Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saving Samantha

Both of my Samanthas have had missing limbs for at least two years now.

You may be wondering, why do I have two Samanthas?

Samantha number one is a Pleasant Company doll that I got on ebay when I was in grad school.

She was my third AG, and a childhood dream.

More than a childhood dream, I did not dare dream for more than the two dolls I had, Felicity and Anne.

Then I got the second Samantha, also on ebay, more recently, as part of a plan to give each of my cousin's daughters an AG doll when they are old enough. The girls in question are still a bit young for this and I am not sure how/ if I want to do this.

Amway, the Pleasant Company Samantha, which I had already worked on once, lost both arms and a leg, and the second Samantha lost a leg. Plus her remaining limbs were wobbly.

Call it The Curse of the Two Samanthas. It could be a Nancy Drew mystery.

Thanks to mcooper of the Up to My Eyeballs in Dolls blog, I knew how to replace the limbs.

You can see the pictures from that doll restoration here.

I had never done so on my own, however.

First I had to track down the necessary supplies.

I already had a hair dryer and long nosed pliers. I bought a crimper from amazon, and elastic and pipe inserts from Bavas International.

In fact, what finally got me moving was hearing that Bavas was going out of business, so I better buy supplies while I could.

Here are all my supplies laid out with Pleasant Company Samantha. I had already removed her head.

Her is a close up of a piece of elastic, cut to 4 inches, a pipe insert, and the little half ping pong ball that you need.
The half ping pong ball thing should already be in your doll, you don't need new ones.
You do need two half ping pong balls and two pipe inserts for each limb you want to reattach or tighten.

The hair dryer is to warm the end of each limb to make it easier to remove or replace the little plastic domes.

Here is the outside of the reattached leg. The same arrangement is also on the inside of the limb, but facing the other way.

My crimper was really hard to use, and it got stuck with this pipe insert in it.
I could not remove the pipe insert and I could not tighten it. Especially with one hand, because the other hand was holding the doll and elastic in place.

But I was determined not to leave my doll in pieces forever, and I ended up using the long nosed pliers to crimp the pipe inserts in place.

I really, really hope that it holds. It seemed sturdy enough to me.

Ta da! Here are both my Samanthas, back in one piece!

Double Trouble
I thought that the nightgown was the perfect outfit to recuperate from their surgery in.
Pleasant Company Samantha is on the left, newer Samantha is on the right.

Honestly, Samantha was the first American Girl doll I fell in love with, before Felicity was released, and seeing her in her nightgown is giving me all the warm fuzzy nostalgia feelings.

Soon-to-be-custom Kaya had all her limbs intact, but they were very loose.
She can now hold a pose!

Honestly, this time I was trying to make the elastic tight, but not too tight. I think maybe I did the elastic too tight when I repaired Samantha number one last time, because the elastic literally just snapped inside her.

I hope that this time, the repairs will last longer! At least I have confidence in my ability to fix dolls on my own.

Now I need to learn how to remove a wig, so I can complete custom Kaya.

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