Although each of our articles showcasing a custom Funko POP we've made contains a recipe on how it was made (and how YOU can make one), it's easy to forget that SOME folks have NEVER tried their hand at customizing and therefore, might need a quick course in "the basics". This is it.
- You need acrylic, NOT enamel (oil based) paint. The latter, which is commonly used for styrene plastic models, may stay "tacky", not drying properly.
- Paint quality can be an issue for some, since more expensive paints, being a better composition, might be thicker, apply easier, or look "smoother" in their final application. There are many great premium brands such as Tamiya, Liquitex or Warpaints for example. Some folks, however, get excellent results from less expensive grades of paint (the kind you find at craft stores), as long as you apply it in several thin coats (always a good piece of advice), to "build up" the even color you desire.
- Many customizers "prime" their creations first. That is, they first give the figure they are going to work on an "all-over" paintjob in either white or in some cases, a light pastel corresponding to the color to be over-painted. This priming both allows the final paint color to adhere better (though some will say regular "layering" of your chosen colors will do just as wel) and will give you a white "canvas" on which to work, sometimes very helpful (since otherwise you might be painting a light color over dark plastic for example).
- Now here's an area you do not want to scrimp on. Generally, you'll want a variety of different sized (and shaped) brushes, that are NOT discount-price level (remember the paintbrushes you used in school as a kid, yuck). A good set of brushes (even if bought individually) will make all of the difference in the world to your control of painting fine lines and shaping your work.
- Occasionally, you'll want to sculpt some decorative piece on your customized POP. Personally, I avoid things like Sculpy (and the like) and instead use an epoxy 2 part resin called Magic Sculp. After mixing equal parts of hardener and clay together, it can be shaped (without needing to be cured/hardened by heating) for quite a long time before becoming "rock hard." Here's the URL for the manufacturer for more info: Magic Sculp
- HOT water will separate the head from the neck plug of a Funko POP figure (one that isn't a bobblehead of course). Some folks microwave the water, others just use a pan of water on the stove, still others report fine results filling a sink with hot water and "bathing" the POP figure in it for several minutes, while repeatedly gently pulling/twisting the head from the neck plug.
- Occasionally, you might "lose a figure", breaking the plug or tearing the lining in the head. If so, either the water was not hot enough, you did not "bathe" the figure long enough or you used too much strength separating the head. It just takes practice.
- Surely you've heard of superglue. Seriously, it won't take much and of course, don't glue your fingers together in the process.
SEALING your POP
- In order to ensure that your custom POP won't fade or have it's paint scratched in any way, you'll need to "seal" the figure in a clear acrylic sealer. Some customizers prefer an application from a spray can while others swear that the best way is via a bottle and brush (for a thicker application). Too much applied at any one time will drip so build it up in multiple coats if a single application is not producing the effect you want.
- Acrylic clear sealers exist in a variety of finishes (gloss, satin, etc..). It's a matter of personal choice how you want YOUR custom POP to look.
- Take your time. Rushing through a custom project never produces acceptable results.
- Don't worry too much. In most cases, mistakes can be painted over. Even when sculpting on pieces, you'll have plenty of time to make changes before the clay/resin/epoxy hardens.
- Have fun! There are as many styles of finished customs as there are customizers. Don't let anyone try to tell you that only one style is legitimate. Assuming you are making these for your own enjoyment (not making them on order for others), then YOUR tastes "rule".
TheFunkustomizer publishes the recipe for every custom we make for a reason. It's not a closely guarded secret. We're not attempting to produce our customs for a profit. It's all about enjoyment of Funko POP figures and the customs that can be made from them.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us using the Contact page. We won't guarantee a solution but we'll certainly offer our opinion and/or advice if possible.
Remember, the only limit is your imagination ... and happy customizing!
-----> The Funkustomizer (aka Richard Leigh)