Pop Sculpture: How to Sculpt Action Figures and Collectible Statues is an instructional, extensively illustrated, 272-page book about the process a professional sculptor goes through working in the collectibles field. Experienced pro sculptors Tim Bruckner (DC Direct, Toy Biz) and Ruben Procopio (Disney, Electric Tiki) -- with an assist from Zach Oat (ToyFare magazine) -- will teach you the techniques you need to sculpt, cast, paint and photograph your prototype prior to entering mass production. It was released on Oct. 19, 2010 from Watson-Guptill, a division of Random House.

Simply put, it's a start-to-finish instruction manual for creating prototypes, molds and paint masters for a 3-D sculpture headed for mass-production. And while we show a bunch of number of pieces in the book, in different stages of completion, we needed to create one piece on which we could demonstrate the various techniques we were about to teach, so Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, became our primary test subject. (An action figure of the Norse god Thor also acts as our articulated guinea pig.) Here, you can see Athena representing the many steps of the process:

1: Rough clay. Playing with position and proportion on a mock-up base.

2: Finished clay ready for Waste Mold.

3: Finished clay head.

4: Clay head part cut from figure and gated for waste mold.

5: Waste mold cut and clay part removed.

6: Collection of wax cast part from waste molds

7: Working wax toward finish

8: Finished wax head for Athena statue.

9: Cleaning resin cast for Paint Master.

10: Primed resin cast. Paint Master started.

11: Finished Paint Master of Athena head.