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BJD "Starter Kit"?

Feb 5, 2010

    1. Sorry if this has been discussed before--I couldn't find anything when I searched.

      I'm considering getting my first doll, and I was wondering what people think are ESSENTIALS to having for dolls when you get them? Things like the re-stringing tools, brushes, wig caps, etc.--how important are they? What are the things you would definitely recommend a new BJD owner make sure to get when they get their new doll?

      In short, I suppose--what would be in an ideal BJD "Starter Kit"? If you knew then what you know now about BJDs, what would you have gotten for your first doll?

      Thanks for your suggestions!
    2. For restringing, I just use ribbon or pipe cleaners and I've never used a wig cap underneath the wigs I buy. I do think having a magic eraser around is essential though for any staining issue.

      Before I got my first BJD, I bought just wigs and eyes. Putty for eyes is probably best too.
    3. Sticky Tac works really good for eyeputty, and it's dirt cheap.

      I have a hemostat for restringing, though I hear hot glue sticks work well too. And ribbons.

      Some basic, casual-ish clothes is a good idea, since you don't want your doll to sit around in the nude.
    4. • Extra elastic
      • Clothes... like two or three good outfits
      • Shoes (or not depending on the character. For instance, my first girl doesn't have shoes and she won't wear them. It's her character.)
      • Hair (my most recent didn't come with hair, his hair came like four days later)
      • Eyes (if they don't come with the doll... or if there's something specific you have in mind)
      • Face protector

      If you are planning to do your own face-up, then you'll need all those things, but many of them you can get at craft stores and don't have to be shipped usually.
    5. Well things like clothes, wigs and eyes if they don't come with it (eye putty if your doll doesn't come with eyes. Depending on who you buy from (Bobobie, Resinsoul) you'll want some elastic and restringing tools (small needlenose pliers, string/ribbon works well enough). If you buy the wigs from the company or you get really well fitting wigs you won't need a wig cap, I do perfectly fine without. A hot glue gun is really helpful, for hot glue sueding and you can also make a thing so wigs fit more snugly. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a great thing to have on hand.

      If you're face up ing then you'll need all those other things like paint brushes, pastels, watercolor pencils, paint, sealer, gloss, eyelashes.

      That's really all I can think of now.
    6. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge definitely! Just make sure that you get the original version, not extra strength, or with any added cleaners, etc.

      Some sort of eye putty is also necessary, since not all dolls come to you with their eyes already inserted. There's already a very useful thread on what sorts of eye putty you should and should not use. Generally, you should stay away from Super Sculpy, plasticine, and other oily clays. Silicon ear plugs and white Post-Tac is what most people use.

      You don't absolutely need a restringing tool. As already mentioned, ribbon/pipe cleaners work just fine ^^ Wig caps also are not necessary.

      I think that pretty much covers everything. When you get your doll, I would definitely keep his or her doll box, since it's useful for storing little extras, and such.
    7. White socks so there is no shoe staining... vinegar to soak dark clothing in for a while so there is less staining from that!
    8. I agree with everyone about the Magic Eraser and at least some basic clothes so your boy/girl isn't laying around nekkid. Unless you want your character bald, a wig is essential too. Having a face protector is also a good idea, but if you order a faceup your doll will most likely come with one.

      Something I didn't see mentioned is some kind of S-hook puller. If you want to change the eyes it's usually a good idea to take off the head, and if you don't have the tool to do that it can be annoying. I used a sturdy safety pin when I got my first (msd sized) doll, but if you're going to get a SD or bigger doll it's probably a good idea to either buy a head puller or make one yourself.

      The longer you collect the more things you will be able to do with your dolls and the list of "essentials" will grow. But for your first, you really don't need to be armed with every supply under the universe, so don't worry! :)
    9. Thank you everyone for your comments. I'm trying to decide what I'd need first so that I can figure out EXACTLY how much money I'm going to end up spending. Luckily, I have a bunch of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers at home already!

      Oh, and Kirakukami--that S-hook thing? Is that the same thing as a head-stringer? (Sorry for the ignorance.)
    10. Invest in a pair of forceps. They're cheap. They save my life every time I change my boys' heads. But that is really the only 'tool' I ever need for them. I do have a head puller though which is quite nice when it comes to dolls that are tightly strung imho. But aside from that .. I always found random stuff to do the job. For restringing for example.
      My first restringing was an accident because silly dolly newbie me let go of the elastic while changing a head for the first time and zoom - dolly in pieces. All I had to restring him was some wire and shoe lace. Worked perfectly.

      I'd say the rest really depends on what you wanna do with your dolls. Face Up materials for example, as others have stated before. Another thing from my side might be wig caps. They're not necessary by any means but I really really hate velcro and I need something to help keep my boys' wigs in place. Those charity rubber bands work fine, too (only for SD sized doll heads though.) You should really just look around and see what you can find in your everyday life, imho. No need to buy every single, supposedly useful thing, you see before you get your first doll.
    11. My recommendations!

      Essentials - I recommend having these before your doll arrives...
      • For stringing, all I use is twine for pulling the elastic and a pair of chopsticks (or any sturdy stick-like object that's not too hard, such as a pencil) to hold the elastic in place -- that's makeshift restringing for ya. :XD: Things that do make life easier are the restringing tool and head restringing tool/forceps, and a haemostat for gripping elastic, but you don't really need those. There are stringing tutorials at DoA on how to restring with household objects.
      • Hot glue is the easiest sueding method, so a low-temp glue gun. There are other sueding methods, such as with pliver or adhesive moleskin.
      • Mr Clean Magic Eraser for sure!
      • Eye putty of some sort -- usually a doll new from a company comes with eyes attached with putty, so you may not need this. Blu-Tac/Sticky Tac or silicone ear plugs are the best eye "putties".

      Not as essential as Essentials, but worth getting soon...
      • A face protector to protect your doll's face-up, especially if you plan to bring it out and about to meet-ups...
      • ...which brings me to a carrier for your doll -- doesn't have to be a BJD carrier per se, you can take your doll in any bag that can accommodate it. Dolls do need to be cushioned from hard knocks too.
      • A new toothbrush is the easiest wig brush to get! I've heard that wide-teeth combs and brushes with metal teeth are the best, but I've always used a toothbrush.
      • Cleaning materials for dolls, wigs, clothes -- all of which you probably already own. Unscented dish soap (for resin), fabric softener or wig shampoo or baby shampoo (for wigs), and normal washing detergent for clothes, which can either be thrown in with your normal laundry or handwashed, depending on the fabric and elaborateness.

      These are the basics; everything else you don't really need as a new doll owner, and they're already covered in the Workshop forums.
    12. Hmm.. my BJD Starter Kit would consist of Eye Putty, Eyelashes, Velcro, KIPS, Mr Clean Eraser, and a whole pajama suit.

      Eye Putty gave me the most trouble when I first got my doll. Within the first few months the putty became hard and was no longer shape-able. It took me forever to find something worth while, because I had to scan the forms and find out what was safe, and I recommend the dark grey kneadable erasers. Eyelashes are my personal taste but it is just for the future, incase if you were a NEWBIE in dolls your first time lashes will crinkle and bend, like mine. Velcro is for keeping on the wigs, I recommend Volks velcro since it is very thin and strong. KIPs or any sort of posing material will be needed, and this also depends on your Doll's company. My first doll is from Luts so he was tightly strung, and that causes the jerky movements.
    13. Magic eraser, face masks, eye putty, elastic, and silicone wig caps are all up on that list for me. The great thing about these items is that if you hop in a GO for supplies, you can get stuff you can be reasonably sure will work without the crazy EMS shipping rates.
      The wig caps stretch really well, so they're one of those things you could get nearly anyplace, I think.. unless your head is larger than a volks or old pre-luts split CP melonhead, that is.
    14. There's an older thread that might help you out :]
      & I can't really add much, but maybe a carrier. Or some place where you can safely put your dolls after play. (Sadly, my only suggestion ^^" XD")
    15. -For restringing, I'll reiterate the hemostats and wire, but in a pinch, that plastic stuff weedeaters use works really well instead of wire. Personally, I have a really tough time using twine or threadlike materials to thread the elastic through, because I find that the stiffer something is, the easier it is to feed through the resin channels.
      -You /might/ need to suede your new doll, you might not, depending on the company you bought from. I personally haven't had to suede, just restring, since my girl's joints are very nicely constructed. If you do have to suede, then I'd go for pliver sueding--you can buy the stuff off of eBay, it's the thin, unusable part of suede. It's thinner than paper, so it won't add much bulk to the joints and should be easy to hide.
      -Eyeputty is a big necessity, especially if the company you ordered from used clay or glue to secure the eyes. Some people use kneaded erasers, some silicone earplugs, (like myself) and some... sculpey. I wouldn't recommend touching sculpey, personally, since it's been known to have bad effects on certain types of eyes.
      -A wig cap and brush are really good to have around. I still haven't gotten around to getting a cap, but as far as a brush, I got a pedicure kit at Christmas and never used the foot brush thing, so I use that on my girl's wigs. It works brilliantly, much better than a toothbrush.

      And... that's pretty much all I can thing of? Anyways, most everything you'll need should be easy enough to come by if you hunt a shopping center or two, and the few things which might be a bit more difficult, it's easy to join a GO for. Best of luck!
    16. This is a great thread! (I'm new to all this too) Personally, one thing I've been wondering about is wig conditioner: does it make a big difference and what's a good brand?
    17. You know, even though you don't need a restringing tool to restring your doll, I can't reccomend them enough! I used to restring my dolls with a shoelace or string and a pencil and it was kind of a hassle so I did it very seldomly. I randomly bought a restringing tool with one of my dolls, and it makes everything so fast and easy :D

      So my personal list would be:

      Having a doll
      -restringing tool
      -good quality sticky back velcro for keeping wigs on
      -mr clean magic eraser
      -carrying bag
      -low temp hot glue gun & glue sticks for sueding

      Taking your doll's picture
      -a camera
      -a good clean wrinklefree cloth to use as a photo backdrop
      -white or silver metalic poster things (the thick foam ones that dont bend) or something similar to reflect light on to the doll in photos
      -A light difuser for your camera flash (can be a circle of paper that goes around the flash, or some thicker white cloth over the top, etc...)

      -Chalk pastels
      -MSC flat or Testors dullcote sealing spray
      -A sharp, new x-acto knife
      -A multipack of sandpaper that contains some superfine grits and a little rougher ones
      -A 'sable hair' paintbrush in the smallest size you can get
      -watercolor pencils
      -artist grade acryllic paint
      -paint thinner & retarder (makes the paint more liquid and keeps it from drying up fast)
      -soft makeup brushes for blushing pastels
    18. I didn't really get a "starter kit" for my first doll. I already had stringing tools & elastic from my time with antique dolls & I had everything for face-ups except MSC even though I bought my doll with a face-up. I ordered a couple wigs & eyes when I ordered her & later ordered better eyes & some eye putty. I even had clothes from other dolls for her but I was soon ordering her more. Oh shoes, yes, you do need shoes!
    19. I recommend for owners getting their first doll:

      -Get a face-up with your doll so you don't have to worry about the anxiety of sending your doll off for a face-up right away.

      -Have clothing, a wig, and eyes ready. If they turn out to be "wrong" for the doll that's ok. Don't be afraid to go to a meet-up without a doll, and post to have people bring extras that they have for sale. If you're saving for a doll, make a pit stop along the way for a wig, clothing, and eyes if the doll doesn't come with them.
    20. This isn't an item, but a concern that I didn't see mentioned. Don't store your doll in dark colors, especially reds or burgundys, because of staining or tinting. My Elfdoll has a bit of a tint and I haven't worked up the nerve for the acetone.:ablah: