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Chapter Ten: Making Your Own BJD From Scratch  
04:11pm 02/11/2006

'I think they are too expensive. How do I make my own ball joint doll?'

Firstly, it's not as easy as you might think to sculpt and cast your own doll, and it's definitely not cheaper. My suggestion would be to go back to the first chapter and re-read the section on how BJDs are made before deciding that you want to make your own. Secondly, casting can be dangerous since resin is partially composed of Isocyanate, which by it's name is probably related to Cyanide and is therefore poisonous. It can also be expensive once you take into account the tools and waste, especially if you have no experience in casting; not to mention the cost of the supplies themselves. You also need a clean area that is free of moisture and humidity and has a fairly steady temperature in which to work, (72-76 degrees is best.)

Hopefully you have some experience with both sculpting and casting but if not, the best way to learn is by doing. Get some Sculpey or LaDoll and play with it for a while before setting down to do your actual doll parts. It would be even better if you could try small amounts of several different kinds of clay before settling on the one you'd like to use. There are a lot of options and you aren't obligated to use any single one. Some people even carve their doll prototypes in wood, polystyrene or other materials instead of sculpting. I have tried to include some of these tutorials too. Test casting some smaller resin parts first is also a good idea before you go full scale and helps to work the kinks out of any system you use so you don't have as much waste; it also makes the entire process less costly.

Last of all, sculpting and casting your own doll can be very rewarding. If you can make it past some of the more technical problems that can arise and the (nearly prohibitive) cost and end up with a complete doll of your own creation, then major kudos to you. It's definitely not easy, but it is quite the accomplishment.

Whatever you do, be careful, follow product directions and Wear A Mask!

If you want to learn from others, join the forum: The Joint.

Note: many of the tutorials presented here are not BJD specific but instead deal with how to cast polyurethane resin or silicone molds. The technical details still apply.

Classes, Books & Videos 4 Sale
June Goodnow Moldmaking & Resin Casting Video
Dollmaking Classes by Lumicast
BJD making book
'Yoshida Style' by Ryo Yoshida

Dolly Daydream: Coppelia
Photos, Instructions & a Shopping List
Making Noah's Doll
A complete run through of the process
A Translation of how Shuen made Safi
A Translation of a LinkClub Tutorial
A Resin Casting How-To
Bishonen House Mold Making Tutorial
Donn shows you how he makes his molds.
Lewis Goldstien
The tutorial Fancyboots used to sculpt Liebchen
Resin Casting Videos on YouTube
A preset search for videos on resin casting on YouTube
How to Sculpt a Head & Make a Mold
Not in English, but has photos
*Translated* Haru's Doll
An extensive site dedicated to making a doll
LJ Post:xLadyLazarusx
Japanese(?) photo tutorial with translation & many tips
StarShip Modeler
A very complete guide to casting in resin
A beautiful PDF about casting in Resin
Victorian Model Railroad Society
A Tutorial on casting in resin at home

Search for suppliers in your area!
Pour A Kast & Pour A Mold
Molding/Sculpting/Casting Vids & Supplies
Complete Site with How-to's, FAQs, Supplies, Tools and Videos
BJB Enterprises
Bare Metal Foil
A dealer for several casting resins

I also recommend various Taxidermy or Modelers Forums as they often contain a lot of useful info and people you can ask questions about molding and casting.

Links that may also help:
"How Can I Make One?"
Tom Banwell
Resin Casting Links
Tutorial on How To Make a Vacuum Chamber
Uses PVC Pipe
Another Tutorial on How To Make a Vacuum Chamber
Uses Pyrex Bowls
Linda Kays
She will cast your dolls for a fee
    Ask a question - Read 14 answer(s) - Share - Link

(no subject)
06:48pm 08/06/2007 (UTC)
There is an article regarding Isocyanate on Wikipedia, it's not Cyanide but it's still harmful to a certain extend.


If I remember right, though, the Isocyanate forms a chemical bond with other ingredients in the formation of resin, so I believe its toxicity is nullified in the process just in case people start wondering if it's harmful to handle dollfies. Handing "raw" isocyanate is still harmful, though.
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(no subject)
07:07pm 16/02/2009 (UTC)
This chapter is about using "raw" isocyantes; so yes, they are toxic. Thank you! :)
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(no subject)
05:20am 04/09/2008 (UTC)
Hunting for the Sunny Perch
this is random [ as I havent actually molded anything yet! XD ] but I'm a sculpture student, and have used something called Aqua Resin to re-enforce certain things and it is exactly like most resins but TOTALLY safe and water based, you can get it on your skin, breathe around it ect. It comes out very light weight yet supposedly? you can toss cured aqua resin out a 2 story window and it would be undamaged [ I've never tried]. The only draw back is its expensive. Like really expensive, I dont quite remember since its been a while. It's def,. something to look into though. Also the good news is that the reason is it's so expensive is because it's relatively new and is only made by one company right now, but that will probably change as it phases out all other resins.
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(no subject)
07:06pm 16/02/2009 (UTC)
I don't know anything about "Aqua-Resin", but it isn't being used for BJDs currently. Thanks for your comment!
    Reply - Parent - Thread - Link
(no subject)
12:49am 09/02/2010 (UTC)
for the 3rd tutorial i think the link is broken so i went & found it again, so for the 3rd one heres the link =) happy doll making! http://dreamscreator.thousandmirrors.com/BJD/Otino01record/eng.html
    Reply - Thread - Link
09:54pm 05/04/2010 (UTC)
What brand of Resin do you personally recommend?
> w
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(no subject)
03:35am 18/08/2010 (UTC)
    Reply - Thread - Link
bjd doll guide
05:28pm 20/12/2010 (UTC)
I agreeyoshida style ball jointed doll making guide (http://astore.amazon.com/yoshida_style_ball_jointed_doll_making_guide-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=1) It expensive.
    Reply - Thread - Link
05:32pm 20/12/2010 (UTC)

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Some vids I found that were helpful
02:50am 25/12/2010 (UTC)


Cool stuff
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(no subject)
 Gina Verne
08:19pm 07/08/2012 (UTC)
Gina Verne
Thanks for the links above, some of them are really usefull. I'm working on making my first BJD by myself (instead of buying it ^^') and so brought Ryo Yoshida's BJD making book from ebay, the content is very good but it's in Japanese. There is however a translated to english version which can be found online. The translation is only of the Japanese text so anyone hoping to use it will need Yoshida's book to know what it's talking about since the book wasn't scaned to show the pictures. Other than that thank you once again for the links.
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(no subject)
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