Here are some basic tips before I launch into what to do with everything.
Supplies you’ll usually need:
- quality paintbrushes that won’t shed hairs onto your project
- a large bucket or plastic tub to soak the funkos in
- a large pan to boil water
- gloves so you don’t get finger prints all over your clay or paint
- really strong glue (like Gorilla glue)
- acetone if you want to remove any paint (like eyelashes or mistakes)
- a razor blade
- high quality acrylic paint that will look good when dry
- good acrylic paint markers if you want to do fine details
A note on clay:
I’ve found that the sturdiest clay for shipping purposes is a self-hardening kind (Apoxie Sculpt), but it’s also really tricky because you have to mix equal parts of A and B in order to get the clay to work. It’s best if you leave it sit first for like 20 minutes, but then you have a limited time to make your wings, capes, crowns, or swords before the clay hardens. I’ve lost a lot of material because of that short time frame.
A MUCH cheaper alternative is to use Sculpey or any kind of clay that you bake. Sculpey is waaaay easier to work with than Apoxie Sculpt, about 1/4 of the price, and acts like regular clay so you can actually sculpt!! The possibilities are endless. If you put a thin layer of Sculpey down first, then the rest of the clay sticks much better and you can create pretty much anything you want.
However, that means you also have to bake the vinyl funko with the clay on it. I’m not really comfortable with the idea of those fumes, but if you don’t mind that and have a good ventilation then carry on with your awesome designs.
A note on paints:
There are a lot of options for paints, but you’ll need to do several coats if you choose a kind that’s thin (which means more chances for something to go wrong). I use Golden Heavy Body paints, which have a list price of $20 for a 2 ounce tube. I go through at least $15 of paint on a lot of characters, so that’s definitely something to consider when calculating your overall price. I’ve seen some people using the common 2oz bottles of acrylic paints that are like $1, so that’s another option.
And then paint markers are super hit or miss. If you get some good ones, they save SO MUCH TIME. Buuuut… if you get one that decides to randomly spew paint at the last second, then you just ruined everything and have to start over. I went through so many brands and found that the Molotow ones and a few of the Elmer’s ones worked the best.
- BE REALLY CAREFUL WITH THE ACETONE. It is super easy to take off ALL of the paint in one swipe and then you have some seriously time-consuming repair work to do to make everything look even again.
- Use fine sandpaper on the funko parts first if you find that you’re having a hard time getting paint to stick. I use a lower grit number sandpaper for filing down pointy shoes and stuff like that.
- Obviously most heads and bodies won’t fit together since they weren’t made for each other. See the tutorial for details on how to fix that.
- A lot of heads don’t come off in one piece. See the tutorial for details on that, too.
- Most glitter sprays I tried left a filmy coat that totally ruined everything. So… beware of that sad surprise.