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What makes you choose a sculpt for a cosplay doll?

Jun 14, 2019

    1. I was wondering what are the deciding factors people use to choose sculpts for their cosplay/character dolls.

      Do you prefer a more realistic sculpt or one of the anime faces? Do you play off head canon or try to stick to the original? And do your cosplay dolls have casual styles that aren't canon but still fit the character? How long does it take you to choose a sculpt for a character?

      I'm planning on hashing Bortz from Houseki no Kuni and I am pretty set on using an iplehouse Asa. I usually draw Bortz with more realistic asian features and Asa is just the perfect sculpt for that. I've seen a few male versions og the sculpt as well so I'll be able to maintain an androgynous look.

      There are definitely going to be casual styles for more variety. One issue I'm having is deciding on a body type, a female body is more accurate to the character but a male body fits my head canon more.

      That's pretty much it. I'm really just curious about how the process is for everyone.
      • x 1
    2. I have two dolls that are canon characters from the video game World of Warcraft. I chose the sculpts for their realism (Dollshe fashion Adonis and Khan), even though the graphics style of the game is slightly cartoonish - I just prefer the realism. I did my best to stick to the features the characters have on their in-game models (like jaw shape, eye shape, etc), but because the dolls themselves are more realistic, it's not going to line up 100% (so I guess I go a little off of headcanon, now that I think about it :lol:).

      Both dolls have "casual" clothing that's not canon simply because of the complexity of the outfits they wear in-game, but I do have plans to make them both their in-game clothes eventually. That gives me greater freedom to choose clothes, so as long as it fits in with the general theme of the game world (medieval fantasy), they can wear whatever I find them (Dollshe fashion-size dolls are notorious for being a weirdly specific size that not many other dolls share). The way I see it, any character isn't going to wear the exact same clothes every day of their lives, even if the show/game/whatever has them presented that way, so I dream up what else they might wear that still fits in with their personal style.

      As for how long it chose me to find a sculpt...well, I already had the dolls for my OCs from the game (also all Dollshe minis), and then I was back on the Dollshe site and browsing their other dolls and one of them struck me as my favorite canon character so I bought him. Then, of course, I went looking for another favorite character, and one of Dollshe's example dolls for that sculpt had the same hair color/cut and eye color as the character and I just had to get him, too. So, I guess the sculpts chose me ;)

      All in all, it really comes down to what your vision is for the dolls. That's one of the great things about this hobby - your dolls, your rules! I wish you luck in finding your perfect match!
    3. I think it's a matter of personal preference and opinion. I have some realistic, some fantasy, some anime-ish, some very obviously anime. Depends on the doll/character/inspiration. Sure there may be a better pick for size, sculpt, company etc. but it's what I went with for each and I like it.

      Most of my 1/4th Angel of Dream bjd's are Outlaw Star characters. Others are aliens or other character (working on a
      future Ranma 1/2 group) I originally wanted 3 character dolls and chose 1/3rd Dollzone at first. I was told if I had 1/4th's I could get more dolls for the same amount. I researched and drove myself crazy trying to find the perfect doll for each character. Heights, builds etc. it felt impossible. I started with one. I picked a used 1/4th AoD and she became Melfina. Gene and Harry came next. I studied their faces. Sculpt and character. Took thousands of screenshots frame by frame. Took notes. Left vs right handed. Posture, poses, colors they wore etc. I'd never be 100% accurate (dyslexia doesn't help) but I do my best to try. I made my dolls 7 years after the anime (the youngest character would be 18 making them all adults). I'd also have a little room to play with there being a gap of time to fill with adventures and "what if's" and new characters.

      My Outlaw Star crew all have a "uniform" (original outfit/manga/anime) as well as casual clothes that change. Everyone seems to have their own base color(s) but they share a lot.

      I have a few based off people I know personally. Two of myself. One of the character of my beloved pet cat who's gone. Those were picked just as any other character except I show the person their based off of and get their input too.

      The Ranma plans are hybrids AoD bodys with an 80's anime almost bobble head look. I love it. They'll pretty much have "same face" either all the same sculpt or 1 of 2 their difference being eyes, wigs, face-up, clothes. That'll be fun. The'll have "uniforms" too (regular anime/manga outfits) as well as casual, maybe from their anime/manga or not, depends on what I can come up with.

      I've been thinking about having a Sailor Mercury/Ami for years. Originally it was going to be a other character just cosplaying or trick-or-treating but I sort of like the idea of her on her own. (I don't really want all the other characters lol just her and not sure how that'll work)

      I've toyed with the idea of adding Cowboy Bebop to the mix (I've been asked a lot about crossovers of my Outlaw Star crew and other cosplaying) but I'm not sold on the idea. I may have them cosplay the characters rather than have separate dolls for them. That's how Ranma's crew started. Outlaw Star cosplaying as Ranma character's now I'm making them separate lol.

      ^_^; sorry for the long reply, and good luck with yours!
    4. I look for a compatible face sculpt. Bimong Narae resembled one character, Doll in Mind looked like another, and so on. For a few, like my Bioshock girls, face was less important as the characters were pretty stylized. In these cases, I focused more on dolls with the general age I was looking for.
    5. First of all, I'd like to say I'm so relieved to see so many others who have dolls that are intended to portray other characters like this? I've been incredibly nervous about my own ideas and trying to keep things to myself because I wasn't sure if the concept was looked down upon in this community. Glad to see there's quite a few people who do this haha!

      Regarding the topic, I tend to be especially drawn to eye shape and have a preference for semi realism. As long as the eyes match, though, I'm not too terribly picky--I figure I can modify some features either via faceup tricks or actual sculpting. While I didn't originally have plans for it, I've recently stumbled upon a sculpt that would work nicely for Minamino Shuuichi/Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho and I've been teetering on the edge of jumping on him. Only thing really preventing me from going on ahead is that payday isn't until next week, haha.
      • x 3
    6. For me the dolls just kind of...presented themselves. :abambi:

      My dolls are based on characters from Yuri on Ice!!! and while I was watching the original airing of the show, I looked over at a doll I already owned and realized he could work really great as Yuri. (Ironically, I had purchased this doll to be another character: the main protagonist from Persona 3! The body can slouch great. :lol:) Anyway, to test my idea, I started posing the doll to see if it could hold ice skater-like poses and he was actually really graceful! So I started collecting clothing and accessories for him that would fit Yuri's aesthetic. I love finding things that look like the anime, but I also love buying things that I think the character would like. So it doesn't have to be 100% canon for me.

      For Victor, I looked at a lot of sculpts...and picked one really carefully that I thought would go with my first doll in height and face...and ordered it...and while I was waiting for it to arrive...I looked at another one of my dolls I already owned and just by fluke the way he was sitting made it look like he was looking longingly at Yuri. :sweat And then I realized he looked rather like Victor...and so I sat them next to each other and...welp. He just looked so happy? :XD:

      Then for my last YOI doll, it was also chance. I saw a doll I didn't know at all in the MP and clicked the listing out of curiosity...and BAM! There was Yurio. :chomp:

      So yeah...
      I guess I look for face shape, eye shape, the kind of expression the sculpt leans toward, and body build as my top criteria.
      Victor's sculpt is muscular, but lean and has a geat...er...butt. And Yuri's height and build are great paired against Victor's. He's lean and slighter. And Yurio is even more slender, but still has curves.
      Hehe, my dolls do run more realistic than their anime pure forms, but I love the balance and I really leaned into it on their faceups. Especially working in a more anime style for the eye lines. It has been so much fun to work on them! <3
    7. I suppose so. It seems like a mix between searching and sheer luck when finding "the" sculpt for what you have in mind. I think that's a good way to handle the clothes issue, I hope you can fully flesh out their WoW outfits at some point though! I don't know much about the game but I have seen some of the characters and it'd definitely be really cool to see. And thank you! It's been a little bit of flip flopping but I've got the general idea of what I want.

      Oh wow, old school anime dolls! Funny enough I recently started watching Ranma 1/2 and it has been a great time. I don't think "same face" is an issue to worry about considering that was pretty common for anime back then. That's really cool though! I also never really consider scale but if you're going for multiple characters from the same series it's definitely something to think about. No worries about the answer length, I wasn't sure how to word what I was asking to be completely honest so it's only fair.

      It always feels better to talk about it and share! I didn't really know how the topic would be received, but I don't know why the concept would be frowned upon- one place we meet at are anime conventions after all. Theirs all kinds of folks though, so who knows?

      You are definitely braver than I am for attempting modifications like that. I'm just not experienced in it. I can do temp scars though, but I'm too gun shy to actually try carving into the doll. I also feel that in my soul right now. I jumped on a limited a few hours ago and I'm still reeling a little bit. Things will be okay, but they will be better when the pay check comes lol.

      Are you going for just the red headed version of Kurama or are you going to do kind of a neutral face up so that you can alternate between him and Yoko Kurama?

      Body build is usually last on my list for criteria, I figure I can always hybrid worse come to worse. Eye and face shape are definitely top tier though! Your boys sound like they have a lot of personality! I wish things would just fall into place like that, it would make the project so much easier.

      Eh? But where's the fun if I don't suffer for it a little. :P
      • x 2
    8. I have six Minimee head sculpts based on video game characters (single one based on an anime), I prefer all of them to look exactly as the characters they are based on (I am a touch obsessive about accuracy). So, if the character is anime-looking, then I want the head sculpt to look anime, if the character is realistic I want the head sculpt to look realistic. The closer they look to the character the better. Unfortunately, with Minimee the chances of them turning out anything like the character was a hit or miss. Some of them look pretty good, some of them look like an actual cosplayer (you can tell what they're going for, but you know it's not the actual character for obvious reasons). All of my floating heads share one body, so I don't usually have them dressing casually. they all look terrible at best on that body, because BJD bodies normally have very narrow necks, and most of the MNM I own are massive. If I could have it my way, all of my dolls would be dressed like their specific characters, but I've gotten lazier with age and don't want to waste materials making outfits when they look awful on the one body they all share. I rather just try to modify their faces to look as close to the character they are based on, as I can and deal with the fact that they'll always be without being complete dolls (which was kind of my plan for most of them, but I did want my favorite character of all time to have his own body -- that is no longer a plan on my list, but a hopeful wish). I also own a full doll based on my favorite character, but his face looks nothing like him, I was thinking about modifying him to look more like the character, but now I think of that doll more as a full time cosplayer. I like the head sculpt enough that I don't mind him not being accurate, not to mention his body is pretty close to looking like the character's body, so I don't want to ruin a perfectly great doll. I do dress that doll in casual clothes and wig him in different styles. I am lazier now, so I don't make clothes often anymore -- I was trying to complete an outfit for him based on a specific video game the character appears in, but I never completed it (it's been nine-or-more-years). DX
    9. Hehe, there was definitely some suffering in there, especially with Victor since I had bought the other doll that was supposed to be him! :doh
      It ended up working out though, and I think you are right because as much angst as there was, these are some of my favorite dolls now.
      I was actually fully expecting to have to hybrid Yurio and had a body in mind already, but was sort of idly keeping an eye out for a head that might work for him when I stumbled upon the full doll in the MP. At this point, I'm just trying to go with the flow with these guys. :lol:

      I wish you dolly luck for a perfect-for-you sculpt to find you too! :clover
    10. I would describe my dolls visually based on characters as “recognizable to people who would know them”. I Don’t like to make them look EXACT-exact (because that’s just disappointment waiting to happen), I like to put my own spin on them. And as beautiful as the realistic sculpts are, I haven’t gone for them yet. Maybe someday.
    11. I'm ultimately a living ball of worry so I'm always trying to double and triple check what's "normal" and "acceptable" in hobbies and fandoms alike, and overall discourse was the primary reason it took me so long to actually really allow myself to jump into this hobby. Glad that it seems to have evened out over the years.

      The sculpt I'm looking at at the moment is far more suited for the redhead, Shuuichi, though I guess it couldn't hurt to maybe look into a secondary head for the body for a possible swap out. I've been very, very slowly looking around at a possible Kuronue as well because old obsessions die hard, so having the fullblown foxboy himself would be interesting. Thank you for the idea~