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May 6, 2015

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REVIEW: Plastik Surgery Resin Casting Handbook by Matt Lunartik Jones

I had the distinct pleasure today of reading the 20-page "Level One" Plastik Surgery handbook compiled by Matt "Lunartik" Jones. This fun, illustrated guide to beginning resin casting is available for just £12.00 ($18) on the Lunartik site here.

I'm sure Matt knew that I am a great person to review this book. I have a bit of technical knowledge and I've been selling resin toys for several years now, so I deal with the artists that cast the resin on a near-daily basis.

However, I have never actually cast any resin figures myself so some of the details are fuzzy to me, or were, till today.

Most of the artists I work with have all of this book's knowledge, plus more, in their heads, so the book might not offer many new insights to such veteran toymakers.

However, ALL resin toymakers have interested friends, kids, cousins, neighbors' kids, or colleagues who probably want to know more about what is involved in resin casting. This right here is a perfect introductory guide to the process and well worth the small amount of money. Makes a great gift for a budding artist!

The entire handbook is illustrated in Matt's clear, colorful and fun style, with handwritten text that makes it feel almost like an old-school zine, albeit a slick and well-crafted one.

I'm not going to photograph and post up every page of the entire handbook as that would defeat the purpose of this post.

However, I will go through a few key points that I liked about it:

Plastik Surgery goes through the entire process of resin toymaking from inception to delivery of the pieces to the customer, and even a bit after delivery. It's incredibly thorough for only having 20 pages. Just the right combination of text and images on each page- keeps kids and ADHD adults interested, fully describes and illustrates all the points Matt is trying to make.

Here you see all the different sections in the book:
  1. Overview
  2. Concept Design
  3. Model Making
  4. Silicone Tool Making
  5. Resin Casting
  6. Painting and Signing
  7. Packing and Selling
  8. Supplies and Notes
All of the concepts are explained carefully, even a little bit about color variants and the psychology of collecting, the importance of presentation, and several other key concepts which were surprisingly high-level, and sort of snuck in there without me noticing that they were fairly expert explanations of abstract concepts in toy making and selling.



I think one of my favorite things about this handbook is how frequently Matt suggests you stop for a nice cuppa tea. He's right- you can't rush this stuff and you might as well slow down and enjoy it.

I highly recommend this book. I learned a bunch, and I am excited that this is the "Level One" handbook because it means Matt is planning on producing a "Level Two" follow-up to cover more advanced concepts in toy production.

If you are an artist and you don't really know how to start creating resin pieces, this is definitely the right book for you. One of the most frequent emails I get goes something like this:

"Hey Benny, I'm an artist just starting out and I have this great idea and I want to turn it into a toy. Can you help me?"

Now I have a link to give to these inquiries! Pick up your own copy of Plastik Surgery here. Really, I can't think of a better vehicle to deliver this knowledge to someone. You can even get Matt to customize it with a doodle for an extra 3 quid.

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