Turning a Makie into a BJD!

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Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:47 pm

Here's my scary new project thread which has dire consequences if I fail! Very Happy

Here's the victim lucky Makie:


Here's a slightly better picture taken with my proper camera, he's on the right:


Some of you might remember Gil, I had a thread for him on here when he first arrived. You might also remember that I had some issues with his articulation, beyond my ordinary issues with Makie articulation. It frustrated me that his arms were even more limited than the girls, and Makies already have exceptionally limited movement (well, not the IMs I gather, but these are 3DP, not IM.). The crotch interfering with the legs also annoyed me, and when it comes down to it, I feel it's bad engineering. To sacrifice that much function over form, for dolls that are intended to be highly articulated.

To be honest, I'd been hoping that Makies would engineer a whole new body - especially after saying they were going to reassess the boy body, and especially after having told me on Twitter that they were taking the suggestion of different body types into consideration. At this stage though, given the recent mess, I don't think that's going to happen.

Anyway, my many problems with Gil and the engineering in general meant that I had a difficult time bonding with him despite the work I'd put in. He just wasn't really shaping up to be very impressive.

After a lot of looking around, taking measurements, and weighing up the options, I decided to take drastic action: hybrid him with a BJD body, so he could have the articulation I wanted. I picked Gil as the first of my Makies to undergo this process because... if it doesn't work out, then I've only lost the Makie I've bonded with the least. If it works out, I have bodies picked out for the other two that I will happily get at a later date.


The specifics:
The doll body I have decided to hybrid Gil with is a Resinsoul 1/6 double-jointed body. The primary reason was for cost, because as I've said, this carries a big risk with it - if the hybriding doesn't work out, Gil can never use his old body again. It's permanent. If it's successful, the two other bodies I have picked out are quite a bit more pricey, because I've hunted for the exact shapes I want alongside double-joints.

The process I'll need to undertake is to cut out his peg that allows his head to slot into his current Makie body. That's the part that's very very permanent and nervewracking. Once it's done, he will no longer be able to use the makie body (speaking of which, the Makie body will be unharmed in this process, but will no longer be of use to me. It's permanently body-blushed, so I don't know if it'd be of use to anybody else either, but if anybody is interested in the body, it'll be on the table at some point).

After cutting out the peg, I'll need to sand the hole, and if possible, notch a little bit into the sides so that the S-hook can sit straight. The sanding process may take a long time, as I would rather take off too little than too much.

If all goes well, then after those two steps, he'll be done!

If all goes terribly, well... well I'll have made some big mistakes haha. Honestly I feel the risk is worth it so that I can actually enjoy this doll, but it IS a big risk.

What's a project thread without images? Here's the first batch, which is simply receiving and comparing the body to the Makie. I'm waiting on another tool to start the real work!


What's a box opening picture without a doll staring at it with curiosity?


Here's the bodies side by side, though Instagrams format meant the RS body is cut off at the feet. They both have 5cm neck circumferences, but the rest of the body couldn't be more different. I'll be honest, the extreme size difference between the Makie head and body has always been my least favourite part of the product. It'd be all right if I were making child characters, but then the bodies are adult-developed. The heads are also more adult proportioned unless you go extreme in the maker. I'm glad that hybriding will give them bodies at least a little bit more suited to the age and size of the faces.

 It's also very very nice to see actual individual fingers and toes, the RS body has a great sculpt! It's a good job I hadn't commissioned clothes for this Makie yet, because while there's crossover in the torso, the arms and legs couldn't be more different. It does also mean that the collection of amazing 1/6 shoes I have are all too small though... Sad


And here's Gil's hopefully-new-body holding his head. I love the ratio of the hands to head, they're much more normally sized compared to the tiny Makie hands. I'm not in love with how narrow the shoulders are, but again, I picked out this body more because of the price rather than form. I can absolutely live with narrow shoulders if it means all my other issues are solved!

So that's where I am now! Updating this thread will probably be kind of slow, because it'll take a while for me to be able to work on it. I'm really looking forward to it though. The moment I opened the RS box and saw the sculpt (especially the nails on the individual fingers!), I knew I'd made the right decision and I wouldn't be able to go back.


Last edited by nattherat on Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:58 pm

ooo exciting. Also, i'd be interested ni the body if you end up selling it. Frankenmakie could do with some parts lol. His broken torso is rather unstable and he needs arms so a whole new body would probably solve all the problems.

But ooo this looks exciting and a bit scary. Those hands are beautiful.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:18 pm

Thanks P_M! Yeah, I'm really excited haha. I'll totally take some more photos of the RS hands later (probably some more comparison shots?), because they're really stunning.

And I did think of you when I realised the Makie body could go to a new home! The body is in great condition in general (no cracks or joint wear), but obviously it's got permanent modding (the piebaldism, and the carving around the armpits to improve articulation). If you're okay with that, I'll remember you're interested when I make a final decision on the body! Very Happy

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Chove on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:55 pm

I'm nervous just watching from a distance! I hope all goes well!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by IndigoAndAsh on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:11 pm

Good luck! Will be interested to see how it goes - Resinsoul bodies are great considering the price of them, so hopefully this will make all the difference.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:38 pm

hehehe,yeah remember my frankenmakie is already a freak of patches and blotches. Piebald splotches would probably work well. heheh.

So nervous to watch but at the same time excited by the prospect.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Artful Owl on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:25 pm

I hope it works for you! I have been curious about head swapping to an elasticated body since I saw an awesome curvy 3DP prototype body. I'll watch this space.


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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by DollYay on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:27 pm

Ooh! I hope all goes well for Gil! I can't wait to see the end result.  Smile

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:05 pm

Haha gosh, thanks all! Very Happy
I'm really glad you're interested in this project, I'll be sure to keep it updated. I think I should be able to carve an appropriate S-hook slot, the hardest part will be getting rid of the peg without damaging anything else.

Here's a quick bunch of comparison between the bodies:

(Kinda blurry because artificial light)
Comparing a 3DP Makie to a resin BJD isn't exactly fair, but I am struck by the fact that these two things are kind of the same price-point. It does make me lament the fact that the switch to IM bodies didn't really bring any substantial improvements to the sculpting (slightly more definition but... still not much, not compared to other playlines).

But regardless, I'm looking forward to Gil having a more defined and articulate body!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:39 pm

Okay, ready for a big scary update? ;D

I didn't think I'd get to this as soon as tonight, I thought I'd need to order some missing tools in. Turned out I have what I need, at least for now!


Craft drill, and the faceplate!
I thought about covering it with cling film to help protect it, but in the end I felt I couldn't risk the cling film melting from the drill, because I doubt I'd be able to get it off if cling film melted onto nylon. So Gil's face remained exposed throughout this, and I just took it very very slowly and cautiously instead.


THE BEGINNING. You can see the pencil lines where I marked out where I intended to drill.
Now I did think of starting to drill from the underside first, but here's a word of warning (and the reason I drilled from the inside instead in the end): Nylon is tough as nails to try and drill though. With a craft drill anyway, especially since it's all too easy to slip and you want to be very careful. Don't bother trying to attack that peg from below because you'll be there a million years and probably cause damage. Instead use the notch inside the head to align yourself with where the peg will be.

(I don't know if anybody else will attempt this, but either way, there's some advice for myself when I do this with my other two makies in the future)


Here we go, the peg is off (I used pliers to help twist it off when I had weakened the connection enough by the way. Again, slow and cautious, because a lot of money and treasured possessions are on the line here haha.), and I'm slowly making the s-hook hole.


Now then... how else to say this but: Gil is now a BJD!


I think the poor goat kid is confused, he had tiny little arms and hands before, and suddenly he's all tall with big hands.

Now my work isn't completely done! The body is too tightly strung I think, because I can't get enough grip on the s-hook to lift it and the elastic up (not even with pliers and nothing in the way). I'm going to have to restring I think (and that's possibly even scarier than all of the above to me!), because until I do, I won't be able to pull the s-hook up and swivel it round so that it stays in Gil's head properly.

I also need to sand all the carving I've done a bit more, and once I've done the above task, I may find that I need to carve a little bit more out so that his head has the best/most secure movement it can. So there will be more updates!

But haha oh my gosh you guys, I'm really excited by how this is turning out!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Chove on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:47 pm

omg amazing!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:52 pm

Thank you Chove! Very Happy

Here's a quick bonus:

I can already tell I'm going to have a LOT more fun than I was having before!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by sigsi on Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:49 pm

Awesome job! It's insane how perfectly his face fits with the body.
Are you planning on keeping the other two characters in Makie bodies or hybrid-ifying them as well?
Either way, It would be kind of cool to see a pic of New Gil with the other Makies just for a comparison if you happen to have one (I know you already have the body comparisons, but with heads Smile)

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:04 pm

Very Happy Thanks Sigsi!

Haha yep - I think I might need to sand the Makie neck hole SLIGHTLY, but otherwise it's a perfect fit. Makie necks AND resinsoul 1/6 necks are both 5cm, which was the magic number I was basing the hybrid on.

I'm planning on hybriding the other two! It won't be for a loonnnngg time yet, because both new bodies cost a bit over £100 each, and one of them I'd have to dye ( :/ because certain BJD companies refuse to offer tan/dark tan resin). Not to mention that even once I can afford the body, the company takes a long time to make and ship (unlike resinsoul which is very fast). I imagine the next one I'll tackle will be Elisabeth, though I will try and order both their bodies at the same time, otherwise the wait will drive me up the wall.

I'll totally take a side-by-side photo for you! Tomorrow though, when it's daylight again. XD

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Chove on Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:37 pm

He looks so good!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:19 am

gosh that is incredible! How secure is the neck joint? Are you planning to reinforce it at all around the S hook? He looks great though! Crazy great!
WELL DONE! How exciting to get body variety to go with those unique heads!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:37 am

Here's some comparisons for Sigsi, and anyone else interested! Sorry the photos are a bit blown out, my phone camera isn't great to start with, and light levels always seem to be wrong for it no matter what. My actual camera is in storage again.


From left to right: Makie, 3" Sofia the First, Disney store Merida, Gil with his new resinsoul body, Hujoo minipin, Dr Aki Ross (sorry, I can't remember the make D: ), another Makie.


Gil directly besides the other Makies. To be honest, if you just wanted some height variation in your gang, you could potentially do something like this and have the group still look compatible with each other. I have other plans in mind myself, but it's something you could do!

As you can see, he's almost a whole head taller than them now. Eventually they'll catch up to him in height, and if I've calculated right, Aurella should be a little bit taller than him, and Elisabeth a little bit shorter.

@P_M Thank youuu! Very Happy Currently it's not secure, but that's because the stringing is too tight! I'm waiting for a hemostat so that I can do some work. Until I can sort out the stringing, I don't have the force, or the give in the elastic, to pull the s-hook up enough to turn it around. I wouldn't want to force it without unstringing, in case it applied too much pressure to the nylon.
Though given how thick the nylon is around the neck area, I think it's a lot stronger there than I was expecting. I'm not currently planning on doing anything like bonding it with another material on top unless I specifically run into problems once I can turn the s-hook around.
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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:49 pm

the height is awesome! and eee lookatthelittlehujooo!
ahem.

The head looks really good on the body. Colour match looks really great and the proportions are nice. Still exaggerated but stylistically so rather than "omg what the hell is wrong with their head?" lol. He's gonna be awesome once he's all finished.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:16 pm

Haha, the hujoo's name is Lani! She's one of the two I really need to get clothes for this year. Hopefully in time for her one-year anniversary to be honest, that would be good.

The colour match looks even better IRL. Just like the 3DP vs IM, I think cameras pick up the colours a bit differently. I'll be blushing his hands eventually anyway, and they'll be the only thing on show.
I definitely prefer the proportions now! The characters are meant to be teenagers, so some stylisation still looks good for them, but the extreme proportions from before aren't the best fit.

I'm looking forward to him being finished! To be honest, it's such a shame I don't have many suitable clothes around, because he really needs to start looking more like himself now he's got a good body. XD Oh well, I did say my doll plans for this year involved a lot of clothing/finishing...

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:43 pm

Oh Bratz stuff might fit the minipins. Mine stole some Monster High pants (Operetta's 3/4 lengths are baggy full length pants on him) and a bratz top. Sylvanian families stuff apparently fits too but i've not got any here to check. Tea bunny stuff is a bit big, it kinda works but the outfits are super frilly and twee haha.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by sigsi on Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:34 pm

Thank so much for posting pics! And even adding extra dolls like the disney doll was helpful for observing the height. I actually love the proportions of the new body with a Makie head, I really wasn't expecting to love the look of it so much.
Good luck x10000 with restringing. One of the Freya's I ordered lost one of the strings down half her body when I removed the head to put the eyes in. I was literally holding the body pieces together while my grandmother helped fish the string out of the neck hole with a fishing hook and tick pliers. Rolling Eyes Tools are your friend.

As for clothes for the baby Hujoo (well I have the Nano freya version, but I think they are about the same), like Purple_Monkfish said, Bratz stuff might fit. Some of the shirt and shorts can fit perfectly, some have straps that are too big. Also (depending on how you feel about Barbie and skirts/dresses) the kid sister Kelly's clothes seem to fit pretty well most of the time as long as there isn't a crotch in the outfit. Good luck!
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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:28 pm

Haha thanks guys!

I know some fashion stuff fits, but all my personal custom dolls are my own characters, so they require custom clothes! My minipin and nano Freya both need tiny English school uniforms. Hopefully I'll commission the usual person I go to for clothes (c'mon dolly) because she's really great.

As for updates, I loosened the arm stringing (I actually restrung them entirely), and now Gil's s-hook is properly in place!


There he is!


If anybody is considering doing a hybrid, I'd actually recommend the resinsoul body so much. Not just because it's good on its own, but because the neck is DIRECTLY compatible with the Makie neck hole. Snuggest and most perfect fit.

With that, I suppose that concludes my little journey! It was scary, but not really that scary - interestingly, peg aside, Makie heads are well suited to this! The neck dome, and all that hollow space in the head, make it fairly easy. The hardest part was removing the peg.

No doubt I'll make new threads when it comes time to hybrid my other two! Plus once Gil has some proper clothes, I'll take actual good pictures of him. ;D

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:59 pm

gosh it really does look like it was made for him! It's absolutely perfect and awesome! Well done!

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by nattherat on Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:10 pm

Very Happy Thanks P_M! I'm super pleased with how it's turned out. It's a shame I don't currently have the cash to commission his outfit, but maybe I'll hear some good news by next week about monies. XD Until then, the poor guy is going to have to sit in his case.

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Re: Turning a Makie into a BJD!

Post by sigsi on Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:17 pm

nattherat wrote:It's a shame I don't currently have the cash to commission his outfit, but maybe I'll hear some good news by next week about monies. XD Until then, the poor guy is going to have to sit in his case.
Or he could always chill in that skull outfit. Smile
And I look forward to your future updates, your modding posts tend to look terrifying but awesome at the same time (referencing Elisabeth's body modding from a good while back).

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