Limited Edition Angell Studio Bicheng An is the first doll I have ever purchased in the 70 cm size range. The doll was originally released by the company in September 2010. Bi is a doll version of one of three characters from a Chinese graphic novel Chang An Fantastic Night by Han Lu and Mian Tang Xiong. Angell Studio’s sculpt is reasonably close in appearance to the drawings of the character. Bi is a 71.5 cm tall Charm line doll with Angell Studio’s Senior body. My doll is cast in solid white skin resin.
I ordered Bicheng An at the end of July, and he arrived in early October. Bi came packed in a doll box within a larger box. The space between the two boxes was padded with a sheet of bubble wrap. When I opened Bi’s box, I found that his full-set outfit along with an additional outfit I ordered, boots and a few accessories were bagged and placed on top of the doll. Bi was cocooned in a special white bag with the studio logo embroidered on it. The bag has handles and a zipper that runs along three sides. When I opened the bag, I discovered that not only did the doll have the usual sheets of foam protecting him from shipping damage, he also had padded “mitts” protecting his hands. These are a welcome addition. They are re-usable and easy to slip on and off the doll adding protection for his delicate resin fingers.
My doll has a factory face-up and full body blushing. The Senior body was fully sanded and has a slim though muscular “bishonen” build. Bichang An’s body blushing is soft and nicely enhances the sculpt. There is a touch of gloss on the nipples, belly button and on the finger and toe nails. The hands and feet have french manicures, and tiny lines are painted on the hands to suggest the creases on the knuckles. In addition, a touch of blue is visible on the carefully modeled surface veins of both hands and feet. One of my favorite details of this body is the nicely sculpted feet. Unlike the usual solid foot, the Senior body comes with a realistic space between the big toe and the second toe. I usually don’t pay as much attention to doll feet, but I couldn’t ignore how nicely these were sculpted.
Bi’s face-up is equally soft and delicate. The coloring works very well with the white resin. Fine details to the brows, eyes and mouth are applied. Criss-crossed lower lashes are painted in brown, and the applied upper lashes are a pale silvery color. The upper lids have a very slight touch of the palest blue. There is reddish brown paint in the corners of the mouth. This is subtle, unlike the dark dots seen in the corners of the mouths of many BJDs with factory face-ups.
The outfit that came with Bicheng An is identical to the photos. The outfit consists mainly of an under layer “dress” which is plain cotton at the top and blue brocade material at the bottom, a lined brocade “jacket”, an ornament encrusted belt and matching white brocade boots. All of the items are well made. Additionally a quantity of jewelry pieces were included, most made of beads and findings strung on stretchy elastic. When putting them on Bi, I unfortunately broke the elastic on a bracelet and ring. There were so many pieces though, that it did not make a noticeable difference when I fully dressed him. The wig that came with Bicheng An is made of synthetic fur with long thin synthetic hair braids attached. My photos show the wig as it came out of it’s bag without styling. I have a silver wig I tried on Bi, and I liked how it looked on him especially with his pale lashes.
Bicheng An is strung with silicone kips in the joints. He holds poses well and also stands well. Bi is well strung – neither too loose nor too tight. His Chinese outfit is somewhat restrictive so it limited posing a little, and as I was also worried about getting it soiled, I limited him to standing for his photos. I did not purchase eyes along with my doll. The eyes shown in the photos are hazel “soft glass” Eyeco eyes from Safrin Doll in Autumn Hazel. They fit well and looked perfect with Bi’s face-up coloring.
In addition I received the Senior size “London suit”, a pair of short boots and an additional blank Rone doll head. These are also of the same quality as my other items. They will likely appear at some point in the future on BJDcollectasy.
I am completely pleased with Bicheng An and my experience with Angell Studio. The doll came within a reasonable time for a doll with a face-up and full blushing, he was well packaged and is well made. I especially appreciated the cloth cocoon-like doll bag and the added hand mitts. Everything I purchased was of excellent quality and the face-up and body blushing were professionally done. While I have little room for many dolls of this size, I would definitely consider buying another doll or more doll fashions from Angell Studio.
Photos above: Bicheng An’s head with face-up, detail photo of Bi’s hands.
Angell Studio – Company website