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This Old Doll Hospital
Hard Plastic Seam Splits
Patient: 8" Betsy McCall
Problem: Crotch Split

Dolls with bent knees like Cissy, Elise and Betsy are all prone to seam splits due to stress on the joints. Any doll can have them but we see them on these most often. Here's how to cure this problem.
Here it is. Someone already tried to mend this seam with what I suspect is Plas-T-Pair. It's bond is great but it either wasn't mixed enough or the stress pulled it apart before the compound cured. First orde of business is to get off as much of the old glue as possible. I used a single edge razor blade to pry and cut most of it away.
I'll be using Plastic Paste for this repair. It's gooey and to keep it from getting into the hip joints, I put a tiny strip of heavy paper under the split. I used a straight pin to push it in and under the crotch so the two sides of the split are not covered.

With toothpicks I take out equal amounts of Plastic Paste from each side of the container.
and throughly mix them together to a uniform color.
Now with the toothpick I put the mixture into the split, making sure it goes in all the way to the paper and out on both sides. With a wet finger, I tamp it down to be sure it's in contact with all the surfaces that need to be closed.

I padded a pair of pliers with a wet paper towel and put a rubber band around the grips to make a tiny vice with just enough tension to push the crotch together. I could have used a small vice but it would also need to be padded and it's hard to get Betsy into a position in a vice that won't slip. There are plastic clamps that would be nice but the ones I have also slip and the tension is too great for little Betsy and it might crush the body.
This pushed the Plastic Paste out so again, I smoothed it over with a wet finger. I'm leaving some of the paste on the surface instead of wiping it away from all but the split. This way, when I sand the cured Plastic Paste, I'll get a join with no seam showing at all.
It's now 10 hours later. The Plastic Paste is cured and feels like hard plastic. This is such a tiny sanding job that I use an emery board to sand and trim.
Ever notice how at a doll show, there's always someone like this in a group of lookers. Some look at the face first, some at the hair or thr clothes. Some look for a maker's mark. But this one always lifts the skirt first. So, just in case she's ever exposed to this kind of person, I airbrushed the mend to make it invisible. I used the acrylic bisque paint that comes in the little 2 oz bottles mixed with the acrylic gloss varnish (about 2 parts paint to 1 part varnish). This duplicates the translucent look of the plastic. There are several flesh tones available and since these dolls all have faded or aged to different colors, I can't tell you for sure which to use.
All done!

So, there you have it. The paper doesn't need to come out but if it's visible, you can trim it on the sides with the razor blade.

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