So, some time ago, during my usual late-night habit of annoying the crap out of a few friends of mine online, an exchange occurred that gave me the idea of making a police badge for "The Minor Annoyances Unit." A specially trained unit to bring in for all of the most minor and petty complaints that cops get all the time.
That should explain why within a few hours of the conversation I had a detailed plan of exactly what I was going to make.
First, using a stock image of a badge from the NYPD, I drew up an idea of how the badge would look.
|All of my best plans are on post-it notes.|
Another thing I noted while looking through stock images of badges was that if you’re going to go the whole ‘Law and Order’ route, you need an id to go with the badge.
|Identity hidden to protect the innocent.|
This would also lend itself to my favorite movie cliché of being able to threaten to take her off the case for letting it get too personal just before she saves the day without the force’s help.
|I'M TAKING YOU OFF THE HEDGE-TRIMMER CASE, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, YOU CAN TURN IN YOUR BADGE!|
I even tried to come up with a decent logo design for the department which I could put onto the id:
|Latin classes up anything.|
With planning complete, actual building begins.
Step 1: Get some cardboard and cut out the shapes.
|A bunch of scraps.|
Step 2: Base coat.
|Check out that fancy Palatte.|
Step 3: Colors.
|That yellow sure looks like gold. Yup. Not like crap at all.|
Step 4: Details, eye strain, start to panic.
|Everything done freehand, obviously. I can't draw straight lines. Ever.|
The center piece, however, called for details so small that no brush available would do. Every line, every letter, even the seal of New York in the center all had to be painted on by dipping the tip of a sharpened pencil into the paint and painting everything dot by dot. If you love monotonous work, or are actually an inkjet printer who somehow thinks you’re a person, you’ll love this bit.
This is also when I discovered that my paint was beginning to chip as it dried. While pencil-painting the center section, the head of the bird on the seal (or vaguely bird-shaped blob, as my painting work suggests) actually lifted off as I pulled the pencil away! If you ever want to hear me use a string of obscenities for ten minutes straight, just have me work on something for hours and show me that it’s begun to fall apart before it’s even finished.
Step 5: ASSEMBLE!
I didn’t have glue, to be honest.
I did have adhesive putty.
So, this badge is being held together the same way a lot of posters are being held to college dorm walls. Works surprisingly well.
BONUS STEP: Damage control lamination.
At least the paint won’t chip and fall off, now.
I also drew some other details on in ink just to make it look a touch better.
After a quick bit of photoshop, the badge and id were finished.
|The image on the id changed, but the basics are still there.|
Or just print it to the right size on some sturdy paper and cut it out, you know, whichever.
That’s how it’s done!
So, how were the props received?
|What the hell did you do now, Steve?|
You can now rest easier knowing that the Minor Annoyances Unit is out there stopping people from bringing 11 items to the 10 items or less lane and all other annoyances with their own brand of justice.
Yet somehow I’m allowed to remain the complete annoyance I’ve always been.