Last summer, Fairyland made a lot of BJD hobbyists extremely happy by releasing the tan resin option for their MiniFee doll line.
Although I have had problems with Fairyland’s quality and customer service in the past (more on that in a future post), I admit that I find it very difficult to say “no” to their lovely sculpts. As a result, like many others, I jumped at the chance to order and got myself a tan MiniFee Mirwen!
The doll arrived a little over four months after I placed the order. This is understandable given how busy Fairyland must have been with offering tan resin and running the Juri 2013 event at the same time.
Let’s start with the positive! Fairyland’s 2013 tan resin is a gorgeous warm rich brown – it has red undertones and is a very beautiful color. I’m very happy to report that it lacks the stark orange hue that is sometimes present in other BJD companies’ brown resin mixes. On the above image you can see how Mirwen compares to normal resin Chloe (cast in 2011).
Unfortunately, the quality of the resin leaves much to be desired. There are a number of problems with my MiniFee Mirwen’s resin.
There are scratches pretty much all over her body. Was she vigorously sanded? Was there an issue with the mold? Whatever the reason, I feel that they should not be there given the cost of a Fairyland BJD. Ordinarily, this could be fixed with some fine sanding. However, given that this is a darker resin color, there is a big risk of discoloration that comes with sanding (see below).
The above image shows a more prominent scratch. Others are smaller, which makes them difficult to capture without a specialized lens.
A few areas on her body are significantly lighter in color, most notably heels of feet, sides of hands and forehead. I’m certain that this is a result of the resin being sanded. The forehead and heels being discolored does not bother me too much, as they will be covered by a wig and shoes, respectively. However, the hands are an issue, as they are clearly visible. Sure, I can even out the color with Photoshop and/or pastels, but I should not have to do that.
This type of discoloration is the reason why I will not be sanding the doll to remove the scratches and other abnormalities. Too risky.
The infamous pockmarks strike again. Yep, my Mirwen has them, unfortunately. The back and thighs are particularly peppered with them. It’s difficult to judge the depth from the picture, but they are deep enough that if I were to apply pastels or other pigment, it would pool in the indentations. Thankfully, I do not plan to blush those areas, but I’m still disappointed that they are there.
Fair disclosure – seamlines do not bother me. For the most part, Mirwen’s seamlines are typical for a Fairyland BJD. However, there’s one seam on her forearm that’s somewhat unsightly. Even if I could safely sand a tan BJD, it wouldn’t help, as this seam is a deep indentation into the resin. Trying to smooth out this pit would result in one arm being thinner than the other.
Resin slicks. I’m not quite sure what else to call them. They resemble a drop of liquid that travels down a surface and leaves behind a trail, eventually drying out. They are difficult to capture fully on camera, but are prominent when viewed in person. I have never seen anything like this on a BJD before.
Tiny air bubbles. Not too big of a deal in the case of my Mirwen, as they are small and not in very prominent places, but for the sake of full disclosure I felt I should mention them.
Would I Buy a Fairyland BJD in Tan Again?
Short answer – Yes, with reservations.
Ultimately, Fairyland’s tan resin is prone to the same issues as their white and normal resins. Of course, the problem with darker resin colors is that they are not easily sandable, and thus scratches, pockmarks and jagged seams are all part of the permanent package.
Despite not being thrilled with Fairyland’s quality, I adore their sculpts and I do not see this changing anytime soon. I started this hobby by falling in love with Cerberus Project and their aesthetic still appeals to me. However, I have greatly reduced my spending on Fairyland products in the past years. I have a lot of Fairyland BJDs on my wishlist, but I’m not rushing out to buy them. The chance to buy a tan MiniFee was a rare occurrence and too tempting to pass up.
My hope is that one day in the not too distant future Fairyland will improve the quality of their dolls. In the meantime, I will pick one up during especially tempting events and hope for the best!
What are your thoughts on Fairyland’s tan resin? Are you satisfied with its quality?