Saturday, July 29, 2017

Make Over: Step 3

I've been working on My Pretty Topsy Tail and decided to open her head up so I could remove all the hair that was still protruding through her scalp. Unlike many of the recent vinyl dolls who have tensioned hair, this doll had looped/stitched hair so it was difficult to remove the stubble any other way. 

You can see there was quite a bit to remove and it took me hours and by the time I had finished, my poor fingers were so sore from using the haemostats.

Having opened up her head, I figured rather than painting her eyes, I could now insert acrylic eyes. I would have preferred glass eyes, but I think they will be far too heavy to hold in place.

It took some doing cutting through the vinyl, it was quite thick, but eventually it was done.

I also gave her head a final wipe over with the acetone to remove the paint residue that didn't come off before because of the remaining stubble. Next step will be doing her face up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Using Sealants

The purpose of spraying a base coat on bare plastic/vinyl or resin, is to give your doll a coat of flat matte, providing a microscopic uneven surface, which will enable your acrylic paints, pencils and/or pastels to adhere.

Spraying sealant in between applications is how layers are protected during the repaint process. It's much like what artists do, when illustrating with charcoal, to stop it smudging. It also enhances the colours, allowing you to create depth, even a degree of translucency to areas where you require it, such as the eyes.

This is especially so, when a final spot coat of gloss is applied to specific areas with a brush, after the final matt top coat has been applied. My sealant preference for this is Mr. Colour Gloss.

Applying a top coat not only seals and protects your beautiful artwork for years to come, it hides any minor imperfections in the surface and allows you to take photos of your finished dolls without a reflective glare, which is more often found on uncoated plastic/vinyl dolls like Blythe here on the right.

Things to watch out for when using sealants are:
Dust, hair and other miscellaneous airborne particles.
Extremes in temperature ~ it's advisable to work in temperatures ranging from 23-27C (73-81F)
Humidity ~ moisture in the air will create fine droplets or spotting on your work, so definitely don't use when it's raining!
Don't breath it in ~ most sealants are toxic, so it's advisable to use a protective mask in a ventilated area or a professional ventilated spray booth.
Avoid eye & skin contact ~ use gloves when holding your doll.
Distance ~ hold your can about 45 cm (approx.18 inches) from your doll and limit spraying to about 3-5 seconds, so it's just enough to apply a thin, even coat to the surface.

My ideal conditions are ~ 25C (77F) with 50-60% humidity, outdoors on a still day.

My go to sealant is Mr Super Clear UV Flat, as it can be used on both my plastic/vinyl and resin dolls, it also has the UV protection which helps prevent yellowing. Yes it's a bit smelly when applying, but that dissipates quickly.

Obtainable in Australia from Japan Toys in Melbourne, at a reasonable price, but please note MSC can only be shipped by road to other states.
Email: or Phone: 0490 678 559.

Also available from Brunel Hobbies 20 Station Road, Cheltenham. Scroll to the bottom of their website page, it's just above Paint Pens.
Email: or Phone: 1300 278635.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Make Over: Step 2

Remember this face? She's a 1993 My Pretty Topsy Tail made by Tyco, in case you missed seeing it before.

Well the face had a wash! I used 100% Acetone (available at Bunnings) with Swisspers make up remover pads to wipe off most of the paint, then Swisspers cotton tips (both available from the pharmacy), and finally to get into the really tight crevices, I used Mr Hobby GT69 tips (available from Brunel Hobbies).

The eyes came up okay, but as much as I tried, I could not get it all out of the mouth, if you look closely you can see some deep in the creases.

Next was a quick wipe over with Isocol (Isopropyl Alcohol from the pharmacy) just to remove any residue, then once dry (only takes a few seconds), a fine spray of Mr.Hobby Super Clear UV Cut (also available from Brunel's). Later this week I will begin her face up.

P.S. I also removed the paint from her shoes.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Another Beauty or Two, or Maybe Three!

I fell hook line and sinker for another doll just recently. Although I had heard of the famous German Zwergnese dolls beforehand and viewed a few on the internet, I had never seen one that appealed to me enough to bring home. That was until I met Violet . . . she is 50cm tall, is fully made of phthalate-free vinyl which is harmless to health, has 5 joints for mobility, a hand-painted face, wig, real leather shoes which are deliberately larger than her feet, high-quality clothing and is packed in high quality cloth bag for her journey to her new home.

Her designer Nicole Marschollek-Menzner, has a knack of making her dolls appear incredibly childlike. The combination of an unexpected painted expression with a slightly ungainly posture, and garments which clothe the doll in such a way as to make it look almost alive, simply amazes me.

I can see myself looking for more of these dolls down the track, I really doubt if I could ever stop at owning just one, they are far too pretty . . . don't you agree?

Of course Abigail may find her way into my shopping basket next . . . you know how much I adore little red haired girls!

(All the above photos are courtesy of Zwergnese)


I could also be tempted by this little sweetie by Kath Kruse (if she ever comes back in stock). I mean, she is after all, quite the little darling and very hard to resist with her rosebud lips and all those beautiful loose ringlets. BTW if you want to know more about the artist behind this doll, just click on her name to view her history, it dates back to 1905!
Courtesy of Petalina Dolls UK

Well that just about wraps it up for this post. Hope you are all having a wonderful week!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Make Over: Step 1

The two dolls arrived today and after looking at the hair on the both of them, this one got a shave, a darn good wash and a lovely curly wig.

I was surprised the shoes didn't come off, and are actually part of the doll.

She probably won't stay this way as I am thinking of toning down the pink lips and shoes. I mean I love pink, but honestly, they are really bright!

I may even wipe the face completely, not sure yet.

The other gal went to the spa ~
After carefully parting her hair into sections, then brushing and combing each one, until I managed to pull the brush straight through. Once all the hair was untangled, I washed the hair with shampoo and added a conditioner.

Seeing her fringe was very crooked, I took the scissors to it and cut it straight. I also trimmed off any fuzzy ends. Then I plaited her hair in sections, hopefully when it's dry it will give it a nice wave.

If the worse happens and the hair looks awful, I shall use my straightener to smooth it out. Oh you may also have noticed the streaks of orange hair ran in the wash, but I kind of like it. :)

Next on the list for these two is some decent clothes, so tomorrow will be spent trying on some I already have, and seeing if any of my dolly stash has any shoes that fit this little gals feet. 

Happy weekend everyone!

2/7 P.S. The final hair looks great, though I think I should have just ran my fingers through it rather than brushed it. Excuse the nudity . . . she's been framed. :)

Seeing her naked like this with her hair down, I am thinking she has rather a large head for the size body she is on. I wonder if I can find another body somewhere that would suit her head better???