So, you’ve decided which BJD mold you want. A ‘mold‘ is the model of the doll. When you order your doll, you’ll probably get the option to choose the resin color, and whether you want the doll with face-up or not. Some dolls come in only one resin color, but often companies give you different options. The most common colors are white, natural and tan. That being said, not all white, natural or tan resins have the exact same tone. They vary by company. For example my PlanetDoll Mini Riz is a white resin doll, and she is almost as white as paper. Yet, my eLuts Soony has a yellowish glow, even though she is also a white resin doll. Keep this in mind when you buy your doll. Again, look at pictures taken by owners. They usually give a more realistic view of the skin tone of your doll.
As I said earlier, you can purchase your doll with or without face-up. A face-up is the ‘make-up’ a doll has on his/her face. When you order your doll with face-up, the doll company will do the face-up. This is often referred to as a standard face-up. Sometimes, the company will give you some say in what you want for a face-up, but you can’t get very specific. If you really want a specific face-up for your BJD, you can commission an artist. There are many face-up artists in the BJD world. Take a look at the interview with Sweetly Twisted or Viridian House. Of course you can also try to do it yourself.
The basic things you will need for a face-up are a sealer like Mr. Super Clear, paints, chalk pastels and paint brushes. There are many tutorials and do’s and don’ts available. Do a lot of research before doing anything on your doll. Not all types of paint can be applied on a doll and not all paint removers are good for your doll! If you have a tanned doll you should be extra careful. Take a look at Den of Angels‘ Painting, Customizing and Esthetics forum. Their Customizing Thread Index is a wonderful resource. Doing face-ups yourself is an amazing talent and if you get good at it you can even sell your services!
Unless you ordered a limited edition doll, your doll will probably come nude. Some companies include eyes or a wig, but if they didn’t, you need to order them with your doll. Also, with wigs and eyes… you have unlimited choices! There are synthetic wigs, and natural fibers wigs, short and long haired wigs. Eyes range from nice, affordable acrylic eyes to glass eyes, to gorgeous urethane eyes. When there are hundreds companies that sell BJDs, there are even more companies that sell eyes and/or wigs. So look around, browse, explore. Maybe you have a certain look in mind for your doll? Search online shops, and if the shops don’t have that perfect wig you are looking for, you can also commission a wig from a wig artist like MyukiDollfie! I know… too many choices! Wigs and eyes come in different sizes. Each doll requires the correct size. The size information for your doll can be found on the company website and once again on Den of Angels.
Text: (c) 2011, Lea Mars