Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How to Make A Ball Jointed Doll - Part 1

How to Make A Ball Jointed Doll

What is a ball-jointed doll?

It is a kind of a doll with ball-and-socket joints in its body, arms and legs. Limbs and head are joined together by loops of elastic. It is a kind of a doll with ball-and-socket joints in its body, arms and legs. Limbs and head are joined together by loops of elastic. There are many variations in the way to join each part of a doll. The figure on the right shows the construction of ball jointed doll.

Arms are attached by elastic running through the armholes and torso. Each leg has its own piece of elastic, and in both legs loops of elastic run from the ankle up through the knee, the leg-hole and up to the head, both loops being hung on a hook inside the neck. Other ends of the elastic band are attached to the small "S" shaped hook and hanged on the wire strung inside the wrists and ankles respectively.

No doll can stand up by itself when it hasn't been made well-balanced in its construction.

Step by step process of making a ball jointed doll

(1) Drawing up a plan

For a start, draw up a plan in same size, the front and the side, taking account of the balance of each part, and the size of joints (figure on the right). This doll will be 2 feet tall.

(2) Making the core

Here we don't use a mold. We introduce the way of using Styrofoam (foam polystyrene) for the core.Cut the all parts from the lump of Styrofoam in a size 10mm smaller than finished size. If you can find Styrofoam balls in adequate size on the market, you may use them for joints.

(figure on the left) All the parts are arranged except hands and feet, which don't need the core. The neck will be made after the shape of the head is settled and then attached to the head. Put marks the position of features in the face, and the top and bottom, right and left in the limbs.

The Base

The base is made with sawdust mixed with paste.
Mixed sawdust turns into hard and light after it is dried up.

styrofoam core is to be raked out later, then every parts will be hollow.

There are two types of sawdust. One is rough which is used for the foundation, and the other is powdery used for the surface. This time the rough one is not available, so the powdery one is used for the foundation as well as the surface.

Mix the same quantity of sawdust and CMC (chemical paste mixed with water. If CMC is not available, starchy paste can be used) and knead with hand until it becomes clayey.

Don't make too much, since it will get dry or rotten after a few days.

Make it into a lump and wrap it to prevent from drying.

Put the mixed sawdust on the surface of styrofoam with bonding agent.

Put all over the surface except the joints parts in about 2mm thick uniformly, then dry them up.

If somewhere fissures, then fill it up and dry again perfectly.

Modeling & The base of hands

Sawdust has put all over.

Put the mark of up and down, right and left at the surface of joints.


Knead the same quantities of sawdust and stoneclay.

For the first put the mixed base uniformly, and put the mark for modeling.

Don't use fiber-tipped pens, because ink would influence the surface later.

Colored pencils or conté crayons are suitable.

Figures show the state of being fleshed out roughly.

After the shape of the head has decided, make the neck by the same way of the other parts. (Use the styrofoam inside for the core.)

The base of hands

Draw the picture of a hand, and make palms with sawdust. Cut stainless steel into ten pieces for fingers.

Make holes for fingers, four on the top of the palm and one inside the palm with a pinvise (tiny drill).

Put epoxy resin at the top of steels and fix into the holes

After fixed firmly, cut the steels into adequate length and bend them into favorite pose.

Also see How to assemble the ball jointed doll


sofika said...

Muchas gracias por este post.
Thank you very much.The post is great

adult acne back treatments said...

Thanks for sharing this. It looks kinda complicated but will try your idea, one way or another. :)

Myuu-chan said...

Amazing guide! ^^
It's helping me a lot!!
I'm mentioning you and this blog as a reference in my own diary-blog (in portuguese :3).
Really, really thank you ^^