Freeze is coming

I took these sometime late last year when we got our first (and pretty much only) snows. I had a whole story to go with them but ehh, I’ve forgotten most of it. Main point was that the winter came and Naenia was forced to abandon her tail and don some legs until spring. She loathes winter with every fiber of her being as she also hates wearing clothes. But now that it’s cold, she has to put on layers and layer of clothes to keep warm. Can’t win here. xD She’s originally from the tropics and just can’t handle the cold, whereas my siren will just dive down to the bottom and hibernate where the temperature stays at a nice and steady 4°C.

I had two wigs for her in this shoot as neither is perfect. The dark brown one is a bit dead from the lake visits and the red one is not styled properly yet, so they both make an apprearance as I was figuring out which to use.

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Unassembling and stringing a (Withdoll) BJD

I still have photos to post. I promise I’ll get to at least the one shoot I did in the early winter when there was still hope of… getting an actual winter. We haven’t had snow for most of this season and it’s been warm and wet and just generally uninspiring. I have those photos edited and re-sized so those I can get up. But before I do that, I’ll post these guide-video-things I took yesterday.

Just uhh, be warned, I don’t have a proper video camera. I can’t see my viewfinder from in front of the camera and my DSLR does not have an autofocus when shooting. So some things aren’t quite in focus or properly centered. Putting on the head of the doll was cut out cause, yeah, went off the frame. Still, made these cause there were some people in the Withdoll thread on DoA having trouble changing the new body’s hands and I’ve seen some general mentions to not knowing how to string the body (or being afraid of not knowing how to if taken apart). General rule of thumb: keep track of the body parts and put them back the same way they were on. Pay close attention to elbow/knee nuggets especially.

The body is pretty generic in the way it’s strung. I have a few ooold stringing tutorials with photos & text that could be used as a reference just as well (though apparently only in Finnish). Mostly the differences in stringing comes from whether the doll is strung from neck to feet or foot to foot with a separate torso string. Sometimes the strings cross in the pelvis to make it appear as if the legs are strung from foot-to-foot, though they’re not. But all of these are things that are not hard to adjust to once you know how to string at least one doll.
There are exceptions, of course, like fairyline dolls from Fairyland where it seems that most limbs are strung separately and just snapped on in the torso. Honestly, wouldn’t wan to have to change the string for one like that… seems like a lot more work and annoying fiddling with things.

Anyway. These videos are not great, I have no video editing software other than ffmpeg and ehh, would’ve taken me ages to do anything fancy with a command-line only program. xD Still, they get the message across, I hope. Turn on captions for some extra commentary and use the shortcuts in the video description, if needed.

These are named like it’s only this specific body that they can be used for, but like I said earlier: most BJDs work with the same principle and you can definitely use these for other dolls too. I made sure to assemble the body so that it’s easy to see how to keep the tension even and not get one foot/arm loose and the other really tight.

The bottom line is: stringing a doll should not be hard. It shouldn’t be a chore that leaves you in sweat, blood and tears. If it is (has hapened to me too: I’m looking at you Souldoll and your Zeniths), the string needs to be changed, asap! You should always be able to do it by yourself, at the very least by holding the doll down with your foot and pulling with one hand with the other ready to insert a hook or a stopper. It shouldn’t take up all your strength. If it does, the string is either A) too tight or B) just not good. It should have a good elasticity (not too much!) and tension.
For the correct length of the elastic, it varies a bit from doll to doll and the thickness of it. I personally try to put in as thick a string I can fit without it interfering with the joint movement. As for the length: I make it long enough to show from both knees and both elbows before it’s pulled. Or at the very least have it reach the knee/elbow joint. Then it should have enough elasticity to be pulled all the way to the wrist/ankle and still be pinched between your fingers or held in place with a string puller long enough to hook the hand/foot in place.

Withdoll vs Souldoll males (mini sizes)

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve had some life stuff and haven’t really played with my dolls and if I have, I haven’t done full shoots that I’d feel have enough content to post here… with onee exception that I just forgot about.. need to fix that soon.

I’m back with a quick comparison that I promised to do back in April. But I only own one of the dolls and we haven’t gotten together with our dolls with mizya in forever, so it took me/us this long.

The Withdoll boy (with sanded down muscles) is mine and the Souldoll guys belong to mizya. All photos are taken by mizya and apologies for the shadows and random colors, it’s wintertime and there’s like no light so we had to improvise.


Always from left to right: Withdoll junior boy (custom ns), Souldoll N.L. boy (grey skin), Souldoll Vito male, shown joints ver (sandy brown)

Heads are Taren, Kyron and Berial human.

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Mini dolls comparison

Alrighty, comparing my minis with the new WD girl body. Some of these poses are the same as in the review, because I like to use basic mobility for review purposes. Once you know how far a joint moves in each direction, you can think up a bunch of poses. I was thinking of also putting the DIM GSE body into the lineup as well, but then decided against it as I’ve modded it heavily. She’s in some of my older comparisons, though. I can get my hands on an old Minisup girl body, Souldoll NL boy and Vito male body as well. If you want a similar comparison/review of them, do let me know.

Lineup:

Withdoll boy body >> Bimong classic Narin (new elbows) >> Bimong classic Narae (small bust) >> Withdoll girl body (old) L bust >> Withdoll girl body (new) D bust >> Minifee a-line large bust

Always in the same order.

Worth noting:
– I’ve sanded off the muscles on the WD boy body, but they don’t affect mobility. I’ve also removed the stopper inside his torso.
– The classic Narin is from the newer releases where Bimong re-made the elbow joints.
– The classic Narae is an older type with single joint elbows. The new releases come with the exact same joints as the Narin next to her. But they also have deeper ankles with less mobility (though I did sand mine to work like this older one).
– I’ve removed the stopper from the old WD girl’s torso
– The MNF is at least 5 years old and as FL keeps recasting their own bodies, the newer ones will be smaller, so she isn’t very accurate as height comparison.

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New junior Withdoll girl body comparison & review

I received my new Withdoll girl body and took some photos right away. I’m also planning on taking new comparisons with other company bodies as well, as I have a MNF visiting from a friend, but I had to leave town, so that will happen during the weekend.

My old girl is grey skin from 7 years ago (2011) and she has yellowed due to age. The Vampire Rachel head is also from 2011 but it’s been in a box most of this time and isn’t as yellow, but it is lighter than the new grey skin body. I’ll take nicer comparisons of the skins too, once I get back.

EDIT// Added a few bust comparisons to the end.


Old body (L bust) on the left and new body (C bust) on the right.

The two are very similar in shape, some details are different (old body has visible ribs and hip bones, new doesn’t). The arms are similar in joints as well, but the rest not so much. The new body is strung with the legs together, while the old goes from neck to ankles. Also worth noting that the new body has a thicker and a shorter neck but the torso is a little longer, so they end up the same height although the shoulders aren’t even.

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Creature of Water

I have some Sebille photos coming, but I’ve been lazy with their editing, so I’ll just put these up first. There have been taken on 3 different occasions and mixed up a bit. There are my first underwater doll photos and I’ve been practising controlling all the elements. There’s airbubbles, floating hair, floating clothes, fish, sand, sun and a lot of other things to consider while shooting and it’s not easy. My very first photos didn’t have much definition due to bad lighting, the next ones had light but the colours, exposure and sand was all over the place. Third and final session had more things right, but the sand and other floating stuff in the water is seriously the bane of my existence. ALso focusing with the camera I have is not the easiest thing and I can’t see where the focus or composition is properly as the screen reflects strangely. I would need a mask and go under myself, but I haven’t done that yet. There are some sharper photos, some grainy ones, some with a lot of ‘trash/sand’ and others with a ton of random blur, so bear with me. I still like a lot of these and do want to try again in the future, but for now I think I’ll give Nae a rest. There’s a lot of maintenance to be done after each shoot, so it’s quite labor intensive.

My dream would be to have a pool of my own where I could just set up a backdrop, some props and shoot without caring about sand and other random stuff beyond my control. I could do it, but I never have the extra money (with these heatwaves in the summer, I would love a pool of my own though xD).

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Sunny Stream

Okay, the second version with sunshine is done. I was also armed with mosquito repellent and was thus able to stay longer, which resulted in a longer shoot than the original. I sprayed some on her wig too, so that I didn’t have to photoshop giant killer mosquitoes off her head while post-processing. Last time the photos were flat due to the clouds and I used a picture style I’ve made specifically for Seere (and my other red-heads) and that resulted in me having to de-red her skin tone and generally edit them a lot. This time I was able to shoot with a more natural style (customised faithful is my go-to) and had to only do minimal editing, so yay.


Yes, I attempted to re-do this same pose from the previous shoot because I hated how I posed the tail fin last time. Not necessarily better but at leas the fin doesn’t bother me anymore.

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Mossy Stream

Finally, Nae’s first official shoot. I’m really happy with a few photos and less than happy with the rest, but I’m planning a trip back there again in the coming days to attempt some more photos. This stream is at a nature reservation site and I had to be extra careful to not stomp on the plants and moss, so I only had a few footholds (mostly spots in the stream) and my angles were a bit limited. I also forgot to take my reflector -or more like considered it and for some unknown reason decided against it. I also want to take Nae to the deeper stream I took Kilbas/Avis photos at last year, but I think I want the weather to get warmer so that I can actually stand in the water. This stream is very shallow so rubber boots are enough, but that one is knee high and I don’t have boots that long. xD

I do think I want a warmer coloured wig for her -and I still need to re-make her tail fins but ugh, I keep failing every time.

Mosquito repellent would be a valid accessory as well. Much of my time was spent hitting my own head and I rather sure I carried multiple mosquito corpses back home with me in my hair today.

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Hibernation

Time for my spring ritual again, this time it’s with Hexia (for the first time). Yay! She isn’t as impressive outfit-wise but man does the location suit her. :3 There’s some repetition cause I couldn’t narrow them down.

And just for comparisons sake, here are all the previous spring shoots in this location I have done:
Cold Spring (2018, Sigrun), Only Death (2017, Sigrun), Magical Green (2016, Iria), All Dead Here (2015, Prisca), Jorougumo (2014, Yami), Entangled (2013, Sigrun), Death Wood (2012, Prisca)

If you study the shoots carefully, you’ll see that there are changes to the landscape in each one. Most notably the fallen trees: every year there’s at least one new one. This year there were several (but some of them were above me, as they’d fallen against another tree) courtesy to the snowfall last month where the snow was really wet (=heavy) and it snowed like 30-40cm within 48 hours. That broke a lot of trees (including the one that Hex poses against) that in turn either squished the smaller bushes or just left them standing all bent. Nobody uses that path anymore -not for years since before I started using it, so nobody comes to chop the trees up to move them out of the way. The spruce forest in the beginning of the path has gotten pretty wild too and I keep getting poked when I try to shoot. At some point it’ll grow over and I won’t be able to shoot there anymore.

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A 10 month project (working on and modding Naenia)

Hello everyone! As you’ve probably noticed from my last entry, I finally received my Bimong order from last May and got to work with her immediately. I spend the first day modding the torso and the next few days painting her and playing with her. And since I documented most of what I did (starting with the tail last April) I thought I’d make a post about it. For my own records if it’s not of interest to anyone else.

I’ve wanted a mermaid doll for forever. Actually since childhood: I quite loved my barbies and other dolls with mermaid tails. I even have Siren because the Soom Cass pieces at the time were pretty much the only things that came close and they’re beautifully shaped. But as I am now, I’m also very picky with actual mermaid tails. Most dolls either don’t have attractive jointing in them, the tail is too thin or too short or they’re only sold as giant fullsets and are too expensive for me (looking at you Asleep Eidolon and Angell Studio). Or then the dolls are just tiny and I wanted something bigger. But when I saw the Fairyland seahorse tail for the first time, I quite liked what I saw. It’s not that smooth or mermaid-y looking but the jointing is quite well hidden and above all: versatile. So yes, I knew I wanted it, and that brought forward this character.

So, once the bottom half was decided on, how about the actual doll? Initially, I thought I’d get a grey skin Withdoll for this character, but I already have most of the head sculpts I want from them and I’m not a huge fan of the torso of the girl body anyway. However, a cold blue tail with a grey torso would’ve made a really nice cold climate mermaid. But when Bimong announced his final preorder for Narae and Narin, it all clicked. I’d wanted a 408 head for a long time and also a tan Narae, so what better than to combine the tail, 408 and tan skin. She’d be more warm toned and kind of tropical for our climate but what the heck. xD

I originally hunted for the clear blue tail, but I let all the ones I could find slip through my fingers. I didn’t have the funds and I wasn’t looking at it that seriously as I wasn’t, at the time, sure what doll I would get to be on it. Well, when I finally was able to afford and seriously look for one, pretty much all of them had gone and the market started to be replaced with that steampunk tail -which also was clear, but I did not want the carvings and gears and stuff on it, so it was no good. Luckily I at least found one mint tail with all the pieces that I could buy, so that’s what I had to use. But it really needed to be dyed. :3

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A Death Song

Woo, I finally received my Narae order from Bimong last week and got straight to work with her. I’ve had her tail piece since before I ordered her, but I had to mod the waist to make her fit on it. I can’t wait for the snows to melt and the weather to get warmer to actually get nice photos of her. A good wig would be on the agenda too, but I first have to message some wig makers and gather up the funds. I haven’t finished all of her blushing yet and these photos are really dark and all, so not the best. But I just can’t help but to play with her. x3

I’ll make a separate entry of her modding, dyeing and stuff once I get good face up photos taken.

So yes, this is Naenia or Nae for short. Her name means death song or funeral song pretty much. She’s a Naiad, which is a type of a nymph that preys on humans and animals too. Similar to Siren but she’s not quite as predatory and not as resistant to cold.

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