Sunday, April 15, 2018

Of Oxen, Carts, and a grumpy Driver

A thoroughly wet and miserable spell of weather means nothing can be done in our new garden, so I took the opportunity to work on the oxen for the Dux B carts.

The armatures, a heady blend of florists' wire and Miliput, worked well. I worked the Sculpey in and around the shapes then baked it as usual. I did have misgivings about the way the different materials would react together when heated up, but luckily only one small split appeared which will be easily fixed. The results look pretty good, I think. At least they look like oxen and not refugees from the Island of Doctor Moreau.

Cedric the Smith and Ferdinand the Bull eye each other during a tense stand-off over right of way. Lugubrius the Carter has nothing to say on the matter.
From all the pictures I've seen, oxen have bulky bodies with surprisingly skinny-looking legs. I'll trim these creatures down and refine the looks a bit before making the yokes and painting them all. One of the animals is a bit too big, more like Ferdinand the Bull, so I might have to make another for a more balanced draft team.

Since I had a bit of Miliput left over during the armature phase I fashioned a carter. He's the hunched and doleful figure aboard the cart in the foreground. Silly me, I forgot how sticky Miliput is and forgot to separate him from the cart. Now he's stuck fast it'll be difficult to pry him loose without damaging the cart, so there he'll stay whilst I try to paint him. I'll make another pair of carters whilst I have the Sculpey out since I find it an easier material to work. More to follow if we don't get flooded out...


Michael Awdry said...

They have come out really well A.J. very impressed.

A J said...

Thanks, Michael. Yes, they turned out pretty well. I've found the baked Sculpey to be a bit too brittle compared with Miliput, so I'm treading lightly with the general clean up of the oxen to avoid breaking anything.

Martin said...

As oxen go ... I find them very MOOO-ving! (Sorry! I couldn't resist!) They will make fine additions to the tabletop as they slowly plod along, pulling their loads behind. Speaking of behinds; maybe that's why the driver is grumpy! You would be too, if you had to stare at the business end of bovine intestinal gut, day after day!

A J said...

No worries, I'm a punmeister too. ;)

Yes, oxen are known for their, shall we say, throughput. Sitting behind a pair of them for hours on end is enough to make anybody surly.


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