Sunday, July 6, 2014

Assembling guide for a Volks Dollfie Dream Sister (DDS) body

As you see this is going to be totally different kind of post.
It seems I have been experimenting with lots of new stuff this year and this is one of them.
Both in terms of assembling and in writing a tutorial about it.
I believe I spoke about Volks Dollfie Dreams somewhere in my previous posts, maybe I even mentioned my plans to get one. That has been done, more or less. I decided to have a start by getting the body.

I got my hands on Volks Dollfie Dream Sister body parts. Normally if you wish to buy this directly from Volks I believe you have to purchase every part separately (and naturally hope everything will be in stock..).

Initial observations what I find to be very nice aspects in this body:
- Its size, its not quite as tall as DDII and DDIII bodies
- DDS body can still wear Volks DD outfits
- Enhanced posing abilities - arms have an extra joint and the body holds poses very well.

What you need:
The body itself consists of total 8 parts (excluding the head).
Here is the list of parts I have used - numbers differ according to skin color and options.
❀ M size bust - DDS-B-01
❀ Arms - DDS-A-01
❀ internal frame - DDS-BF-o1
❀ HDD-01 hands (basic hands)
❀ waist / lower torso - DDS-W-01
❀ thighs - DDS-HL-01
❀ shins - DDS-LL-01
❀ feet - DDS-FO-01
All parts out of box and ready for action
Getting started
Here we have all the body parts (8 in total).
They were all in separate boxes so took a little while to get them ready for action.

Each package contained assembling instructions in Japanese. I could make sense of them to some degree, but not too many pictures this time (remember seeing Unoa assembling guides with lots of pictures..).

Lovely instructions in Japanese.
I cannot say where you should start your assembling process. Some prefer to start building from bottom up. It seems I went in for kind of mixed plan. I started completing hands. Attaching hand parts to arms to get them out of the way.

Hands to arms
Please see the picture for reference in order to attach it the right way. Although I believe that hands don't quite fit on their place if you try to attach them the other way. So the flat side up. Then just slide each hand on their place using gentle amount of force.
Attaching the hands to arms - flat side up (arm parts).

When you have arms fully completed we move on...

I decided to 'attack' to complete the upper part of the body first. To my opinion attaching the thighs to shins is the most difficult / demanding part in the whole assembling process and this time I preferred to leave that among the last ones.

So, get ready for the next part by gathering the needed parts. First this funny looking internal frame as Dollfie Dream bodies are not hold together by strings like normal BJDs but they have sort of 'skeleton' within the body.
Slide internal frame to the peg. They fit nicely together.

Internal frame to lower torso
DDS Internal frame
Internal frame fits nicely to the peg sticking out from the waist / lower torso part. All you have to do is to slide the internal frame on its place. Which way, please see the picture.

Bust to lower torso
Attach internal frame / waist to bust part
Looks as pictured when its on its place
(observe from armpits)
The basic hands look like this.
You can also buy variety of different hand parts from Volks.
They are easy enough to change.
After you have attached internal frame to lower torso / waist part you need to apply the bust part in order to complete the whole upper body. Again, this is rather easily done. Just slide the bust part on the lower part so that the peg sticking from the top of the internal frame goes though the neck hole. Then just fit it right so that you are able to attach arms. Observe from the armpits - the holes should be in the middle.

After you have made it to this point all you need to do is to put the arms in their right places. Right and left, slide them in to holes you see in the middle of each armpit. Again you may need to apply a bit of gentle force as they are quite tight fit. This enables them to hold poses really well.

The upper part of the body completed
Missing legs..
Attaching thighs to shins
I found this to be the hardest part in the whole assembling process. From first glance you may observe that the parts don't even seem to fit together - the thigh holes look way too small to fit the 'huge' pegs sticking out from shins. Don't worry. However, I found it easier to work with after giving the vinyl a bit of 'heat treatment'. So I would suggest to use a hair dryer to make the vinyl more pliable. As I did not have access to hair dryer while doing this tutorial I resolved to boil some water and use the steam arising from it. Keep each thigh part above steam for a short while, not too long as you do not want to melt it.
Attach thighs to shins
When you feel the vinyl gives away a bit then proceed and use your fingers to get the peg from inside each thigh part and slide it outside through each hole. After this attach shins to the pegs - be careful which is right and which is left as it is rather hard to get them off should you not succeed in selecting the right parts. It can still be done so it is nothing final but makes it a lot easier to get it right the first time.
Get the peg from inside the thigh part and slide it outside through the hole.

When you have attached shins to the pegs sticking out from each thigh then you need to push this completed attached peg inside thigh. This requires you to use a bit of gentle force to get it all in but it is possible and something you need to do. If you wish you may use the heat treatment again to make the process easier.
It requires a bit more force to push the peg all the way inside.
Completed legs

Feet, legs & completing the rest 
Feet to shin
Feet are rather easy after you have survived thighs and shins. Just slide the right foot to right shin. As far as it goes. Then you should have completed the legs. All that is left is attaching the legs to hip sockets. This is quite easy as well. You just fit the pegs sticking from hip sockets to each hole inside each thigh and push gentle to slide them as far as they go. When done you are able to test how the legs move.

Additional info: I understand that some owners prefer to attach aluminum reinforcement pieces in between the thigh - hip joint as this is one of the places where cracks may occur at later stage. I didn't have them for this tutorial but I might consider getting them later. I recommend you to take a look.

Once you have successfully attached thighs into each hip socket I can congratulate you for completing your assembling process. Now you should have the completed body (except for the head) ahead of you.

In order to complete your Dollfie Dream all you need is to attach a head into the body. This is done by sliding the peg sticking from the neck through the hole in the head. Volks sells variety of heads separately but you also have an option to hunt down a limited head. Limited models occasionally pop up at DoA marketplace.
All finished and completed
Sneak peak
I wish you luck with completing your own Dollfie Dream and I hope this tutorial helps you with your assembling process. Should there be any questions I am happy to try to answer them.

My DDS body. I believe I mentioned I plan to get a DD Saber. She originally had DDIII body which I do not like as much so getting the head separately is my decision. Off to DoA marketplace to check.

Next update will be about clothing. As I now have DDS body I have several plans to try out outfits in DD size. Those will be available later I hope.

Thank your for reading!

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