Falling in love again…Rare Find Isha gets a second chance!

For those of you who’ve followed my blog for a long while you’ll recognize my Isha.ย  She was a prize that I won in 2007 from the Doll Diva’s board when they held a raffle.

I got around to repainting and re-rooting the front of her head in 2009.


Not the best repaint I’d ever done but somehow it still seems “right” for her so she never ended up with a second repaint.

She did however end up with a swapped body… She started out on the 2nd or 3rd generation Fashion Royalty body and it was floppy and annoying as all hell. Could barely hold a pose long enough for me to shoot it with the camera! I hated taking photos of her because of it–so it was important for me to find her a body donor. Finding another body to match her was difficult (especially since she wasn’t even a great match with her original body). My good friend Will gave me a hot toys hispanic female body for her to use.

The plus side was it was definitely more articulated than her original but it was hard to find clothes to fit in a wayย  I liked and at that time I didn’t much feel like sewing for her…so she got relegated to a box and that was it. Every time I went to re-dress my dolls my eyes would stick on her and I’d feel guilty that such a pretty doll wasn’t getting fair treatment and being photographed and really cast with a good role in the Quinlan Chronicles.

What to do? What could I do?

Funnily enough, I was going through my collection this morning with an eye to plan some repaints and sell off some dolls I don’t play with—when I realized that Isha’s body was a really good match for Moonlight and Kisses Darla Daley’s! Oh I am happy about that! ๐Ÿ™‚ and then I figured that I might as well do body mods on he sinceย  want to use her a lot in the future and being able to pop her head off for dressing and jewelry application is a good thing! And an expanded range of motion at the chest join is super helpful too in posing.

You know….I just couldn’t leave her eyes (or eyebrows) alone. I felt this compulsion to repaint them…I don’t think she came out too badly considering how very long it’s been since I did any repainting.

So here she is now:

rare-find-isha-2

and two more pics just because! ๐Ÿ™‚

rare-find-isha-1

rare-find-isha-3

Next I need to find a new name that suits her….

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How to mod FR, Poppy & Nu Face dolls for Quick head swaps

Here’s the deal: I wanted my Fashion Royalty, Poppy Parker & Nu Face heads to be more easily interchangeable and removable for when I want to change out a character’s “look”. Currently if I want to do that I either have to have multiple dolls (1 head, 1 body) for each character or else if I buy an “alternative look” head I have to go through the hassle of heating up the head, worrying about pulling it off, warming it up again, popping it on the new body (or the new head on the old body) and so on. I find that very stressful but I also don’t want to end up having 3 or 4 of each doll bodies just for a few different looks. Space is still at a premium in our house, you know?

This is a method that was suggested to me by my friend Will . I have done it with a few differences to use it on Integrity Toy’s Fashion Royalty, Poppy Parker and Nu Face lines. There is an unintended side effect with this mod — an increased range of motion at the neck allowing for more expressive head positions. ๐Ÿ™‚

As usual, please be aware I am a risk-taker when it comes to my dolls and customizing them. I do it with the knowledge that in the process I may damage them. This modification is done at your own risk and I am only sharing my results and methods. If you plan on trying this I suggest using a doll you don’t mind so much if it ends up damaged.

What you’ll need:
To make 1 body & 1 head swap-able

  • 1 body (I have done this on the Poppy Parker, FR3 and Nu Face 2.0 bodies)
  • Neodymium Sphere Magnets. Minimum strength N35.ย  I used 8mm ones but you can also use 5/16th sized ones too. (at the end of the post I’ll link to some places you can get them from) You’ll need 2 per head, 1 per body
  • Lightweight cotton or muslin (about a 3 inch x 3 inch square)
  • Vise Grip Pliers (small size)
  • Safety Glasses
  • Needle & thread
  • Thin leather (pale in color to avoid any possibility of discoloring vinyl) or some other fabric that can provide friction to aid in holding head poses. You might have to experiment with what you have on hand. This is important though. As to thickness of the leather think of glove leather (fashion, not work gloves). About .50mm to 1mm in thickness.
  • Hot water (close to boiling-I would not use boiling as it may make eyelashes come off?)
  • Small bowl (for soaking the head and neck in)
  • Patience. You’ll need some for this as it isn’t the fastest modification to complete. Don’t do it if you’re in a hurry!
  • Here are a few of the supplies–sorry I forgot to snap a pic of everything.

supplies

Here we go! The fun, the excitement! The Nail-biting Drama!

First: get your supplies together and get your water on to boil. Get the small bowl ready so that you can put the near boiling water into it. Pour the water into the bowl.

water

I used near-boiling water and soaked Agnes’ head in it to soften the head up and get it off the body. If you’re comfortable using the heating pad, hairdryer or oven method to remove the head go ahead and do those instead. Get the water ready though since you will need it shortly.

soak-head

After removing the head, empty the water and re-fill again with near boiling water. Then place the neck & neck knob area back in the bowl to soak for a couple of minutes. Don’t forget to put your safety glasses on!

neck-soak

After about 2 or 3 minutes you can remove it from the water. Be careful not to burn or scald yourself with the water (it’s going to drip out of the body).

Get your vise grips ready. It is important to grip and pull the knob out squarely (in a direct/ straight line). Not at an angle. Doing it at an angle will increase the chance of stress fracture and neck cracks considerably!! ๐Ÿ™

vise-grips-neck-knob

Pull with firm, steady pressure. Keep it straight.ย  Once the knob is removed get your magnet!

empty-post-hole

Rest the magnet on top of the neck hole opening.
insert-magnet
Apply steady pressure. Be careful as the magnet can easily slip out of your grip and ping across the room.

push-magnet

If you put the doll’s head in the water to remove it towel dry and allow to dry fully before going onto the next steps. (because you will be inserting fabric into the head you want to have it dry not damp or wet!) Also dry the body as best you can. Over night works ok, or if you’ve done it on an FR3 body you could remove the arms and lower torso to dry it off more thoroughly & quickly.

Next, get your fabric, magnets, needle and thread. Then insert the magnets into the center of the fabric and fold in half. Sew the base closed.

magnet-fabric

Wrap the thread around the magnets a couple of times. Tie off. Trim the fabric from the base of the fabric/magnet parcel.

magnet-tied

Begin pushing it into the head.

magnet-insert-2

The head holes vary in size so some will fit in better than others but they will all fit provided you are patient and apply appropriate pressure.

magnet-insert-5

Now, get your leather and scissors and cut out two small circles (approximately a little smaller than a dime). You’ll trim them down more so the size is not exact.

leather

Here is a photo to give you an idea of the leather’s thickness:

leather-insert-3

One will be for use inside the doll’s head-neck hole area, and the other will be for use over the neck-hole where the magnet sits.

magnet-insert-6

Here is how to do it for the head part:

leather-insert-1

For the neck piece it should look like this:
leather-insert-5

This is how both pieces should be positioned (I took the photo before trimming the neck’s piece)

leather-insert-4

At this point you’re almost done! YAY! All you’ve got to do now is gently position the head over the neck area (about 2 inches over it to avoid the magnetic pull) and then quickly put it in place (the magnets will help by attracting each other). It will probably take a couple of tries to get it on right (so that none of the leather circles show) but keep trying. You can always take them off and re position them when you need to.

And that’s it! You’re done! ๐Ÿ˜€

I did this to almost all of my FR/NF/PP dolls so I have been able to ditch most of the duplicate bodies and now can easily change heads around. The best thing about this is that inserting the magnets in this way allows me to remove them if I should want to re-root or partially re-root a head in the future. Also, I can now swap Giselle from the Poppy body to the high heeled Monogram body when I want her dressed up in heels! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Here are a few photos of Agnes with her new magnet head/neck mod. She’s upside down to show that the magnets are strong enough to hold her head on even against gravity! ๐Ÿ˜€

magnet-head-mod-complete

agnes-head-mod

agnes-head-mod-2

agnes-mead-mod-3

My thanks go to Will for the idea and encouragement, and to Mark for being willing to pull the neck knob out and push the magnet in so I could try to photograph it for the tutorial. ๐Ÿ˜€

Places to get Magnets From: Please note I don’t endorse these merchants I am only sharing where I got some of my magnets from and other places that carry them.

Thackery Handmade, LLC (on ebay) (this is where I got my magnets from. She ships quickly and the price per magnet is almost half that of K&J)

K&J MAGNETSย  Will got his magnets from here and they have a stronger pull strength. I used weaker magnets (N35) so your mileage may vary if you use these.

Poppy Parker: Under the Knife….A Body Mod

I posted about my first Poppy the week before last a couple of weeks ago…

I’m pretty new to Poppy Parker dolls.ย ย  I’m still getting used to the proportions of their bodies as compared to the other Fashion Royalty dolls. I do like the fact that they are capable of standing upright, unaided. ๐Ÿ™‚ That IS a big plus in my book.

What I don’t like about the Poppy Parker body is a pretty short list: (in order of most disliked to just tolerable…)

  • The totally and completely useless bust-joint
  • The ankle joints.

Sorry, but they could have used a ball-joint there and it would have been great and allowed a smoother line of the foot when “arched” to use in non-flat shoes.

  • The lack of a double joint at the elbow

Something that would allow Poppy (and whoever happens to have her body) the ability to hold a phone to her ear, etc.

So is there anything I can do about any of those problems?

Uh huh. Yep.ย  I think I may have an illness….I seem to be incapable of leaving my dolls alone and un-customized!

I haven’t tried to do anything with the ankle joint, and I know better than to try to put a double jointed elbow in. I’d have to do so much extra work that at this point I don’t think that’s feasible.

But I did do something about that wasted joint, the bust joint!

*cue scary horror movie mad scientist laugh* MWhahahahahahahahahahahha!*

A long while back I saw the photo-tutorial that Emlia did regarding increasing/improving the articulation on the Fashion Royalty Homme body. After giving it some serious thought I hoped that the Poppy Parker body wouldn’t be that different inside and began to take her apart. After all, I figured that since Integrity Toys made both of them they probably weren’t that far removed….

I was and was not quite right about that…..

Interesting to note that Integrity is not (as far as I can tell) using a giant nut to weight the body. But what I did find inside the Poppy Parker body (bodies actually since I did this mod on all of them except India) is that they are filled with varying amounts of hot melt glue.

poppy-parker-torso-inside-1

Not uber cool in my book, but, eh, whatever.

That glue did present something of a problem on some of the bodies because it was in the way (or there was just too much of it) of feeding the elastic through. However, because I am a determined kind of girl I got it done on all of my girls. >:D

And this is what the body can do after the mod — OIN Giselle has been re-bodied onto the new and improved Poppy body. (There are obviously more poses possible and more extreme but, eh, I’m not in the mood to take pics today.)

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-2

giselle-poppy-parker-body-mod-1

Now if, on the off chance you want to try this too and you want me to share the photos I tried to take of how I did it (during the process) let me know and I’ll update the post with some more photos–I just need to resize them etc. I didn’t want to bloat the post with a lot of unnecessary pics if no one was interested.

 

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