This page about new looks is a brief introduction to some of my chimeras. I'm not going to try to tell you how to do all these changes - just give you some hints about directions you might want to go. (Please look at the "Changing Heads" page under this same pull-down menu for specific instructions about moving heads.) You might ask why I've spent the amount of effort that I have to create all my not-100%-Tonner ten inch characters and the answer has to do with the fact that I enjoy having more than just Tonner's five wonderful faces in my gang and I enjoy giving all dolls as much articulation as possible. But while I crave a variety of facial features, I like the fact that as many of these dolls as possible can share clothing and shoes .... So let me introduce you! R.
This group of lovely little girls posing for their ballet class photos, shows the first three dolls I made by putting non-Tonner heads on Tonner bodies. The doll standing on the left and the two sitting have heads taken from Forever Friendz dolls, that were sculpted by Michele Severino. They are vinyl and the original bodies were somewhat poorly engineered - probably the reason the dolls weren't marketed for very long. (Interestingly enough, their bodies were an attempt at ball joints in vinyl, before resin ball jointed dolls had reached the main stream American doll conscience.) Their names are Kylie (standing), Sudha (sitting on the left) and Liat (sitting on the right). Standing on the right is Sue Lin, a Tonner Linda McCall doll with eye transplants (see her picture on the eye page too.)
I'm very partial to Dianna Effner sculpts and I've found that many porcelain heads made from her molds fit well on the Tonner ten inch vinyl body. This photo shows four dolls with Effner porcelain heads clustered around Ann Estelle. Also included on the far left is a vinyl Effner/Ashton Drake doll to whom I have given Tonner ten inch legs. I did this because, for one thing, it brings her into the ten inch high range instead of her original twelve inches and also because, while I like the articulation of the arms on these Ashton Drake dolls, I do not like the look of the legs and feet.
In these last two pictures meet two of the dolls that I have enhanced by giving them parts from resin ball jointed dolls.
First is Sophie who has arms and legs from a Customhouse Petite Ai doll. She still has her Tonner torso, mostly because
Petite Ai necks are slimmer than the Tonner neck and hence the Tonner heads don't "sit" well on them.
Generally speaking Asian ball jointed dolls are caste in very pale resin colors (although the longer the industry continues, the more darker/tanned skin colors are being produced [at added cost]). So the biggest problem is how to make the pale resin pieces match the color of Tonner "tan" in a durable finish. Sadly, I do not yet have a really good answer to this. The resin arms and legs on this Sophie were colored with pastel powder, which was then "fixed" with many, many thin layers of spray lacquer. Even with the lacquer top coat, it is still pretty easy to scratch the tint and thus areas that get a lot of friction at the joints soon look a bit beat up.
Here is my favorite Annie Laurie (don't tell the other dolls!) She has a Tonner head placed on an entire resin BJD body. The only ball jointed dolls that I have found that can make this work are Luts Cutie Delfs, which are no longer produced (and don't show up on the secondary market very often!) Except for her feet being just a bit larger than Tonner ten inch feet, this doll is almost exactly the same size as a 100% Tonner doll! But what fun it is having articulated elbows, wrists, knees and ankles!!! This is the same doll pictured in the banner across the top of this page but in that photo I had not yet tinted the pale resin to match the Tonner tan. Annie Laurie's tan is acrylic paint on the resin, "fixed" with many layers of archival spray varnish, made for use over acrylic paints. It too, like the pastel powder under lacquer, still is not hard enough to resist scratching so I have learned to bow to my limitations when doing this and leave the areas of the joints that get the most friction unpainted.
I have asked Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to make "tanned" resin ball jointed bodies that would fit the Tonner ten inch doll's heads, but, sadly, I guess they aren't going to do it. Sigh. R.
Update May 2014 - not getting what we wanted from Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or Tonner Doll Company, the three of us have taken the matter into our own hands and created the perfect ball jointed body for Ann Estelle and friends - we call it the Tenner. Soon these last two pictures will be obsolete as I change Sophie's and Annie Laurie's heads onto color-matched Tenner bodies. These jerry-rigged older BJD bodies will be used for other dolls in the gang. Stay tuned!!! R.