Customization and Restoration FAQ
Yes, it's true. I get a lot of e-mail with customizing
Some customizers are offended and they don't want to waste their time
answering e-mails from "rookie customizers".
I'm actually honored that you would ask me your
However, I'm really busy...I do have another job...the ponies are a hobby for
So, please look here before sending me an e-mail.
Also, I'd appreciate a link if you found this FAQ useful!
(right-click and "save picture as" onto your servers,
then link to one of your pages)
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for personal or pony injuries.
If you choose to use these techniques, you do so at your own risk.
Pony Designing & General Questions
do you make a design sketch, like the ones in the midsummer competition?
Personally, I use Adobe Photoshop CS, my battered old laptop, and a Wacom
graphics tablet. Photoshop CS is $650 for a license. However,
any paint program would work...there are free programs available
on-line. A design sketch is useful to evaluate color
combinations. It's far too complicated for me to explain here how to
use Photoshop...there are thick books and entire classes devoted to
it! I'm sure you can find a website that will show you how to do
digital graphics. Keep in mind that pen & paper works just
Are you a designer for Hasbro? How
can I submit my designs?
Although that sounds like a fun job, no, I'm not a designer for Hasbro. ^_^
Rumor has it that Hasbro isn't a fan of Custom Ponies, so I don't
recommend sending your designs to them. However, if you are so
inclined, you can search for their address on the Official
My Little Pony website
Is it legal to make custom ponies?
Will I get sued for copyright infringement?
Well...this is a complicated question. I made a new page just to
Ponies and the Law.
I saw this design that I liked & I want a pony just like it!
Can I make one?
Unless you're the original designer, this is not advisable. Custom
ponies, like any other form of art, are protected under copyright
laws. If you're bored, you can read about art
and the law here.
Also, there's a huge negative sentiment in the pony community about
customizers who "steal" or "copy" original designs.
This is NOT something you'd like if you are worried about establishing (or
maintaining) your reputation!
Oh no! I made a custom pony and,
by coincidence, it looks like a pony designed by someone else. What
should I do?
This does happen from time to time. Ask yourself how similar the
design is. Is it something you can live with? If it's too close
for your tastes, you might need to change it a bit. If you are
uncertain, you can also ask others what they think.
Keep in mind that some general themes have been re-hashed many
times. Like Rainbow, Celtic, Princess, Floral, Gothic, Butterfly,
Snow, Season ponies, Merponies. People are usually more tolerant of
similarity here, because they are just so common.
I can't seem to think of any new pony
designs. Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas come from all over the place. You just have to keep your eyes
open! Almost anything could work for a custom design. A
pattern off your dinnerware, a landscape from your vacation, even the
color scheme of your house could inspire you to make a pony. I keep
a sketchbook and doodle my ideas there. Not all of them are feasible,
nor do I want to make them all, but I could always use bits and pieces of
What tips do you have for someone just
Besides all of the tips on my website? ^_~ Start small. See
the question below on the "easiest ponies to customize".
It's easy for people to become frustrated with base painting &
re-rooting. These are probably the hardest things to do well.
They are also among the most tedious.
Are you hiring?
First off, customizing doesn't pay well at all. Given the number of
hours it takes to make a custom, I'm probably not even hitting minimum
wage. ^_~ I handle all of the stuff on the customizing and the
web design...it's my hobby. So, the answer is "no".
Can I be your apprentice?
LOL! Do I look like Donald Trump? Although I'm greatly
honored, I'm not currently looking for an apprentice. ^_^
Can I make a lot of money making custom ponies?
Okay, this is an easy question: unfortunately no. Customizing is
unbelievably time consuming and high-quality materials are
expensive. Right now, most custom pony buyers are poor twenty-somethings who collected ponies in their youth. There might be
a real market for them in the future.
I am looking for a certain pony.
Can you sell me this pony? Can you tell me where to get this pony?
Lately, I have been getting a lot of e-mails like this. And it's
usually for rare or hard-to-find 3rd generation ponies that are no longer
available in the stores. If I'm looking for a pony, I would search
on eBay or post a "wanted" ad on www.mlptp.net
The only ponies I have for sale are listed on my Extra
Can I use your custom pony's symbol for
a tattoo design?
I usually say yes to these requests, if I'm the one who made the
design. Please send me an e-mail if
you're interested. ^_^
Can I interview you for a school
Sure, if I have time, I'd be happy to help you out. Make sure
you e-mail me at least a few weeks before your project is due.
Can I interview you for a news/magazine
Of course! I love spreading the word about ponies and/or
customizing in general, as strange as it sounds to non-pony people.
^_^ Please drop me an e-mail.
a bait pony?
"Custom bait" describes a pony that is not worthy of being in a
collection. These ponies usually have haircuts, bite marks, pen
marks, missing parts, etc.
Where can I get a bait pony?
You can find baits from other collectors. These toys are 20+ years
old, so it's not hard to find one with considerable playwear. A bait
pony is usually worth less than $2.
Another option would be to buy a 3rd generation pony from the store and
customize that. They are widely available and you can find them on
sale for $5 or less. 3rd generation ponies are nice to customize
because they don't require excessive cleaning and preparation (except for
the ones with "glue excess"...see the questions below).
How come no one's selling custom bait
I don't know. Maybe people want to make them into customs
themselves? Or perhaps it's not worth the effort to package &
ship a $1-$2 pony? You might need to buy bait ponies in lots and
re-sell the ones you don't need. Check on eBay, mlptp.net, and
How can I tell if my pony is
"rare" because I don't want to customize a rare pony?
You can identify the pony with information from www.dreamvalley-mlp.com,
or www.ponytopia.com. Then,
go to eBay's COMPLETED auctions or www.mlparena.com
and check the pony's price. Most people probably won't object if you
customize a pony worth less than $10.
Where can I get ponies to practice on?
You can practice on "fakies", which are fake non-Hasbro ponies. These are
available in toy stores, thrift shops, garage sales, car boots, flea
markets, etc. If you can't afford ponies, you can practice painting
on plastic containers. =)
What ponies are the "easiest"
In general, the smaller customs are easier to customize. They are
easier to paint without getting streaks and re-rooting goes faster.
I recommend a 1st gen baby pony (like Baby Blossom, Baby Firefly) to beginners. ^_^
They are the easiest to prep and easiest to complete. So few plugs
to re-root! That's really a good thing!
A lot of people prefer the 3rd generation ponies, because they are so easy
to find and generally clean. However, it can be quite a pain to
remove the head & the hair, because Hasbro uses a LOT of glue.
See the question below about the 3rd gen manes.
I can't get the mane out of my new (3rd
generation) pony. What should I do?
Yes, some of the newer 3rd generation ponies have manes that are
REALLY glued in tightly. In this case, snip the mane close to the
scalp. Then, boil the pony's head for a few minutes. (kids, get your
parents to help with this) Remove the head & tug at the mane
with needle-nosed pliers. You might need to add more hot water into
the inside of the pony's head to soften the glue again. It's still
tedious. Also note, boiling seems to make ponies less shiny...so you
might want to boil the body to match. One customizer suggested using
a heat pack if you don't want to deal with the hazards of dunking a pony
into boiling water.
It looks like the mane is melted on my new (3rd
generation) pony. What should I do?
Hmmm...is the mane really melted or is this another case of
"too much glue"? Clear flaky areas are glue
over-run. This is fairly common with the 3rd generation ponies.
If you haven't started customizing yet, I'd take it back to the store
& exchange for another one.
Otherwise, you can try soaking the area in 100% acetone (with standard
precautions, of course). Acetone can dull a pony's sparkly
finish. It can also remove eyes/symbols. If you are
re-painting the entire pony, this will not matter.
Is it "okay" to customize a perfectly mint
3rd gen pony?
Most customizers (myself included) think it's okay since 3rd
generation ponies are widely available and really not worth a lot right
now. For $5 or even less when they're on sale, that will barely buy
you a drink at Starbucks! However, you want to check the value of
your 3rd gen pony before you rip it apart, since some of them have become
Should I remove the old symbol before
painting the pony?
I highly recommend removing the old symbol for a few reasons: it may show
up as a raised outline on your painted surface, some colors may show up if
you're painting the pony a lighter color, the colors may bleed into your
new paint job.
How do I get a symbol off a pony?
Most people use nail polish remover and cotton balls. Some people
swear by "Goof-Off", a product designed to remove accidental
marks. I have NEVER used this stuff. I usually just use
acetone, the main ingredient in nail polish remover. More info about
Goof-Off here at www.goof-off.com
Okay, I got my symbol off, but there's
still some residue there! How can I get that off?
If you're re-painting your pony, don't worry about it.
I found that red and pink inks in symbols have a tendency to bleed into
the pony's plastic.
**keep this in mind when designing your custom!!**
If you want to use the "natural" base color, I suggest leaving
the pony in sunlight for a while. It may take several weeks.
This will fade the base color slightly, so rotate your pony every few days
to keep the base color even. Sunlight will bleach out certain pen marks (especially pink
highlighter). Cover the pony's hair with aluminum foil to prevent
**special note about white 3rd gen ponies: sunlight seems to turn them
yellow, so this is not recommended. You'll have to find a pony that
has a symbol that can be cleanly removed. So far, I've had success
with the first releases of Starswirl & Blossomforth**
Do NOT use sandpaper or other abrasives/bleaches...these will damage the
finish on your pony or end up bleaching your new symbol that you paint
on. Bleaches get embedded in the plastic and over time, your new
symbol will magically fade away. Don't say that you weren't warned! ;)
I want to make a Gen 3 pegasus
pony. How do I remove the sparkling glitter on her wings?
The glitter looks a lot like the ones on the foreheads/symbols of some
other G3 ponies. It is probably tough to remove. Hasbro picked
some durable glue here! I suggest soaking the area with a cotton
ball or cotton pad dipped in 100% acetone, then scrubbing. This will
likely dull the finish a little, so don't leave it on there too
long! Kids - please ask your parents to help. Acetone is
How do I remove the jewels/gemstones on
G3 birthstone ponies?
Ummmm...without destroying the pony? I'm not sure if this is
possible. Here's a mildly disturbing cross-sectional
picture of a gemstone pony. You can see it is VERY firmly
anchored in place, likely to prevent small children from removing the
gemstone and choking on it. It's even glued in all directions...talk
about overkill. It might be possible to carve it out using an x-acto
knife (kids - ask your parents to help out).
My old-style white pony
isn't white anymore. How can I whiten a pony?
Sadly, there isn't a good way to whiten a formerly white pony, except for
a full body re-paint. You could try bleach or placing the pony in
sunlight, but these methods will NOT make a pony pure white again
& can FADE SYMBOLS/EYES, etc!! Don't say you weren't
warned! I do NOT recommend bleach on ANY pony that will be
I have a playset that has turned yellow
over the years. Is there a way to make it white again?
Again, this is likely from the plastic or glue that Hasbro used.
Generally, I'd say no. However, you could try experimenting with
Oxy-clean. Mix it into a paste with a few drops of water and smear
onto a small test patch. Leave it for a few days & see if it
brightened the area. This may bleach underlying areas, so test an
inconspicuous spot first! And don't forget to e-mail me the results!
Waaaaahhh!! Why can't I whiten my pony?!
Take the head off & take a look inside. You'll notice the
yellow, tan, or ivory color goes all the way through. It's due to
plastic aging over the last 20 years or so. Even MIP ponies may turn
brown with time. There are some white ponies that don't change
color...the variations probably depend on the batch of plastic used at the
Can I bleach a colored pony until she
becomes completely white?
No. A colored pony may fade if you soak her in bleach, but it will
never be completely white. Most don't even come close. See the
questions above...I do NOT recommend bleaching for any pony that will be
customized. You risk fading the symbols/paint/dye job over time
(we're talking weeks to months). A "magically disappearing"
NOT your goal. It's a really, really horrible thing that you want to
prevent at all costs. >_<
You mentioned that the pony should be
washed before customizing. What should I use to wash my bait pony?
All of my bait ponies get a bath before customizing starts. The
heads/tails/hair are removed first. Usually, a gentle,
non-moisturizing shampoo and a toothbrush will work fine. I use soft
scrub without bleach for dirtier ponies. All ponies should dry
completely (inside & out) before you start painting. I shake out
the excess water, then leave them upside down on a towel for a few
days. A clean, dry surface makes it easier for the paint to
stick. For more information, please look at the cleaning
I paint or dye my ponies?
I recommend painting. All of my customs that need a color change are
re-painted. It's tempting to dye a pony, since the results are
usually more "natural looking" and it's faster than painting
I don't dye pony bodies for the following reasons:
1. Dyed ponies tend to fade with time, usually unevenly. Some people
swear that they have ponies that don't fade, but they probably keep them
in the dark and they haven't waited long enough! I dyed Beanie
Babies years ago and almost all of them have faded with time. Yes, I
did use vinegar to set the dyes too! Believe me when I say dyeing is
2. They can stain other ponies they come into contact with
3. It is difficult to dye them evenly to begin with. Heads may dye
darker/lighter than the bodies.
4. Ponies must be 100% clean. Even the tiniest trace of
glue/dirt/grease will resist the dye. It's sometimes tough to get
all the glue off the 3rd generation ponies.
I'd rather dye my pony. Is there a
way to do this without dyeing the eyes & symbols too?
Although I haven't done this before, another customizer told me she used
wax to cover the eyes & symbols before dyeing. It worked well
& those areas "resisted" the dye. This is adapted from
a technique used for batik dyeing fabrics.
What kind of paint do you recommend?
Most customizers use acrylic paints. They're readily available at
any craft or art supply store. Acrylics vary in quality and
price. 50 cents a bottle up to $200 a bottle! I find the more
expensive (artist-grade) stuff gives better results in terms of color
brilliance and durability, but you should use whatever fits into your
budget. I don't have a specific brand that I recommend...try a few
and use the one you like the most ^_^
I want to know, what brand of paint do
YOU specifically use?
Please read the answer above.
Where can I buy paint and other
Try your local art store. If you are in North America, check out
Michael's, Joann's, and Wal*Mart. There are millions of places
on-line to buy art supplies too. ^_^
Okay, can I use spray paint or nail
So...you really want your custom to start deteriorating after one
week?! These paints are not designed to be permanent. Also, if
you sell customs, good luck explaining to your customers why the paint is
peeling all over the place. Avoid spray paint & nail polish at
What about spray paint that was
specifically designed for vinyl products and plastic, like Krylon Fusion?
I haven't experimented with this yet. These products are
available in limited colors. Make sure you get the "satin"
versus the "glossy", if you're testing them out. And drop
me an e-mail. ^_~ The reviews for other plastic products
look good so far. Hmmm...perhaps I should buy some and test it out?
Ugh!! My painted pony has
streaks! What can I do to eliminate the streaks?
Check here (birth
of a custom pony) for painting tips. Be patient.
Practice. Use a soft brush (I use sable hair brushes
exclusively). Use gentle brushstrokes. Many thin coats are better than a few thick
ones. Also, the coats have to dry before you put the next layer
on. Be sure to thin your paint out properly before painting.
Some brands of paint produce more streaks than others. You might
want to give other brands a try if changing your technique doesn't help.
Some people say using a hair dryer to dry the paint between coats
helps. I've heard of people using fine grit sandpaper to sand out
the streaks after painting. Sounds kind of dangerous to me ^_~
What other advice do you have about painting?
Wait 24 hours after your last coat before handling the pony further.
The top coat will dry quickly, but the under coats may not be 100%
dry. You don't want to smudge that beautiful paint job you just gave
your pony! I usually wait 24 hours after symbol painting as
well. Patience, grasshopper!
Also, take care of your brushes. Do
not allow paint to dry on them. I wash out my brushes all the time
in a container of water & I clean them thoroughly with soap after I'm
Why is my paint job scratching?
It's likely that the paint was not completely dry before you added the new
layers. This is more likely if you live in a cold or humid
environment. Wait 24 hours before adding the next coat of
paint. If the pony's paint is still scratching after it is dry, try
different brands of paint or consider adding a clear coat of matte
Why is my nicely finished paint job cracking?
There are a lot of factors that can cause this: the brand of paint you are
using, the age of the paint, using too much water when thinning out the
paint, not cleaning the pony thoroughly before painting, etc. Make
sure your pony is well cleaned & dried before starting to paint, so
the paint has a nice surface to adhere to. Also, if you use a lot of
hand lotion, this can hinder paint adherence too.
Be sure to use fresh paint. You can experiment with different brands
& mediums too...some brands and even certain colors are more likely to
be brittle than others!
What can I do with a pony that has a
damaged paint job?
Well, I hope you saved some of the base colored paint. You can patch
small areas with paint of the same color. If you didn't save any
paint, keep in mind that acrylics tend to dry darker. Test a small
sample in the neck seam and wait until it dries. Adjust as needed to
match the color of the pony.
What should I use to seal my pony?
I don't think it's necessary if your pony is for display purposes
only. If you do want to seal your ponies, I recommend a matte sealer
versus a glossy one. I don't seal my ponies, so I can't recommend a
Can I paint a pony without removing the
Yes, it's possible. I use tape to cover up the hair and paint
carefully around the mane with a fine tipped paintbrush.
Why is my custom pony sticky?
Certain brands of paint are stickier than others. It might also be
an interaction between the paint and the pony's plastic, or even the type
of moisturizer you have on your hands! You might try a
matte sealant. Also, keeping the windows closed helps to cut down on
dust particles stuck to your pony.
Can you paint a darker colored pony
Yes, this is possible, but difficult to do. You will need many coats
of white paint to obscure the underlying color. Other light colors
like sky blue or yellow are also difficult to achieve.
I remove the old symbol before painting the pony?
I highly recommend removing the old symbol for a few reasons: it may show
up as a raised outline on your painted surface, some colors may show up if
you're painting the pony a lighter color, the colors may bleed into your
new paint job.
do you use for painting symbols?
The same stuff for base painting - acrylics! I usually thin out the
paint a little more.
Any tips for painting symbols?
Practice & clean your brushes often. See the question below.
How do you get those tiny details?
Lots of practice & high quality brushes. Unfortunately, there's
no way to make fine details with a cheap brush. I use tiny brushes
made for watercolors. Acrylics tend to damage these delicate
natural-hair brushes, but I can make them last longer with very careful
cleaning. Always clean your brushes immediately after use.
Never let the paint dry on your brushes.
How do you make those realistic
Hasbro-like glittery symbols?!
Ahhh...I've tried many different techniques & happened to ruin a good
number of ponies in the process. This technique definitely needs
some refining...it doesn't seem to work 100% of the time =( I'm
going to refrain from posting it at the moment, simply because it would
take too long to explain how to fix things if something goes wrong!
can I buy glitter from, to make the symbols? What's the "best
glitter"? What brand do you recommend?
I suggest using the finest glitter that you can find. Pure glitter
is better than the stuff mixed in paint or glue. Sometimes, you can
find it at scrapbooking supply places or custom supply places on-line.
I don't endorse a specific brand...the stuff I have is from all over the
One visitor has suggested Folk Art gems paint which has glitter mixed in
it. Although I haven't tried this, it sounds very easy to use with
I want to make a Replica Rosey Posey
(rare 3rd generation pony). How can I make a decal for her symbol?
I've never made a pony with a custom printed decal, so I can't give you
specifics. However, if you search on-line, there are custom-decal
kits that work with your printer. To attach your water-slide decal,
take a look at my Decal
Tutorial for store-bought decals.
I want a water-slide decal of a
______________. Where can I find one?
Most of the decals I've seen are of flowers and things like that.
You can try looking at craft stores like Michael's, Wal*Mart's craft
department, or scrapbooking stores. If you have something really
specific, you can try printing your own. Please seen the question
How can I make a pony with gradient
colorpoints, like your reindeers?
One of the best ways to do this is by "dry brushing". Take
a dry bristle brush & dip the tips in thinned acrylic paint. Dab
the paint on the hoof and lightly brush the paint on. Use a slightly
moistened cotton swab to blend the color in. To achieve a smoother
gradient, use many thin layers.
Some of the nicest gradients are actually dip dyed. Although this
looks nice when the pony is "freshly made", the color may fade
in time. Click here to see the gradient
What about using embossing powder to
Now this is an interesting idea. A new customizer e-mailed me about
this technique. I experimented with this stuff a few years ago
(actually trying to MELT it directly onto the pony), but
never got good results. Embossing powder is extremely fine &
available in many colors & finishes. It's worth trying if you
have access to the supplies.
here to get to the hair FAQ
| Twinkle eye removal
|Why would I want to
remove twinkle eyes (TEs)?
Well, you can use the TEs in another custom, like a Baby Mimic for
example. Or perhaps your TEs are badly damaged/dented and you'd
rather have a non-twinkle eyed pony. Or maybe you just think they
look like zombies with those TEs =P
How do I remove twinkle eyes?
TEs can be difficult to remove. You'll need a sturdy pair of
needle-nose pliers and an exacto knife. First, remove the pony's
head. Then, cut around the eyes (from the inside) carefully with the
exacto knife. You won't be able to reach around the whole thing,
just the bottom part. Then, pry away with the needle nose
pliers. I can't stress this enough, but BE CAREFUL!! The last
thing you want to do is to poke the exacto blade through the pony's head
and into your palm.
A pic of second series and first series TEs. The top pair (second
series) in blue-green was removed from Quackers. The bottom pair
(first series) in aqua blue was removed from a Gingerbread, if I remember
correctly. The second set of TE ponies included Locket, Bright Eyes,
Quackers, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Mimic. The remaining TEs are all from the
Second set TEs are harder to find than the first set...don't even think
about customizing a Mimic. I've also seen Bright Eyes sell for quite
Second series TEs are more securely fastened...just look at that huge
base that's stuck inside the head. Consequently, they are more
difficult to remove. First series TEs are the same on both sides.
Just as a side note: if you're looking for a TE match for
the ever popular Mimic,
Quackers seems to be the closest without using the real thing. Since
Mimic usually sells for over $50, I strongly advise against using her for
parts...if you do this, other collectors may want to remove YOUR eyes =D
How do I insert the twinkle eyes?
This is an extremely difficult technique. I paint a ring of glue
around the eye, then I grasp the back with a pair of needle nose
pliers. You might need to try a dozen times before it's in the right
place. Use an x-acto knife to scrape the excess glue off after it's
What can I use if I can't get a hold of
real twinkle eyes?
It's not a perfect match, but I've seen other customizers use flat-backed plastic gemstones.
The backing looks like foil. Check
your local craft store in the jewelry making supplies area. Also,
people use things like that to decorate jeans, so they are currently easy
to find. It looks better if you glue them over the
existing eye, instead of cutting a hole for them.
What about removing rusty beddy bye eyes?
I've done this before, pushing from the inside with a pair of
pliers. However, it is highly likely that you will ruin the
mechanism. You can try boiling the head in water to soften the
plastic first. Kids - be sure to ask your parents for help.
here to get to the sculpting FAQ
Parts / Packaging / Photography
Where can I get patterns for pony
As far as I know, there are no websites with pony clothing patterns.
So, for now, you will have to draft your own patterns. You could
take apart an existing ponywear item and trace it onto a piece of
paper. For my ponies with custom outfits, I usually
"eyeball" the pattern and start sewing. If it's a little
off, I'll try to correct it later. ^_^
How do you make the flutter wings/clear
This isn't an easy thing to do...most of them do not turn out
perfectly. My technique is very complicated & it still needs a
lot of refinement! Sooo...you'll have to develop your own technique
for now. ^_^
What about the other wings, like the
glittery ones on your custom Lady Night?
If it's not listed on her page, I probably don't remember by now,
LOL! Lady Night's wings were originally transparent & then given
a generous coat of glitter.
What kind of glue do you use to attach
the extra parts?
All sorts of stuff! Usually what I have on hand...tacky glue is good
for almost anything. This kind of glue is flexible and it won't harm
the reflective backing on rhinestones either.
Feathered wings are usually NOT glued onto the pony's body, but I like to
build them on a wire base & have them wired in. Same goes for
horns, etc. Takes a very long time to do, but they are VERY securely
I've heard people using special glues designed especially for plastics,
but I have yet to try them.
What about reattaching the head?
Can I use super glue?
I've used super glue in the past, but now I'm worried that it might
disrupt the composition of the plastic. Sometimes, it causes color
changes. Also, super glue isn't too user friendly - it gets all over
the place and it's hard to remove. I suggest a thin layer of tacky
glue. Apply it to both the body & neck, then twist the pony's
head back in place. Before it dries, use a cotton swab or cloth to
remove the excess glue.
How do you make custom G3 boxes?
They look so real! Will you make me a custom box?
I edit a scan of the box using Adobe Photoshop. Then, I print it out
on regular paper, cut it out, and glue it to the front of the boxes.
It looks pretty good, but you can tell that it's not identical to the
original. You might be able to print it on photo paper & use a
higher quality scan for better results.
I've only edited one back panel & it took forever. So, I'm not
offering custom box making services.
For my own customs, I offer a custom printed Front Panel only...this isn't
too difficult to make.
How do I take a picture of glowing symbols and glow-in-the-dark hair?
For the glowing pictures, I use the "night scene" feature on my digital camera and the auto timer (mine has a 10 second delay). The "night scene" feature has a really slow shutter speed. My other
settings: no flash and macro mode for close-ups. Focus the camera, expose the pony to really bright light, then quickly shut off the lights.
Don't delay here...glowing paint doesn't glow strongly for long! Click the auto timer & step back. Don't touch the camera or the
display until the picture is completely captured, otherwise you'll get a blurry picture.
Why can't I make a so-soft pony?!
The so-softs have some real fans out there. Unfortunately, there
isn't a good way to make a so-soft that resembles the original.
What can I use to patch a so-soft?
What about the custom baby so-softs I see on eBay?
I believe they're using a product called "Fun Flock". It's
basically short fibers in a jar. I've seen Fun Flock at some craft
stores, but mostly at embossing/rubber stamping supply stores.
Fun flock will NOT result in a perfect so-soft pony because the fibers are
randomly aligned. Notice how an authentic Hasbro so-soft has the
fibers all aligned perpendicular to the pony's body.
I'm flocking a pony for the first
time. Can you give me some tips?
I've only flocked a few items: the antlers for the reindeer
ponies, the catkins on Baby Willow, and the box/stand for the gargoyle
Watcher. Paint the base of whatever you're flocking first with a
matching color. Remember, the base color will show through the
flocking material. Most of the time, you're going to require more than 1
layer of glue & flocking. It helps to dilute the glue a little
bit. It also helps a lot if you have a flocking applicator like this one (http://www.craftflocking.com/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=90&=SID)
I use a cardboard box to contain the fibers. I also have a respirator that
I wear. Safety first! Do NOT breathe in the flocking!!
Most importantly: be patient & wait until it dries before touching it
or applying another layer.
Where do you buy acetone for de-flocking?
100% acetone is what I recommend. But this will also take
eyes/symbols straight off and turn hair into a crispy mess! Also, it
is VERY toxic...this stuff is a powerful solvent, which means it MELTS
stuff. INCLUDING LUNGS/SKIN/BRAIN. When using acetone, please go to
an outside location and use a respirator.
Acetone can be found very cheaply at hardware stores or Wal*Mart.
How do I de-flock?
I usually de-flock for customs, so I dip the whole pony in a bowl of
acetone. I don't care about removing eyes/symbols, because they will
be re-painted. Scrub with an old toothbrush to remove the
flocking. Use cotton swabs & cotton pads for a final
swipe. Make sure you work in a WELL VENTILATED area.
Acetone is a powerful solvent & toxic if inhaled in large quantities.
for detailed de-flocking instructions.
How can I de-flock without damaging the
Very carefully! Use acetone on a cotton pad & slowly work on a
small section at a time. Use cotton swabs dipped in acetone and go
around the symbols & eyes carefully. Light pressure over the
symbol can help to dislodge the flocking. Usually, you will end up
removing some of the symbol & it will need a touch-up.
Can I use hot water for deflocking?
Hot water only works on some SS ponies, mostly the older ones, and it isn't very effective.
At best, you can get a few patches off. You'll still have a fine layer of frizz stuck to the
pony and a sticky layer of glue. Yuck!
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