So as you all know I posted a few days ago about my newest dolly addition, a Be With You – Carrot (which is still nameless btw >_<) and I haven’t clearly shown the inside of the eye mechanism I mentioned. It is my favourite feature of this doll, and it’s taking doll photography to the next level. In the “past”, you basically insert eyes by taking the wig off first, then the head cap, and then inserting the eyes with a piece of blu-tac or sticky tack (eye putty) and position them accordingly. Now you basically push the lever around to move the eyes and that’s it :)
Now the thing is, this mechanism can only be used with stemmed eyes. And not all companies supply that. In this post I’ll be modding some Oscardoll eyes (that have a flat back) that I bought about a month ago from the Doll Peddlar, so I am able to use it from now on! You can follow this tutorial for any type of flat back eyes if you have any of the Dollsbe dolls from YG.
The standard Dollsbe eyes can in fact be taken a part from the visible line between the pupil and the stem. Rotate, and pull out. After separating the pupil, I placed it on a flat surface along with my Oscardoll eyes to see if they are the same “height”, which luckily, they are. I’ll tell you what to do if they aren’t the same in a bit!
Now what I’m trying to do is create a stem for my stemless eyes. Easy! I got out my trusty polymer clay and formed a sphere, then pressed it on the surface to flatten one side and moulded it into a good shape until it looked like the other half of the “eyeball” like this…
Next is the stem. I rolled out a thin piece of clay, and poked a hole through it from one end to the other, because that’s where the spring will be inserted. Picture of the whole thing will be below! Plopped it on the dome I created and fixed it with my favourite, Scupley bake-able glue! If you’re a polymer clay enthusiast, I definitely recommend this. It is a life saver!! If you don’t have some, just make sure it is stuck properly or it will fall/break off!
Also make sure your stem length is equivalent to that of the standard eye stem.
After baking, it should look like this! Starting to come together :) This is where the spring is shown. The lever you move around is actually moving the springs, which in turn moves the eyeballs.
To attach to the eyes, I used eye putty and firmly pressed the pieces together, they stick really well!
Now this is the testing stage. You will need to experiment on the size you have now. This is why I mentioned the stem must be closest to the original one, because when I inserted the spring on the eyes I have, the springs were longer than the “hole” we poked on the stem, and couldn’t be inserted unless they were compressed, which won’t move the eyes that way. I tried making it as close as the original, but I still needing to fix things here and there.
DO NOT CUT THE SPRINGS. I say this because that would be a reckless thing to do :’) The spring stays, the stem goes. Well, is modified.
Using my pointy tool, you can use anything available, even a toothpick I suppose, I gently dug through the stem to make it deeper, providing more space for the springs to go in further. In the end, I ended up drilling a hole right through, but that might not be the case with you. I didn’t measure everything to the tiniest detail, but you can do so. Try looking at where the stems of the original eyes sit on the springs, and compare it with your eyes, and drill accordingly.
Another issue I encountered was the stems were a little too long, and touched the edges that hold the springs, and again, prevented movement. Simply “shave” or cut down your stem accordingly if you face the same thing, but do NOT go overboard. If your stem is short, then the springs will not be able to move the eyes. It would be too heavy. I even trimmed the front part, where the eyes would stick, and that helped too. Trimming this is much better than the stem, but you be the judge.
After many many trimmings and modifications, I finally got it to work!! This is what it looks like inside:
You can see here the right eye’s stem is perfect, not touching the mechanism, whereas the one of the left is slightly longer, and with movement, it would rub against it. Trim here and there~
A huge part of this hobby is trial and error, which sometimes even I hate to admit. I like things to work from the first try (who doesn’t?) and first try only, but that wouldn’t get me anywhere. I’m proud of myself that I persevered and didn’t quit. xD
Here’s a video testing it just because: (I apologise for the loud banging noises and the camera focusing sound, I did not know it did that :( I am angry at the salesperson now.)
Man I love these eyes. I do not see myself ordering any eyes other than Oscardoll’s anytime soon. They’re so gorgeous! I wasn’t really liking them at first because I thought it was weird having eyes that had all sorts of stuff in them, but what was I thinking lol. I knew nothing. They’re better that way <3 There’s a whole variety of eyes that have flowers, gems, and one with a fish! Not a live one though, haha. If you’ve not heard of them, check them out here! They sell like hot cakes, so grab ‘em while you can.
In the meantime…
Vogue, baby. Vogue.
Thanks for reading guys! Hope this helps people who want to make the most of their eye mechs ;)
– Reem AlHashmi