Thursday, April 3, 2014


Meet Saffron :) This will be the obligatory box opening post XD I've actually reserved "" but unless I give her some really crazy back story (which i do not have the imagination for) I doubt that blog will be updated XD

She is a Unoa Sist, Fresh Skin. Alchemic Labo, the company that produces her, used to only cater to the Japanese market, meaning they were pretty difficult to come by. I was reluctant to purchase a 2nd hand version, and so kept waiting for the chance that pre-orders for International orders would eventually be available.....

I waited for close to 6 years! I first came across photos of Unoa Lusis back in mid 2008 when I was trying to make my own BJD and instantly fell in love with these dolls. My hopes started waning as year after year, no pre-orders were made available, and I missed the lottery in -I think- 2012.....but this year in January, a 2 week window was open for pre-orders!! The fiance (then-bf) had promised me one as soon as it became available, and since I did not ask for a birthday gift last year, it became my belated birthday gift!!! (yeah, I'm fussy when it comes to gifts as I don't have much space and am very particular with what enters my room :X) I quickly placed an order, and added 3 face plates so I could have some practice, as well as versatility :)

And so.....on March 31st, Saffron arrived! This will be a lengthy and picture heavy post, so I'll divide it into 4 parts - Box Opening, Faceup, Sewing her first outfit, and Review.

Box Opening

Here's Eva welcoming Saffron :P 

TA-DAH!~~~~ That's Ahma's arm, she was even more excited for this box opening as she's now familiar with what I do XD She kept remarking, "This one is much bigger than the other one!" XD XD XD

DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN!!!!!! The biggest surprise was seeing that she came assembled :O

There was an accompanying note explaining why she was strung!

 Another surprise was the paper pattern to use when designing outfits for her O.O LOVE IT. Can't wait to make fitted clothing :D

Although the instructions were in Japanese, there were enough illustrations to help with the re-assembly.  
And best of all, even though it was stated that the eyes would be randomly assigned, I did add a note during checkout that I would prefer Blue/Gray eyes if at all not sure if it was a coincidence or really wonderful customer service, but I got the eyes I wanted!!! ^_^V

They are acrylic (I think) and have holes drilled for the eye mechanism. Will use them for Lusis!

Ahma kept asking how big she was compared to Clover, and so I quickly threw on a dress I knitted which was too large for Clover to protect Saffron's modesty. Ahma couldn't help but fiddle with her heheheheheh. It was quite sweet watching her marvel at dolls...quite a contrast to when Clover first arrived (she had a hard time understanding why adults would still play with dolls hurhur)

 Sisters! They're both 1:4 scale, or classified under Asian Mini/MSD sized dolls in DoA (I think).

 I coincidentally had 3 spare pairs of 12mm eyes which I had purchased for Clover, which were quickly put to use! The right most one is the Sist Decadent faceplate, I'm wondering if I can mod her into some cyborg type character....*taps chin*. Anyhow the 2 on the left are the Lusis Default and Wink faceplates. TOTES ADORBS. The doll also came with a faux fur (mohair?) white wig, which TBH I'm not too fond of, but maybe after some dyeing I can work it into something more appealing.

Oh and she's in her large bust option (purchased separately) in this photo :) Clover is enough of a tomboy for them both!


As I was going to wash and re-string Saffron, I thought that Clover needed a bath too. I had made the mistake of spraying her body with MSC even though I had little-to-no-intention of body blushing all I did was wet sand the more visible and sharp flash lines.

WIP photo for quality control :P

So.....since I had done Clover's faceup before, I decided to be braver with Saffron's makeup and go with bolder colours. Although I initially had no idea who the Unoa Sist would become, after a lengthy discussion with CH...I thought that Sist would either be Slutty or Demure. And then I viewed a video of a singer dressed like a Pin-up girl and her deep red lipstick captured my attention. Saffron would be a songstress with a happy, almost burlesque style :) But more sweet than slutty *cough* 

I won't go into detail about my process as I've already documented it here, when I did Clover's face up.

This was my 2nd attempt at Saffron's face, the first one was so disastrous I had to clean it off, and re-start the whole process the following day. 4 hours down the drain (stayed up till 3am the first try) T-T But I'm glad I didn't settle for an inferior face-up...because I am totally loving her current look!

Instagram filters make everything look better :E
(I think she looks like Disney's Ariel in this photo!)

She looks so different from different angles!

So where did inspiration for her faceup come from?

Note any similarities?

I had come across this photo in my facebook photostream on a random day...and immediately knew this was how I was going to style her. I opted to go for a friendlier eyebrow shape and keep the red-head tone as she's Clover's sister after all. And at around the same time I had read that blue eyes + red hair is the rarest combination for redheads, so it all worked out great! The wig is an old one I made and as Clover's head is a little larger, I temporarily stuck doublesided tape to hold it down (NOT RECOMMENDED but eh I'm not selling her and I know how to handle tape residue :X) I'll be making a new wig specifically for her but I'm really partial to this combination now. 

Eyes were the default that came with Clover, and I don't feel brave enough to drill holes in it, so they're held in place with blu-tack.

More closeups of her faceup detail. Yeah, it's not perfect, but I'm improving I think. I used heavily-modified eyelashes from Daiso this time since her more dramatic look required more dramatic lashes :P 

I've already had a number of comments about her lips, so I thought to add my process here for those interested:

- base layer of medium pink pastels
- Folk art Napthol Crimson, thinned and then drybrushed
- Shiny/glittery eyeshadow dabbed onto previous layer before fully dried. It was from a knockoff MAC eyeshadow palette (not recommended since it's not waterbased, but I figure she's already got MSC coats to protect and it's quite powdery like mica powder so I chanced it) on lower lip, centre area to act like lip-gloss
- Napthol Crimson, used thin liner brush to emphasize outline of lips and increase emphasis of lip-gloss area
- Napthol Crimson + dab of black, highlight mouth slit (?!) with liner brush
- Folkart Gloss Varnish

I want to emphasize that this is not recommended if you're intending to do professional grade face-ups, but since I have no intention of selling my grail doll, I'm quite happy to experiment and in any case, these face plates are far more affordable and replaceable so I'm not too bothered.

I was also careful to keep the line gentle, so that there's more of a subtle transition than a harsh red outline which happened on my first attempt. 

As to the brushes, I used the same ones in the faceup for Clover.

For the eyebrows, they were done differently than Clover's, I painted in the individual hairs...and although it was tempting to sand off the eyebrows in the sculpt, it actually served as a good guide and provides more dimension, so I left it in.

This time round, the only reference I used was the Bec Winnel artwork, so the whole process was much faster, though it did take about 3 hrs the 2nd time round.

Sewing the Infinity Dress

I had subscribed to a thread on DoA in which Silver Identity had kindly created a tutorial with measurements catered to a MiniFee. Thank You! (haha I don't think he/she reads my blog but yeah, I appreciate it!) I know that some of you have mentioned that it's difficult to get on DoA, and personally I've been having issues with accessing except on my mobile, so I can't fetch the link either...but there are soooo many infinity dress tutorials out there so just do a quick search on DoA or Google and you should be golden.

Just for those who are wondering and might want to use my measurements for your own Unoa, here are the dimensions:

Straps - 5cm (W) x 63cm (L)
Waist - 15cm x 6cm
Skirt Length - 14cm

I won't post the instructions here out of respect for the thread starter's hard work, but you can figure it out pretty easily from the online tutorials and adapt accordingly. I whipped this out in less than 1 hr.

The jersey knit material was a half-yard that I purchased at Chinatown early last year...I loved how thin it was and it draped beautifully, so I knew I could make a beautiful dress out of it....a no-brainer why I used it for this dress! I am quite busy, what with having to think about wedding preparations, flat stuff, commissions and a TOP SEKRET PROJEK (haha I'll reveal that in due time of course!) but I get teased quite a bit by Asuka and the fiance for dressing Clover in "auntie" or "office lady" style clothes so it was IMPERATIVE that Saffron have something more suited to her! 

Review, and final thoughts
Overall, I'm a super-biased reviewer since she's been my grail doll....that and I had many pleasant surprises like the detail in her hands (nails!), and how quickly she arrived after receiving notice of her tracking information.  But there are a few things of note:

- The fresh skin resin is very heavy and doll did not have any apparent cracks, faults nor stains
- eye colour that I wanted
- came assembled
- super easy to pose and stands very well

- The default Sist face plate does not sit well in the head mechanism, and I had to sand down some parts so it would 'catch' properly, and also reduce the risk of cracking the faceplate
- Some of the mould seams/flash lines were pretty sharp, and my guess is they probably gave it a cursory run down the seams with a penknife, but I knew I would wet sand it anyway so didn't bother me too much
- Elastic strings seem a little loose...but I plan to suede the joints so she'll hold poses a little better

Okay! PHEW. I hope you enjoyed this post, please comment to let me know it was worth all my hard work!

(or you know, so I feel less stupid for 'talking' to myself...............)

p.s. I named her after my favourite character in "Absolutely Fabulous". That, and as Asuka pointed out, Clover-tea and Saffron-tea works perfectly together!