Clang! Bang! Kapow!
No, it's not the sound of another Avengers battle but rather the sound of the scores of medals my son has hanging from his closet door. They're constantly falling off the door knob, getting stuck in the door when it closes and generally making a mess and racket. He also loves superheroes. What do superheroes and medals have in common? Not much, but maybe the superheroes could be used to show off his medals and organize them a bit.
So, we decided to make a superhero medal hanger for his wall. With his guidance and help, we designed a plaque that would hang on the wall with platforms for the some of his 3" action figures to stand on and show off (and perhaps protect) his beloved medals from soccer, academics, music...etc.
Step 1: Avengers Assemble!
1 2 ft x 3 inch x 1 inch thick poplar board (Home Depot - $2)
1 3x1 inch board of scrap wood (ours was Walnut) - free
4 3" action figures. You'll note that Superman was in the original plan to be replaced by Captain America to draw together the Avengers and stay within the Marvel Universe.
2 x 3inch #10 brass screws with anchors for attaching to the wall. I used brass purely for aesthetics, anything will work.
8 x 2 inch #8 or #6 screws for mounting the platforms to the plaque.
Compound miter saw (Mine is Ryobi) for cutting the boards.
Craftsman driver drill - you could easily use a driver and a drill, but I just love this thing. It's battery is almost shot and Sears doesn't make a replacement if anyone has suggestions.
Locktite super glue gel
(Optional) Krazy Glue or any other thin super glue for gluing the articulations on the action figures (waist, knees, elbows, etc.) We ended up doing this for a few of them because their joints were loose and it decreased the range of motion to glue a little bit at each joint. However, it would have been nice to be able to leave them fully articulated so they could be multi-posable.
Trivia: Avengers #1 was published in September, 1963.
Step 2: Making the Cut
You're going to want to cut your boards into the sizes you'd like for your platform and for your plaque. In this case we cut the back board to 18" and the platforms to 3 inches. This left 2 inches between platforms (see second picture).
Trivia: There were Originally 5 Avengers but since then, there have been many (at least 90) members.
Step 3: Every team needs a "glue" guy
Next, we glued the platforms to the back board (plaque). It was nice to have my help from my son here because it really took more than two hands to do this. Where was Doc Octopus when I needed him? After everything was clamped, my son drilled holes through the back of the back board into each platform and inserted two 2" screws in each board symmetrically.
p.s. In my opinion, Jarvis was the glue guy for the Avengers. Jarvis was Tony Stark's butler.
Step 4: The Sandman Cometh!
Now is the time to sand it up and get ready for finishing. This is the ideal step for help from the little ones because sanding is fun and the results are immediate. My son used my orbital sander and sanded everything starting with 60 grit, moving to 120, and finishing with 240.
Trivia: The Sandman was an enemy and nemesis of Spiderman and later became an Avenger. He returned to a life of crime shortly after that though.
Step 5: The beginning of the end
Finally, we took this outside and sprayed two coats of polyurethane clear satin allowing it to dry completely in between coats. We also sanded it lightly between coats (but this isn't necessary unless you want a very smooth finish)
Trivia: In one version of the Avengers entitle Avengers Disassembled, the team breaks up and some of the Avengers die (Ant man, Vision, and Jack of Hearts).
Step 6: "Work as a team? Why not? I'm in for it!" - Iron Man Avengers #1
So, the next step was the artistic part and my son really loved doing this. He determined which hero when on which pedestal and we then glued their feet down to the pedestals. Initially we wanted them be fully articulated (able to move their arms/legs/waists/etc.) but we ended up changing this a bit (more on that later) I used a gel superglue because of the ease of use and the quickness of drying time but any strong adhesive would work here.
Trivia: The original Avengers were Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, Thor, and the Hulk
Step 7: The Wall of Heroes
Finally, we mounted the backboard to the wall with two brass 3" #10 screws and anchors. Any size screw could be used here as long as it anchors firmly in the wall. Also, brass screws were used for aesthetics, any thing really could be used.
The medals were then hung on the arms of the Avengers. They looked awesome! However, my son had more medals that he couldn't part with so in the end we used the pedestals to hold some of them as well. I posted multiple shots here so you'll get an idea of the possibilities.
I hoped your enjoyed our team effort Father/Son Instructable. We used Avengers (3 original and Spidey) but you really could use any 3" action figures that you don't mind gluing down. I would suggest Star Wars (no vintage, save those for Dad!), WWE, Pokemon, or even Animal or Dragon Figurines. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!