Customizing Funko Pop!s | How to Prep Your Figure (Part 2)
PART 1: What You Need
PART 2: How to Prep Your Figure
PART 3: How to Sculpt & Sand
PART 4: How to Paint
Prepping your figure is pretty important! It ensures that any factory oils, or even just the oils from your fingers, don’t interfere with the sculpting/painting process later.
Wash your figure!
Give it a good scrub-down with soap and water. Use a toothbrush to get in all the nooks and crannies.
Removing the head ensures that you can paint all the little spaces between the head and body without issue. Boil some water, put it in a (heat safe) vessel and soak the head/neck until the head is soft. This may take a while and require you to hold the body to prevent the figure from floating, so be patient. Make sure to squeeze out any hot water before handling the figure so that it doesn’t drip on your hands, and go gently/slowly when prying the head off so you don’t rip the plastic. If the glue won’t soften enough to break, you can use an x-acto knife, though that should be a last resort as the risk to damaging the figure becomes high.
Strip the paint!
Soak a bit of cotton or a rag in acetone and rub off any paint that might get in the way of your custom paint job; you can use a cotton bud to get in the hard-to-reach areas. In this case, I removed the pink of Penny’s dress because the color would be hard to paint over with lighter tones. The flesh color of the plastic underneath will be much easier to paint over! Plus, removing pre-existing paint means that the new paint layers won’t look too thick, which is great. Just be mindful when using the acetone, as using too much can burn through the plastic.
Optional: another bath!
Just to make sure there’s no acetone lingering on your figure.
In this case, I had to grind down the puffy sleeves and sandals. Sometimes regular sandpaper is just fine, but a Dremel can be very helpful if you’re doing heavier work. Make sure you’re wearing a mask or respirator plus safety goggles! I followed up with some hand sanding using 320 grit sandpaper to clean up the Dremel marks.
Next part: How to Sculpt & Sand