come loose and somehow become wedged half-in and half-out of the eye socket.  When I removed her eye, I saw that the eyelash had become badly crimped.  There would be no straightening this one out.  Time for new eyelashes. 

Unfortunately, removing the eyelashes also pulled off some of the original eyeliner.  I noticed too that the painted-on lower lashes were beginning to flake.  This meant another trip outdoors to spray MSC (When did it start snowing?) and another trip to the basement for my pastel set, then back upstairs to touch up Linn's faceup.  I gave her new eyelashes, then reconsidered attaching her head to the Supia body.  The reason her head was on this body in the first place was because I thought I had a buyer for Supia Yisol's head.  That transaction having fallen through, I can now offer Yisol as an entire doll again.  With Yisol's head back on its orginal body, there was no place for Linn's head to go but back on her original body.  I think I'm done experimenting with her.  She and her body are going to stay together for the forseeable future.

Linn's outfit is Gracefaerie's Play Day.  Emma's dress is a variation
I made by combining the pinafore and dress in one garment.
Wigs from CherishDoll (left) and Leeke World (right).
Before calling it a day, I also restrung Soulkid Ahee, whose left foot hook I broke early last year.  I had left a message on Souldoll's Q&A page, asking if it were possible to buy replacement feet.  They answered yes, but never told me how to go about it, even after I left several more messages on their board.  If I couldn't buy new feet, I would have to repair the one I broke.  I applied SuperGlue to it, then left the foot alone for several months to make sure it was fully cured.  (Actually, I put it away and forgot about it.)  It showed no signs of strain as I reattached it and appears to be holding well. 

By the time I finished Ahee, it was too dark to take good photos indoors.  We actually had a bit of sunshine today, before the skies darkened and the snow came down.  I managed to retake Brooke's photos from last week, and to get new ones of Emma and Linn.

Next in line for restringing:  Narae, LittleFee Ante Elf, and Iplehouse Asa JID (the real skin version).  There seems to be no rhyme or reason for why some dolls require restringing while others do not.  Ante Elf is newer than LittleFee Shiwoo and Lishe, but neither of them has loosened.  Real skin Asa is the only Iplehouse doll that has loosened.  Linn and Elfdoll Sooah are my oldest BJDs, and yet neither has loosened.  It all depends on how they were strung initially.

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed how a doll can look so different once you have given them a new faceup.