Friday, March 17, 2017

Dyeing to be Black - Part 6 Finale

Completed ladies:  Babette by EG, unmarked clone, Davtex clone, Twistee Totsy, and 35th Anniversary Barbie

As shown above, the dyeing, painting, extra detailing, and dressing of all dolls has been completed.

Babette is dressed in the 1965 Barbie fashion #1631 Aboard Ship.  Here, she wears it without the jacket.

Preferring to wear it with the sleeveless jacket, Babette took another photo.  The fashion came with a camera, which is stored.  The fashion is missing these three travel brochures.

The unmarked, bubble cut clone is dressed in the reproduction Barbie Poodle Parade fashion.  (She's missing her poodle and the original olive green shoes, which had been substituted for white pumps in the above photo.)  I thought olive green shoes would look better.  So....

...after mixing acrylic paints (black, yellow, and a dab of white), I created olive green paint and painted the white pumps the desired color, as shown above.

Yes, the Poodle Parade fashion looks much better with shoes dyed (I mean painted) to match.

Recall that the above two clones use the two newer Barbie bodies that I dyed.  Until I find a body for the Davtex clone, I am using a So in Style Chandra body, which was the closest complexion match I had on hand for her.

Davtex clone head on So in Style Chandra body and custom dressed
The Davtex doll wears a two-piece purple, So In Style Club-exclusive silk shantung fashion by doll fashion designer, MashauDe'.  It is tailored to fit the S.I.S. doll hips. I think Chandra might have a difficult time getting her body and fashion back.  I made Ms. Davtex a pearl necklace and matching bracelet to somewhat match her original teardrop-shaped pearl earrings.

After being redressed, Twistee Totsy was returned to the confines of her original box.  She is giving some serious side-eye as a result.

Likewise, 35th Anniversary Barbie returned to her box. 

Joe and Adam took final photos together.
I consider my first attempt at using iDye Poly to deepen the complexion of dolls a relative success. The complexions did deepen, although I was not prepared for the extra detailing required on the parts that did not absorb the dye.

Here are some tips for those who might want to try this:

  • For your first attempt, use inexpensive vinyl/hard plastic dolls, such as thrift store finds. 
  • Do apply the dye powder and enhancement packet to boiled water and stir well.  If you want to achieve a lighter brown, allow the water to cool some before adding the dolls.  The water still needs to be relatively warm for the vinyl/hard plastic to absorb the dye.  I believe the hottest water achieves the darkest results. The water was warm when 35th Anniversary Barbie was dipped.  As a result, her complexion did not deepen as much as the rest.  (According to the iDye Poly instructions, dyeing for clothes is supposed to be done on the stovetop in a pot of boiled water.  I did not have an old pot to use and thought my alternate method would work just as well, besides I was dyeing dolls, not clothes.)
    • It would be wonderful if iDye Poly was available in variations of brown or perhaps if colors could be mixed to blend a desired hue.
    • Rit DyeMore can also be used for dyeing plastics.  Since it is liquid, colors can probably be blended to create desired complexions and/or hair colors.  (Here's a video of a troll toy being dyed with Rit DyeMore.)
  • After dyeing, if you must paint any areas of the doll, a spray gun would work better. I do not own one.  If I had to do it over again, I would prime the painted areas first.  Because I did not prime, several layers of paint were required and the paint on the first several layers would easily chip.  It will still chip, but I am careful handling the painted areas of those dolls.
    • For the final painted layers, I mixed matte varnish with the acrylic paint, which I should have done with all layers to eliminate some, if not all chipping.  
    • Sealing painted areas is optional and probably best.  

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  1. Well done! I'm glad there are products on the market that can be used to customize dolls like this.
    Thanks for sharing the results of your experiments and tips.:D

    1. Thank you, Maricha, and you're welcome.


  2. I've been watching the previous posts. The end results are wonderful. Your tips suggest using an expensive hard plastic doll. Did you mean to say inexpensive? Congrats on a successful experiment.

    1. Yes, I definitely meant inexpensive. Thanks for catching that.


  3. These look amazing!!! One of my favourite purchases was the AA 2009 Silkstone dolll released to celebrate Barbie's 50th Anniversary (can you believe she's almost 60!!!)....a long overdue edition to the Fashion Model series. Thanks for the step by step guide I'm always impresssed by collectors who customise their dolls, I'm not sure I have the bravery beyond re-bodies (MTM for example). The Davtax, Babette & Bubble Cut clone are just glorious looking, it really shows how elegant a vintage Black Barbie could have been if released, looking very early Sixties Fashion Fair model especially Poodle Parade. ❤️

    1. Thanks for following this post series from beginning to end, Julius! I was ecstatic when Mattel finally released a reproduction of the 1959 Debut Barbie as an African American doll. Prior to that the 2002 Silkstone Lingerie Barbie #5 had served as my fantasy childhood black Barbie.

      After adding the bodies and dressing them in vintage and reproduction vintage fashions, which had been stored since receiving them as gifts from a dear friend, along with the SIS-exclusive fashion, I, too, was amazed at their lovely transformations.


  4. You did great and that final photo of your dolls is fantastic! Thanks so much for this tutorial. You have convinced me to not try this anytime soon. I love the results that you achieved.

    1. Thank you for reading each post in this series, Roxanne, and for your comments. They are appreciated!

      If you do decide to give it a try later, I hope this series will help.



Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!