Here are some tips on learning to make Custom McFarlane Sportspicks!

1.) Pick who you are going to make.

Gather lots of pictures of your selected player. Make sure you choose a time period and get pictures of the custom printed face masks uniforms from whatever time period you choose. For example if we were making Dan Marino we must first decide whether to make his 1980’s or 1990’s uniforms because they are not the same. A good site to use is Google.

2.) Gather parts or buy a base figure.

It’s important that the base figure’s physique matches the targeted custom player in some way. For example on our Dan Marino custom we would probably buy a Bledsoe or a Pennington, not a out-of-position player like McAllister. A great site that I have found to buy figs off is because they are always having clearance sales and they ship UPS- very fast. The worst thing in the world is to get an idea for a custom and now be able to work on it fast enough. Make sure if you order online buy from a fast shipper!

3.) Take the figure apart or use masking tape to cover anything you don’t want painted.

On our Dan Marino custom we probably won’t need to repaint the skintone or anything like that, so we can just mask off his skin so it will remain intact during the painting process. Also cut the facemask and chinstrap off with an exacto knife. Use a little elbow grease to get the helmet off and get ready to paint.

4.) Prime the figure.

You can either buy some spray on primer or use white paint. Prime the helmet and face mask too. Two coats are enough. Now use a good horse hair brush and begin applying the paint to the figure. Most of the paint supplies you will need can be found at for a very reasonable price. Apply a couple of coats and let them dry before in between each other. If you are a good painter you can go ahead and drybrush/wash details into the paintjob. For our Dan Marino the basic white helmet, teal shirt, white pants and socks are enough. Now use a fine brush to do the striping. You may want to mask off the lines if you don’t have a good hand.

5.) Starting to get there. Now is the hardest part. Decals.

If you want to use decals you must buy some waterslide decals online. Michaels craft store does not carry anything decal related last time I checked. Decals can be bought online at. Use Google or whatever you would like to find pictures to make the decals from. Use Photoshop to resize the decals to size and print the sheet. Spray the sheet with sealer. If you don’t like decals you can always make good looking customs freehanding the numbers and logos. It takes patience but the artistic value is worth it. Apply the numbers/logos and let them dry. We now have a Dan Marino, eh?

6.) Seal your custom with sealer and make a insert on Photoshop if you wish.

Congrats, you have now customized your first figure.

You can now sell this custom on many of the popular forums such as Spawn.com’s forums or eBay if you’d like. Customs can go for anywhere from a couple of dollars to over $100 per figure. So it’s important to do a good job if you plan on selling it. People who purchase these figures hope to get a one of a kind piece of artwork and it is your duty as a customizer to deliver just that.

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