Continued from Part 1.
Reminder: This is an experimental doll.
I am testing different materials and techniques, results might vary, so please do not see it as a tutorial.
This is what I have so far:
Also I will be taking the opportunity to show some tools and materials that we sell at Morezmore – in action:
Next – Arms.
Threaded 1/4″ studs – to find the correct placement of the holes on the arms.
First layer of clay. Ready for baking, forceps keep the parts in the air.
Sanded the shoulder balls to make a good fit in the sockets.
Cut the slot for raising arms.
Put it together and put some “flesh” on the arms – sort of closer to what they need to look like.
While I was making the arms, I had a couple of ideas and decided to put them to use right away. So – arms again, slightly differently.
Small threaded studs help to keep the balls centered.
Put first layer of clay and baked. While they were baking, rubbed the socket with the colored articulating paper. That is the paper the dentist uses to make perfect fit for the filling. Remember “Tap-tap”? When I put the ball into the socket, the color from the socket transfers to the ball and shows the places that need to be filed or sanded down.
When the balls finally fit into the socket, removed the coloring with sanding paper and the remaining traces with an acetone on a cotton swab.
Made the vertical slots – for arm raising.
Testing – it works.
Then cut the clay at the elbow joint (at pencil line next to the top red ball).
Unscrewed the upper part of the arm from the screw.
Trimmed and sanded the elbow socket.
Drilled the holes and installed pieces of wire for s-hooks.
Installed the s-hook/swivel/spring assembly into the shoulder joints. The length of the assembly (and the tension) can be regulated with swivels. For this one I just needed one swivel.
Unscrewed the lower parts of the arms from the screw. Here is what I have now.
…until they fit into the sockets and rotate smoothly.
Added clay at the elbow area. Stringed all parts on knitting needles.
Pressed together to shape the fresh clay between 2 sockets to form the elbow stopper (so that the joint does not rotate backwards).
Baked again. Tested, trimmed, sanded, fitted, until they all fit and work.
Put the s-hook/spring assembly.
Looking forward to hands – both of us!
Cut ten small pieces of cotton-covered wire – for fingers
Cut two small pieces of brass tubing 1/8″ with a tubing cutter – for ferrules to hold the fingers together.
With an ice pick and pliers, opened the holes (they got narrow from cutting).
Put the finger wires into ferrules. Crimped flat with the micro crimper.
After baking cut with exact knife:
on the back of the palm on the palm
Thin layer of liquid clay
Inserted retaining rod and hooked.
Thought of a different better way to make hands, will do them slightly differently next time.
One of my ambitions for this doll is to make her stand.
So I made this stand from a wooden plaque with a steel plate on top. One of the feet (you can see the beginnings of them on the photo below) has a strong rectangular mini magnet.
Only one foot because if the magnets are in both feet, they constantly stick to each other. So one is enough to keep the doll put, springs and joints will take care of keeping her vertical and in pose (I hope).
Formed the hip balls and thighs.
What is happening now:
She is close to completion and I learned a lot. I am going to finish the feet and start remaking this doll in Magic Sculpt epoxy clay. On that next doll I will apply the joints and parts modifications/improvements that I figured out too late for this doll. Also, the tension created by the springs is too powerful for polymer clay, the clay is limiting the posing ability – I am constantly afraid that the clay will snap. I hope that fear will be removed with stronger clay and I can push the posing further. Right now I just want to finish the clay prototype and not very motivated to describe in detail. Will do on the next one. Meanwhile – here is what I have.
First draft complete.
Lessons to be taken to the next version:
1. I need a stronger clay to do what I want about posing. I will try magic sculpt epoxy clay.
2. Joints performance depends on the precision of the fit and the strength of the tension. I got the strength from springs, but the fit is mediocre and the polymer clay is too fragile to do many modifications. I hope epoxy clay will do better.
3. Springs-hook assembly works great and I will use it again in the next version.
4. Close the hooks shut if not planning to disassemble the joint any more, because otherwise accidental releasing of one spring brings the collapse of the entire construction.
5. Miniature screws make great rods, instead of wire. I have 12 mm long M2 screws, which I used on knees and feet. They can be snipped with wire cutters to the needed size. I also waiting for long 30 mm screws – for the head and torso.
6. Balls and sockets should fit better. Knee and elbow balls need to be cut from both sides so that they only rotate in one plane.
7. Magnet on the foot needs to be stronger, I will double it on the next version.
8. Rod in the head can be in the bead inside the head, instead of from temple to temple. Looks nicer. The head top cover can be on magnets.
9. I have an idea to make a set of “bones” first. Make the joints, and assemble the “skeleton”. Assemble and test everything. Then sculpt the doll around that skeleton. Added bonus – the “bones” can be molded and recast – to save time and effort on the next doll. Definitely an idea worth trying.
On the right photo – my first BJD doll which I made a while ago.
Thank you. I will be back with the next part.