Posts tagged “Wild West

Cowboys Invaded – Update (7/10/18)

My first studio update of the month and a long time coming too. I’ve decided to take a holiday from the day job to allow my batteries for a week. I’ll be taking it easy, part of that time will of course be spent in the studio. Starting today after easing my self into the extended break I have exhausted my current supply of cardboard for the upgraded town pieces. I should have a fresh supply tomorrow that will allow me to make the final 3 pieces and also the Army fort which I also want to upgrade.

With only one box of the old cardboard supply left I used it to make the Land Office which popped up pretty fast before lunch too, which is always a bonus. I;m not sure where any extra detail will go for this one, I may added some posts above the extruded first floor.

Moving onto make a final decision on the slaughterhouse which I have been taking my time on. Weighing up the pros and cons of them both I went for the smaller piece. It rightly suggests a network of the buildings, not just having a the main one which gives it more importance than it really needs. Being a substation or just another base works better. I had only to make a small modification, extending the side so I can get and easily animate the refrigerated wagons, that was the only con. Being smaller too I have slightly more storage which is now in short supply.

Lastly I decided to something that would be a quick make  – the small fleet of flying saucers which are used for one shot to suggest more from a distance. Playing mainly with the scale to achieve this effect I picked up some smaller paper bowls a few months ago for just the job. The making process was pretty straight-forward. All I have to make for the scene is a number of buttes and a raised piece that will act as a platform for a larger butte for a few Native Americans to sit upon for the shot.

Moving on I hope I’ll be able to carry on and complete the town upgrade, before moving onto the fort. Before leaving the studio for the day I was clearing up all my off-cuts, to find some of the packaging which I might use for exclusively for the piece. If I get more I’ll have more to work with. I’ll be using playset’s of Fort to inform this new piece which I hope will be in less pieces and might even be smaller than the huge one I had for my previous animation. I might even take a break before the fort to make some of the loser pieces such as the rock formations after amassing quite a few boxes which I’ll use to build up some rocks and buttes that will be covered in brown paper again.


Cowboys Invaded – Update (22/9/18)

Admittedly a day later than planned, I’ve found the time to share yesterdays events in the studio. The aim of the day was to make 2-3 pieces, I made 2, which I’m happy with considering the work that has gone into them. The first being the bank, which I wanted to redesign as I didn’t want the old design with a stone design. After a bit of research I decided upon a wood front with staggered sides. It was a real change for me, having to consider each side more as it came together. Finished it off with a classic detail at the top.

The next I found that my making had taken another step forward, a new blacksmith, moving away from the similar designs that the old series had. Some research later I came up with a piece that required a canopy section on the side, with walls attached, I needed a floor that connected into the main building. This required some false walls so everything connected up. The walls only run up so high as they act as an illusion too. Working from another piece as a template I reduced the roof slightly so that it has a more unique design, I don’t the pieces to look too similar now they are being upgraded.

Lastly, or should I say firstly, not long after getting into the studio I added the last rail to the ramp I’ve been working on. Hopefully this piece will now be complete, I’m think of next making a water tower, which will be an interesting process as it will be a combination of balsa for the tower at a reduced height with all the structural support, alongside the water tank itself. Again this will be a slow process when working purely with balsa wood.

I’ve now got 5 more pieces to make for the town, during which time I’ll also be adding extra detail that started yesterday, I wasn’t happy with the front for the barbers so I fixed a piece on top, and reattached the cylinders on the sides so they appear to be suspended above again. A clock-face was also added to the church, I don’t want these pieces to look to flat a basic, even though they have been fleshed out now.

As I make my way onto the final 5, I wonder where my making skills will develop further, always an achievement no matter how big or small.

Make your Own Buffalo

If you would ever like to make a simple Buffalo, follow these simple steps. You will need, balls of string, classic clothes pegs, cork bottle stoppers. Fur in two tones of brown (dark and light). Scissors to cut both the fur and the string, skewers, a hand-saw and PVA glue.

  • Find a classic round chunky clothes peg and a cork bottle-stop. Saw the beyond the ball end leaving about 1omm minimum.
  •  Find a ball of string (you may need a big ball depending on how many you want to make.  Tie the bottle stopper, to the flat end, making use of the clip to hold the piece tight.


  • Cut lengths of skewers to a two lengths (two for the front and two for the rear legs)
  • Tie these to the body of the peg, longer at the front, shorter at the back. Use a figure of eight knot to hold them in place before tying them off around the clip.


  • Making sure your skeletal Buffalo stands up you can move onto the fur, cutting an inch wide strip. Before you glue it around the body of the Buffalo, do a practice wrap to ensure you know where the it will fall to get a good coverage of the body.
  • Once you have decided how to wrap it around you can glue a small section (in between two legs on one side. Wrap around and cut to size, gluing it down. Check all over to ensure you glue down any patches still showing.


  • Turning the head (cork bottle stopper) cut a inch wide strip of the other fur to size, ( you can use this for a few Buffalo. Cut to size a section that will cover half (top or bottom) of the head. Once you’ve decided, glue down and cut in places to wrap around to cover the flat sides.


  • Nearly done now, cut a two short length (25mm or less) for the horn at the pointed end. Then work these into either side of the head.
  • And there you have your first Buffalo.


Remington … a quick sketch

These are incredible, I had to share these amazing paintings!

My Favorite Westerns

Frederic Sackrider Remington
(October 4, 1861 – December 26, 1909)

Wikipedia says: “was an American painter, illustrator, sculptor, and writer who specialized in depictions of the Old American West, specifically concentrating on the last quarter of the 19th-century American West and images of cowboys, American Indians, and the U. S. Cavalry.”

Some of My Favorite Remingtons:

The Scout, Friends or FoesThe Scout, Friends or Foes

Mounted Cowboy In Chaps With Race HorseMounted Cowboy In Chaps With Race Horse

A dash for the timberA dash for the timber

The Cowboy - Frederic Remington - www.frederic-remington.orgThe Cowboy

Downing the Nigh LeaderDowning the Nigh Leader

The Bronco BusterThe Bronco Buster

Comanche Brave, Fort Reno, Indian TerritoryComanche Brave, Fort Reno, Indian Territory

Fight for the waterholeFight for the waterhole


Coming to the callComing to the call


Shotgun Hospitality, 1908Shotgun Hospitality, 1908

End of the dayEnd of the day

Remington Sculpture

The Mountain ManThe Mountain Man

So many, many images I could put here …

Gun Bar

Does this look like a Great Western Artist?:

Frederick Remington Frederick Sackrider Remington

Frederick Remington 2 Frederick Sackrider Remington


OK … how about this?:

Frederick Remington 3

(Frederick Remington: Self Portrait on horse.)Frederick Remington: Self Portrait on horse.

That’s more like it !

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Ray Mears in the West

I’m not usually one to watch things on BBC4, unless it’s a classic film. My dad told me a new series about the how the United States was won. How the Wild West was Won with Ray Mears, Mears who knows a thing or two about surviving outdoors. The first episode aired last night, which I caught up with today on iPlayer today. My expectations weren’t that high, thinking there would be more about living in the landscape.

Instead it was an informed 60 minutes, breaking up the country starting with the Mountains this week before looking at the plains and desert landscape. Focusing on the 1800’s as settlers started to move westward from Washington and the 13 colonies. I now understand why so many people in Westerns always travelled to Oregon which was a major trail to the west before going north or south. An eye-opener for someone who is usually bogged down in the films that depict that era. A welcome addition to my exploration of the Western, always wanting to find the fact in the fiction that romanticized this era which was anything but easy.

The first episode looks at the gold miners, living alongside Cherokee Native Americans, to the fateful Donner party settlers in 1834 who suffered that winter whilst moving west. It really shakes the myths that surround that era. I was reminded of a few films, most notably The Big Trees (1952) and The Big Trail (1939) to name but two. Giving us the landscapes we know and love from the big screen, I can remember a few shots taken by early photographers too. Also looking at the reliance on wood for the settlers to move and live. I look forward to the upcoming episodes.

Wild West – In the Woods (2013)


My work was shown alongside work by these artists Suhani Parek, Natalie Depledge, Laura Ghany, Chloe RoodAbigail Booth, Phyl Parker, Saara Karppinen, Bronwyn + Marina, Isobel Jones, Charmaine DresserCharlotte WhitmanCharlotte Smith, Christopher Jarret, Leslie Deerer, Constance Whitman, Olivia Gilman, , Oscar, Adam David, Stephanie Davies, Alice AstburyNatasha Bird and Sidney Lim. Check out how this piece was made by reading the diary of my time at this link.

In the Woods (2013)

Out in the Country (2013)

A series of photographs using a limited number of props to create a larger image on the camera.

Filling in the Gaps (2012)

Currently Exhibited in One Church Street Gallery, Open Drawing Exhibition (2012) – Great Missenden

A series of photographs that explore the boundaries between improvisation and imagination. Drawing in the imagined areas that our imaginations fill in those gaps making it all visible.


New Mills Gold Mine – Tunnel (2012)

The responses from the New Mills Art Trail (2012) residency. Tunnel is the third of the three series of photographic works produced in response, shot during the last few days of the trail/residency.

New Mills Gold Mine – Cinematic (2012) Part 2

The responses from the New Mills Art Trail (2012) residency. Cinematic is the second of the three series of photographic works produced in response, shot during the last few days of the trail/residency.