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The most important thing to remember is not to touch the face. Even when your hands are clean, there are natural oils on them that can damage or dirty the sealant. The other major issue of course is rubbing – repeated rubbing/friction can wear off the sealant, which results in shiny spots and dirty borders. When moving your doll’s head, try holding her by the sides of the head/the ears, instead of touching the chin. The chin is the spot that’s most susceptible to damage from rubbing.
I always recommend plastic face shields to protect your doll during transport – but if the plastic is allowed to touch the face, it can also damage the faceup. See “How to package your doll” below for tips on how to safely drag your dollie from point A to point B!
Another risk to a faceup is chipping – contact with table corners, rings, watches… if it has a sharp or hard edge, it can scratch the sealant, and over time that spot can get dirty. Being careful is the only prevention for this… and what I call dollie reflexes – the speed with which BJD owners can react to catch a doll about to faceplant! ^~
One last risk: Nailpolish! Not that you can never wear nailpolish (unless you’re like me and do this every day), but if you’re getting mystery marks on your doll, your fingernails might be the culprit. Black nailpolish is especially prone to this. But don’t despair – just be careful, and the marks do come off with Magic Eraser.
Mods like elf ears or other mods that require apoxy are airbrushed with acrylic paints to match the resin color. Even though I do my best to seal them very well, this makes them susceptible to damage from rubbing and scratching. Avoid touching the modded area, especially the tips of ears and claws, and be careful when changing clothes and wigs. My mods will stand up to everyday wear, but don’t make it too rough. ^_~
Fantasy parts like hooves and horns can be tricky to maintain, but it’s possible. Be especially careful with hooves – poseable hooves have points of extreme friction. Whenever possible, try to pose your hooved dolls by gently pulling the hoof parts apart, moving them, and setting them back together (as string tension allows).
If you’re transporting your fantasy doll in a carrying bag, or storing them in a box for a longer period of time, you can pull the parts apart and insert parts of a cut-up cotton pad in between the joints to keep them from rubbing together. If you can, it helps to line the joints with moleskin.
Baby socks are a great way to protect your fantasy legs during travel! ^^
Try to take care that your doll’s hooves don’t clunk together when you pick them up.
Even with all these precautions, it’s possible to scratch the paint over time, but I seal them very well with several stacked layers of gloss and sealant, so when handled gently they should last a long time.
Tools: Warm water; a soft towel; cotton balls; Mr.Clean Magic Eraser; Q-tips.
For faceup and blushing removal: The above plus clear, colorless acetone (the kind from the hardware store).
If a faceup gets a spot of dirt, you can use a damp towel or Mr.Clean Magic Eraser to gently clean it off. Don’t scrub too hard! Magic Eraser works because it is essentially very fine sandpaper! If you use it too much, you will wear through the faceup. Don’t use acetone, brush cleaner, or nailpolish remover on your doll unless you want to completely remove the faceup, because that’s what will happen. ^^;
Doll’s bodies get dirty too, especially if we play with them a lot. Most of my dolls need a yearly cleaning. I give them a careful once-over with cotton balls dipped in clear, colorless acetone (the kind you buy at the hardware store). Never, ever use nailpolish remover, since it may have dyes and fragrances in it that can stain your doll! If the nailpolish remover is pink, your doll will be pink. 🙁 Some people like to use brush cleaner like e.g. Windsor & Newton instead of acetone. I’ve personally actually had worse experiences with brush cleaner – but either works, from what I’ve seen overall. Rubbing alcohol can also be used, but it is not very aggressive, so you actually have to scrub harder and for longer, which pretty much equals out or exceeds the danger of damage to the resin from a quick swipe with acetone.
The key is not to scrub too hard, ever. Polyurethane resin is a rather soft substance, and can be damaged by scratching, denting, and rubbing. Contact with an aggressive substance such as acetone will further soften the resin on prolonged contact, so the quicker you are, the better. An advantage to acetone is that is evaporates very quickly, so unless you’re scrubbing or holding the cotton ball in place, you’ll be fine. ^_^
Keep in mind that if your doll has body blushing, acetone will remove it! If you want to clean your blushed doll, I recommend careful cleaning with a Magic Eraser, again keeping in mind that it is, in fact, sandpaper.
Remember to re-seal your doll after you clean it, with Mr. Super Clear or Zoukei-mura spray, to prevent new stains from setting in too quickly, or permanently.
1. Be careful when buying BJDs second-hand. Ask for CoAs; screenshots of the company order page with the seller’s name listed; If your seller is not the original owner, contact the previous owner. It can be tedious – you have to decide how important it is to you to support the artists.
2. Be very careful with eBay!! Ebay is a rabid market for recasts, and often they are not marked as such. If a seller has 10 dolls in stock, and the price is lower than the company’s price, IT IS MOST LIKELY A RECAST. If the seller uses the company’s photos but does not state they are an official agent, IT IS MOST LIKELY A RECAST. If the seller lists something as “pretty BJD, free faceup” without mentioning the name of the sculpt and has several in stock, IT IS MOST LIKELY A RECAST. Sorry to say, most of these sellers are located in China, which is another red flag for buyers.
3. When in doubt about a third-party dealer like an eBay seller or a website (of which there are now disturbingly many exclusively selling recasts) – contact the legitimate company and ask if that person or website is an authorized dealer. Companies like Iplehouse, Soom, or FairyLand will answer very quickly to protect their COPYRIGHTED PROPERTY.
Thank you for buying legitimate BJDs! 🙂