Delmar arrived this evening! I took some photos of her current state, just so I have something to compare her future improved self to.
She needs more works than I expected, but nothing I can’t handle. As I previously stated, her orange and black color scheme works well on her, giving her a Gothy, zombie look, but it’s all gotta go. See that pale headcap? That represents the color of her resin beneath the grey blush. Faceup, body jewels, and grey blush are all being stripped.
As for the orange of her tail, an inspection inside her tail socket reveals even color all around, so I’m pretty sure her lower half is dyed. I’ll clean her tail up, for sure [no stick-on rhinestones, please!], but the orange remains.
So Delmar needs blushing, faceup, and rhinestone removal, along with an overall cleaning. She also needs disassembly and [something I was not expected] removal of the sueding in every single joint. Sueding — the insertion of some high-friction material, such as sand, moleskin, or dried hot glue in joint sockets to improve poseability — may work on large, heavy dolls, but it’s less effective on small dolls like Delmar. The sueding keeps her joints from fitting snugly together, and it makes visible layers between pieces that are really distracting. Sueding needs to go, to be replaced by wiring instead.
In another unexpected development, Delmar has no hooks at the ends of her arms or her tail. Both her hands and her tailfin are fully strung, which I think limits their articulation. On smaller dolls [like Jujube, Dorothy, and Jeff], stringing is an acceptable way to keep small hands and feets on, but it’s unnecessary on a doll Delmar’s size. I see that I’ll be making some S hooks soon.
Though I have to drastically improve Delmar, that doesn’t make me dislike her. In fact, I enjoy working on dolls to improve them; it gives me more time to build affection for them. Even though removal of sueding and exchange of string for S hooks don’t really constitute customizing, I do like such activities, as they are part of how I make dolls accord to my visions of what they should be like.
Anyway, now that I have Delmar in hand, I like her even more than in pictures. The official photos seem to emphasize her ungainly proportions and her tiny, puckered mouth, while the auction photos make her look messy, with yellowish undertones. In person, though, she looks more like an awkward kid, with a plump body and stubby limbs, while the extended lip lines make her mouth seem wider. I’m not really impressed with the stiff, simplistic sculpting on the mertail — hip fins aren’t articulated, and there’s no detailing on the main tail section — but her webbed fingers and matching fin-shaped ears are charming.
I think she’s a zombie. Pictures below.