Superman Stands Tall

Lady Ronn picked out a fantastic gift for me on my birthday this year, the Sideshow Collectibles life size Superman bust. It is awesome; fully 30-in tall. These pictures do not do it justice. But it’s also very big. Too big for my shelf or the corner of my desk. So I had to build a pedestal for it. And of course if you’re going to build a pedestal for a life size superman bust, it only makes sense that you would build it tall enough that the bust would sit at life size. DC Comics says that Superman is 6-ft 3-in tall. I added an inch for boots, because I can’t imagine him standing there barefoot. That would be weird. And so sitting on his pedestal, my Superman bust stands 6-ft 4-in tall. It’s pretty impressive.
The statue is awesome. The pedestal, well, I’ll do it different when I redo it. I learned some things building it. Let’s talk about those things.
birthdayGift2015 painting FinishedStand
I built the pedestal out of 3/4 plywood, the same stuff I used on the basement sub-floor, because that’s what I had a lot of in the garage. And I built it with straight corners. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done either of those things.
Subfloor plywood is one side smooth, but it’s not really “finish quality smooth”. I thought I could sand it down, but that didn’t really work. Through a combination of the humidity in the garage, my impatience, and the paint, all the grain rose back up and I ended up with a weird zebra striping and rough texture to the pedestal that I didn’t want and don’t really care for. Additionally, the layered edges of the plywood and the smooth wood filler telegraph through the finish as well.
Next time, I’ll use either 3/4 MDF or a better grade of plywood and angle cut the edges at a 45-degree to eliminate the exposed ends of the boards. And based on one of my other projects, MDF paints up nice and smooth.
Speaking of paint. I didn’t want to go black, so I choose a metallic look burnt bronze that claims to be paint and primer in one. I think this made everything worse. Firstly, I should have sealed the wood and then used a primer on the pedestal. I think this would have done two things. One, it would have kept the wood grain from coming up like it did and two, it would have put a coat over the edge of the plywood that might have helped conceal the banded layers on the edge. And knowing now, how many ‘flaws’ show through, I wouldn’t use a glossy paint and I sure as hell wouldn’t have used a metallic paint. Dear lord, what was I thinking. Matte black, would have been the way to go with this thing. I may repaint it if it looks like it’ll be a while before Superman gets any company.
I’m not completely unhappy with my project, but I think this statue deserves better. And what is the deal with the paint in my office, how come it photographs so badly? The color doesn’t match any of these pictures. But it probably needs to change as I work on removing the ‘Travel’ theme and pushing it more towards the eclectic theme that is my space.