26 Jun 2017

Resinsoul An and Bei - BJDs


Yes, I said there was more...

I was saving up for the last of the D&D party but also lusting after a few other dollies and lamenting the fact that after buying like 5 bjds I still didn't have a damn green one (Green is my favorite colour) and really really wanted one.
But none of the characters I had in mind were green, arghhh.

Anyway,

in the Facebook group it was mentioned that as well as custom colours and transparent parts Resinsoul were willing to do more complex mods. One person got a two headed torso made (wow) and a few others had multiple arms added and I was all "yes yes YES!" because I love multiple arms, they're really interesting to play with.

So ideas started forming and I figured hey, let's design a character who's effectively a "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" sort of idea.
4 arms, clawed feet, creepy eyes... the works.
All the things I love. I considered giving him horns too but decided they'd be too top heavy in the end.

Anyway,

then I had a dilemma. I had enough money to order the last D&D character but something in me just cringed at the idea of spending so much money on ONE doll, even if she is freaking cool.
I kept talking myself out of it, kept telling myself "wait till they have an event" because impldoll often have money off or free doll events. It would soften the blow and ease my spend guilt.

But as many of you probably know, when you have cash in hand, not pissing it away on multiple small purchases is really hard.
I knew i'd just squander it and the want for this green doll was pretty immense. I kept thinking about him and I eventually decided that the Impldoll could wait till they had another event. I'd managed to save up once, I could do it again.

I also toyed with the idea of a gnome or halfling character to hang with the D&D group because I really like gnomes and halflings but finding a small body that doesn't look like a child is quite tricky.
Resinsoul's YOSD bodies happen to be extremely slender and while they have next to no bust, they DO have hips so they look more like teenagers than 10 year olds.
As Halflings are often described as being "mistaken for children at first glance", a semi mature body with a rather sweet face sounded like, with the right painting, it could work.

So I contacted Resinsoul and asked for a price quote for this crazy green boy.

I even made a little diagram to illustrate what I wanted, to avoid any miscommunication.



I wanted the An head, one of my favorite of the Resinsoul sculpts (I love his nose okay? he has a somewhat broad nose and this really sweet expression), green skin, on the slightly taller and buffer Tang/Sui body because I wanted the Sui feet and Resinsoul claimed they wouldn't quite fit the regular boy body.
I also wanted Sui's beautiful clawed hands because they're pretty and of course four arms.
I wanted him green with light tan/coffee lower limbs to make them more like bird feet or something. I like multicoloured dolls okay? 

They gave me a quote which was very reasonable given how complicated this was (with the mixture of three different dolls parts, two colours and the modification of the torso) and I had just enough of my saved money (I had been selling stuff like crazy. Nothing like new dolls to motivate you right?) to add a YOSD doll to the order too.
I chose Bei because she's adorable. She's a really popular sculpt but I can see why, she has teensy little elf ears and she's adorable.


As always, the company stock photo does little to sell the product.
But trust me, she's adorable.

And so with the order done, I settled in for a looooong wait.
While they quoted "40 days", none of my dolls have only taken that long.
In general, they ship out after about 45-50 days and take a week to arrive. EMS shipping is suprisingly fast.

Still, I hate waiting. After about 2 weeks I got cranky.
after 4 I get impatient.
When I ordered I did an estimate of mid June arrival based on previous orders, and I was right, almost to the day. 

When I finally got a shipping notice I was delighted and realised I hadnt even started preparing things for their arrival. Oops?

 Usually i'd have wigs and at least some basic clothing stuff done but I couldn't find a wig for Bei, despite wanting a pretty basic style the selection of 5-6 sized wigs is really limited unless you want to import from the US and I didn't want to pay like £15 for POSTAGE, that's taking the piss.
Like, postage was more than the wig cost!
but apparently Liv wigs fit so I dug out a few of those I had to act as temporary wigs.

Meanwhile for the boy I knew exactly what wig I wanted, but it had to be special ordered via a UK dealer and it'll be several more weeks before that arrives.

As for clothing, as I didn't own a YOSD resinsoul already I couldn't really sew anything particularly effectively. While apparently she fit Barbie stuff, Barbie's proportions are quite different and I wanted the doll in hand to draft from.

With the boy, I had no idea how I was going to tailor something to those multiple arms, he was going to be such a strange shape, again, I needed to have the doll in hand to start drafting something from.

I'm not a very good seamstress anyway, so I already knew this would be a big challenge.

I ordered end of April, they finally arrived mid/late June.

I was, I admit, concerned the box would be enormous with two dolls in and customs might decide to investigate but thankfully they didn't, they just waved it through. Phew.
Thank you customs.

As it was, turns out the box they used was the exact same size as the boxes my other boys came in. A long, narrow box.


Inside the box they'd managed to fit both the large cream case and the small brown case. I'm impressed they got both into one box tbh.

Look how teeny that brown case is!

The cream cases are a little too big for the dolls inside them, they're a good like 3 or 4 inches longer than the actual doll.

The little brown case on the other hand, is slightly too short meaning little Bei (or Lidara as i've named her) was curled into a sort of fetal position inside. 


She came packaged like the bigger dolls, wrapped in a gold sausage (lol) and inside a plastic bag.
Weirdly inside her bag was a loose S hook (the thing she's holding in this pic)
At first I thought it was from a hand or foot, but nope, her feet were both in place and her hands don't even use S hooks, they're attached via an actual loop of elastic which is a bit odd.

I have to assume the hook fell into the bag when they were parceling her up and they didn't notice. It is pretty tiny.

But hey, spare S hooks are always useful right?

So first impressions of teeny little Bei, she's so cute.
She's a lot smaller and more slender than I anticipated. I thought she'd be short but sorta solid more like a Makie body but she's actually very very willowy.
She shipped with brown eyes which i'm delighted about as I planned brown eyes for her lol.

Resinsoul tend to put eyes in that match the skin tone of the doll, so green dolls  have green eyes, blue dolls get blue eyes, grey get grey and so on. With their "normal skin" dolls it's sort of pot luck. You probably could request a certain colour but most companies they just grab a random set and those are the eyes you get.

I do appreciate that they do seem to try to match the eyes with the fantasy colours though, I think it's sweet. Nhar came with these amazing purply blue eyes that I ended up keeping because they just worked so well.
They seem to have rather a lot of colours. there's at least 2 greys (one is more a hazel), 2 blues, a green, a yellow colour and a lovely deep brown. There might be more, so far all my dolls have come with different default eyes lol.

Anyway,

Her skin is VERY pale. She's not as pink as my other NS coloured doll (Auriel), she's very very fair skinned.
That might change over time. Resin naturally mellows over time so you'll often see a bit more of a creamy yellow colour start to form as the resin settles. (of course putting them into direct sunlight will cause this to happen much faster and they can turn a rather sickly yellow instead)
 So she might not remain so ghostly pale. I don't mind the paleness, but I think a little creaminess would help make her look a little more healthy heh.

Unlike some people in the hobby, I don't tend to consider yellowing a flaw, it's just a natural process that happens with the material. All plastics do it and it's usually most obvious in white dolls who turn a sort of cream colour which personally I find quite attractive. It brings a bit of warmth into a doll that's otherwise paper white and sort of stark. Mellowing/yellowing brings out a sort of inner warmth, of course... in some cases it can look a bit ugly but that's usually a doll who's been left on a windowsill or who's resin wasn't a very stable colour to start with.
Same thing happens with regular fashion dolls, you can get some pretty weird discoloration over time.

Anyhoo, that was a tangent...


Liv wigs it seems fit Bei perfectly, you can't even see the plastic wig cap. I'd argue they actually fit her better than they fit the livs themselves! You just have to cut the plastic prong out which i'd already done years ago to use the wigs on other dolls (like monster high and moxie teenz)
Sadly the Monster High wigs are too small, they don't have much of a wig cap so they just won't fit.
Moxie teen wigs should, but I have to dig out my MT dolls to test that, I don't seem to have any spare wigs.

Clothing-wise, Bei fits Barbie clothing pretty well. Of course, she's got less of a bust so there can be some gapping and i'm talking modern barbie stuff, not pre 99 stuff (which is really bizarrely proportioned with the teeny pinched waist and giant chest/shoulders)

Her feet are too big for any fashion doll shoes. I'll need to buy her some specially.


Her head cap is held on with a little hook and a magnet. The magnet is STRONG. I think it's the same magnets they use for the bigger dolls but on a smaller doll with a smaller cap to hold on it's actually quite difficult to yank the cap off.
Inside is all the elastic from her body, the S hook that holds all that elastic in place and the eyes held in place with white eye putty (I use white tac but the default resinsoul stuff is a bit stickier, I have no idea what it actually is)

There's not much space inside this head.

Her eyes are half round eyes, so they're like a half globe and hollow. You can get full round eyes as well which as the name suggests, are fully rounded but with a head this small they might be a bit tricky to get in there.
She takes 10- 12mm eyes. I think these ones are 12mm but i'm not sure.

Before they arrived I worked up some designs for how I wanted both dolls to look.

 This was my design for Lidara, minus the freckles I had doodled in my pencil sketch because I  forgot lol.

But I wanted purple or blue lips and the plan was to try to get her to look a bit more mature and less child-like.


So she got a faceup. Her eyes aren't symetrical. I kinda screwed up the eyeliner on one side so I just went with it okay?

She's wearing a dress I made for a Makie doll and some Makie leggings. They fit her surprisingly well.


To get an idea of size I put her alongside my Makie and one of my My Scene dolls.

Lidara stands around 10.5 ish... inches tall while the Makie is 10 inches and a barbie doll is 11.5


Lidara's hip width is similar to the Barbie doll but her waist isn't as cinched in. Her torso is about as long as the Barbie torso too (and thus a lot longer than the Makie). Her shoulders are narrower than Barbie though and of course she has next to no boobs, even the Makie has bigger boobs.


She's elastic strung which means her whole body is under tension. While she stands on her own fine, her head seems to like tilted to one side and it's a little tricky to get her to hold it straight, it always pings back into this sort of tilted quizzical look.


She's a single jointed doll which means her joints are just a sort of cup shape in one piece and a ball shaped part that slots into it.
Double jointed dolls have an extra piece in the knee and elbows.

So because she's single jointed and tiny, she can't really hold her arms at 90 degrees without quite a bit of manipulation, but she can still manage to kneel (her weight holds the knees) and slouch pretty realistically.


Her arms like to naturally pull upward with the tension of her strings, which means she almost always will fall in a way to have one arm raised and outstretched.
All my dolls seem to do this, you have to actually position the arms straight if you want them to stay at their sides, the slightest movement and the arm will move into this sort of position.


I thought i'd get some smaller dolls out to see if Bei was closer to their sort of shape.

Star Darlings are a LOT skinnier with a really short torso, but Disney Descendants actually look like their proportions are pretty close. They have a bigger bust but everything else looks quite close.

Descendants are a little smaller than Barbie, more teen skipper sized maybe? I expect MC2 would probably be quite a similar shape as well.
Barbie can fit MC2 stuff but it's often slightly too tight, same with descendants.


As expected, Star Darling stuff is a bit too tight.


It'll go on, but bei is wider around the waist so the elastic won't fully do up at the back there.


On the other hand, Descendants stuff fits perfectly.
Does up fully at the back, fits surprisingly well across the bust and falls to the correct length.
This dress has next to no give in it, it's a very non stretchy sort of fabric but it fits her like it was made for her.
Awesome!

Moxie Girlz stuff might fit too, but it could be a bit tight. I need to get out my big bag o doll clothing to know for sure.


I decided I really liked the orange on her, she stole Lyric's cape (which is actually from a Disney Merida anyway) till I can get around to making her her own one.


She still needs shoes.

Buying shoes for bjds is a bit of a pain because they don't all have the same sized feet and a lot of companies don't bother to actually list the inside measurement of their shoes.
Her feet around around about 4cm long which means I need shoes with an inner measurement of 4.2-4.5cm and SO MANY YOSD shoes seem to be 3.5cm which is way too small. Grrrr
I've found some boots, I just need to order them. *lazy*


But now it's time for the other bag..

He shipped with his hands all detatched, in little baggies.
I assume so  they wouldn't break in transit, but i've never seen this before, all my others arrived fully put together.
It's gotta be to do with the extra arms right?

Both of them had little certificates of authenticity (the yellow card) which lists the date they were cast, their head sculpt and their main resin colour.
So Lidara's says "Bei, NS" while this guy's lists "An, Green"
Which doesn't really explain much. He has an An head sure, but the rest of him sure isn't lol.


Here he is in his baggy.

Now here's the weird thing. He shipped without his hands attached right? but one arm had a giant S hook looped through the elastic, like the size of S hook they use for the heads.

At first I thought it was just securing the elastic but it's only on one arm so one set of arms has nothing keeping the elastic in place by the teeny small hand S hooks, so ... why does he have a giant hook there?
I can only assume they were using it to pull the elastic through or something, to hold it on one side while they pulled the other side through? and then just didn't remove it?

so weird.

I wanted to get his hands on before I did anything else though, so I sat down and carefully attached each one to the little hook in the arm. 


And here he is all together!

Interestingly they cast his lower legs in dark tan not light tan, I can only assume they just forgot or something, it looks really nice but i'm fairly certain they didn't charge me for the dark tan (which is about $30 extra)
I'd need to double check my invoice.

He smelled so strongly of resin. Something i've never had with a doll before, which I have to assume is because of the extra drilling and sanding they did to attach the second set of arms.
The smell (a sort of plasticky smell) goes away after a few hours of airing the doll out, but I was amazed to smell it because i'd read many people talking about "new resin" smell and never smelled it before.

So yes, he has four arms. They seem to cast the body and then drill and sand the sockets afterwards.
The sockets look really professional though, they're smooth and bevelled and not quite as deep as the shoulder sockets due to the thickness of the resin at this point but they look really dang good.

The arms also have a sort of stopper on the shoulders which fits perfectly into the sockets, so he can hold his arms straight out and they lock into that position.

This body is the Tang/Sui body which is more buff and well... veiny than the regular boy body. It has double jointed arms but the joints are totally different to the regular double jointed arms.
Instead of the weird cup system Ming uses, this piece is sort of trapezoid shaped? and the lower arm locks into it quite well, so the joint moves with the lower arm rather than swivelling around and getting in the way.
this means his double joints actually look good and work really really well.


yes one of his eyes was put in wonky lol.

You can see the little locks in his shoulders here (those two little prongy bits in the upper arm) and his double joints in action.
He's very tightly strung and stands like a rock right out the box. His arms hold their pose beautifully and overall i'm actually very impressed by the engineering of this body.
It seems much better thought out than Ming's arms.



His legs on the other hand are quite strange.
His knees are locked, as in, there's no hinge there so he can't bend his knees. In order to bend the knee you need to pull the whole leg out the socket, bend it, then let the elastic relax and he'll hold his leg like that.
There's little prong locks on this piece but they're on the front edge and don't seem to lock into anything so i'm not totally sure I understand them.

Meanwhile he has this extra ankle joint that moves like a single jointed knee and a foot on a ball joint.

I'm not sure I completely understand why or what those joints are supposed to do, but as I seldom move a doll's legs other than to help them sit, arms are way more my priority.
I just want legs that can hold the doll's weight.

Also I love the sculpting on these. They're supposed to be "dragon feet" but I think they look more bird or dinosaur-like.

they even have a little dew claw at the back.


Initially I wasn't sure about this body because I wasn't that keen on all the veins and stuff, but they're not as obvious irl. He has a sculpted 6 pack lol.

His hands are beautiful and expressive with long claw-like nails.


As an MSD doll, he's almost twice the height of Bei. He's about 17 inches tall.
This body is ever so slightly taller than the other boy body, but not actually that much broader despite the definition.


First things first was to get his proper eyes in.

they're actually marbles, blue iridescent marbles. They're really hard to photograph but they look awesome in. They're black in some lights, green in others and then blue and always look a bit spooky.


His arms take a bit of effort to get to pose properly. His lower arms get in the way of the upper arms at the shoulder so it restricts them a bit, but this is completely realistic and just means you have to carefully pose each arm individually or he looks a bit messy hahah.

His wig is not his final wig, his final wig is actually a dark wine colour but i'm waiting for it to arrive.
this is the wig Lyric came with and it's a size too big so it slides off with the slightest movement.

The colour looks quite pretty against the green though.

And boy is he green.

Photographing coloured dolls is always a challenge because of different monitors and lighting and such, but i'm pleased to say that he's exactly the green I expected him to be.


He's closest to Monster High Casta or Venus's green, they're both a little more yellow but it's dang close.


This should give a pretty good idea of the green tone.

The brown of his legs come out a lot redder in photos than it actually is though, it's the same tone as Oisin (my Ming) and is a sort of chocolate milk tone.



I had doodled up my concept for his face while I was waiting for him to arrive but the day he was supposed to be delivered I figured i'd pass the agonising wait time (oo I hate waiting for parcels) by doing a colour test.

I knew I wanted gold because gold looks awesome against green. I also love doing these sorts of face masks because they look cool okay?

I used a photo of the An head and drew over the top of it like I did with the Bei doll's face test and stuck to a pretty simple scheme of green, gold and white.

I also designed a lot of markings for his arms and hands which I haven't gotten to yet.


But his face is done.

I still need to finish his claws.

I ran out of sealant just as I finished his face.


I still have to do his hands, upper arms and neck but I need to buy sealant.


His feet got a bit of gold.


and a temporary outfit for dignity reasons

His shirt is going to be a bit complicated I think, those extra arms make things tricky. My plan is to avoid sleeves completely hah.


I love green dolls.

Only problem is, now I want MORE green dolls <_<

Erp...


24 Jun 2017

Ball joint dolls (BJD)

Well it was inevitable wasn't it? that eventually as a doll collector i'd gravitate toward the more expensive end of the spectrum.

I first encountered bjds when I was in university, maaaany years ago now. I cannot recall how I stumbled upon them, but I recall that at the time I didn't collect dolls and I still lusted after one.

Back then the selections were pretty limited, dolls tended to come in well.. fleshtone peach, white or... a bit more peachy with faintly tanned being a limited run they only did for special events.
They were massive expensive and while I had a student loan such frivolous use of it felt wrong so I continued to talk myself out of it.

But I suppose part of that longing stuck with me because every so often i'd find myself looking at them again, pondering, and ultimately deciding they were just too expensive and too big.

Anyway, fast forward many years on and it seems to be a natural progression for people who collect stuff to migrate up from cheap little things to the more elaborate stuff.
I blame Makies really. They were £69 which for me was INSANE money but gosh I wanted them, and each time i'd buy one I guess I convinced that little bit of my brain that it was okay to spend that sort of money on a doll.
So then £100 wasn't that much more... and it's a slippery slippery slope.


13 Jun 2017

Star Darlings, Hatchimals Colleggtables and thrift store fun!

Yeah I didn't have enough for one full review so this is an info dump/photo spam post.
Deal with it lol.