Inspired by an upcoming visit to the Montreal Otakuthon Dollfest, I finally got my ass in gear and finished Delmar. She is the top half of a Leekeworld Little Mermaid. Her fat little butt + tail I commissioned from @pandorkful who made it out of wool. She also put an armature in it so that Delmar can either sit reasonably well or lie down. Either way, the tail provides a drastic improvement over the resin one that she came with. I only need to make one improvement. Because her tail is lightweight felt, she does not sit well against propped against something. I need to weight her tail to keep her upright better.
In successes, Submit’s Hujoo Wings body in apricot came on Friday. I narrowed the neck to fit her head socket, trimmed down the feet so they could fit into her glittery shoes, and wired her arms. The apricot plastic matches with the color of her resin well, and the proportions work very well; she now looks like she’s between 8 and 10 instead of between 6 and 8. With more evenly distributed weight, a jointed torso, single-jointed elbows, and double-jointed knees, she has much greater stability and articulation than she did in her original form.Continue reading Doll successes and frustrations this weekend
Finished cleaning Delmar today. Decided to retain all human [grey resin] parts, as well as yellow [probably once white] tailfin. I’m excluding her tail from hips to end joint, as they’re just so undetailed and poorly jointed that I wonder why Leekeworld even bothered. I plan to make Delmar a substitute tail of some more flexible material, but I am not sure what.Continue reading Delmar salvaged
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. Continue reading Delmar: cute, in need of much help
Last night I bought a Leekeworld Gift Project Little Mermaid for $150.00 [!] shipped off Ebay. She’s a pretty rare BJD, as she was only offered as a gift between August 30th and September 26th, 2012 to customers who spent a certain amount. Those who spent over $350.00 got a version of her with a human body, while those who spent over $450.00 got a version of her with a mermaid tail. This, of course, irritated me to no end, as I of course wanted a 1:6 scale mermaid BJD, but absolutely nothing else from Leekeworld, certainly not $450.00 of stuff.
The Leekeworld Little Mermaid is not a $450.00 doll. Despite an overall cute concept — she’s 20cm in human form, so she’s basically a merkid with a chubby face — she suffers from poor design. She has a questionably long torso, which, combined with her short limbs, just makes her look weird. Both human and mer versions have underbust joints and hip joints, but no waist joints, meaning that the long torso never achieves fluid, realistic posture. To make matters worse, while the human version has double-jointed knees, the mer version has articulation only at the hip and at the base of the tail. I thought Soom’s merdolls had abysmal articulation, but at least they can sit down, as Faery Legend Azur demonstrates. Again, Leekeworld Little Mermaid is not anywhere near a $450.00 doll. She’s a $150.00 doll that needs a lot of help.
Delmar, as I have named her, requires serious work. I’m not sure what’s going on with her resin color, whether she’s faded and/or blushed, but she definitely needs all current pigmentation, including faceup, removed. The orange and grey color scheme works surprisingly well, so I may keep that, but first she needs disassembly, thorough cleaning, and restringing. I may also shorten her torso so that the horrible hip joint becomes more of a waist joint. There may also be the addition of a “knee” joint in the future or perhaps even a wholesale replacement of that irritatingly unbending tail.
Delmar is a VERY LOUD Goth in training and Submit’s friend. Pictures from auction [taken by seller tealmermaid] below:Continue reading Have acquired small mermaid #2.