Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lashes Available

Instock Eyelashes

$1/pr : 

So far my favorite for a natural look on every size except for SD. They are shorter and sparser so they lend themselves well to a natural look on smaller dolls. The binding is exceptionally soft and thin so it isn't distracting at all and conforms well to the eye shape.

I also layer two layers for a lusher look. Since they don't come in a dark brown color, I layered Black and Lt. Brown for this MSD below. As you can see, they look soft and natural. A request for a layered look will be $2.

A variation on the lashes above with gathered groups of lashes is also available.

$2.50/pr :

Sorry for the slight markup in price from the dollmore site. It is to cover shipping expenses. At some point I will buy a bunch of lashes at once if there is enough demand so that I can get free shipping but for now I only get about 10 prs at a time.

$3.50 /pr : 

Hug me lashes from Switch. Only Heavy black available. (Note: There is a limited amount of lashes  they allow you to order at a time and there is no free shipping which is why I charge so much for these.)

$4 /pr : 

Leeke lashes. Again, since I only bought a few pairs of these, the markup is just to cover shipping costs.

Breathing Easy

Yay! I finally got my respirator. When I sand my sculpts and dolls I wear a dust mask but that isn't enough to keep the dust out. I end up huffing resin dust which is very very bad for me so I usually wet sand. Still the dust gets around because of the dust stuck to the sandpaper and my fingers. Once the water dries dust floats free. I can finally work on stuff without freaking out. Plus I also built an enclosed clear sided box to work in so I don't kill my cat. Yes I finally feel free to work on sculpting and sanding.

My awesome mask. Yes it is a full face mask. Makes me feel safe considering how much resin dust I work with on a weekly basis.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mr. Manly Man

First big SD male head! Not great but not bad. He's also a darker skin tone than I'm used to. The only problem with that is that the MSC likes to frost up on the darker colors. I tried doing a faceup on my dark tan RS Wu (Ba'ul) but the first two layers of MSC turned him a frosty greyish color!!! Might be that it's too humid? It has been raining the whole week. I'm going to try again today. It's nice and sunny out.

This is Domuya Zen Head in Normal Skin. He has yellowed a lot with the red pigments leeching out or just breaking down. I really like the sculpt though. The eyes are tad too big but thats ok.

I'll have to wipe and try again until I feel comfortable with the big heads. My goal is to have shorter lashes and work on different eyebrow shapes. I think his contouring isn't bad though.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Commission Completed and BJD sold

My first few commissions are for 1/6 vinyl heads since that is where I started. I finally received one of the heads, and surprisingly it was for an anime head. Surprising because I don't paint a lot of them on my own. Anyway, her name is Feng-Pei and here she is! She is on a rooted Volks Type A head.

In other news, I finally made my first full set BJD to sell. The doll is a Custom House Petite Juriel dressed ad a little Ice Fairy. There are touches of micro-glitter accenting her eyes, the snowflake on her forehead and her nails. I'm not very good at making clothes yet, but I think I will get better soon and she looks pretty sweet. Oh and she has full body blushing.

The glitter is hard to see in the photos but shows up well in real life. Let me know what you guys think.

Moogle is on the back burner but the bf is telling me to finish as is my bf....sorry for taking so long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Faceup Spree

I spent most of this weekend on doing faceups. Sometimes I just need a break from one project, so now that I've indulged my faceup yens and taken a bit of a break from sculpting, I will be heading full force back into sculpting.

In regards to my faceup skills, here are areas I need to improve in.

1. Crease Line
2. Lip Part Line
3. Top Eyelash liner.
4. Eyebrows are better now but still needs improvement
5. Lashes are better now but still needs improvement
6. I want to try for a cleaner very natural look and see if I can do it well

So here is the newly refaced CH Petite Juriel. Her head sculpt is skewed and I'm not sure if it is from the molding process or if the original sculpt is screwy. Either way, the shots here don't show it. It's most noticeable from a lower angle. Still, I don't really like the sculpt of her lips and I'm going to sell her after I finish body blushing her skin to match her face and making her a dress. The blue looks a bit cadaverish but I hope that doesnt scare ppl away from her. She is a snowflake fairy after all.

Today I finished my first set of twins, CH Juniors Ren and Rena. As I mentioned before, I hadn't realized they were the same sculpt when I purchased them since they only have one photo of Ren and he had bangs in his face. All the same, this is one of my favorite headsculpts from Custom House but also one of the hardest to paint. It may be the fault of a worn out mold, but the eye crease was very bumpy. This is a problem because the sculpt of the eye crease is very deep so it was hard to smooth out and painting a bumpy surface means wobbly lines. The mouth is super cute but also hard to paint due to the depth.

One thing I have noticed about CH sculpts (since I have so many) is that often times it is hard to change the mouth expression because of how they sculpt them. There is a ridge around the corners of the mouth so it looks weird if you don't follow the line. It's been mentioned before that it is hard to make Hani and Uri look happy instead of glum, and this is the same reason for Ren and Rena. I tried to make Rena smile a bit but I don't think it worked. Anyway, lots of room for improvement.

Ah, yes, I know that the twins have different coloration. Ren (Allen) is a blonde so his eyebrows are lighter and I made his skin more peachy/bronzey while Rena (Drew) is a brunette with more pink toned skin. They are fraternal after all and can't be expected to look identical.

Also, although I like her faceup better, I am going to sell Rena and replace her with a Yeondu. As much as I like the headsculpt and I love the CH body, I can't justify owning two of the same sculpt.

Okay guys, so the rest of this week I will mostly be sculpting. No more faceups unless it's a commission.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cerise's new face and updates

Hey, unfortunately, being super detail oriented, I have yet again torn apart the moogle arm and resculpted. I havent finished but it's close and just needs sanding. I've been sculpting Serenity and Endymion's faces as well as the hands that they are clasping together. I'll show those when they are a bit close to done. In doll news, I have a few commissions coming in and I redid Cerise's face. I'm not entirely happy with it but I can only hope to improve. It is definitely better than the last one but I still find the huge heads hard to work with.

Here's a pic. I'll be painting some MSD twins (Ren + Rena) for practice in a bit.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Custom House, D.I.M. Happy and DikaDoll Kid comparison

Custom House is one of the first Korean ABJD companies and has been known for their quality and beautiful faceups. For the last year though, there has been a huge hubbub and their name has gone down the tubes because of outstanding orders with almost year long wait times. When I first started buying ABJDs I chanced upon the Custom House website during one of their Timed Events after seeing an owner pic of their doll. I did a quick Wiki search on the company and without knowing their growing reputation for tardy deliveries, I jumped at the incredible prices and ordered.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive after reading an article about CH on BJDCollectasy.com. However, as promised, CH delivered my dolls a little less than two months after the purchase date on March 15. (I had ordered them in late January.) I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to find that even in an unfinished and unstrung state, the resin quality and molding was quite acceptable. The worst dolls are the Juniors, with a bit of chipping and rough resin around the ankles. Junior Ren also had a bunch of pinholes under his jaw, but luckily these were easily sanded away. The resin color is comparable to Dollzone White Skin for the most part with the exception of my Little Junior Mars who is paler and a bit pinker than the rest. I think this might be because he was an older batch in white skin.

(An aside: I didn't realize Ren and Rena were the same sculpt when I ordered....I can't really justify owning two of the same sculpt so I'm probably going to sell Rena as well as Juriel since I really don't like the Juriel face sculpt in real life.)

So, without further ado, here's a lineup of all my CH dolls, a D.I.M. body and my Dikadoll Rena.

Aesthetics and Standing:

Basic Info:
  • CH Bisou- One piece torso- Single jointed elbows and knees. No thigh joint.
  • CH Ange/Petite/LJ/Junior- Two piece torso- Single jointed elbows, Double jointed knees, Thigh joint.
  • D.I.M. Happy Size New Girl body- Two piece torso- Double jointed elbows and knees, Thigh joint.
  • DikaDoll Kid- Three piece torso (locking waist joint)- Double jointed elbows and knees, Locking thigh joint.

As you can see, Custom House has one of the largest ranges of sizes from their Bisou to some 50cm SDs which I don't own. My favorite bodies from them are the Bisou and the Junior Boy and Girl. The Bisou has very nice proportions for a 1/12 Tiny. I've seen some very short legs on certain Tinies which I don't like at all. The Junior Girl body is more developed in the overall shape with a beautiful back arch. I'm also quite impressed with how they sculpted the Junior Boy legs to have a slimmer straighter look than the Girl body. (Note: the LJ Girl body is also very developed which is something I don't like since age wise she should be around 10-13 yo while the Junior size is about 14-16 yo)

My one gripe with Custom House is the inconsistency in their head sizes. The Hani head on the Ange is almost the same size as the Junior Ren/Rena heads and larger than the Petite Juriel and LJ Mars heads. I know Hani has a bigger head from other Anges according to DOA, but to be honest I kind of like her oversized head. It fits better with the idea that she is a kid whereas I think Juriel's head looks too small in the lineup. Notice also that the CH Junior heads are smaller than the other MSD heads. In the long run I don't mind so much and once wigs are on the difference is negligible.

The Dika and D.I.M. body has similar proportions and are less developed than the CH body so age wise, these hover around 11-14 yo . The Dika body does have shorter legs which I find unattractive as well as a rather flat butt and fat calves. The Dika body has very very tight parting lines which is quite nice and I love the face sculpt. However in the following pictures, you will see why I'm not a big fan of the body.

The D.I.M. body is very loosely strung. She tends to stand better than she does in these photos and sueding also helps her immensely. She is capable of standing on one foot and these photos don't do the body justice. Although her ankle size is about the same as the Dika, the sculpt of her calf is very graceful and gives her a better shape than the Dika body. Overall, CH has the most beautiful body sculpts out of the three companies.

Posing (unsueded):

The CH Tinies (Ange and Petite) have very similar bodies and the posing ability is about the same. The differences between them and the Bisou is that the Bisou has a one piece torso, no thigh joints and single jointed knees. The Tinies can all sit and stand just fine. The double jointed knees don't do much but the thigh joint allows the two bigger bodies to do a suwarrico pose just fine. As you can see the torso joint is quite nice in that it allows them to slouch and turn the torso from side to side independent of the hips. However, these guys don't have much of a back arch or side bend.

CH Little Junior -
He's quite similar to the Tinies but his torso has a slightly bigger range of movment. His double jointed knees are also not super useful since he can't really kneel. He's strung super tight though so once the elastic loosens a bit, his head should have more movement than it does now. I tried to bend his torso and head joint as far forward as possible in the first pose and then arch it back in the second pose. He's a bit stiff.

CH Juniors, D.I.M. Happy Girl, DikaDoll Kid Girl-
I lined these guys up in a row so you can compare them more easily.

When sitting, DikaDoll has the straightest back while the CH Juniors lean back slightly if they are not adjusted to bring their torso forward. The D.I.M. body sits fine but has to slouch because of how far back she leans. This doesn't bother me because of how natural her body looks.

Kneeling and forward curl-

The CH bodies are great for this since their double jointed knees allow them to bring their calves quite close to their thighs. I don't think their knees look bad at all. They are also quite good at curling up a bit.

The D.I.M. body is pretty good at kneeling too though her elastic is exposed because she is only single jointed there. Her forward curl isn't as good as the CH Juniors but she looks very natural in this pose as well.

Dikadoll had a minor breakdown O_o. They tried to engineer her with a locking waist joint, but the way it's shaped makes her torso look broken if she bends forward or backwards. The chest joint isn't good for much except turning a bit side to side. Her knees are incapable of kneeling.

Back arch-

This is one of my favorite poses and one of the first I tried on my D.I.M girl when I first got her in November 2010. She actually poses just as well as the CH Juniors but I didn't set her up the same way. CH passes with flying colors for the back bend. D.I.M is very good here too and only a smidgen less arched than CH. Again Dikadoll fails. She can bend but it looks broken. Her chest joint is fairly useless here and her knees don't want to support her though this might change if she were sueded.

Side bend- CH and D.I.M all have very nice side bends as you can see here. The CH dolls have a more rounded torso joint so they can kind of bend around at 360 degrees while D.I.M has very nice bends to the front, back and sides. Dika doll...kinda just fails here too since her chest joint doesn't bend (it only swivels a bit) and her waist joint looks ugly like this.

Knees up crouching-

This is the only pose where the CH Juniors fail. Their thigh joints are just not designed for this. D.I.M. and Dikadoll are very similar here but I would say the the D.I.M. body is a bit more aesthetically pleasing. while the Dika doll thighs look too short.

Swarrico- Yay! Everyone succeeds. I also bent their knees and pointed their toes as much as I could. The CH kness are deep and their toes have super nice points, D.I.M. canot bend her knees much and her foot is relaxed but not pointed and Dika...her knee bend is good, she can't point her toes but I checked and she wins for flexing her feet!

Dikadoll locking joints- This can be a good idea, but I think Dikadoll failed here. As you saw from the previous pictures, her torso looks super awkward if I use the locking waist joint so I just didn't bother to show her in such awkward poses. It might be find if she were wearing clothes though. The thigh joint is also locking but as you can see, the placement is awkward so that when she swivels her leg, there is a mismatched edge.


I love the CH bodies. The aren't as good as Fairyland for posing but aesthetics wise they are beautiful. Compared to Dika and D.I.M., Custom House is clearly superior for posing. D.I.M. is also very good. Considering her knee is single-jointed, she is quite versatile. Dikadoll bodies looked beautiful to me at first glance but after playing with it, I have to say, she's a major disappointment. I still like her face though.

The body I hope to make in the Fall has already been sketched and planned for a while now. She will have more rounded joints like CH and I was considering giving her locking hip and waist joints. After looking at Dika, I'm a bit scared but I think it will still work out. I can only figure it out when I start making it.