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Do you prefer shelling characters or...

Jul 31, 2017

    1. Sorry if this is in the wrong spot and/or already exists D; Let me know if it does. I'm new so still getting used to this place.

      Anyway, I was wondering if most of you prefer shelling a character when you buy a BJD, or if you prefer to buy a sculpt you really like, then make a character out of them/let the character develop as you get to know your doll?

      I'm still waiting for my first dolls to arrive, and the sculpt I bought, I got because I thought it was beautiful. I didn't have a character in mind at all for it. And, I don't think that I would buy a specifc sculpt just to fit a character I've made already - since one of my favorite things to do is to come up with new characters, I like "reverse shelling" as I suppose I've seen it called?

      I've already done some work trying to come up with characters for my first dolls as I wait for them to arrive.

      What do you prefer to do?

      Also bonus question: What do you do to come up with characters for your dolls? I made up my own character sheet type thing with name, age, height, weight, apperance, personality, etc. and filled it out, almost like I would have with making an RP or D&D character. I might write a couple very short stories about her. What do you do?
      • x 3
    2. I do both. At th ebeginning, I just bought dolls I fell in love with.
      I wanted a delf Chiwoo in teh worst way-- but then they released Yder and it was set in stone that he's the one I needed.
      Then I opted for a Kid delf Bory 2 years later just because I liked how he looked.
      Then took my chances on a delf luwen a year later-- all of which had no characters planned before ordering.
      Rens style more or less stuck. He has fancy clothes and pretty casual/punk casual clothes.
      Kouji I fought with on stylizing for YEARS. he's set now, along with his character.
      Kai, my Luwen, had a complete 360 from planning stages after ordering, to receiving. I figured he'd be very...fairy-esque? silver flowing hair, kimonos and foresty colors. Aloof, fun, light.
      Instead, he has dark red hair, piercing red eyes, 'Loves' everything, is kind of an A-hole. xD But when I saw him, I knew that was him.

      Most of my sculpts are more or less picked out based on characters I imagine, but its not always the case. I planned my twins. I knew i wanted twin characters, knew their personalities, but had ot wait for the right sculpt. Then luts released the summer '14 head and I had no character planned until I knew I could get it. He was planned, and his character stuck 100% to the point where my whole MSD lot is now revolved around his story. :P From there, most dolls were carefully planned out (But not all)

      TLDR: I do both, it's fun just finding a doll sculpt you love and figuring it out after the fact. But nothing wrong with also finding the perfect shell to that character you've been planning.
      • x 3
    3. I kinda prefer buying a doll and making the character as you go, even though I'm trying to avoid that because I already have more characters than I can handle right now.
      I know from experience that it's near impossible to find the perfect sculpt for an existing character, because you've already come up with exactly what they look like in your head. I've spent days looking for the perfect sculpt for characters, but even then I would have to do some serious mods, hybriding, color-matching, etc. And doing it for very specific not-fully-human characters is agony. However, it's a bit easier when you have a character not fully developed yet, so you have some wiggle-room for picking a sculpt.
      Honestly, there's no wrong way to make a character of a doll, as long as it works for you.
      To answer your bonus question: the times that I have gotten a doll who doesn't have a character yet, I like to roleplay the character with my friends until I "figure them out". It's very experimental and a bit risky, but it works best for me. I get to "feel out" the character and give them personality, background, beliefs, and opinions as I go.
      • x 3
    4. Most of my dolls are 'shelled' characters. That's what I actually started with when the amounts of money to spend on dolls scared me much more than now: I felt like I should have some clear reason to buy such an expencive thing. Giving a material 'body' to the character I like seemed good enough. I have a few fiction stories, partly written, partly existing only in rough short drafts, and tend to make some of the favourite characters more real through dolls. Dolls also inspire me for developing those stories)
      Though, sometimes it happens that dolls turn out to be quite different from what I planned) Then it should be decided if I fix the 'canon', make an another character of this doll or try to find some compromise between the doll and the story.

      But I do have some dolls I bought just for a pretty face, their stories came later, after I got them.
      I make character sheets sometimes, at least I keep some key features like name, age, height and a few essential facts, yeah.
      • x 2
    5. I honestly do a bit of both. I like shelling characters I already have, but I also get inspired by sculpts and make characters after I see the sculpt. The only thing I've never done is bought a doll with no idea for a character at all and then developed one after buying; I really need to have a character idea before I click that "Buy" button. That being said, all my characters do evolve after I get the dolls and work on their styles and characters.

      I generally plan characters in my head, honestly... I really should write stuff down, and sometimes I do do little character sheets and stuff, but mostly I just remember things about my characters. If it doesn't stick, then...well, I guess it wasn't that important. :sweat
    6. I never have characters in mind and my writing skills are horrible, lol! I'd like my doll to be able to flow with characters that I like and already exist, like someone doing cosplay. And I always call my dolls the name the company chose for their sculpt, I don't know why but although I'm not fond of the name "Jessica", my girl is an iple Jessica, so I always call her that way and now I can't think of a better name, "she's SO Jessica!" hahah. I want her to be Tohsaka from the anime Fate Stay Night (she's wearing Tohsaka's clothes and wig right now), and in the future I want her to be Marceline from Adventure time (Tohsaka's wig is also perfect for Marcie hehe). In the future I'd like to have more dolls doing the same, and this way I can have more characters together. That's the way I enjoy it :)
    7. I just make them up for the doll, since otherwise I don't really make OCs... it's kind of fun! Though it can be restricting, I might get a doll or two without giving them a character so I can just dress and customize them any time with dramatic changes. Aesthetics definitely come first for me.
    8. I tried making myself a simple rule when it comes to buying dolls: I can get the doll -IF- I already have a character in mind for the sculpt. But of course... I'm not very good at following this rule :sweat My whole reason for joining the hobby was to shell my OC's - but so far only half of my dolls I've used for shelling, and the other half I bought just because I loved the sculpt. With my first doll I had no idea what her character would be - but over the year and a half I've owned her, she's "told" me so much about herself and it's been fun getting to know her! Sometimes it can be just as enjoyable letting a sculpt tell you who they are as it is shelling a character you already know well. So, in short, I also do both.
      As for how I come up with characters for dolls, I usually develop characters by sketching the sculpt with various hairstyles and outfits and seeing what works and what that tells me about their personalities :) often times it's trial and error and a lot of experimenting!
      • x 1
    9. I prefer buying a doll I like as a starting point.

      I find the concept of "shelling" a previously designed character to be limiting, both in which sculpts I look at and what I can do with the doll later, if I decide to scrap the character or if it doesn't work out as well as I imagined.
      • x 2
    10. I do both. I will usually buy one doll with no character in mind, wait for them to get home and figure out who they are. Then they usually demand friends or family or other dolls and then I try to find dolls for those characters. I find that for me it is easier to buy dolls without characters in mind because I often get disappointed when they come home and they say "nope Im not that character im ... " etc

      and for the bonus question I do the same thing! I use a character sheet and fill it out with short bios, likes and dislikes, and small facts then to really get to know when I play dress up xD that usually is when they really start talking
      • x 1
    11. I tend to buy dolls that have sculpts I like and then make a personality for them later. Even if I try to make a character beforehand, I might not stick with it when the doll arrives.

      My Doll Chateau Carol is a good example of this situation. I liked the sculpt because it reminded me of a medieval plague doctor. But when I got the doll, the face was too smiley and happy-looking for me to see him as a plague doctor. Now his name is Cupid, and he has a pink color scheme. XD
    12. I prefer to write characters first because the character of a doll is as important to me as the doll itself. Even the prettiest doll won't last long around here without a character I love.
      • x 1
    13. I do both, but honestly I prefer to make the character around the doll. You have so much more freedom that way. There have been many times that I thought "Oh I love this outfit" or "Oh these eyes are lovely", and then I realized it would be a waste because it wouldn't fit any of my OC's. I'm not as strict with myself as I used to be, and I have more dolls to experiment with now so, seems to get a lot better as time goes on. To make the characters around the dolls, I'll usually think on it, stare at them or the company pics for awhile, then type up a sort of bio page which usually fills out pretty quickly. I really enjoy writing things like that.
      • x 1
    14. So far I've always just bought dolls I fall in love with, and let their names and characters emerge with time. I prefer my existing characters to stay somewhat ephemeral and fluid, able to be manifested in drawings or maybe a cosplay for one of my existing dolls but not bound to a permanent shell. But I've learned by now to "never say never" when it comes to dolls, so who knows, maybe someday I'll see a sculpt that just resonates as 100%-unambiguously-perfect with a character and feel compelled to make it happen.
    15. Well, most of mine are characters I've already created and I'm shelling as BJDs. I started developing an idea for a (graphic) novel a couple years back, and have been creating characters for it. I've got most of the characters I'm shelling/planning to shell already pretty detailed, although I've been using this opportunity of creating their bjd counterparts to flesh them out more fully. They help give my characters more life.

      An exception to this: a couple of mine are based on existing characters from an animated series I like, so I'm just drawing inspiration from the original source for how to develop them. Oh--and my MSD is really a blank slate. I got her without having a specific character in mind. I'm still coming up with her personality. :kitty2
    16. I buy a doll because I like it, then create the character based on what wig, eyes, and clothes look good on the doll. I've had so many dolls reject the items I selected for them, I don't get hung up on characters looking a certain way to save myself lots of hair pulling frustration.
      • x 1
    17. I prefer to be inspired by the bjd to make the character and let it evolve as I customize it. I find it more freeing and fun that way. I can change anything I want and follow something that looks good on the doll and take me on another differection without worrying about the characters, connections or stories.

      Beside I would needs lots of bjds if I would shell all my characters because I have over 60+ after erasing some of my mind lol
    18. I'll have an idea of a character and what I'd like to do, most likely inspired by the sculpt I like. That bit of wiggle room really helps, shelling premade characters who have no room for change simply does not work! I'm too picky, as it turns out. I couldn't have a doll of one of my favored characters because of this, apparently nothing caught my eye for a fair skinned pretty angel boy. Seriously, that should have been easy :XD:
    19. I do both, I guess. Even if I'm buying a doll just being I think it's pretty, I usually have to have some idea of what the doll's character is like, whether that's from the stories the companies give the dolls or from stories I imagine. In one case, I fell in love with how a doll looked in the company photos and started constructing a character for him, and only after I had planned a full-blown story involving him did I buy him. XD (But I do have one floating head that I bought just because I liked the sculpt...no idea who he's supposed to be yet :sweat).

      I'm trying to focus on shelling my original characters for now. It keeps me more focused and I really adore having a physical version of the character to photograph and play dressup with. I also really enjoy the challenge of going through websites and looking up all sorts of different dolls to fit the characters--it can be difficult, but it's led me to discover a lot of sculpts I'd have never paid attention to otherwise.
    20. I don't have any OCs so I buy dolls that I think look pretty and develop along the way. As an anime fan, shelling anime characters seem really interesting but it would be really bad for my wallet :sweat so I guess I'll try to make my existing dolls cosplay someday :)
      • x 1