Hey, Mad Dog. Are they sticky/tacky? Does that shit come off on your fingers or what?
No, they aren't sticky at all and nothing comes off. The basic process I used was to color them with the sharpie, let them dry, then wash them in rubbing alcohol purposely trying to remove as much of the sharpie ink as possible. Most of the ink will come off, but what stays is what is permanently on the plastic. Then I repeated the process until they were completely covered and nothing came off with the rubbing alcohol. So ultimately the only ink on them is what's permamently attached to the plastic if that makes sense. I just went and tried again to wipe off some of the ink with my fingers and couldn't do it.
If I were to ever own FoD again, which I doubt, this is what I'd do:
Go find 5 wooden chess pieces. A king and four pawns. Stain them all a dark color. Paint the king black, with maybe a little red trim near the top. Paint the four pawns their own color, in very warm earth tones: brown, blue, green, orange/red. Use a bit of that dark wood stain again in the crevices of the pieces. Then get some sandpaper and lightly swipe parts to give them all an aged look.
FoD has more theme than any other game I've played. However, the minis really cheapen it up. Using 'antique' game pieces like this would hopefully create the feel of Van Helsing and company residing over a map of europe using old bits in the study to plot their courses and track dracula. I'd also add in the red Pente style beads Uba mentioned some time ago and let them use the 'dracula' king piece for where they think dracula is or however they like.