Volks has been very slow in re-stocking the Dollfie Dream DDII base bodies for many months, so I went ahead and decided to piece together a Dollfie Dream Sister (DDS) body myself. The DDS is actually my favourite of the body types right now – I like the size, the posing ability and it’s not as tall and lanky as the new DDIII bodies. If you’re interested in doing this yourself, it’s not cheap since you have to purchase all the body pieces from Volks, and hopefully they will all be in stock >__<”
To build a complete body you will need:
- a Dollfie Dream head (not pictured)
- DDS-BF-01 / Upper Torso Internal Frame [usually out of stock, so be patient for this!]
- DDS bust – DDS-B-01 / M Bust (although DDII bust pieces will bit too, which is why the Shapely-L bust is in this photo)
- DDS-A-01 / Arms (sold as a pair)
- DDS-W-01 / Waist & lower torso
- DDS-HL-01 / Thighs (sold as a pair)
- DDS-LL-01 / Shins (sold as a pair)
- DDS-FO-01 / Feet (sold as a pair)
- hands (many options shown, but you only need one pair to complete the body)
I found it easiest to build from the bottom up – so insert the feet into the shins. You have to study them a bit to see which is the left and right – I found it easier to look at them from the back since they are shaped a bit like (| and |).
Connecting the shins to the thighs was tricky since the armature piece in the thigh can shift. First have a look at the inside of the knees – the pieces are labelled L & R to easily distinguish them. You can see the armature in the L thigh, and it’s shifted in the R thigh.
I found it easiest to heat the knee side of the thigh with a hair dryer to make the vinyl more pliable. Then push the armature from the top of the hip down to get it through the hole at the knee.
Then attach the lower leg, and gently push the armature back into the thigh. Use a hair dryer to heat the vinyl if necessary.
If for some reason you need to remove the shins (ex. you put the wrong shin onto the opposite thigh, or to treat for stain removal), remove the foot and carefully slide the vinyl “skin” piece off. It’s much easier than trying to pull out the entire shin armature from the knee again!
I want to take a moment to suggest an optional step. Coolcat sells aluminum reinforcement pieces for the shoulder armature and the hip joints of the DDS/DD3/DDdy3 bodies.
They are inexpensive and I highly recommend using them to protect your Dollfie Dream from developing cracks. I’ve installed the hip piece onto the leg here -
[Note: There are 2 sizes for the shoulder and hip parts. All newly released DD's will use the Large pieces. Older DDS girls (Marisa Kirisame and Reimu) need the Small size for both shoulder and hips. DDS Akira uses LARGE shoulder, but SMALL hip!) Everything released after Moe v.2 (September 2011) requires the large shoulder & hip pieces)]
Moving on! Now it’s time to connect the legs to the hip socket. This can be tricky as well since the hip armature shifts around very easily – so again I heated the vinyl at the top of the leg with a hair dryer to make it easier to work with and carefully maneuvered the leg joints onto the lower torso. Once both legs are attached, check that the joints are in fact connected to the hip armature and not just shoved into the hip. As unslightly as it is, the easiest way to check this is to open up the legs and check the hip joints T__T”
Don’t be alarmed if you see that the top of your hip piece seems to have a split in the peg. This is normal and the peg is designed this way. It’s not a crack or defect!
This torso frame is both the best thing Volks has ever done, and the worst >__<” It’s made interchanging the bust pieces so much easier, and improved the posing ability of the neck, but the round holes where the shoulders attach are quite fragile and have been known to crack!
Slide the internal torso frame onto the peg gently with the neck joint bent towards the back (as shown). Don’t apply too much force onto the armature, however it will slide down to the base of the waist (a gap of a few mm is ok).
Next, slide the bust piece onto the torso frame. Go slowly, and ease the neck peg through the hole at the top of the neck.
On the left is the DDS-B-01 Medium bust designed specifically for the DDS body, and on the right is the Shapely-L bust that is marketed as a DDII item. It will fit the DDS body too (and DDIII for that matter) – the only difference is that there is some vinyl missing around the shoulder holes. So if you’re building your own DDS from pieces, don’t feel like you are limited to the M-bust. Feel free to choose the bust size that you want for your doll. The S-bust that was released with DDS Akira is a bit more slender in the shoulders, but that was limited to that character and Volks hasn’t made that piece available for purchase separately at the moment.
[Update: When I first wrote this post the DDS-M bust was the only bust available for the DDS body, however Volks has released other sizes now for the DDS and DD3 bodies.]
Finally, attach the arms to the body. The arms aren’t labelled L & R but it’s easy to figure out which is which by bending the elbows. The elbows only bend in one direction – forward like a real arm – so you can orient the arms that way. Push them straight into the shoulder holes. You may have to gently squeeze on the bust piece to make it align with the internal armature. Push straight – do not twist or try to force the arms. The wrist armature is sold along with the arms – but as a random factoid, the wrist armature is compatible with the DDIII bodies too. I made sure of this before spray-painting the wrist armatures on KOS-MOS. I bought a spare pair of arms in my Volks order so that KOS-MOS can have normal (unpainted) wrists again too! ^__~”
And with that – the body is complete!
There you have it! The body is all assembled. Once you put on a Dollfie Dream head and dress her up, you’re all set!
Volks has already announced that more body components will be released at the next Dolpa in August (Hometown Dolpa Sendai) so I’m curious to see what improvements they will make.
Now, I need to see about getting my blank HDD-06 head painted so that this body doesn’t remain headless for too long! ^__~”