Friday, September 23, 2011

10mm Eyes Project: Part 1

Since I have been spending a lot of time working on Arisu's head, her eyes have been a topic on my mind.  Right now her head has a 10mm bead (which is actually a little less than 10mm according to my digital caliper).  But when her head is finally cast in resin I will want something better than beads.

BJD eyes are made of various materials such as glass, urethane, acrylic, polymer, etc  The glass eyes are less likely to scratch but does not have much detail.  The urethane eyes can have better details then glass eyes, but can scratch more easily and may yellow with age.  Both glass and urethane eyes are costly with a pair costing easily near $40-50 for a pair.  Then you have your acrylic eyes which can cost under $10 a pair.  Since acrylic eyes don't interest me, I didn't research much into it.  And if you wanted to make your own eyes, you have the option of making polymer eyes.

I am not ready to pay over $10 a pair of eyes, but I don't want to buy acrylic either.  And having polymer eyes wasn't too appealing.  So what am I to do?  Attempt to make my own urethane eyes.

So I first made a mold of the same type of beads that are her eyes right now.  I tried to make a moulage mold first but since these beads are so small it wasn't working out.  I ended up making a one piece plaster mold of half the bead to create a  half sphere.  When the mold was dry enough it was soaked in water to water log it before casting carving wax into it.

Above you can see the plaster mold on the left that I made.  Then next to it on the right is a carving wax casting.  I removed the extra wax from one of the half spheres and added a 2.5mm rod down the middle.

To get a round eye, I placed the rod into the shaft of a cordless dremel.  I used the dremel on low and placed sandpaper against the wax to slowly smooth and round it out.

I used a 4mm rod to make a dip in the top middle of the eye for painting the pupil and iris.

The question is, now what?  Do I make a rubber mold and cast in resin?  Or should I make a putty mold?  Make it in polymer clay to refine and test it before wasting expensive materials?

Ideally the eye would be cast in urethane resin and then the pupil/iris is painted.  A clear coat of urethane resin would then be added on top.  If needed the eye will be sanded down to a smooth and shiny surface.  The urethane resin eye would need to be bubble free.  Can I make a bubble free eye without a pressure pot?  I don't know.

More thinking needs to be done.

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