Setting Glass Eyes

The eyes in question are 18mm Volks HG Glass Vermillion B, and the head in question is a School Head A, which is the residence of one Naoya.

Naoya: Residence? WTH. Like it's not bad enough you're posting pics of the inside of my head on the internet.

Eye socket shape and size varies from head to head, just as the opening of the eye does; but the basic concept is the same. The school head A's eye socket is quite deep and rounded.

This isn't the only way to put in glass eyes, but here's how I do it.

To start, I take a small ball of Sticky Tak (or other type of poster tack) and place it on the lower portion of the eye.

This little ball holds the eye in the socket while I . . .

Flip around to the front so I can position the eye where I want it. The eye should stay in place when you turn the head back around if you push the eye into position (gently).

Now I'm on the back side of the head again. I find this part easier if you tilt the head slightly down/forward. Take some more sticky tack and make little burritos with them.

Naoya: Burritos have stuffing. Besides I'm not eating any blue burrito.

Whatever, cylinders. And I hope you wouldn't eat sticky tack, for starters.

Anyway, position these around the eye in the gaps between the eye and the socket.

Push these in; I recommend holding the stalk of the eye with the middle finger of your other hand while doing so to keep it from moving.

Making sure the eye is still where you want it, you can now press the sticky tack against the inside of the head with your nail to secure it.

While we're doing the other eye, a note on positioning. Eye positioning can really vary the look of your doll; hopefully I can do some pictures of that soon.

But a lot of times in pictures, I see eyes positioned like this. Glass eyes tend to drift towards the center of the socket, and it's also natural to try to position the pupil at the center of the opening.

However, you'll probably find that this looks unnatural and your doll winds up with an expression kind of like this 8| , which is probably not what you're going for. If you look at a person, you'll see that usually the eyelid covers the upper part of the iris. People's pupils only appear completely centered when they open their eyes up really wide; so if you position your doll's eyes that way, they tend to look very surprised.

Note that Nao looks more crazy than usual.

See, doesn't he look happier already? I find that eyes look better if you position them so that the lower part of the iris is level with the bottom of the eye. You can go a bit downwards from there, or a bit updwards; that difference can be used to change expressions.

But, overall, you're putting the pupil towards the upper part of the eye, not centered in the opening.

Also remember to check the positioning left to right, or your doll may be crosseyed or have a lazy eye. This is easiest to do with both eyes in. To avoid a crosseyed look, you DO want the pupil to be basically centered left to right if you want your doll looking straight ahead, so aim for an even amount of white to the left and right of the iris.

This is what the inside of the head looks like with both eyes in. Before you put your headcap back on, make sure the eyes are secure and where you want them. All too often I've put on a headcap and had an eye suddenly fall back into the head (a very disturbing image).
He looks very happy to have lovely red eyes in again.

As a random sideline, I've found a rubber band on the headcap to be the best way of keeping wigs from sliding (it also helps on small-headed dolls wearing wigs slightly too large for them).

Nao is produce of the USA!

Naoya: Am not. Are you making a joke about the size of my head again?

There we go, all done. He looks very pleased with himself even though he hasn't done anything.

Naoya: Sure I did, I was MODELING. Models work very hard, you know.

. . . no comment.