Funkins FeedBack !

Post Questions or Tips on Carving FOAM Pumpkins
jspahn
Apprentice Carver
Apprentice Carver
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:52 pm
Gender: Female

Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:17 pm

I know I am a bit late to the party, but finally wanted to post my feedback.
I have now carved (or am in process of) 4 of the Michaels Funkins from this year.
My overall assessment - i hate it. I would stop carving now if it werent for the fact that i have 4 more orders from family/neighbors that I need to do.

1. The foam (on most of them) is so freaking soft. I dont have an overly steady hand, and its so easy to make a mistake on these. Yes I outline everything, but even that doesnt seem to help a whole lot.

2. the paint sucks. the paint comes up so easily. The worst was with the sticker paper, so I stopped using that. I posted about that problem in other threads - i didnt see the hair dryer trick till it was too late. Home depot wasnt able to do a good match, so i totally cheated and since it was a seattle seahawks pumpkin, i painted the logo in seahawks colors (acrylic paint) which saved that one. But even with the school glue, it still seems to lift up in spots.
ALSO - have seen no mention of this, but if i soak it carved side down in water that maybe only covers the first third of the pumpkin - the paint turns a weird mottled orange and white color. This has now happened on 2 of them. One, I waited a week and decided i would put the whole thing in water to see if i could get the rest of the kin to change color, and strangely enough, after a rinse in hot water, if i took a rag immediately to it and "polished" it, it went back to normal. have not attempted with the second one yet.

3. Gorobman's hard substance that was mentioned earlier in this thread, and it kind of got dropped and not discussed. Well i had that very issue with the pumpkin I am currently carving. It is not on the seam. What a b*tch it is to carve thru it - and of course the pumpkin i am working on now has lettering, which i hate anyway, but its even worse with this weird hard layer of stuff. Which makes it even easier for your hand to go off course - and goes back to my point #1 above about most of the foam being so soft its easy to mess up!

4. the glow/shading depth which has been discussed ad nauseum in the thread already ... yeah, you got to shade crazy deep on these.

I actually went back to 2 of the michaels pumpkins i had left over from last year (with the dreaded black lines) to carve two paid orders because i had more confidence in my ability to make those come out right. Sadly, i dont have any orange ones left, only a few white. So I am forced to use this years stuff for everyone else.

I have not tried funkins from anywhere else, only michaels, so perhaps i need to cave in and try. .

anyway, there's my 2 cents...

-Jen
0 x
St0ney
The Boss with the Hot Sauce
The Boss with the Hot Sauce
Posts: 6870
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
Contact:

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:15 pm

Jen too tired to reply in depth.

But if you try other funkins, make sure you order them on the Link I posted.
This one:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3923

ALL retail funkins have Issue with glow (this year),
If you order from the deal, those will glow well.
0 x
I got one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel !
The Pumpkin Carving Group - Facebook Group
jspahn
Apprentice Carver
Apprentice Carver
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:52 pm
Gender: Female

Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:27 pm

St0ney wrote:Jen too tired to reply in depth.

But if you try other funkins, make sure you order them on the Link I posted.
This one:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3923

ALL retail funkins have Issue with glow (this year),
If you order from the deal, those will glow well.

no worries on the reply, just wanted to throw my feedback in.

The glow for me is the least of my problems - but yes I think i will try ordering the stoneykins special offer that you worked so hard to procure, and hopefully will have better luck!
0 x
Cyberdman
Elite Carver
Elite Carver
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Contact:

Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:20 pm

Okay, I'm chiming in for the first time and for my own self am trying to sum everything up that I have read (and I've read it all) to try and figure out how to handle everything this season.

I haven't carved anything yet this carving season, I carved something earlier in the year, but that was on old stock I already had. I've not had time, with people and sicknesses and working too much overtime and friends dying *sigh* that it's been hard to find some time.

So first off, I did end up getting one of these test freebies in the mail after all. If I read right and from the shape it is a number "88". By itself the shape and everything it just looks like a really freaking nice pumpkin. I hope it carves as nice. I understand these ones glow really well for shaded carves.

Secondly, while I was on vacation earlier this summer and didn't know that I'd be getting one of these in the mail I bought a big pumpkin from Hobby Lobby. It has this years sticker on it, with the website addresses and St0ney's carving picture on it. From what I read this one won't shade for anything and so that is kind of false advertising. I bought it out of state a few months ago, so I'm stuck with it. I guess I have to figure out some project for it or something.

Third, I read that This years Michael's ones are also now unbranded Funkins shown with a black dot on the bottom. I have witnessed them in the store and although they are exactly the same shape they used to be, they are hard and shiny - that worries me. It sounds like there are carving issues with these, with paint and foam voids. I do not know if they glow or not.

So if I am reading this right I believe that everything in the store this year are pretty much un-glowable, non-shadeable Funkins if they are branded or not. If that is true, that is exceptionally unfortunate, especially with as high hopes as I had for things getting fixed.

I pretty much carved nothing last year, because for the first time I spent my Halloween in Las Vegas. That was awesome, but another story altogether. So, is this another year I should just scrap altogether?

How do these "88" ones carve. Tough? How do they glow? I have a number of new Michaels Gemmy's left in my shed, should I just stick with them for now or buy a few "88" ones from the Funkin deal page? I'm confused. I need the truth from the rest of you professionals.
0 x
.
Cyberdman
brewer
The Quiet Carver
The Quiet Carver
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:46 am
Gender: Male
Location: P.E.I. Canada

Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:21 pm

Cyberdman, you can make the retail pumpkins into a shaded carve, but your going to have to go deep, the Frankenstein ive posted in this thread, I did get the shade to show with a 15 watt bulb, but I had to shade down to 3/16ths-1/8th inch.
the unshaded/uncut will not glow.
going that thin will detract from the strength of the kin, so watch out for a shaded pattern with a lot of cutout.

Stoney, or mods, please delete if this post mucks up this thread.
0 x
User avatar
cspeich
Supreme Carver
Supreme Carver
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:12 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Maryland
Contact:

Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:01 pm

If there are cut out patterns that you like, they will work nicely on the funkins you can buy in the stores. It's just the shading that doesn't work as well.

As for the 88, I think any of the tester pumpkins we have received in the mail should carve the same, so any of the feedback pretaining to those would be relevant. The foam is softer than the ones in the retail store and they glow better.
0 x
Christie
klw129
The Quiet Carver
The Quiet Carver
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:09 pm
Gender: Male

Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:49 pm

I posted pics of a carve of this years Michael's pumpkin in this other post if you want to check it out.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3948

It was carved with a small drill bit. I'm not sure why the other post on this forum needed a 60W bulb. The pics I post are using a 5 or 7 watt bulb. It glows just fine. Compared to last year, a bit thicker. Denser. NO thick lines inside. Foam is less white, more orangish. Some small paint peeling.

But after carving 2 samples pumpkins sent to me last year by Funkins, if they can get the thickness problem fixed, they will be the way to go, no doubt. The soft foam, real look, nice "realistic" glow. I was impressed overall, but didn't carve anything difficult in fear of it's thickness. It is a tough call with what to use this year. All depends on what you are carving.
0 x
Cyberdman
Elite Carver
Elite Carver
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Contact:

Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:07 pm

Thanks everyone. So, I am going to try to carve my "88" this week. I need to know though, what about gluing my pattern. I've always printed them, cut the extra paper off from outside the pattern area and stuck them on with Elmer's washable Gel school glue, the blue stuff. Is that stuff still good on these? I have a ton of it, it would be a shame to not be able to use it - I like it. However, if that peels and ruins the paint then it just isn't worth it.

Advice? Can I still use my Elmer's blue gel school glue for pattern gluing on the Funkin 88s? If so, how long should they soak? I've never really soaked them off before. I always just got them super wet using hot running water the whole time while slowly working the remaining paper off the pumpkin.
0 x
.
Cyberdman
St0ney
The Boss with the Hot Sauce
The Boss with the Hot Sauce
Posts: 6870
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:33 am
Gender: Male
Location: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
Contact:

Sun Oct 12, 2014 3:12 pm

I haven't tried the Gel glue on funkins (Clear or Blue)

Normal white school does not give a good enough bond for me on these funkins.

What Has worked for me is Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
I Cut it 1/2 Water 1/2 Glue Stuff is thick..

Will give a Great Bond and Dries Fast.

But Do not pull the pattern up, it will take the paint with it...
Just soak in warm water for an hour, and No Problem.

The Hour Might be overkill ? But I left mine in for an hour had no Issue, so stuck with it.
0 x
I got one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel !
The Pumpkin Carving Group - Facebook Group
Cyberdman
Elite Carver
Elite Carver
Posts: 256
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:09 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan
Contact:

Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:03 pm

Maybe a little late, but here are my $0.02. So I finally got my "88" carvers choice Funkin carved. I carved a Minion, photos to be posted later in carving thread. I think they look very nice.

Positives: Shading was very easy and due to how light the foam is it went faster than I am used to, but I spent extra time on having to shade deeper due to the thickness of the foam. The glow is fantastic, but I am not sure if shading deeper helped me any on that, or if it is just the way it this foam works. The paint does not gum up my bits and really had no effect on my carving tools. I think though the thickness of the foam when I was complete really adds to the carving and makes the pumpkin to appear all that much more real. Not that I'm trying to fool anyone, but with that I think I could.

Negatives: I did come across a couple of very small voids while shading, but due to how deep I was shading this wasn't an issue. That might be an issue though if they were across cutout areas. Due to the thickness of the foam I am not very fond of the cutouts. I am a X-acto cutting purist, many of my blades weren't long enough to cut deep enough to remove the cutouts. I suspect this is just something I'll have to get used to and I may get better with practice and/or different tools. I am a bit worried though on doing super-intense carves with a ton of cutouts and where they may be next to many shaded areas could be an issue for me. I really enjoyed not having to rip a 4" hole in the bottom to fix the interior. The dust, oh the dust - WAY more pumpkin dust from carving these due to the depth I shaded (I removed more pumpkin than I'm used to) and the lightness of the foam.

As far as pattern gluing goes, I stuck with my standard Elmer's washable gel school glue. The pattern glued easily and stuck very well. The only problem I had is when I was shading I would outline my area and peel that paper off - that wasn't an issue - this issue was that the paper that I wanted to remain on the pumpkin, the surrounding paper, while shading wanted to come right off as well. I suspect this may have been a timing thing though because I glued the pattern on and didn't get to shading the pumpkin for 5 days. If I would have done everything the next day maybe it still would have stuck better. On the plus side, when I was all done carving the pumpkin there was almost no paper left that I had to remove and what was left came right off by just pulling it off WITHOUT any water at all and the paint underneath was absolutely undisturbed. I only had to do very minor cleanup with some warm water for about 10 minutes. The paint was fine.

I think if the foam was a bit denser and a less thick this would be a very desirable product. I like what I used, but am at this point not 100% sold on it. Could I get used to it? Possibly, but I don't think I would be doing anymore super-extreme carves, which is sad because those were my favorite things to carve. Maybe next years product will be a bit better. At this point I will just wait to buy any more pumpkins until next year's season. For now, I'll stick with what I still have stocked away in storage.

St0ney, thanks for all your efforts on the Funkin line. We are getting there.
0 x
.
Cyberdman
Post Reply