A Letterville Step By Step
Carving HDU Foam

By Robert Beverly

This project was a fun one. We took the spin off of the Clint Eastwood "Fistful of Dollars" and and converted it to our prop for a sign show down here. The Cowboy measures 6'3" and is sculpted from HDU. We designed a base from 36" steel plate and welded an armature to the base and laminated the signfoam to the steel pins.

I have broken these photos up into different posts to allow faster loading for the different phases at a higher resolution. along with an explanation of the pieces. If y'all enjoy these I will continue to break out other projects that are equally unusual.

So here we go! 

Ok...so now we have the body we start to give it form. I have been sculpting for many many years and although I enjoy wood...the physical toll is not near as bad in this 15lb HDU. It holds pretty good detail and is perfect for outdoor use for it's exterior deteriation properties. 

Here after taking a chainsaw after it to profile the figure...it is set on the table and ready for the chisels. My son came in one evening and when I was younger, I used to carve caricature cowboys around 12" high for extra money while attending college. His first response..."I never thought you would graduate to the big ones!"..and nor did I! This image shows detail showing up around the holster area that instead of a gun we are sculpting rolls of vinyl.

Ok...now that we have em standing up after a little sculpting we have got an appreciation of the form...now it's time for some detail!

Now we turn em around and give you a close up of the detail around the holster area!
Caricature can be tons of fun and this one definately was!

Where's the head??????

Using the same material we sculpted the head and stuck a rod of steel into his neck for placement into the body. This was we can turn his head anyway you want for maximum effect. He is havin a bad day!!!

Well here you go. We had about 40 photos of this project from start to finish but I hope a brought you enough to give you an appreciation of the project.

Having finished the sculpture, we created an entire prop from cedar logs with deck roof and all. The sign is a pan channel with chasing light bulbs and dimensional lettering against a mirror background. This picture does not do it any justice measuring 13' 6" in height but the design made it extremely easy for transporting around! He now resides in our inhouse sign gallery. OOPs forgot his sidekick pet vulture "KILROY"

Hope you enjoy!


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