Thursday, February 4, 2010

HOW TO fix over carved lips or gauges

Above are the results of using this method.

1. over carved lips before. you can see the holes go straight through the faceplate

2. after the melted plastic mixture was applied

3. the result of Billie's re sculpted lips :)

Hello all!

*** First, a special THANKS to mabelcakes on BK who told me about this method ages ago! you rock ***

a while back I tried this MEK method to fix my first blythe Billie's over carved lips and I posted this info in my flickr stream as well as some other places. I've gotten a couple emails in the past and recently, asking how exactly to go about doing it so I decided to post the steps here :)

PLEASE NOTE: I would only suggest trying this method if your doll is SEVERELY damaged or severely over carved, because it's not going to completely make these things perfect again or even back to normal. But it does help the damaged area to look a little better.

MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) is an industrial strength cleaning solvent, or heavy duty paint remover, such things like that, ok honestly I dont really know what it's used for I just know it's heavy duty. You can buy it at a hardware store. Here in the US I bought mine at Home Depot and it only comes in large quantities like half a gallon and up. actually I felt so strange when I went to the hardware store to buy this big ass can of dangerous chemicals for my DOLL and I only really needed to use a couple drops!! hahahha...

So basically, let's say your girl has over carved lips and you want to fill in the hole and start over. here is the steps to do this:

1. you need the plastic Takara pull ring preferably from the same doll so you can have the same complexion.. you'll also need two tiny glass jars or something like clean baby food jars.. it must be glass not plastic.. and the last thing you'll need is a toothpick. and I would suggest doing this outside or in the garage or somewhere that you wont damage anything if the MEK spills.

2. you take the pull ring and shave a bunch of pieces however much you think you'll need to fill in the damaged area. You can use an xacto knife to do this. Then put the shavings into one of the jars.

3. Pour a small amount of MEK like a teaspoon worth or not even that much into the 2nd jar.. you are only doing this so that you don't have to carry that big ass can of MEK and try to pour tiny drops from that.. ok, so now you have the one jar with the MEK and the one jar with the shavings.

4. Take your MEK and add only a couple drops one at a time into the jar with the shavings. You really don't need much of this stuff it is very strong. Once you add the drops, the plastic will begin to melt and become a tacky/sticky mixture, you want to mix it a little bit with the toothpick to help it dissolve. It happens quite fast and it will also begin to harden not too long after it melts so you really need to work fast.

5. Once your mixture is all melted you take the toothpick and grab small amounts of the mixture and place it onto the damaged area filling in the holes or gashes or whatever it is that you're fixing. It does not have to be perfect but you kind of want it to maybe smooth it out and make it neat so that you have minimal work to do afterward.

6. Once you've filled in the damaged area you MUST let it dry for at least 24 hours. It is very important NOT to touch it, sand it, or re carve the area until it is completely dry. If you don't allow it to dry all the way the plastic will be crumbly and soft and you wont have a good result.
I made the mistake of trying to carve my doll only an hour after applying the mixture because it "looked" dry but it actually was not, I then ended up having to do it all over again and wait.

7. After it is dry then you can sand the area down with sand paper and if it's for the lips, then you can start to re carve the lips very gently. Keep in mind that the area you filled in with the MEK is a lot more fragile now than normal because basically it is broken down plastic, so you have to be really careful when re carving.

Whew!!! It's a lot of info and might sounds like a lot of work but honestly it's really simple! haha..

NOTE: Please do not re use the jars for food etc. I would throw away the jars that were used to do this and any other utensils you used, to be safe.

Ok I am pretty sure that's it, but if anyone else who has done this wants to add something or if you think I have something wrong please please let me know so I can edit this. It's been a long time since I tried this method so I am only going by my own memory.

Thank you so much for reading this and I hope it will help some of you who have really damaged dolllies but PLEASE pleeeeease be careful when using this chemical it is very strong and dangerous, and I dont remember but I'm sure it's also a fire hazard.. and remember to wash your hands and keep it out of reach from babies and etc etc... I'm sure you know all that stuff :) smooches!!