Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Neck Work: Janay and Ken

As indicated in my Janay Head Chose Kara post, excessive head movement was followed by a short neck after placing a Janay head on a So In Style Kara body.  Several readers of that post left suggestions on how I might resolve this issue, specifically the wobble that I temporarily removed by pushing the head down further than desired onto the neck, which created the sort neck appearance.

To remove the wobble, first I tried the technique Muff describes and illustrates here.  This helped, but Janay still had more neck movement than I wanted.  I won't blame it on the technique because the cardboard used for the disk I made was not very sturdy (see the disk insert in the above image).  After reviewing Muff's post, I also realized I failed to cover the slit in the disk with tape.  The tape might have added more stability to the disk.

After examining the neck and locating the gap or area causing the head movement, I tried Muff's suggestion to wrap wire around the space between the neck and the prong.  She suggested jewelry or garden wire, none of which I had; so I used braided cord instead.  This was wrapped around the area several times.  I tucked the cut end underneath the wrapped cord.

Braided cord is wrapped around the gap between the neck and the neck prong.

This worked!  The wobble is gone and I do not have to push the head onto the body as much as I did before.  The difference is very subtle, but the neck length is better as the next image illustrates (click/tap to enlarge).

Before and After:  Janay's neck length is slightly longer with braided cord wrapped around the space between the neck prong and neck.
Where does Ken come into play?

Bath Play Fun Ken was given an action figure body several months ago.  The new body added several points of articulation and lots of pose-ability, but Ken's head would rotate even with the slightest movement.  I decided to see if a cardboard disk would stabilize his head and neck.

He's such a show off.  With this new body, I can't keep him still, but especially his head that has a mind all its own.

The above photo was taken before creating a cardboard disk to stabilize Ken's neck movement.  The disk did prevent his head from rotating up to 180 degrees, but it created a gap on both sides of his head.  Again, the cardboard disk was a little flimsy; so I reinforced it by using two disks, one on top of the other.  See images below followed by what I did to eliminate the free movement.

The flimsy cardboard could have been taped together to make it sturdy.  It eliminated the loose head but created an unsightly gap, as shown in the next picture.

Even after trimming the cardboard to decrease the disk circumference, the disks created a gap on the sides of his head.
The Fix:

In a comment to the original post about Kara's head movement, Verona suggested using sports tape.  I cut a strip of self-adhering bandage tape that I had on hand and wrapped it around the stem of the neck prong.  The self-adhering tape added the right amount of thickness to the prong to prevent the head rotation without creating a gap on the sides of Ken's head.

Lengthwise, I cut a thin strip  from the cut piece of bandage tape and wrapped it around the neck prong several times as shown in the next image.

Minus the head rotation and ability to move, Ken is showing off even more now.  See him below making a failed "move" on Janay.

Hey Miss Lady, you sure do have a pretty neck?

Ken has nice (body) movement and his neck no longer rotates up to 180 degrees on its own, but his "mack" is extremely weak. 


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  1. Thanks for showing what you did to make the dolls' heads fit better. Nice work!

  2. Thanks so much for the show and tell! I don't have a male body with the round bulb knob so that was new to see. I'm gonna remember Verona's suggestion when I come across one.

  3. Great tutorial. This will come in handy.


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