Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making Schatzi, part 1

Schatzi, a Dachshund BJD

I am still working on several other things in the Eternal Rotation, and they will make their blog appearances as I work on them,

 but this is yet another project because I wanted to try making an animal BJD before I do more work on my humanoid BJD sculpting. BJDs need pets, and Schatzi here will be the size of a Miniature Dachshund to the 1/3 or SD dolls, and a Standard Dachshund to the 1/4 or MSD dolls. If he works out well, I want to try a Corgi, too. I don't know how long it will be before I am good enough at this to make a house cat, though, so don't hold your collective breaths for that development. :sweat

I started with a good plan, and some notes on joint types. A stubby wee dog will be basically ALL joints, with very few major straight parts like humans have with their long limbs. The hardest part will be the hind legs, because I want it to be able to sit properly.

I'm working on this one in polymer clay first, which has its pros and cons, but they're pros and cons I know well, since I've been working with the stuff for over a decade now. I sculpt, then bake lightly, then add more, then rebake. Eventually I'll do a home junk cast in resin and refine that rough cast with Apoxie Sculpt. The end goal here is to have something nice enough to cast multiples of in resin.
I made a body tube shape and then cut it into segments, and it looks pretty miserable for the first rough stages. My HS art teacher used to call this the Butt-Ugly Stage, and every project goes through it, so it doesn't make me panic.

I worked the body into socketing segments, and made a paw and some leg sections.

That one paw got duplicated by push-mold, saving me some work in making four different paws. I did have to refine all four paws, of course, but it was a good way to get them all the right size. I also made a headback, and that masky thing there is the rough base for a faceplate.

Neck with headback perched on it. I tried a segmented neck but it looked like a stubby diplodocus... so we're going with a mostly straight neck, with a cup base for mobility. This has been rough sanded for symmetry and shape so far.
The body wasn't long enough compared to the legs and neck, so I added another segment. I also added foreleg/shoulder holes, roughed in.

Progress pic- The body segments and neck, headback, leg and paw, just to check proportions. There's the rough faceplate too!

Without the eyes as more than big sockets, he looks like Zero from Nightmare Before Christmas. But he's coming along.
My sister's family has a Dachshund so I'm pretty familiar with their pointy wee faces and little arched noses.

Testing the shapes!
Sitting up. His legs didn't stay this long, because this test stringing showed me they weren't the right length compared to his body. Finally he begins to look like a dog! I tried a segmented tail, but stringing it turned out to be too fiddly, so this is the only pic it shows up in. Shame, because it was so nicely mobile.

Much refining later:

Dogbutt. Here's the one piece tail, and it rotates in its socket quite nicely so he can wag or slink, as the mood takes him.

This is a bad shot, sorry, but I've fixed his body joints to be much, MUCH smoother and closer fitted. Symmetry is the hardest part, I think, and he's almost at 50% done. He begins to show the shapes the final sculpt will have.

His little ears turn in their sockets too. The faceplate is nearly done, but I need to work out his eyes so they can stop being big old holes in his face.

More to come!


  1. Hi!
    I found your blog googling daschung bjd, I love your project, Schatzi is really cute!
    Hope to see him finished, he's so lovely!

    1. Thank you! I do mean to finish him up, gradually, and hopefully get him cast professionally.

  2. Heeeeyyy, I discovered this on my search for a resin Dachshund BJD. Haven't found one. Or...even a dachshund BJD I even like. UNTIL SCHATZI. PLEASE FINISH HIM AND CAST HIM AND SELL HIM TO THE PUBLIC, PLEASE. I am begging you.