18 points highly articulate BJD (Ball Joint Doll) which is ready for FDM printers. With wide range movements, she can easily handle some hard poses like sit in meditation and squat.
Other than feet ( which is oversize when comparing with most dolls from big brands, but they make her stand firm), she is compatible with most 1/3 scale BJD's wig, clothes and accessories.
There are two versions of this doll. One contains 18 point of articulation but the thigh is on a bit ugly side due to joints under hips and can be floppy. Hence I have uploaded an optional version which only has 16 point articulation but with better appearance. This version would also allow the doll to sit down a bit naturally. There are also two torso versions, one is thinner than the regular one, which might be handy for some tight fit clothes.
This is a big project and can be very challenging, both for printing and post-print process. So be prepared to face issues and challenges.
Since many parts are only having very limited adherent surface and tall, so this project does require very good first layer and strong bed adherent. To test your printer, the hands are a good start since they are small and pretty much covered all hard things.
I would recommend having a 1kg full roll of material (ideally in skin colour) ready before the start. Some parts also require high precision, so it is a good idea to calibrate your print to the best status if you are not very confident.
This doll uses 22 mm eyes which are not included (I don't like the 3d printed eye, too hard to make them looks right), but you can easily find good ones online since it is stander size for Dollfie Dream series.
Like all other BJDs, you will need elastic cord (3~4mm) to link parts together. For this project, I would recommend preparing 2.5-meter long cord. 1.8~2 meter for body and 0.3~0.5 for arm depends on your preferences.
Hands and feet can be connected without S-hook, but I would highly recommend making some S-hook, especially for the hands. This will enable you to take her hands and feet down without redoing the strings all over again, which can be very handy for some clothes.
This design was stared with one of my game characters sculpt practice. I used the Z-brush Boolean tool to create joints. The files you have seen are the fifth version. I may do some more improvement if needed.
After all, happy printing :D
0.1~0.2 (0.1 or low for face)
Best to print with PLA or any other non-temperature sensitive material for better bed adhesion, avoid cracks and better angle handling. Must print brim for most parts.
It is highly recommended to print with skin colour materials, even if you are a plan to paint her as I did. Because all moving parts are depending on frictions and you will face paint chips no matter which paints you are using. Skin colour filament would at least make the chips not as obvious as other kind and also easier to cover by touch up paints.
After printing all done, you should check if the parts are able to fit with one other. Especially with Head and Head _Cup and Thigh/Thigh_w_hip, knees and calf. if things are hard to fit, it might be a good idea to either re-calibrate or scale down the head_cup or knee by not more than 1%.
Scale down can also be handy if you are planning to install silicon washers between joints which would reduce the chance of paint chips and gain better friction. However I would say for this figure, apply thine layers of silicon glue to even up sunken parts surface is a much better method, since some parts just won't work with those washers due to the complexity of shape(that is my bad, I didn't consider :p).
One thing to pay attention to is that when installing the knee, it should always be roughly 90 degrees toward the thigh or calf part, as shown below. Install in other angles are very likely to cause part breakage due to the joint lock design.
Paint or not paint? It is a question
For best result, you will need to at least paint her face so you can apply facial makeup.
Trust me, it won't look good to do makeups on surface full with layer marks.
Hence, you will need to prepare the following tools and equipment:
-sandpapers (100~150 grade and 300~400 grade, wet&dry if possible)
Plastic putty (Tamiya white putty is preferred)
Thinner for putty (Tamiya thinner is preferred if you are using their putty)
Brush for apply putty
White/ white cream coloured oil based spray can for the second base-coat ( if you are planning to use acrylic/water-based colour as top-coat. Always use a different type of colour as base-coat, this will make life easier if top-coat goes wrong.)
- Airbrush and Air pump ( mini pump will be fine if you are using acrylic/water-based colour)
PS: I knew some people are very good with their paintbrush, but I don't think this method would work for a female doll: they need smooth skin)
- Colour for skin tones ( I used: White(XF2), Pink(X17), Skin/Dust yellow(XF15) and flat clear (X21))
-Thinner for paint (I used X20A)
-Watercolour pencil for makeup
-Fine paint brush for makeup
- Clear flat as top-coat. (Again, this paint should be a different type with your surface-coat, otherwise, things can go wrong in a very scary way)
Sanding and base coat
Sand down layer marks with 100~150 grade sandpaper. After parts are smooth (you can feel it with your fingers), clean them with soapy water and dry properly.
Apply base coat with plastic putties, such as Tamiya putty, especially the white one, which is great for lighter tones. Thine the putty with compatible thinner and use brush paint on parts. After parts are dry, use 300~400 grade sandpaper to sand down brush marks, clean with dry cloth, check if surfaces are even.
This is the part which requires some practice and skills.
If you have painted anime figures or something similar before, it is pretty much the same except you don't need to worry about eyes.
If you haven't done any air brushing before, I would highly recommend to watch some online tutorial videos and print a spare face for practice before taking on the serious one.
The basic process is very simple:
1, Apply an even secondary coat to cover up putties and wait for dry;
2, apply basic skin tones and create some shades to build deeps and wait for dry; (you should save some mixed ready colour for future uses, eg: touch up paint chips)
3, apply extra shades and high lights to enhance the effects and wait for dry; (you should save some mixed ready colour for future uses, eg: touch up paint chips)
4, If you are happy with what you have got, you can then start on facial makeup and spray flat clear to protect all other parts. If you are not happy with the result, wash them off and redo the process.
5, Do makeup with the watercolour pencil or any other things you feel comfortable with. Personally, I found that use the watercolour pencil to do makeup for dolls is the easiest method. It doesn't require too much skill and easier to recover if you have made some mistake since you can easily wash them off by waters.
6, Once when you happy with everything, spray flat clear to protect them, wait dry.
7, Link up everything and parry the paint won't chip too ugly. No matter how you do, due to the way BJD works, they will chip anyway, so be brave and use paints you have saved if you do care.
8, Insert eyes and fix them with bluetage or anything which can make them stay in the right place. install the head cap to close everything.
9, Dress up!
Oh Nooooo! Paint Chip! Paint chip everywhere !!
Yes, paint chip will happen. BUT by doing some special arrangement, at least you can minimize the issue. Here is a tip share by GlaceLeau:
You can use calfskin suede (ideally), pliver (what I have), or faux suede if you have to. Some people also use self-adhesive moleskin that you can get at a drug store. Here's a tutorial showing that: http://www.dollsmagazine.com/ball-jointed-dolls-for-beginners-sueding-your-doll/
I haven't tried this method yet, but by reading through the tutorial I can see the potential of it.
In my personal experiences, apply silicone glue is also a very handy trick, especially for some overly complicated parts, eg, knees. However, this trick does require practices, otherwise, things can be very messy, just like a hot-glue trick.
I have tried with hot-glue method before, and I won't recommend that method. Because this method is very easy to get things messy and still damages the paint coat.
Oil-based paint is another good thing to try since they are much stronger than acrylic paint. However, to use oil-based paint also require much better-trained skill and better standard equipment.
After all, still prepare some touch-up paint as mentioned above, be prepared is never a bad thing :D