How To Customize Your WORLD In MUNNYWORLD, you can do anything you want! Get the low down on customization and boost your artistic skills. Get general how-to's and learn tips from the pros.
Prep-Time: Gear up Your Figure for Customizing 1. First things first, take your MUNNYWORLD toy apart. Have no worries, the head and arms can be easily removed and replaced. Using a hair dryer to soften the vinyl may help, just be careful to not let one spot get too hot or else it may warp.
2. Wash your MUNNYWORLD figure with bubbly soap to remove any solvents and grease from the factory. Keep in mind that your hands are oily, too, so wash them often or wear latex gloves.
3. You may also want to test a technique before you apply it to your MUNNYWORLD toy. A good place to do this is on the bottom of you figure's foot or an unused accessory. Some accessories are not made of vinyl, and you can usually feel the difference. If this is the case, the technique you are testing may not work the same when applied to your MUNNYWORLD figure.
Priming: A Good Foundation is Everything 1. Priming allows you to do even more with your MUNNYWORLD figures! It helps the paint stick better and gives you the best possible finish.
2. Krylon sandable primer is one of our favorites, but you can use any spray primer from a hardware or art supply store.
3. Take the head and arms off and stick a pen or kebab skewer in the holes to get full coverage in one shot. 4. Tape off the joints with artist tape so the parts will easily fit back together. When applying primer, remember to work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask or respirator to protect your lungs.
Paint: Your Perfect Picture 1. Acrylic paints go on smooth, give full coverage and do not require a primer. Our favorite of the lot is Golden Liquid Acrylics.
2. When selecting a brush, opt for a synthetic sable one. This type of brush gives the smoothest application. 3. Before you start your paint job, remove and tape up the joints so your figure will easily fit back together once you are done.
4. Spray paint calls for primer. If you skip this step, your MUNNYWORLD toy will be sticky forever. Markers: Make Your Mark 1. Regular Sharpies work best on vinyl, especially if you don't want to prime your figure. Water-based markers and paint pens are other options if you want to avoid priming.
2. Do NOT use enamel markers. The paint will never dry and may even damage your figure. Gluing: Stick To It 1. If you don't have a glue gun, try plastic glue, available at model-making, hobby, or art supply stores. 2. For heavy add-ons, such as sculpt parts and metal, two-part epoxy glue works best.
3. Avoid regular white craft glue, as it does not adhere to vinyl. Sculpting: Mold Your Reality 1. Magic Sculpt is a two-part epoxy clay that adheres to anything and dries overnight so you can sand and carve it. A few Magic Sculpt tips:
a. Wet clay to smooth its surface. b. Sprinkle clay with talcum powder to prevent sticking. c. Wash your hands often. 2. Super Sculpey (not regular Sculpey), a polymer clay, is another option. You need to first bake it, however, and then bind it to your vinyl with epoxy glue. A few Super Sculpey tips:
a. Bulk out your sculpt with tin foil. b. Cover the area that you want to build on with talcum powder or tin foil. c. When you are finished, stick your figure in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will make the clay rigid and easy to lift.
d . Don't make your Super Sculpey thicker than a quarter inch or it won't cure all the way. 3. Scratch the surface you will be gluing with sandpaper or a file so the glue has texture to bind to. 4. Your hands are your best tools, but actual tools are helpful too. Here are some useful household items: small spoons, string or dental floss, paper clips, ice pick, wooden skewers, tweezers, sponge, pencils, manicure tools, rolling pins and X-Acto knives.
5. Remember, polymer clay is toxic, so wash your hands, protect your work surface, and don't use any household tools that you use for eating.
Cutting: Shape the Future 1. Warm up your vinyl with a hair dryer to make it soft, then cautiously cut out your design with an X-Acto knife. 2. Be careful! Soft vinyl cuts like butter. Preservation: Keep Shining 1. Applying a gloss finish to your masterpiece will preserve your custom MUNNYWORLD figure forever and prevent its paint from chipping. Depending on the brand and number of coats, it may also make your figure shiny.
2. Krylon's Crystal Clear spray works well but you will definitely need to prime your figure or else it will stay sticky. Shake the can frequently while spraying. If you don't like the shiny look, matte finishes are also available.
3. One coat will protect the paint job, but two or three coats should give you a nice shine. Be sure to read the directions on the can before application.
4. You can brush on your finish with Polycrylic, a water-based polyurethane, available at any hardware store. If you take this route, make sure you apply it with a soft brush.
5. Tape up the joints for finishing so you can easily remove and pop in pieces when it's dry. Allow a reasonable amount of time (about 2-4 days) for the clear coat to dry completely.
6. Once again, please remember to apply finishes in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask for protection.
Shipping: It Absolutely, Positively Has To Get There 1. Are you planning to send your custom vinyl toy somewhere? Then, take heed: a. It's best to carefully cover your custom vinyl in a plastic bag, such as a garbage bag. Please note, if the clear coat is not completely dry, the plastic will stick to the paint and peel off when unwrapping.
b. Then, pack in Styrofoam. Include desiccant packets to absorb moisture while shipping. c. Last, make sure the box is securely reinforced for shipping! Itʼs OK to Make Mistakes: Youʼre Only Human… Don't worry, even the best-laid plans can go awry. While these guidelines are here to help you create the very best custom vinyl figure you can, things do not always go as planned. That's okay-only through mistakes can there be discovery or progress. You may even create an accidental masterpiece! If you feel strongly that a do-over is necessary, however, you can try the following:
1. You can remove spray paint, primer, clear coat and most markers with acetone or nail polish remover. 2. Acrylic paint can be easily scraped off.
Tips from the Pros - Get After It! By Triclops Studio
1. Find your medium Not like someone who communicates with the dead but rather a material. Whether it is paint, ink, Sculpey, Milliput, car filler or toilet paper, explore materials and find a combo that works for you.
Make sure that your combo of materials won't react badly with each other. There is nothing worse than slaving over an intricate paint job then finally spraying it with lacquer which eats the paint.
2. Find your voice Don't rip off an existing style, even if you really like it. Pay attention to what other people are doing but use that information to know that you are being original.
3. Practice, practice, practice. PRACTICE And then practice a bit more. Nobody is an overnight success. (Apart from vampires.) Sketch something every day and then try to make some of those sketches come to life in 3D.
4. Don't diss anybody online If at some stage you plan to garner publicity for your majestic artworks, your midnight rants on the forums will pop into people's heads when they see your name mentioned.
This is also sound general advice, it is very easy to criticize artists and their work without stopping to consider the careful hours that they have put in to create something, no matter how crappy the end result.
5. Don't expect to give up the day job If you can develop a style which is uniquely yours, you will attract fans and if you are incredibly lucky/good at self-publicity you may even sell some of your work but you would be naive to imagine that you will soon be sitting at a golden desk with a jewelencrusted keyboard. There is very little money to be made from customizing as a general rule. Once you have spent a ridiculous amount of time creating the piece (and time is money) and then paid to have it shipped to the other side of the world (assuming that's where it will be exhibited) you will be lucky to break even on the costs. If it sells.
6. Be positive and go for it! Despite the previous negative comments, the world of customizing is an amazing thing to be a part of. Your creations will soon be sitting in galleries alongside works by far more intelligent and talented beings and even if you never exhibit officially, there is a very supportive online community who will give you feedback on your latest ventures. -Triclops Studio
Tips from the Pros - SMOOTH TALKING By Stuart Witter People ask me ʻhow do you get them so smooth?ʼ Choosing the right tools and materials for the right job and having a patient approach will give you the best finish every time.
1. Planning Sketching your idea out 50 times will give you a host of different ideas to bring to a final design. Try new ideas for details and playing with the overall composition on paper before sketching the idea onto the money with a pencil. The jump from 2D to 3D is a big one and I find that the design might undergo some changes at as I draw onto the surface of the toy. An eraser will lift any mistakes, redrawing until you are completely happy.
Mark on areas to be built up or removed and drill holes for any supports that might be needed. I use a pin vice to hand drill small holes into the vinyl. Disassemble your figure taking care to notice areas where sculpting new parts would interfere with its reassembly.
2. Reshaping To create my custom characters I often remove some elements of detail and always sculpt some new ones.
To remove entire features I heat the area of the toy with a hair dryer, being careful not to burn my fingers. Then take a scalpel to the toy, piecing through the vinyl and cutting sections away creating holes in the toy as I do so. If it becomes difficult to cut your hole, the vinyl has cooled down too much. Big holes (eg. where ears used to be) can now be filled. If I am not going to put my figure in the oven I stuff my figure heads with whatever trash is on my desk. Aluminum foil is the best thing for the job if you are using a clay that has to be baked. Filling the head will give you something to build up from when you add your clay.
Large shapes can be produced from Super Sculpey that has been baked, shaped then glued onto the figure. Really large shapes can be mounted using a dowel to give extra strength. For any structural job, superglue is not really strong enough and I use a two part rapid epoxy that sets in 5 minutes. Iʼll go into filling in any joints later. Most detail can be sculpted straight onto the figure, which can be fitted with wire supports for protruding details unable to support their own weight. Drilling into the vinyl and then pushing in aluminum wire dipped in epoxy glue will give you the best results. Detail can also be bulked out using aluminum foil to save clay.
Large details are best sculpted with Sculpey that has been warmed up in your hands, blocking out the shapes quickly with a softer material. I put my custom in the fridge and have a cup of tea before finishing the shapes with a harder feel to the Sculpey. Blending and smoothing with a jersey cotton soaked in isopropyl alcohol will produce a super smooth look. I sometimes add coloured Sculpeys into my super Sculpey to produce an opaque sculpting clay, the translucency of super Sculpey makes it difficult to see the surface clearly.
After this Iʼll bake my clay and set about the results with various grades of abrasive papers. Starting with sandpaper and ending with wet and dry paper, all super glued onto flat little boards. Without a board behind your paper, blending vinyl into Sculpey seamlessly will be impossible. My mates are used to me sitting sanding for hours listening to music, this isnʼt a quick job. Any little holes, joints, cracks or scratches can be filled with humbrol model filler thinned down with liquid polystyrene cement. This is a really soft filler and should be blobbed on then smoothed back easily with a fine wet and dry paper.
Two part epoxy sculpting clays are my next choice. I use magic Sculp, ProCreate and Kneadatite for different detailing jobs. I use Magic Sculp for nearly everything, making sure I have a cup of tea after mixing it up – It is too sticky to sculpt with beforehand. I use stainless steel tools and silicone rubber tools to shape my clay, making sure to dip them in water as I sculpt, so they do not drag the clayʼs surface. The surface of Magic Sculp can be smoothed with water, your finger and a brush for a smooth finish. I use the other putties for small details as they are very sticky and help to keep the putty in place as I shape it. Again keeping tools wet will get the best results. I will often use a scalpel as I sculpt to take away any surplus material without deforming the rest of the sculpt. When the clay has dried Iʼll do some more sanding… until itʼs super smooth.
3. Painting Filler primer is a special type of primer that grows as it dries, smoothing out your surface further. It is soft and will need more sanding before you can undercoat your figure. Most of my customs get undercoated with a standard white auto primer, some others with my airbrush. I base coat with my airbrush using acrylic paints from many different manufacturers including; Golden, Liquitex, Vallejo, and Games-Workshop. A good airbrush is not the same as a cheap airbrush, I really do mean that buying a cheap one is a bad idea. I brush paint some details by hand but always, always mix paint with flow enhancers or airbrush mediums to get a smooth coverage. By using a well mixed paint in a few coats you will get a rich flat finish. Patience, tea and tools – Good luck! -Stu
While these are tried-and-true customization tips, Kidrobot is not responsible for the outcome of any custom art endeavors. Warning: MUNNYWORLD is for people of all ages, but some techniques, like the ones below, may involve dangerous tools or chemicals. If you are 15 and under, stick to markers and crayons, or team up with a grown up to create your MUNNYWORLD masterpieces.