As to the effect tags, it appears you are telling me it needs to be a hand edit after setting them in place and saving the state info as there was no way to get "playeffect" to populate automatically. I see the argument can be done in the Modders workshop, now that I know what it is looking for.
I might be telling you that; I think it is how I set up the wands/torch/sparkler. There are a few things that I find easier to change in the xml in a text editor than in the modders workshop.
That said, the Edit Custom Event dialogue seems to provide a dropdown for the different values of the action, and let you specify the argument, which needs to be the name of the particle effect as specified in the template.
The particle effect specifies a direction in it's xml, I think. It may be possible to take a copy of the one you want to use (give it a different name, add it to your adding in a similar folder, and change the template to refer to the new one), then change it's xml.
You might be able to make the funnel double sided within the material as set up in the modder workshop, which would solve being able to see through it. Although double sided doesnt show lighting correctly, so for many things it is better to correct the model in the modeling program.