Do ball jointed dolls have any purpose?
BJDs are mainly intended for adult collectors who want to get into the art of customizing. They are made to be easy to customize with painting, a change in eyes, or new wig.
Ball jointed dolls are fully-articulated dolls made from urethane resin. These dolls were originally made by Volks, but are now being produced by other companies in China and South Korea as well. Making your own doll can be expensive when you add up all the materials, but it's a great way to make the doll of your dreams, according to some people.
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If you want to learn about ball jointed dolls, start by reading online articles about bjds. Learn how they're made and what the construction consists of. If possible, try holding an item in your hands. Be familiar with the metric system if you plan on selling your sculpt.
Measuring a ball jointed doll is easy! They are measured in centimeters and their eyes are measured in millimeters. If you plan to sell your sculpt, use these as your primary measurements.
Ball jointed doll forums and social media groups are great places to learn more about these dolls.
The three main sizes of bjds are yoSD, MSD, and SD. Yo-SDs (or small dolls) are around 10 cm or 26.5 cm tall. MSDs (medium-sized dolls) are around 17 to 22 inches or 43 to 57 centimeters tall. SD dolls (or big dolls) have a height that ranges from 24 to 28 inches or 61 to 71 centimeters.
SD stands for "Super Dollfie," MSD stands for "Mini Super Dollfie," and "Yo SD" stands for "Yo Super Dollfie."
The size of your sculpture and the number of pieces you'd like to cast will determine the price.
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There are a lot of different features that determine how your doll looks. You can have a child-like or mature-looking doll with full breasts or defined muscles. Some dolls, like those made by Volks, are soft and more child-like. Other options include mini dolls like Fairyland MiniFee. Most yoSD dolls have childlike features, but you can make one that is slender and more mature.
The word "yosd" is often used to describe the word "tiny."
Draw a full-sized, anatomical sketch of your doll from the front and side. Unlike other dolls, bjd dolls are anatomically correct. This means that male dolls have penises and females have vaginas (slits).
The pattern needs to be the size of the doll in centimeters/inches.
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Basic bjds have joints in the following areas: ankles, knees, thighs/hips, wrists, elbows and arms/shoulders. They also will have a joint in the torso as well as a joint in the neck/base of head.
A torso joint is typically located in the ribcage, around the waist, or under your underwear line.
Some dolls, like Barbie, have double-jointed elbows and knees. This means that the joints are a separate piece and will fit into the sockets easily.
The female figure (simple) has a waist that narrows at both the front and back. It also has thighs that fit into sockets in the hips. The female figure also has a vertical slit for an elastic so that it can sit.
Some dolls have a joint in the upper thigh. This clean, horizontal line is called a doll's "upper thigh"
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If you want to draw the core, do so now. You can either draw it on tracing paper and then tape it onto your sketch, or you can draw directly onto your sketch.
Dolls made in the bjd style are less likely to fit other companies' dolls, wigs, and shoes. Bjds come bald and without eyes. It's difficult to make eyes and wigs yourself, which requires a lot of time, practice, and supplies. Most people who buy dolls do so from various bjd companies that offer standard sizes. When choosing your doll, make sure you buy one that fits these sizes or can be adjusted to fit them.
The size of your BJD eyes will depend on their number. For example, the smallest size is 6 mm and the largest is 24 mm.
BJD wigs are sold in inches based on the head circumference. This wig will measure 7 1⁄2 in (19 cm) in circumference and will fit a doll with
If you're not sure what size shoe to buy for your doll, make sure the foot of the doll can fit inside.
Building the Structure and Center
Starting with foam or aluminum foil, create a frame for the armature and core. For the head, make a ball shape using foam or clay and connect it with joints to a neck joint. Make the limbs and torso separate pieces as well but don't add any joints yet. Pack tightly with cotton balls and secure them in place. For the torso, use crumpled paper towel for padding.
Leave a range of 2 to 5 mm. Place the core within this range, and align the sketch accordingly.
For this project, you can use drinking straws for the arms and legs. Regular drinking straws should work okay in MSD dolls while large or "boba" size drinking straws will work better in SD dolls.
Build the body with clay and build in depth. Cover the core with clay and add socket slots so you can add your arms and legs later.
To make room for the eye sockets, add 2 round balls of clay to the head. Make sure they are the same size as the eyes you want your doll to have.
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Allow the clay to dry. Once it has dried, use a rotary tool to cut the torso and limbs apart from the head. Remove the core from inside the structure.
The head will be in two pieces; a head and a helmet. Make the cut around the forehead, above the ears, and on back of the neck.
If the eye socket balls remain in the head, be sure to pull those out too.
Wrap the core pieces in newspaper.
Glue the torso and limb shells back together with clay. Clean up any seams with more paper clay to make them strong again. Keep in mind that the head and cap will remain separate.
When it comes to making a doll, you're the sculptor.
Continue refining the doll by adding more paper clay to its body and sculpting over it. Add more paper clay to the doll's torso, limbs, and head. This time, carve details such as muscles into the doll's body and facial features into its head. Remember to reference a copy of anatomical drawings for accuracy.
Sculpt the hands and feet with rounded tops. You can build these from scratch or work over an armature. Make the tops of the wrists and ankles rounded so that they will fit into the sockets. 9
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Cut the doll apart along the joints. Slice the torso, knees, and elbows, then cut the tops of the lower arms and legs at an angle. Finally, cut the bottoms of the upper arms and thighs in a slight angle to let them move more freely.
The planes of your body need to slant away from the points where you bend.
Sculpt a new joint and socket. Add balls to the top of the lower arms and legs, then cover the balls with plastic wrap. Add some clay to the bottom of the upper arms and thighs, then match the shape of each ball by squishing them against that area.
Add ball bearings to the top of the upper arms. Make them perpendicular to the arm instead of lining them up with it. This will allow the arm to hang straight down and not twist when it's behind your back.
Tapered the bottom of the bottom torso piece, then soften the inside edge of the upper torso piece. This ensures that both pieces fit together like bowls on top of one another.
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Stringing holes can be added to the balls and sockets. Add a stringing hole to the top of the socket for the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. Make sure that all these holes are the same size as the channels inside of each limb.
The clay should be wet. If it's dried, use a dremel to create holes.
Make a stringing slit on the balls by cutting from the stringing hole to where it intersects with the ball. Follow these directions for the first slit:
Upper thighs: center-front of the thigh ball. The slit needs to be long enough to accommodate sitting while the doll is hanging up.
Neck: side-center of the neck balls
The shoulder joint is the place where the ball and socket meet.
"Elbow: the inside point of the arm."
Feet: measure the entire ball from one foot to the other.
Gently turn the ball in your hands, from palm to the top.
Add magnetic head and head cap holes to the doll. You'll see two sets of magnets: 1 above the forehead and one above the nape, on both the head and the body. For better durability you should be sure to drill similar holes into your doll's head and head cap so that you can insert magnets.
Make sure to add the magnets last. You will put them on once you've cast your doll.
A bjd's head will have a hole in the bottom where the neck joint is. This hole will be the same size as the hole at the neck, and should also have a vertical slit that's wide enough for elastic or S-hooks.
You can make ankle and wrist balls even more interesting by adding hooks. To do this, simply insert a piece of wire perpendicular to the slit or add some clay to the slit's opening. This will allow the hook to latch on and you can use it as reinforcement.
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The casting of the doll
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In order to prime the doll, let it dry, then coat it in some layers. Let these dry, and then sand them until you get your desired finish. Do this a few times for the best result.
Take the time to properly string your doll. It's not completely necessary, but it will save you a lot of grief in the future. String your doll using the last method that you learned or an online tutorial. Check to make sure the limbs are loose enough and allow for full movement. The final steps are to check that the joints fit together and move comfortably. Make sure that your doll is able to stand on its own at all times during this process.
For this part, you'll use a loose string rather than a tight one. If you make it too tight, the clay could break.
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Build the mold box out of Lego bricks and fill the bottom with clay. It should be just taller than your pieces when they are laying down on their side. We recommend adding some stone or ceramic clay in the bottom of each mold box to prevent leaks.
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Following the instructions closely, place both hands on the clay at chest level with palms open facing up and fingers outstretched. Place your feet on their sides. Gently press the hand and foot pieces into the clay with a water brush before joining them to form a body shape. Once you've finished making your puppet body, cover all head and neck parts with clay before layering it with flesh-coloured fabric for skin.
BJDs have seams running down the sides, so set them into the clay accordingly.
Place different-sized marbles into the corners of the box. This will allow you to line up the mold pieces during casting.
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To create a silicone mold, you start by filling a mold box with silicone. Let the silicone set. Buy casting quality silicon at either a casting shop or an online store. Mix together Parts A and B, then pour them into the mold, letting it set.
Use silicone from a casting supply store. This type of silicone will be higher quality and have better hold time and is worth the investment.
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First, remove the silicone. Next, flip it over and fill it again. Take everything out of the mold box. Place the silicone mold into the box with the cavity facing up. Put the piece back in; coat it with mold release, then fill it with more silicone. Let the silicone set and you're done!
Put the spaghetti into the molds. Make sure to use all of them, it takes a lot to make one bowl of Long-Life Noodles and you want them long-lasting. When you get to the torso and head molds, insert straws into the cores where the stringing holes are, then set them into the molds. Secure them with rubberbands and wait for at least twenty minutes or until they are nice and hard.
Covering the Styrofoam core with plastic wrap or masking tape is recommended so that the resin doesn't seep through.
Use a casting resin to make parts for dolls. Cast the doll in urethane resin, then tint it using a casting resin dye. Bjds come in many colors and sizes, but they are all made out of urethane resin.
If you want to use the French resin, buy a translucent urethane resin.
The skin tone you choose for your doll depends on what you want the mood to be. You have a wide range to choose from, but we suggest trying either a fair or tan tone. You can also try a fantasy color and stick with something like gray or purple.
Allow the resin to cure for a few minutes to several hours. Some resins may require more curing time than others. Once the resin is cured, remove the pieces from the mold and take out any corresponding core pieces. For warped pieces, re-cast and allow to cure again.
If you can't sculpt your own custom doll, ask a company to cast for you instead. Most bjd companies won't cast dolls for others, but there are lots of other companies that will. Research until you find a casting company that's willing to do it. Members of design communities and forums offer lots of advice about this too.
If you're considering buying 10 dolls for casting, be aware that most companies have a minimum purchase requirement of 10. If you're serious about this, it would be wise to do a pre-order to guarantee availability.
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Putting Together A Doll
Sand the doll's seams and do any extra drilling. Be sure that you wear a respirator mask when sanding to prevent the smallest of particles from entering your lungs. You can either sand the pieces with a dremel or sandpaper. Start off with a rough grit and finish with finer grit.
If you find that a stringing hole is filled, then you'll need to drill it. Check the S-hooks on the ankle and wrist bars to make sure they're still intact.
First, place silver neodymium magnets in the doll's head cap. Order them online to match the size of the holes you cut. Add some glue and make sure they stick in place. Make sure they're facing the same polarity; don't get confused!
Don't use regular magnets. They don't work nearly as well.
Put a S-hook on the end of a metal wire. Then, put the wire in small holes to keep it from slipping out. This metal wire can be found at a hardware store or online. Make sure that the metal wires are big enough to fit into the channels that are on the stringing loop. Once they're in, you can use them as a hook to attach other pieces of metal wire with loops to them and make more intricate shapes.
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To prepare the doll clothes, cut and tie the elastic band. Double-measure the piece of elastic from the left wrist to the center of your chest. Cut another piece of elastic according to that measurement. Next, double-measure the distance from the top of her neck to her bottom torso, then cut an elastic band that size and use it to tie loops.
The elastic needs to be thicker in order to keep the doll from falling over. This is especially important for bigger dolls.
When shopping for a bjd online, you may notice white elastic and not clear elastic.
The string will hold the doll's limbs in place as you string it onto the elastic. Thread the elastic loop through the arms and latch it to the S-hooks at their base. Fold the large loop in half and latch it to both large S-hooks, then pull downward so that both halves of the loop are pulled through the neck and torso. Pull those halves through each pair of legs, and attach them to the large S-hooks as well.
One way to string a doll is by using a pipe cleaner or a bjd stringing tool. These tools are available in online bjd stores.
If you're struggling to assemble your bjd without instructions, look up video tutorials online or ask another person with an interest in the hobby to help you.
Give your doll a makeover by styling their hair with a wig, selecting clothing and shoes, and giving them a faceup. You can do this online or commission another hobbyist to do it for you! Once you've styled the doll's hair, add clothes and eye makeup (which should be comfortable enough to stretch over Doll's head), and then insert the doll's eyes using poster tack or silicone ear putty.
A faceup is the term used to describe when a doll's hair, lips, and eyebrows are all applied to a person's face.
To set resin eyes, use epoxy resin (also called casting epoxy) or silicone.
When you're doing your doll's faceup, make sure you use the correct brands of supplies. While some may seem like they're interchangeable with other brands, some can actually melt the resin and cause it to crack.
If you know how to make clothes by hand, you can sew your own clothing for your dolls. A lot of people sell bjd patterns online, but they may not fit your doll.