Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2.2h Sculpting (Arisu)

Sculpting my BJD's head has been difficult.  There is a certain look I am trying to get so I keep carving and adding wax.  I finally did put 2 8mm beads for her eyes so I can better see how she looks.  Instead of 8mm I think she is going to need 10mm beads.  Her eyes are too small for my tastes.

Below is her current progress.  Her face is not finished though.  Her right eye is too high.  Her nose tip is not done.  Most of the right side of the face is not complete.  The ears are not done.  You get the idea?

Today I cast a few more wax carving heads from the head plaster mold.  When comparing the original look and what she has now, I can tell how far I went.  I can see how much smaller her head is from just shaving a little here and there so many times.  Although I think her face is cute, I am not pleased with the direction I took her head.  That is why I cast a few more wax carving heads.  But before I can get down to working on her head again I need to go get some 10mm beads.

Here are a few more views of her current head and a carving wax head straight from the plaster mold.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and figure out if this was the direction you wanted to go.

Elbow Test Joint

In an earlier post I had made an enlarged replica of Arisu's arms so that I can use it to test joint making with.

I have since then realized that I probably should have kept the arms as simple as possible without the detailing or contouring.  Just simple cylindrical and sphere shapes.  This would have made it much easier to get a smooth and clean joint.  Then I can add the details and possibly slight modification of the joint to make it all work together.

Here I have used the enlarged wax arms and tested out making the elbow joint.  The test I made had a sphere attached to the lower arm and an elbow part extending from the upper arm.  (Please ignore contours since I did just that while making the elbow.  I just didn't feel like remaking a test subject for this.)

Although the angle is not a true 90 degrees, it is getting pretty close.  To increase the angle of the elbow I would need to remove some of the inner arm areas that are touching and increase in slot of the ball on the lower arm.

Do you know how hard it is to hold a elastic joint apart with one hand?  Well I did the best I could so you can see how the ball joint looks inside.  When you increase range of motion by removing wax that is touching on the arms you also have to increase the slot length.

The ball joint is not a perfect sphere.  To the contrary I made it almost like an oval so that it does not rotate in ways I don't want it to.  You should be able to pull the arms together and back straight, but you should not be able to twist an arm around the socket.  Just like you shouldn't be able to spin your head all around your neck.  Scary.

Am I happy with this amount of flexibility?  No.  I think it is too limiting to just have 90 degrees.  If you look at my Joint Study Elbow Drawing you can see what I am aiming for.  I would like something closer to 120-145 degrees so I may be looking at doing a double joint of sorts.  What I did was pretty much what I drew in the lower left side of the picture in the Joint Study Elbow Drawing.  Also, you can scroll down that page to see an idea of how much you need to remove from the arms to have the angles you want.  The tighter the angle, the more that is taken away from the arms.  I could have tried 120 degrees if I wanted to, but I could already tell by my pictures that the amount of arm removed would not look good to me.

But if you are happy with 90 degrees or close to that, then there are still other options to think about.  Do you want the elbow noticeable?  Do you want it on the top arm or the bottom arm?  Do you want the ball joint fixed to the top arm or the bottom arm.  Will it look good if the ball joint is on the same arm as the noticeable elbow?  How much better would it be if the ball joint was not attached to either side but instead is free floating?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ball Mold

At a craft store I found 2 piece set of 2" wooden doll pins. I thought these would be great to make a plaster mold of and to cast in wax. The ball already comes with a spout of its own.  Plus I can remove the spout part and use it as a spout for making other molds.

Above you can see the doll pin and the plaster mold made from it.  On the right side you can see the wax ball and wax spout that was already cleaned up.  On far left you can see a wooden bead I am guessing is 5/8" in the ball socket.  So the wax ball cast from the doll pin plaster mold is slightly larger than the wooden bead.  The wooden bead was what I was using for Arisu's hip socket.  I upgraded her to one of these nice wax balls I made.  It actually works out better since I was planning on increasing the thickness of Arisu's legs.

I will definitely be casting more of these doll pins and build up a nice supply of these wax balls and spouts.

New Wax Pen

I decided to try out a Max Wax Pen for working with my carving wax.  Although I am quite happy with my wax melting pot and alcohol lamp, there can be times when a wax pen is useful.  For example, when welding two parts together as seamless as possible.

Below is a picture that shows the ball joint and leg that were welded together.

The Max Wax Pen is battery operated (single AA) and heats up to 850° when you press down the button.  I have not tested how hot it gets, but in a matter of a second or two you can burn wax.

It did a nice job for sealing the seams.  I will have to experiment with it more to see what other uses I can get out of it.  Something else I was thinking of trying out is a non-electric kistka or batik pen.  Although I am not sure what I would use that for, but it seems like a cool tool to try out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Joint Study: Hips

Right now I am working on my BJD Arisu's hips. Since I have not drawn and posted a study on them on my blog yet, here it is.

You can see the numbers I put trying to figure out what level of flexibility I would like her to have.  I am also trying to decide if I will add a rotation near the hip joint as well.  The stops needed on the legs to keep it from doing unnatural motion seems straight forward.  One unsightly thing is the slot you will likely see on the ball joint of the upper leg.

I try to label things correctly in my joint studies, but there is a good chance I will have labeled things incorrectly.  So please forgive me if I have.  I am an artist not a biologist, but I try to be as accurate as possible.

Range of Motion
Zen & The Art Of Articulating Dolls By Using Balljoints
Joint Range of Motion

Sunday, August 28, 2011

4.1g Carving Wax (Arisu)

I made a junk moulage mold so that I can cast some copies of Arisu's legs and arms.  It is time to attempt to make joints and I didn't want to accidentally ruin the progress thus far.

So first off I am working on the legs.

Her joints are the size of these 5/8" wooden beads.  So I will add them to the top of the legs I cast copies of.

I attached the left leg to the wooden bead to create the correct length. Then I matched it on the right side.

I had to shorten the space between her two legs.  If you look at the first picture in this post and compare her crotch to this picture above you will see what I am talking about.  She now has 2 legs placed well in her hips.  Below you can see more angles.

Looks like a good start with joints.

Second Moulage Mold Experience

I made my second moulage mold this past Friday, but I didn't have a chance until now to post about it.  I have learned so much about using moulage and I am still very excited about using it to make my molds.

I have also made a more detailed instruction for making moulage molds.

I am still using a large pot with my glass jars of moulage put into it.  Water is made high enough to cover the majority of the glass.  I brought the water to a boil and then set it on low for the remainder of the time.  After the moulage was melted enough I poured into my mold.  It was still a little lump, but that made no difference to the end result.  In the future I plan to get a spatula so that I can smash larger chunks to help it melt faster.  That should cut down some of my time and make the moulage smoother.

Above you can see my molds.  One is for a pair of legs and the other for a pair of arms.  I decided to try making a one piece mold for them.  You can see the oil clay at the bottom of the mold shells (which is plastruct) to seal any cracks.  You don't want to pour hot moulage in and have it pour back out.

What I found was when the moulage was cooled to 105-110F that the jar was not too hot for me to hold.  Your sensitivity may vary though.

I covered the moulage molds after pouring with some plastic wrap and left it alone for 2 hours.

When I came back in 2 hours my moulage mold was set.  I tried to cut the sides the best I can, but when you are working with an opaque material it can be a bit difficult.  So there are times I will prefer the multi-part molds instead of a one piece mold.  Some cuts I failed and had to retry because where I made the cuts didn't help release the original still trapped inside the moulage mold.

The first pour of hot carving wax into my leg mold showed pour issues.  The mold was probably still too cool compared to the hot wax.  But each pour of carving wax after was just fine.  So I can assume you may need one junk cast before you get better results.  The moulage mold for the arms, however, was fine on the first pour.

I had a problem getting my cores hollow at the start, but once I got a sequence going it worked out well.

Here is what I did:
1. prep leg mold and pour hot wax.
2. wait a few seconds and pour out hot wax from legs
3. place leg mold on counter with wax in it to cool.
4. prep arm mold and pour hot wax.
5. wait a few seconds and pour out hot wax from arms
6. place arm mold on counter with wax in it to cool
7. remove wax legs from mold.
steps 1-3
8. remove wax arms from mold.
steps 4-6
And repeat the bold section.

Here are the carving wax legs I got.  The far left is the original.  The second from the left is my first cast and you can see at the top of the leg where the pour issue was.  But each leg after that was just fine.

And here are the arms.  The ones with the beads are the original.

The arms did not hollow as well as the legs because of how thin they are.  I tried poking the hole with a stick but that ended up causing flaws in the sculpt so I had to stop that.  Tapping the mold doesn't help either if the wax is hot and can cause distortion in the wax being cast.

All in all, I think my second try was much better than my first.  I think I will be even better on my next try.  I will be selecting the best 3 for each limb and melt the excess back down.  Of the 3 I kept, one will be used to make the joints for those limbs.  The other 2 are if I make a mistake and need to try again or to just keep a record of what I did.

I made an instructions page for making moulage if you are interested.  It is a lot of text though.  Later I will make a simplified one with pictures.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Making a Moulage Mold

Moulage is a heat reversible gelatin that sticks to virtually nothing, so it's the almost perfect mold making material. The problem is that it needs to be applied hot and you can't cast much more than wax and plaster into it. Just the same, we find that because of the fact that it is reusable, it is economical and fun to use.

Will last indefinitely if you don't let it dry out. And of course you're not limited to using Moulage just for life casting. Use it for any kind of simple mold making where you don't need a permanent mold, and all you need to cast is plaster or wax.  (from product description)

DO NOT let aluminum come into contact with moulage.  It apparently causes a chemical reaction and can ruin the moulage.  I might actually test that one day out of curiosity.

In an ordinary double boiler, enameled preferably, place the desired amount of Moulage.

I didn't own a dedicated double boiler for my moulage so I placed canning jars of moulage into a large pot (or stock pot).  The pot should be tall enough to allow you to add enough water to cover most of the jar.  At least be able to have enough water up to the height of the moulage that is in the jar.  Do not fully submerse the jars.

* DO NOT use aluminum pots.
** If you plan to use a double boiler, there is no need to place the moulage into canning jars. The moulage would be placed directly into the top pan while the water sits in the bottom pan. My assumption is you don't want the moulage to be in direct contact with the heat.

Heat until melted and the consistency of thick batter. Work out all lumps with a spatula. If too thin, cook with cover off. If too thick, add water.

I brought the pot to boil then set the stove to low.  At the high point the water reached 165F before I set the stove to low.  When I mixed the moulage after it was heated, most of the chunks had dissolved.  Add additional water as needed to create proper consistency.

* I put enough water in a jar that contained new never used moulage to almost cover the moulage entirely.  Since the chunks of moulage were small, the amount of air space in the jar is small.  In my jar of reused moulage I hardly put any water in.  Since the chunks are bigger there is more air space for the water to fill.  So you can't judge how much water you put in simply by water level because the size of the moulage chunks determine how much space there is to be filled.  How much water you add is something you are going to have to get a feel for on your own.
** Since I was using canning lids, I took the band off and left the lid on.  Never cook a jar that is air tight.  The jar can shatter.  You can also leave the lid off when cooking moulage, but more water will evaporate and will require more to be added.  On the same note, if you added too much water leave the lid off to help the excess evaporate.  If you don't want the water to evaporate, keep the lid on.
*** A spatula is probably better than just a stirring utensil.  The spatula will allow you to smash chunks and help them melt quicker.  When I didn't use a spatula, there were tiny chunks in the moulage when I poured.  This, however, did not affect my moulage mold.
**** I do NOT suggest using metal utensils in a hot glass jar. Defiantly no aluminum utensils.

Point to Ponder

On the site it says:  Just heat Moulage slowly in a double boiler to 115°F (46°C).

On medium stove setting (5) it took over half an hour for the water to get up to 165F in my large pot.  By this point much of the moulage was melted sufficiently and the temperature brought down for the remainder of the time to low stove setting (2) which was still put the water at 130-140F.  So if I slowly heated the moulage to 115F (stove setting 1?)and never went over 120F, how long would it take to melt the moulage?  Is it really necessary to stay at a low temperature and slowly melt the moulage?  When you cook the moulage at a higher temperature , it melts quicker.  Is this a problem?

While your moulage is cooking, you can prepare the molds you plan to make.

No preparation of the object is necessary, except in the case of very porous surfaces.

I used plastruct to create a mold shell for the moulage to be poured into.  (Cardboard is another option.  Although I wonder how undesirable it is to use a material that can soak in moisture.  Not only because of durability but because it might wick moisture from the moulage?  Some cardboards, like cereal boxes, have as slick surface that might be better.)  You can create a multi-part mold if desired, but you will have to wait for one side to set at a time before making another.  I sealed the bottom of my mold shell with oil clay.

* Make sure to seal all holes and cracks in your mold shell.  If they are large enough the moulage will just pour right out.  Some cracks may be so thin that only a small amount of moulage will pour out and stop when it sets faster than it can flow, thus plugging the crack.  Don't rely on that though.
** If you are making a multi-part mold make sure to make the keys on the first part.
*** Although a moulage mold is more flexible than a plaster mold, still be aware of undercuts and where air can get trapped.  Moulage is more forgiving of undercuts, but it does not mean you can ignore undercuts all together when making a multi-part mold or where you make the parting cuts in a one piece mold.

Apply the first coat of Moulage directly on the object with a Moulage brush. If on a living subject, allow to cool to about 100 F. Be careful to brush the Moulage into every corner and irregularity to insure a perfect mold, Air bubbles are prevented by vigorous brushing of the first coat. If making a large mold, cover the depth of about 1/2", then reinforce with course cheese cloth laid in the hot Moulage or with course wire screening and then with another layer of Moulage. Do not allow one layer to cool before applying another. After the first coat has been applied with the brush, it is usually easier to apply the further coats with a spatula or Moulage syringe. Work as rapidly as possible, being careful to cover all parts of the object to the same depth.

The instructions above doesn't seem to apply much to what I am doing.  But it is good to know you can let it cool to 100F without it completely setting.  In some applications, it may be feasible to brush moulage onto your mold.  For most of my uses, I just pour the moulage into the empty space of my mold shell.  I would let the moulage cool down to 105-115F prior to pouring.  At that temperature range, the original sculpts made of oil clay or carving wax are not harmed when making a moulage mold.

* The first time I made moulage it still have tiny chunks when I poured it into the mold shell.  This did not affect the mold quality at all.  So don't freak out if you notice tiny chunks when you pour.  But try your best to get it all melted prior to pouring.
** The jar of melted moulage is not too hot for me to hold at 105-110F.  Your sensitivity may vary.

After object has fully cooled, remove the mold VERY CAREFULLY. Where there is an undercut it may be necessary to slit the mold after removal, close such slits and seal with gauze and hot Moulage. With two or three-piece molds, cut in irregular line with spatula so the parts can be fitted together accurately. Then bind together with gauze and seal with hot Moulage. You can correct small defects in the mold with hot Moulage carefully worked in. Your mold is now ready for casting.

It takes a while for the moulage to cool and set.  (At least an hour for 1/2" thick parts?)  Even a plaster mold takes over an hour to set so be patient.  The thicker and larger the moulage mold is, the longer it will take to set.  Once the moulage is set, it is cool to the touch and rather slick.  So handle carefully.  Pry 2 part molds apart carefully.  They tend to stick together because of the layer of water between them.  If you have a one piece mold, you can make irregular cuts so that it will help realign the molds.  Another option is to cut using a key mold knife.

* The first time I made a moulage mold, I put it in the fridge to set.  I thought this would save me time but I was wrong.  You will need to let your mold get back to room temperature if you plan to pour carving wax into it, otherwise you get poor results.
** It is a good idea to just lightly cover your moulage mold with plastic wrap while waiting for it to set so it does not get too dry.
*** You can pour carving wax into the moulage mold several times with no problems.
**** The larger the moulage mold is, the more likely you will need a material to help support the sides of the mold.  You can use coated smooth cardboard pieces (such as cereal boxes).  It is probably preferable to use something that will not wick a lot of moisture out of your moulage mold, thus drying it out quicker.  Whatever you use, keep in mind moulage can be slick.  You don't want to accidentally drop your moulage mold into a pot of hot wax because it slipped out of the plastruc shell when you tried to pour the excess out for a hollow core.  Hot wax splashing out and onto you is dangerous.  And the you have to figure out how to get your mold out of the wax pot.  Another option is to pour excess hot wax out of the mold into another container and NOT into the hot wax pot.
***** Rubber bands or other elastics can be used to help keep cut sides together, but it can cut into the moulage mold if it is directly on the moulage.

Your first cast from the moulage mold may be a junk cast when pouring hot carving wax.  After the first one the mold is warmer and will be much better.  There are a few factors I learned while casting carving wax into the moulage molds.
1.  Support the sides of the mold if it is too flexible.  When you pour hot wax into the moulage mold, it will push outward.  If this outward pressure can cause the mold to bulge, I suggest making a support to prevent that from happening.  Use cardboard or anything stiff.  Hold together with tape or rubber bands.  If your moulage mold distorts when you pour hot wax in then so will your final cast.
2.  Do not disturb the moulage mold right after the hot wax is poured in.  If the wax inside is still warm and flexible, you can inadvertently cause imperfections from squeezing or even tapping your mold.  You only need to leave it alone until it hardens enough.
3.  Pour hot wax uninterrupted.  Don't pour hot wax into your moulage mold then stop and pour again.  This will create pour lines.
4.  If you plan to cast your wax hollow, you need to time things just right.  In the case of small items, you may need to pour the hot wax in and then pour it right back out in 5 seconds.  The cooler the moulage mold the quicker the pour out needs to be.
5.  If you made a one piece mold and you made cuts to the moulage mold, imperfect cuts or bad ones can affect the quality of your wax cast.  There will be times where a once piece mold will be just fine and other times where a multi-part cast would have been better.

Keep Moulage can well covered to retain moisture. Moulage can be used over and over, but be sure to remove all particles of plaster or you will have hard lumps. Always add water when re-cooking Moulage and be sure to work out all lumps. Allow any Moulage left over to cool thoroughly, then cut into very small pieces and replace in the can and cover tightly, if you wish to keep a mold, wrap it in a damp cloth and keep damp. Do not use moulage too hot. Be patient and remember you're learning an art, and it cannot be acquired without some effort, practice and careful application.

You can make multiple casts of carving wax in the same moulage mold, but it is not suggested to keep the moulage mold for long term storage.  The concern is with shrinkage when the moulage mold loses some of its moisture, thus not able to create a copy close to the original in size reliably.  So plan to use it after you make it.  When you are finished with your moulage mold cut it up and store in air tight container for future use.

When it comes to making and using a Moulage Mold, EXPERIMENT!  It is reusable and the experience you gain even when the results are less than setlar can help you make a better mold the next time.  The Carving Wax is also reusable.  The only thing you lose is time, but it is not a loss but an investment if you used that time to learn something new and how to do things better.  Moulage Molds and Carving Wax are great materials to use.

FX Supply Moulage Instructions - Source of the blue italic instructions in this post.
Douglas and Sturgees Moulage Data Sheet
Atelier de Poupee  - The blog of the person who introduced me to moulage and has been a great resource to me.  I posted a link the moulage posts if you are looking for some more information.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

4.1f Carving Wax (Arisu)

I was hoping to have a copy of the current head and body so I can do some cutting for joints and head cap, but it was not meant to be today. So I am working on detailing those parts more.

The body now has a line which will become the joint line. The head has an eye socket carved out and a bead put in. This should help me carve better eyes. This should also help when making molds since there is an eye in place.

I have also changed the body shape a bit from the original Super Sculpey form.  She is does not have as big a bust and not as portly a tummy.  This should be a better balance for her.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Playing with Moulage (Pic Heavy)

So I finally decided to playing with Moulage today.  I have to say it is an interesting experience.  The biggest thing about moulage is that you do NOT want it to be in contact with aluminum.

Do not use an aluminum pan or utensils as it will cause a chemical reaction that will ruin the Moulage.  (

So I am trying to figure out if a particular metal is aluminum or not.  For example, I stored my moulage in canning cars.  Canning jars have a metal lid and cap.  Are these aluminum?  What if I used aluminum pans to store shaving excess while carving my wax?  And what if I then put the wax shavings into my wax pot to melt and then pour into a moulage mold?  Hm.  Gives me a headache thinking about it.  Anyways...

Cooking moulage on low-medium heat.  Added enough water to barely cover moulage chunks.  Stirred every now and again.

Instructions say to just heat Moulage slowly in a double boiler to 115°F (46°C).  So keep in mind it is not a quick heating but a prolonged slow one.  You are trying to get a thin to heavy pancake batter consistency.

When moulage reached pancake batter consistency I used a canning jar lifter to place the jar on a towel to cool.  Temperature was 130F.  I cooled it to 115-120F.

UPDATE (08/28/11): At this time I don't know if you HAVE to cook at 115F from start to finish or if it works better to bring to a higher temperature to start then lower the temperature. One instruction sheet says 115F but others do not specify temperatures. I tried it both ways and I prefer to get the pot to the boil first and then set the temperature down.

Moulage was a little chunky while pouring.  Better hope you don't have cracks where the moulage can pour out of the shell.  I used plastruct sealed with oil clay.

I put mold in the fridge to cool down when it became apparent that it will take a while.  Possibly 30-60 minutes.  Thicker moulage means more time.

Update (08/28/11): If you put the mold in the fridge be sure to bring it back to room temperature before pouring wax or it may contribute to pouring lines. Better yet just don't put it in the fridge because it is just going to take time to set before it is ready to cast in.

When finally cooled, I cut the head out of the mold.  The head and oil clay spout were in perfect condition.  The pouring of hot moulage and extended exposure to the temperatures did not cause any harm.  Moulage mold is wet at this stage, but not dripping.  Notice above that my cut lines were not very good.

I prepared mold for second half of the body mold.  In the future I will have the sculpt lay vertical as opposed to  horizontal.  The wetness makes the moulage slick.  The second half of the moulage was cooked on the stove at 115F while waiting for the first half to cool.  (I did add water to the moulage while it cooked since it had water loss.)  It still poured a little chunky.  (You can see in the above picture how some of the moulage is leaking out of the cracks.)

Because of the wetness of the moulage mold pieces, it does stick to itself a little.  I was not careful enough separating the parts so there were some tears.  I also didn't plan out the mold very well, which contributed to a few more tears.  Although moulage mold has some flexibility, it is not a silicone mold.  You still need to be aware of undercuts.  It just happens to be more forgiving than the rigid plaster molds.  There is also a difference in appearance of the left and right halves.  The right half is the second one poured.  Did I cook it too low?  A separation of ingredients?  Don't know.  But it doesn't seem to have caused any surface issue.  Just a cosmetic difference.

Now it is time to cast some carving wax copies to see how useable these molds are.

Mold is prepared.  Carving wax is poured.

Something very important to keep in mind is that a moulage mold is very slick.  My moulage mold fell into the slow cooker with hot wax when I tried to pour out excess wax to make the sculpt hollow.  Hot only did hot wax splash on me and around the area, but I now had to get out the moulage mold.  After that incident, I just used rubber bands around the moulage mold to keep the sides together and it worked okay.  The problem with rubber bands is that it cuts into the moulage when I try to take it off each time I make a cast.

Something else I didn't think about is how cold the moulage mold was.  You can see the results best on the faces where the hot wax came pouring down but was cooled too fast to fill in the area.  You should also be able to see how the wax did not solidify smoothly because of the same reason.

So what did I learn?
  • No aluminum!.
  • Add water.  More is better than less since the excess can be cooked out, but it is hard to cook moulage if there isn't enough water.  Of course too much water is not that great either because it extends the cooking time.  UPDATE:  Depending on the size of your moulage chunks and how much air space it creates makes saying how much water to add to a jar of moulage impossible.  You will have to experiment with this.
  • Once set in mold, put it in the fridge.  Be patient in waiting for it to cool down before fiddling.  The thicker the moulage the longer you probably have to wait.  Experience will give you a good idea on how long a time you need.  (Plan at least an hour for 1/2" thick moulage.)  UPDATE:  Putting it in the fridge has likely contributed to the pour lines of the cast sculpt.  Let it set at room temperature instead.
  • Since moulage can be flexible, have a sturdy shell (or mother mold) made to support it.  Make sure whatever you use can be moved into the fridge easily.  You don't want the moulage to pour out of the supports because it wasn't sealed or thought out in advance.
  • Seal the shell support well.  You don't want the moulage to pour back out the cracks.  I did have some hairline cracks which had some moulage pour out, but nothing major.  It cooled down fast enough to seal itself.  Larger cracks won't be so lucky.
  • Don't be in a rush.  Make sure to have at least a few hours when making your first moulage mold.
  • Moulage molds are slick and can slip out of supports into the hot wax when pouring out excess for hollow cores.  CAUTION!
  • Rubber bands cut into the moulage molds.
  • Better planning for mold set-up prior to making the mold is needed.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment.  You fail?  So what.  Chop it up after cooled and try again.  Wax is fail too?  No worries.  Throw it back into the wax melting pot.  Moulage and carving wax are re-useable.

The experiment is not a total fail though.  I learned a lot of valuable information.  Even when I made plaster mold it wasn't perfect the first time.  As long as you learn from the experience, it was never a total failure.

UPDATE (08/28/11):  With more information from kwm from Atelier de Poupee  and a second experiment I have made changes to what I have previously written.  I did not want to completely delete information here so I just crossed out what I changed.

Resources - Other posts on my blog about moulage.
Making a Moulage Mold - my instructional sheet on moulage molds
My Moulage is Here

Y2 Klay

I sent an email to Chavant Inc. in regards to Y2 Klay's melting point and flash point.  Below are the numbers Howard gave me.

Melting Point:  180F over a 2 hours period
Flash Point:  450F

The melting point I assume is the pour melting point.  For shaping and sculpting purposes, it does melt at a much lower temperature than that quickly enough.  It also sticks well to itself without the application of high heat or melting.  For shavings one simply has to press the clays together to get a weld.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

4.1e Carving Wax (Arisu)

She is starting to look more like a person.

I am waiting to make moulage molds of her current progress before going on further.

What still needs to be done?
Head:  jaw line, eyes, detail lips, make head cap, detail ears, etc.
Body:  refine shape, make sockets, make one joint on body
Arms:  still need right arm, make joints, etc
Legs:  make joints
Hands:  have not even started making them.
Feet:  have not even started making them.

Well, that is just a few things I need to work on.

At least Arisu can stand.  :)

My Moulage is Here

My 5 pounds of Moulage has arrived.  The bucket was difficult to open, but I can see it being important to make it moisture tight.  Don't want the stuff to dry out.

It is in flaky chunks.

I put it all in canning jars (which to me are easier to open).  The 5 pounds of moulage filled up: 3 quart jars, 2 pint jars, and 1 half pint jar.  (These are the sizes I chose to store them in and the half pint was just for the left overs.)

I am looking forward to experimenting with making moulage molds very soon.  Keep an eye out for the post.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Arisu Bodice Sloper

Please see this post about a Bodice Sloper is and a video that I used to make mine for Arisu.

Here is my drawing of the bodice sloper with her measurements.  This is a bit difficult since she is such a small one.  Plus, her body is not done being modified so it is likely to change.  But this is good practice.

Here I made a copy of the drawing with another piece of graph paper and then cut out the pattern (with ample seam allowance in my fabric.  I sewed the edges together.  I cut the whole for the neck out, but didn't bother to sew it. Notice though that I messed up the waist to collar bone measurement for the cut out, but it worked out okay.

Here the sewing is complete.  Now it is time to put it on her body to see how it fits.

It fit easily over her head and was a good fit to her waist.  I put her left on arm so I can see how it looks.  When I did the measurements I added her shoulder which included part of the arm, but I don't think I should have done that.  I think I need to shorten her shoulder length for the sloper.  You can extra fabric around the sides.  Does that mean the bust measurements was too much?

View of the back shows that the neck line is right up to the neck.  But if you looked at the front picture the neckline is down a bit.  In the future I can lower the neck for the back side to compensate.

I took her arm off to get a better look at where the excess fabric is.  I have a few ideas on how to make it more form fitting.

Better view of her neckline.  You can see how it is tight on the back but looser in the front.  This can easily be compensated by making the neck line a little different for front and back pattern.

Some of the measurement changes I need to make is the neck line, the shoulder length needs to be half, the location of the arm pit (the cut out and measurements were off, so halfway between would probably work better), and the bust line needs to be decreased.  That should make a good sloper.  When making real clothes though it is not going to be skin tight like a sloper is.  The current bodice pattern is going to be modified to make a sweat shirt since it is close to the look I want.

Keeping in mind when making clothes for your BJDs that the thickness of fabric can change your seam allowance.  Plus, you have to make sure you can get the clothes on and off your doll.  Whether you put it on with limbs off or if the doll has enough flexibility to allow clothes to be put on.

Basic Bodice Sloper

This is a good video on how to make a basic bodice sloper.

Pattern Drafting 101: Basic Bodice Sloper

A slopers has your measurements, but does not take into account seam allowance. It will help with making a pattern for other clothings if you know what the measurements of the body are. Although the video is geared towards making clothes for humans, they can also be used to make clothing for dolls.

I have made a sloper for my dog, which helped in creating a variety of outfits for my dog.  This included elaborate Halloween ones as well that won ribbons.

This is a dragon costume made. I made a full body pattern. Even though I had books with dog cloth patterns I was unhappy with the fitting because they were not made with her shape in mind.

Another dragon outfit made for another Holloween.

A peasant girl outfit made for a Renaissance Fair.

Here is the pattern I made of her.  You can call it her sloper, but it had some seam allowance added to it.

From that one pattern, I was able to make various parts needed for her Renaissance costume.  You can see here how useful the original pattern was in making this.  And it was all made to fit her perfectly.

So on that same note.  Making a basic bodice sloper of your doll can open the doors up to creative clothes making which will fit your doll perfectly.

No dogs were hurt in the making and wearing of the clothes. She actually enjoyed struting around in her clothing...haha Silly pup.

Merits of a Basic Fitting Pattern - Slopers