Category Archives: Tutorials

Guest Post: smoothing pony hair (nylon) in general by Tiffy

Cross posted from https://imreadydollparts.tumblr.com/

I’ll try to get this all together in one go….

How to get from:

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To:

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Most important

is that your flat iron has multiple heat settings.

That is 100% my secret. I lucked into the right flat iron about 15 years ago.

If it’s just on-off it’s most likely too hot. If it’s low-high, also tends to be too hot even on low.

Mine has 30 temp settings, but they are 1-30 not the actual temps so I can’t give any advice as to what temp I’m using on what hair, just what flat iron setting.

I generally stay on heat setting one (which on my particular iron is low enough to not melt Kanekalon, while also high enough to smooth nylon) unless a hair is particularly stubborn, then I will turn it up by one dot on the dial at a time, testing it every time it reaches temp again.

Very rarely does my iron melt hair but it has happened with the color-change streak on a Splash n Color Teresa and with Creata doll hair*. Nylon can handle a little more heat but is also very willing to take a shape, so doesn’t need much.

Mini Tip:  I’ve found that wet hair smooths out more easily than dry. The steam, I guess. As long as your flat iron is set right for your fiber the hair will not melt, so you can do it dry if you want, but wet goes better.

Second biggest tip is that Amazon thinks I have a cat and a dog but I don’t.

That’s because I use pet combs and brushes on doll and pony hair.

Metal tines, as long as they are smooth (I had some combs that were punched from a sheet of metal and the tines were squared off and sharp) are best for plastic hair fibers because plastic combs have seam lines on the tines that can snag and tear hair.

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A cat slicker brush like this is best for regular brushing because, just like a detangling brush for people, the wires will bend and let go of a knot instead of ripping out the hair.

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@firespirited? told me about this type of steel comb and it is amazing. The tines don’t bend [on mine] and the comb hasn’t warped at all even with repeated use and some heavy tangles. You can turn the comb on it’s end and use the last tine as a pick when needed.

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And this exact flea comb has been MVP. I picked it up relatively recently and have been amazed by it’s durability (only recently have the tines started to bend a little and that’s after roughly 300 dolls and ponies and pulling pretty hard on some of them). It also does some kind of magic on doll hair.

The spacing on this comb is also so fine that it can pull out more dirt than a soap and water wash did. It’s excellent at removing lint, bug parts (had centipede legs and dead ants that were falling apart in pony hair recently), and most animal hairs as long as they aren’t aligned with the fibers. Have to get those with tweezers.

Often I’ve gotten through the rough comb out with the steel comb and the fibers felt like they might need hit with the flat iron, but after making a few passes with this flea comb it’s perfectly smooth and doesn’t need heat anyway.

Leading the flat iron with this comb (as in having the iron right behind the comb while flattening and combing at the same time) has helped a ton with smoothing out the tips of the hairs. Without doing that, there’s usually an inch or so of bad scruff left over after flattening. This takes it down to about a quarter inch which is a lot less loss after trimming.

(Amazon affiliated links to the brush, steel comb, and flea comb.)

Third biggest is conditioner.

Even if the hair doesn’t feel very dry, a little time in some conditioner will make it flatten more easily.

Any conditioner will help, but some do work better than others. I ran out of some Herbal Essences conditioner and bought a GALLON of Mane n Tail. Mane n Tail has been kind to MY hair, but wasn’t as effective on doll/pony hair as the Herbal Essences. Suave is another brand that’s worked well.

I’ve also had very good results from an after-coloring treatment mask from Garnier and tend to save that one for the worst feeling hairs.

Also important:

Realistic expectations.

The hair won’t feel perfect after flattening. Most of it will feel really great, but the ends will generally still be crinkled up a bit. That means the very ends of the hair will feel bad, still, and so will any shorter hair with the end being up in the main uh….. I don’t know clump of hair? You’ll be able to feel it if you run your hand down the hair. You can ignore those, pluck or trim them, whatever you want.

You may also have to condition and flatten multiple times to get the results you’re looking for. Don’t be discouraged if the first flattening doesn’t get you there.

Here’s a badly matted Disney Animator’s Collection Rapunzel with the left side combed out:

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And after the first run through the flat iron:

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And here after three or four conditionings and flattenings (I don’t remember exactly how many):

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As for how

The order in which I do things changes depending on the state of the hair. If it’s very tangled and matted I usually won’t try to wash it until I’ve detangled it with the steel comb, because it’s difficult to rinse again and I don’t like working with soapy-wet hair.

If it’s particularly gross and dirty, though, I’ll go ahead and wash it because I also don’t like to touch nasty, or sticky hair. I use dish soap. It’s effective on a lot of different kinds of yuck and won’t harm the doll/pony or it’s hair.

Assuming the hair is too icky to touch comfortably:

– Wash and rinse, followed by a towel drying (or laying out to dry if I’m doing a LOT of them at once) and then set to work on the tangles with the steel comb.

– Starting at the ends comb the hair, slowly working your way up to the root, very carefully, gently picking apart mats with the wider-end of the steel comb or the end tine on a metal-tined hair pick or rat-tailed comb (there weren’t any rat-tailed combs when I went shopping for one so I got a pick and it works fine) until all of the major tangles are gone.

– Tip to root, very carefully with the finer end of the steel comb.

– Tip to root, very carefully with the flea/nit comb.

– This is where I generally apply conditioner. You can either apply it directly or if I’m doing a lot of Barbies all at once, I like to put some cool water in a dish, mix in some conditioner, and lay them so their hair is all in the same dish. That saves some product. Then let that sit however long you want. There is no too long, don’t worry even if it dries in the hair. It’ll rinse out fine. Then rinse well when you’re ready.

Mini Tip: Some people will tell you to flat iron the hair with the conditioner in. You can do that if you want. I haven’t found it makes much of a difference unless the hair is desperately dry, and in that case I’ve found it more effective to apply a very thin coating of petroleum jelly (put a little-little bit in your palm, rub it around until your hands are just a bit greasy but not very, run the hair between your hands a few times) and heat that in, as opposed to regular hair conditioner.

– Towel dry, and while it’s still damp, section it out and hit it with the flat iron. BE CAREFUL flat ironing wet or damp hair because you will drop boiling hot water into your own lap. Just be cautious. Keep a towel in your lap.

I generally flat iron from root to tip, leading the iron with the flea/nit comb. This works out fine if you’ve detangled properly.

– Repeat conditioning through flat ironing steps as needed. The first flat ironing is generally not enough when the hair was badly matted.

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*For Creata brand doll hair, carefully detangle, comb, and wrap with your curlers, put the head in a plastic baggie then- or directly into- a mug of water, and put it on a candle warmer for a few hours.

Tiffy restores dolls and ponies at https://imreadydollparts.tumblr.com/

Vinyl/ABS BJD who’s legit & who’s counterfeit?

So you’d like a cheap body for your BJD or Anime doll or don’t feel comfortable with resin BJD and would prefer cheaper ABS and vinyl hinged dolls?

Here’s who know are legit (so far, please contact if you recognize any recast parts): I’ve only done the girl dolls so far but the two legit companies both do boy dolls.

Ye Luoli aka Night Lolita at https://yeluoli.tmall.com. 1/6th 1/4th and 1/3 size dolls

1/4th:

1/3rd: They come in many different faceups but that long thin nose is characteristic

Xinyi aka XinYiWawa 1/6th and 1/4th size dolls on ebay and aliexpress, 1/3rd dolls

1/6th:

1/4th:

1/3rd: (on the right)
Monst Dolls make cute 1/8th and 1/6th dolls (http://www.luladoll.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=82_114&product_id=134 also available from xiaomi as resellers) HT Dollsorwhatever


Who’s using vinyl recasts?

Kilig aka Doris aka Kitty (copied Asleep Eidolon Moira https://weibo.cn/status/4174385813978468)  in 1/6th, 1/4 and 1/3rd sizes. Also sold By Ucanaan, on ebay, wish, aliexpress and amazon under various names.

DreamFairy aka DBS aka Eva BJD (copied AngellStudio Liu Rushi https://www.instagram.com/p/B20FS66pYUC/ )

Their bodies copied Volks and Angellstudio (HT queenofsquids.tumblr.com)

This generic 60cm doll body (On the left – neck has been modded by the owner) copies Volks dollfie hands, calves and Obitsu lower torso: HT FineLeideeh

 

This sleep head is a NapiDoll sleeping Carol (http://napidoll.kr/product/detail.html?product_no=52&cate_no=24&display_group=1) HT queenofsquids

This “16cm bjd” head is a counterfeit Lati Yellow Kuku (http://www.latidoll.com/2007_en/index.htm?mode=product_view&big=2&mid=4&num=8039) HT Sam-noche

This 30cm bjd or 1/6th bjd head is a shrunken Asleep Eidolon Moira (https://weibo.cn/status/4174385813978468) HT dollsonmain and teendollsquad. She may have yazina engraved on her neck.

This 1/3 head is Mystic Kids Alina (http://www.acbjd.com/58cm-alina-head-p-8612.html?cPath=1140_1147) HT QueenOfSquids

What can you do if you’ve accidentally bought a vinyl or ABS recast?

You can get a refund from paypal or your credit card for being sold a counterfeit item and tell people which shop to avoid. You can keep your doll but I wouldn’t post it online as it hurts the people who paid for the legitimate version to see badly made ripoffs of their doll and could be seen as an endorsement of stealing sculpted art.

What about other vinyl and abs heads that are for sale?

We havn’t been able to ID them yet. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute. i’m at firespirited on tumblr, gmail and saffy_suppi on flickr.

 

Trial and error with déco flocking. Part 1

Barbie “Wonkette”: Success! Décoden caulk in plain white with AB coated 1mm glass beads and 2mm “micro diamonds” sharp facetted AB coated glass. Doesn’t shed. The shimmer effect is *~*amazing*~*. Kept.

Draculaura: Mixed. Décoden caulk white with a drip of red which ended up clashing with the face and not looking like icing at all, fixing caulk errors once it’s begun to dry (and it’s fast) is messy. Flakes don’t stick unless pressed in. Back to bald.

Barbie Desirée: Nope. UHU glue leeches the colour from painted glass beads which discolour in patches (no photos of this step sorry) and stains the plastic. Second attempt with E6000 does not grip the glass beads which shed upon touch. Back to bald.

Bratz Sharidan: Mixed. UHU glue works well with both glitter and plastic diamonds. Very nice and solid. Scalp needs painting first & the shiny showgirl helmet makes the eye makeup look dull. Back to bald.

Removing the hair from a vintage doll who’s hair has felted/melted together and rerooting a swiss cheese head safely

  • Cover the faces with tissues when ever you’re working with them as friction from your hands could damage the vintage paint
  • Alternate between tough nail scissors and thinner sharper blades to pracically shave the hair as close to the head as possible: any plugs melted together will rip open a hole so slice between partings and clumps until you can see each individual plug. This is really messy, there will be hair dust everywhere but it’s worth it. You can’t compensate for all the holes the vintage rooting will have left but you can avoid making any more.
  • Resist the urge to use your hemostats and tweezers to yank on the hair: prefer scraping motions even if it takes longer for a cluster of hair (glued of felted together on the inside) to dislodge from the vinyl.
  • Take detailed photos of problem areas before boiling just the tops of the head on a thick chopstick [and again do not touch the face, let it dry off naturally.]
  • The top of the head can be wiped with acetone just don’t put huge amounts on the cotton wipe so it won’t drip anywhere near the face, take as many wipes as you need to do this slowly and safely.
  • wiping the faces with water + a plain cotton wipe is enough to remove the grime. repaint work is done after rerooting.
  • If the plastic tears are too wide, put a layer of UHU glue down inside the head and let it dry for 48 hours as a sort of second coating of plastic.
  •   fill the head with tiny pieces of sponge to avoid squishing anything open and wrap the facial area in tissue before beginning rerooting work (obviously do this AFTER you’ve drawn the new hairline, not like me who had to undo it all then redo it LOL)

freckles

I mix two browns, water and matte acrylic sealant with a brush then use one side of some craft tweezers -large size but pointed ends- to make the dots. One dot to test on the little piece of plastic used as a palette, one or two, sometimes three on the doll to vary in size and pigmentation.

Quick n dirty tutorial on how to turn a junk Monster High body into parts for Create a Monster

So see the create a monsters up there? one is wearing a draculaura leg and another has lagoona arms (and bits from a clone spider body)

You’ll want a hacksaw or dremel with saw bit (wear protection glasses!!!), a grinder or a wire cutter + craft knife for cutting down plastic and a pair of pliers to crack bits open. Use a towel or gloves as cut plastic can be sharp.

Cut the legs about 1cm above the knee joint, a line across the upper torso from shoulder to shoulder and one about 8mm down the neck to keep the neck joint.

Put your pliers across the neck and knees to snap them off + three extra slices down each knee and across the neck to get your neck peg and legs free.

Dig your pliers into the upper torso and pull back while pulling down on the torso with your other hand: you want to crack open the torso by bending the plastic as trying to dremel your way to the shoulder bits will take ages.

You then file/grind/slice down the legs and shoulder pegs to match your create a monster bits. I tend to make them square shaped by doing 4 sides, it gives them a little bit more grip.

It’s not pretty but it works!

If possible I like to keep bodies and give them clone spider arms ($3 for 3 pairs of black arms!) but these were floppy, yellowed and had already been experimented on.

How to straighten the hair on a yarn reroot without ripping all the plugs out

Sometimes a yarn reroot doesn’t come out the way you’d like it to. Big Hair works on some dolls and others end up looking like an 80s USA glamour picture.

Do not take the shedding brush straight to the hair, it’ll just rip out half the hair plugs even if it’s well sealed in.

Grab a small bunch of plugs and hold the straightener (low temp) as close to the scalp as possible, hold ten seconds

Pinch that flattened area then use the straightener as you would normally, pulling at a slighly rolled angle

When you’ve done enough straightening, tie a very tight ponytail (you’ll need to snip the elastic to avoid ripping) and take the shedding brush or comb to the hair. This will produce a lot of yarn roving.

Repeat the process across the head (this is fairly slow going)

Gently use the shedder brush on a superficial level on any remaining “stringy looking” areas.

You may still lose a few plugs, put them aside, brush them then root them in patchy places. You’ll also notice that you lose colour vibrancy.

 

Braiding kanekalon for rerooting info

1/ If it’s dip dyed they used something idye poly and it smells like formaldehyde when heated

2/ Don’t strain yourself trying to straightening it: go for the higest setting on your iron (or notch it up little by little until you find what doesn’t burn). That’s a temperature of 200° Celcius on my iron (329° Fahrenheit)

3/ This applies to braiding kanekalon for human braids only! Glow in the dark kanekalon, Toyokalon, doll grade kanekalon and poly types will frazzle so always test the hair end before starting in the middle! Reminder that saran takes upto 120°C & no more.

4/ glue solidily into the head and wait a full 48 hours or it can come out while brushing or just moving the head.

Photo review: clone disney fairies articulated body

Unknown torso made of solid plastic, vinyl limbs cast from disney fairies made from leftover pellets which means swirling and colours within the plastic, white hard plastic joints.

Some flash to slice out at the joints and leftover spruce nubs on the top side of the limbs, occasional line to sand or back-knife off.

Fantastic articulation which can easily be added to, with some slices to the upper arm joint at the elbow and to the back of the thigh at the knee.     26cm pale skin ideal for EAH, pale skipper sized dolls, generic asian dollar store dolls, anthro or Licca body replacement providing that you’re OK with discolourations.

Fit MH/EAH/Bratz clothes and barbie sized shoes.

How to remove sticker gunk when you don’t have Goo Gone

 

1/ use a rag to rub vaseline into the glue residue, really smear it in and let it sit for a minute. this breaks down part of the compounds.

2/ use another rag with alcohol (or white vinegar, cheap aftershave, window cleaner) to remove the remains of the glue

3/ you might have to redo 1 and 2 for particularly stubborn glue streaks

Don’t use cotton disks like I did as you’ll get lots of cotton stuck to your glue.

Always close the cap on your alcohol bottle (yes the photo above is annoying me) as it’ll evaporate.

I used a soap dispenser for the example but this also works for dolls that have sticky tape residue on them. I was prompted to make this tutorial because I made the mistake of using acetone on a Gigi Grant and lost definition to her stomach design.