Sanjeev Custom Garamon/Garadama Piggy Bank (Glow)
Review by Sanjeev
Some time ago, I picked up this unpainted Marmit Vinyl Paradise glowie of one of Ultraman's classic nemeses, Garamon, along with his pet meteor(!), Garadama. It's actually a glow-in-the-dark piggy bank: there's a removeable plastic cap on the bottom and, of course, he's hollow. Anyway, it was a steal for the price from Kaiju-Taro...and besides, I just fell in love with that fun, goofy sculpt!
Among my other glowies at night, it's like a lighthouse! Still, not terribly interesting on a visual level, under either normal light or while glowing...
So, I had a couple options: either ship it off to a custom painter like my buddy, John Groff of KaijuZoo, or unleash my own imagination (and recently-purchased glow spraypaint!). I went with the latter--I figured this would be a great opportunity to muck around with the various colors of glow spraypaint I'd picked up from ReadySetGlo.
Right now, I have purple, red, orange, pink, and yellow to work with, though green, aqua, and some clear versions that glow in different colors are also currently available (and more products are added to their offerings all the time). With these, I came up with a simple, effective color scheme. First, I've always liked the red Garamon look as opposed to the more traditional(?) green. Besides...I already have a green glowie Garamon: the Popy/B-Club Bullmark reissue!
So, I decided to do a light purple over-spray up from the bottom just on the Garadama meteor, and then a thicker red over-spray from the top over Garamon, himself. This would leave quite a bit of glow vinyl still exposed and just leave the hint of color. When this was done, I would do a quick spray of pink on his lips, orange on his belly, and I would hand-paint his eyes with gloss black acrylic paint. I decided to leave the rest of the face, hands, and tail completely exposed.
After quite a bit of time-consuming masking with Parafilm-M, various stages of spraying, and final sealing using Minwax's "Polycrylic" varnish, the project was complete. It took the better part of this past weekend...and I'm pretty excited with the results!!
And here's how he looks alongside his Bullmark-esque counterpart:
The cool thing is that the glow spraypaint takes a little longer to charge than the bare glow vinyl, but it glows for much longer. This creates different interesting color effects based on different kinds of exposure. Real fun stuff for the glow nut in all of us!
I'll certainly be doing more of these customs and I look forward to sharing them with you. If you're interested in doing your own custom glowies such as this one, there are two important things to keep in mind when working with glow spraypaint from ReadySetGlo (Lebel Enterprises, Inc. products):
1) The spraypaint is actually a very fine glow powder suspended within a traditional acrylic paint matrix. The presence of the powder leads to a LOT of spray nozzle clogging, especially if you start and stop a lot. It definitely helps to have lots of spare nozzles. I recommend completely clearing out the nozzle after each coat by inverting the can and spraying for several seconds. I then simply remove the tip/nozzle and toss it in a container of paint thinner to await the next use.
2) Once your coat dries, you'll notice that there's a fine, sandy texture on the surface of your subject. That's the glow powder. Be very gentle with it as it will rub off under heavy wear. This basically means that you HAVE to seal your work. Any spray varnish will do and it'll work like a charm...just be dilligent about it!
Glow forth and prosper, my children!