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Author Topic: Odd problems with customs  (Read 1831 times)

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Offline SickViking

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Odd problems with customs
« on: November 06, 2016, 03:46:03 PM »
I'm encountering a handful of problems with my customs. I've been using testors as a sealant, spent a week painting two faces then when I got to the rehairing portion, both dolls faces just slipped right off where I was holding the heads, with pretty much zero effort. It's not even chipping, it's just sliding off in chunks all the way down to the base layer of sealant. I've bought some MSC but honestly I'm too scared to use it until I figure out WHY this happened since I've never heard of or experienced this before. I've been using testors for almost a decade on Bjds and mlps so I have no idea what's going on. Any ideas from experienced customizers?

I've also been experimenting with rehairing and I was hoping for some tips. With yarn and nylon I've experienced that the hair is just WAY too thick once finished, there's just so much hair. When you do rehair, do you follow all of the old plugs, have a set number of strands per plug or make your own new plugs? Or something else entirely? Both my nylon hair heads and my yarn hair head have got Afros going on, even after boiling. I'm just not sure how to continue with anything.

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2016, 08:18:50 PM »
I must admit that I've never heard of any sealant slipping off of the face the way that you're describing. :blink:  But I've certainly experienced sealant cracking and peeling while rooting.

Personally, I prefer to re-root before repainting.  Even with MSC, there is a high probability of the sealant cracking and your work becoming damaged during the rooting process if you painted and sealed first.
This is just my preference and there are plenty of others who prefer it the other way around; but I've had bad luck in the past with painting first and rooting second, and have ruined too many nice face-ups that way.


As far as the thick hair is concerned, try using a bit less hair per plug, and try skipping a plug here and there to thin it out.  You don't necessarily need to fill every hole with hair.  You just need enough for coverage.
I like to follow the existing rooting pattern unless I'm creating a particular hairstyle that requires a new pattern.  But I rarely fill every single hole.

In my experience, yarn is just thick. lol  I use yarn when I'm going for voluminous hairstyles.

Offline Badgeridoo

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2016, 05:50:18 AM »
I've tried yarn rooted, but I think it works better as a wig, unless an Afro is what you are going for.  I did one reroot with yarn that doesn't look too thick, but I didn't intend for her to be played with, so the bottom half of her head is still bald.  It doesn't show, so I'm happy with it.

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2016, 08:28:16 AM »
I've tried yarn rooted, but I think it works better as a wig, unless an Afro is what you are going for.

It also works very well for mohawks.

Here are two of my yarn re-roots.  It is extremely thick, but it can work for other types of styles, as long as you're okay with or going for volume.  I like to use it for tousled, unkempt, or eccentric hairstyles.
If you're going for a smooth, flat style that lies close to the head and face, then no, I wouldn't recommend yarn.  I'd go with either saran, nylon, or kanekelon, or a brushed yarn wig (which certainly do work for a wider range styles than rooting with yarn).



Cassata by SaelaVe, on Flickr


Ylva Sagasdotter by SaelaVe, on Flickr
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 08:35:24 AM by SaelaVe »

Offline Melissa

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 12:08:19 PM »
I'm encountering a handful of problems with my customs. I've been using testors as a sealant, spent a week painting two faces then when I got to the rehairing portion, both dolls faces just slipped right off where I was holding the heads, with pretty much zero effort. It's not even chipping, it's just sliding off in chunks all the way down to the base layer of sealant. I've bought some MSC but honestly I'm too scared to use it until I figure out WHY this happened since I've never heard of or experienced this before. I've been using testors for almost a decade on Bjds and mlps so I have no idea what's going on. Any ideas from experienced customizers?
So the part I bolded in your post is what stood out to me: are you wearing gloves when rerooting? If not, could it be the oils on your hands messing up the paint somehow? My personal preference is reroot first just because of the amount of squeezing involved. It could also be that your hands touching the paint is the source of your problem?

Offline BunniElyse

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 02:21:13 PM »
Hmm.. I don't know if I can be of much help, but my only thought (besides oil from you hands like Melissa said) is that maybe the factory mold releasing agent is still on the face.  I know that when I've done a few faceups (only a few mind you) that even after really scrubbing and removing makeup, my testor's dullcote comes off too (though it's never really rubbed off).  So I just attributed it to the mold release agent.  Now I use a nail brush to clean my heads until they squeak under the water.
I think that release agent is meant to last through a lot of wear and tear, so just running it under water may not do the trick.
I have no idea thought - I am by no means an expert. ^_^ Good luck though!
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2016, 03:26:36 PM »
...are you wearing gloves when rerooting? If not, could it be the oils on your hands messing up the paint somehow?

...maybe the factory mold releasing agent is still on the face.

These are both excellent points.

A lot of customization artists will not touch the faces of their dolls with bare hands once they've been repainted, choosing instead to use cotton gloves when handling their customized dolls.  Personally, I don't wear gloves when handling my customized dolls; but I'm also very cautious not to touch their face-ups any more than I absolutely have to.

And mold release agents can indeed cause problems with face-ups.  It is recommended that you thoroughly wash the faces of your dolls with warm water and a mild dish detergent before repainting.  If there was a lot of mold release agent still on the doll's face, it could have inhibited the paint and sealant from properly adhering to the plastic.


Another possible explanation could be the environmental conditions at the time that the sealant was sprayed.  If the temperature was too hot, too cold, or it was too humid, then the sealant may not have cured properly.  But given that the OP is very familiar with Testors and has been using it for years, I'm inclined to think that this wasn't the case.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 03:29:53 PM by SaelaVe »

Offline Dirili

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 05:37:22 PM »
Everyone else pretty much covered most of the things I could think of. It's definitely far better to reroot before repainting as it is sooo easy to slip up and scratch a faceup.

One thing that could also be a problem is that most spray sealants don't have much elasticity, and since vinyl heads are squishy, those less elastic sealants have a chance of cracking or separating from the vinyl every time it is flexed.

If for some reason it is unavoidable and you HAVE to repaint after rerooting, brush on sealants tend to be a bit more elastic I have found. I don't know if this would work or not, but since layers of sealant bond with each other, it could be possible to add a layer of brush-on sealant once the faceup is complete (after spray sealing of course) to lessen the chance of the faceup being damaged if you know the head is going to be squished occasionally. Definitely test on a bait doll first. I always use Tamiya for brush on sealants for accessories, since shoes and some other accessories have to flex to take off and put on, but spray sealants sometimes flake if I use it on them because of that.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 05:39:19 PM by Dirili »

Offline Kara Zor-El

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 06:04:17 PM »
Do you have pictures of the sealer damage?
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Offline SickViking

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2016, 11:39:37 AM »
This is actually the first vinyl doll I've done so I'm not really used to the squishing. I've done a few rehairs but not full on rehair and face up. I was trying to hold her by the ears since I don't have gloves, but a few times I know my fingers did end up on the face itself trying to get a good grip on her.

I've got a bunch of heads waiting for work, and normally they get a through wash and then a soak in warm water overnight to make sure all acetone and soap is off, then dry for the next 24 hours but honestly I can't remember if this particular doll got that treatment, she could still have the mold agent.

It's actually starting to sound like it could be a number of things compounded on to self sabotage since I think a couple of nights it was fairly cold, though I've never had a problem working with the sealant during the winter. It doesn't get that cold here and I always bring my work back into the house to dry where it's warm.

The only picture I managed to get was this one [link removed for language, SaelaVe] which was the first doll to start to peel, the next part was when my hand slipped off her ear to her cheek and you can probably see the chipping up by her hairline where the hair is going in. Which you can also probably tell the plugs are way too thick. Ugh.
For her hair I was trying to go for this thick, wavy, messy look which I thought un-ironed brushed out yarn would look perfect. I'll go in and thin out/ remove some plugs
and see if that helps any

I'll pick up some cotton gloves while I'm out today. Thank you everyone so much. This was my first trying doing everything from start to finish.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 01:59:29 PM by SaelaVe »

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2016, 01:57:43 PM »
It does look like it was probably the squeezing/smooshing of the head during the rooting process that caused the problem.  Especially since the majority of the damage is along the hairline where the tool (are you using the tool method?) would have been applying pressure upon the vinyl, and in the eye indention, a weak point that would've suffered a lot of stress as the vinyl was smooshing.

Offline SickViking

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2016, 03:46:15 PM »
Yeah I use the tool method. A day tool of a sewing needle and exacto knife handle. I've got another doll to work on and this ones getting sidelined. This ones already had her hair and has been sealed with msc instead of testors. I'll let you know how it works out for me XP

Offline Flutterswirl

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 08:09:47 PM »
Wishing you better luck with the next custom! Hope some of the suggestions can be of help.

A question for any of you who use yarn, do you wash it first? I don't know how badly dye bleeds from yarn, but it would be tragic in a couple of years to find dye leaching into the vinyl.
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: Odd problems with customs
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 09:03:10 PM »
A question for any of you who use yarn, do you wash it first? I don't know how badly dye bleeds from yarn, but it would be tragic in a couple of years to find dye leaching into the vinyl.

I don't, but I've only used light, neutral colors so far.  If I were to use a very dark or very rich color like a deep purple, then yeah, I'd probably wash it out first.
I know that it's recommended that you use wash out dyed mohair before rooting or making a wig out of it.