POP! Goes the Selfie (That’s No Train Part 7)

So, sometime before Covid, I decided I was going to do a Funko POP! Vinyl Selfie of myself. I did one years ago for my better half, and thought I should do one for myself. Yes, this is another That’s No Train project, past ones can be read about here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6!

After some time trying to figure out how I wanted to immortalize myself, I settled on something I don’t do anymore, for many years from my mid-teens to late 20’s I Umpired Baseball. I like to think I was quite good, I was a Baseball Ontario Level 3, which was the highest level I could achieve without having to go through lengthy assessment processes and even more involved training. I enjoyed it, but eventually, my knees and back told me that it was time to stop doing it if I wanted to be able to walk in the future.

Pictures of my Umpiring Baseball around 2006ish. I have precious few photographs of me actually doing this.

Making the custom POP starts with a “Blank DIY” pop that Funko sells. They sell male and female versions, they can be hard to find, I got mine from Amazon to be perfectly honest. In terms of how to create, I use Air Dry Clay for it, you can make shapes, its got a decent working time, and will stick on its own if you want, but that can also he helped with a thin coat of Weldbond Glue once you have the clay formed to shape if it doesn’t want to stay stuck on its own.

Various work in progress photographs. Applying clay and working out the mask and glasses.

Making the Umpire POP Selfie, I wanted my right fist up making an out sign (my favourite thing to do was ring people up when they were out), and holding my face mask. The arm move was easy, carefully cut off the arm with a jewellers saw, drill in either side for a pin, and re-position/glue. The clothes from clay would hide the worst of the cut. The mask, was tougher. My first try in the pictures was done with rolling out clay. It, frankly looked kludgey and didn’t stay together. With a spark of inspiration, I realized that aluminum armature wire used for making figures would be perfect, it is easily shaped, keeps its shape, and can be glued. I actually wound up using my favourite “non-glue” Bondic, a UV cured adhesive. I also out of the blue recently got an email from a fellow modeller Ric De Candido who I haven’t talked with in a while about a product he had been introduced to from Tamiya, a metal primer. I had picked some up for train projects, but painting the mask was the first time I put it to use. A couple of coats with the built in brush in the cap and it took a coat of spray glossy black from the airbrush perfectly. Sometimes, things just work out where you get a helpful tip from a friend you haven’t talked to just when you need it!

The Air Dry Clay Mask, it was not a success. I sadly seem to have not taken any pictures of the work in progress armature wire mask.

Painting on this was pretty straightforward. Base coated it in the pinky flesh tone similar to what POP uses, then brush paint the rest of the colours and details. I realize looking at the pictures above, I painted the ball bags on my hips for storing baseballs navy instead of grey. In the haze of recollection, I think at some point I was using two, one navy and one grey. I also used Microscale Kristal Klear to make the glass lenses. If I was doing it again, one area where I “cheeped” on this was making the glasses myself instead of buying a set from one of the numerous POP customizers on Etsy who 3D print glasses. Frankly, that may be an area I revisit in the future

It’s me, in POP! Vinyl form!

So with that, other than some touchups, another project off the workbench! The last time I wrote about a non-train project, I said I was gathering pieces for another project. This one isn’t that, so there is another That’s No Train on my workbench for another day.

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