I went ahead with my plan to Customize my second Blythe this week. She was an ICY Blythe to begin with- I am not crazy about the eye of shape she came with, mostly because I like making sleep eyes and you can’t do that with the smaller opening. I was pretty sure she could be helped with a little dolly surgery. And I was Right.
So this is Cordi – short for Cordillia, just as she was when she came to me from China- via Alliexpress.
Like I said I like a larger rounded eye shape, so the extra eyelid part at the top will be cut out.
But first- I need to take the three screws out of the back of her head, using a tiny phillips screwdriver. I put them in a little plastic dish with a lid along where I will put several other of her parts for safe keeping.
2. Then I release the little “spring” wire off from around the plastic bar in the center of the square whole at the back of her head. Here is a picture of the wire just halfway off. I use a small crochet hook to do this. (Can you Find the square hole in the picture below? That little hooky thing in the middle of the square whole is the tip of the spring. Once I push it off of that bridge, it releases her eye mechanism, and I can open her head)
With the screws out and the wire off, I am ready to pop the head apart. I Lay the doll on her side and apply pressure to her temple, putting the pressure more on the back side of her head rather than ton the face plate. *Note – When I put her back together again- I will do much the same thing to snap the edges in together again. Only, at that time, I will apply the pressure more to the faceplate, rather than the back side of the head . (OOOOH ! SCARY HAND! – I promise I am NOT THAT OLD!!!)And the head pops open! At least that’s the way it has happened for me twice now. I have heard/read that it can actually be much more of a challenge than this. I have read other’s accounts saying that sometimes there is glue in the joint, or the head is just being stubborn. Maybe the bottom will pop open a crack and then it will be necessary to wedge something in the crack and ‘help’ it apart. However one does it, it is necessary to be careful not to damage the doll.
OOPS! – I forgot to tell you to take the plastic pull/ ring, off of the string. But that’s okay, you can do that now and put it in the same dish with the 3 screws. Then the back of the head will slip off of the string.
So, now that I have the back of the head off. I Unscrew the faceplate from the scalp. I just loosen the screw a bit and the scalp off. Thats the screw there in the photo above, just beside the spring that was unhooked. (Photo above)
(Photo Below) And this picture shows the scalp slipping off of the place that the screw was holding it to. This photo also shows the last screw to be undone. It is right below the eyes and it is holding a plastic, horshshoe-shaped t-bar in place.
I Unscrew the screw that you see in the picture above and remove it and I remove the T-bar and put them in the same dish as the other 3 screws from the back of the head. (I only LOOSENED the screw that held the scalp to the faceplate. It’s in an awkward place to screw back in, so it’s best to leave it there. ) If the plastic t-bar doesn’t come up right away, I use a screwdriver or some other tool to lever it up. It actually has a groove that fits down onto the plastic part below it, which is why it needs a little encourgement to ‘let go’. Here is a picture. ON To DISMANTLEING THE EYEBALLS! I use a blowdryer as suggested in the Blytheverafter tutorial to warm up the plastic a little so it’s easier to bend and put a little pressure on the sides of the head and then pull the eyeball/eyelid unit out of the socket on one side of the head. (See picture below).My finger is pointing to it above. You can see that ‘down’ is the direction that you will need to go. You can also see that you really don’t need to spread that faceplate very much in order for it to release from it’s socket. Once one side comes out the other side slips out easily.
Next I need to remove the eyeball rod/ from the eyelids socket. I do that in much the same way as I did taking the whole unit out of the head only FIRST- I need to remove the square bracket from the clip that you can see in center of the picture below. Can you see the white square wrapped around the flesh-colored clip at the center of the photograph? The clippy thing would be easy to break(I haven’t yet but it’s only a matter of time. ) The clippy thing needs to be squoze? a little while the white square is eased up over and and off of it. – The only other choice would be to leave this unit all together while I sand the eye-lids, and paint them and spray them with Sealer. So I take it off.
Once I have all of that apart- and I’ve pulled the string out and put it with the screws that I saved. I am ready to begin dolly surgury. Sanding- carving- painting- sealing. And eventually putting her back together again. Here’s what she looked like after the first few minutes of carving and scraping. I actually used a pencil at the very beginning and drew right on her face, what shape I wanted her mouth to end up looking like. Using some measuring tools to help me keep her mouth centered and drawing that on her face was very helpful. Other sites I read, suggested sanding everything first, and then beginning the carving but after doing one doll already, that didn’t make sense to me. I carve, then I sand. You can see in the photo above that the first thing I did was to open up her eyes. On the ICY doll I found it necessary to get rid of the entire fake eyelid, AND open up the eye on the INSIDE UPPER corners, and the OUTSIDE LOWER corners. Again, It was very helpful to draw first and then carve. So here she is after a bit of carving and sanding. She’s wet because I carve her wet and I sand her wet. I’ve read some bad things about the toxic nature of the dust from sanding these plastics, so I wear a mask AND I carve wet/sand wet. Here she is about halfway through the painting process. A coat of Mr. Super Clean is sprayed on first (after sanding and before painting) to give the paint something to cling to. Most people, (including me on the doll above) use pastel chalks, and water color pencils to color the face. It has to be done in layers. So, add a little dusting of chalk. Then spray some matte sealer. Then add more chalk. Then more matte sealer. And I repeat this process until I reach the desired affect. I use a wet paintbrush and rub it on my watercolor pencils and use that on her lips. It must be noted that one must let the Matte sealer have proper drying time between spraying and adding more color.
*A NOTE ON MR. SUPER CLEAN or MSC as it is referred to. Every site I read said this is the spray to use, however! THIS IS TOXIC BAD STUFF! One whiff of it will tell you that. I bought some- ($20 on aliexpress) and I’ve used it on 2 dolls but I won’t buy anymore. Not with all the health warnings. If I had read all the warnings before I bought it, I would not have gotten it. I will use a different, less toxic, matte sealer made in America on my next doll. MSC should only be used while wearing an enclosed respirator type , well fitting mask, in an open ventillated area. And then get the heck away from it while it dries.
Here is Cordi, all put back toghether again. She is still waiting on new eyechips. I spent as much time trying to paint her eyechips, (unsuccessfully, I might add), as I did taking her apart and sanding/painting/putting her back together, combined. And I did NOT ENJOY IT, the eye chip painting, that is. I love carving. SO, I’ve ordered eye chips. After her eyechips come, she will also get eyelashes.
The end. – Or rather, just the beginning. ……For Cordi, anyway. As soon as her eyechips come in, she will be up for adoption at DeltaDawnBoutique.