Modelling their wheels which will soon
be made into a huge "pyrotechnic installation" from
left to right,
James, Pete B and Andy P
Not content with just a simple traditional catherine wheel,
James, Andy, Stu, Gerry, Rocket Rev and Pete B set about rigging
up a massive wheel structure. This comprised of two huge sparkling
wheels with numerous smaller wheels on protruding struts.
James gets tough with a wheel 2:
Gerry grimaces and Stu holds his nose - has James farted? 3:
Testing the support
4: Another part of the contraption
To ensure trouble free spin, the big wheels were mounted on
bicycle wheels. Several hours of banging, test-spinning and
swearing ensued, making Gerry's garage sound more like a blacksmiths
to any villagers who might have happened to pass by.
Some time later, the final structure was completed and fused
up. This was going to be interesting whether it span or not!
Final stages of construction 2:
Getting caught in a tree 3:
Final struggles to get it set up in poor light 4:
There she is!
Now it was time to bear the cross-like structure up the hill.
For a while things turned surreal, firstly a vicar carrying
a cross over his shoulder and then what looked like a scene
from Iwo Jima as they struggled to get the structure upright
and stable (see photo below).
After much effort and an equal amount of laughter, it was in
place and ready.
James, Andy, Pete and Julian struggling
to get the wheel up in ever-decreasing light
set up : Construction and setting up of the
wheels. 20Mb Windows Media video file. Please "right
click" and save to your PC before playing.
Next we take a look at a Las Fallas Ninot-like creation by
Pepsi (Debbie) and Tony. Having pro crews involved meant we
could have some fun with a few creative set-pieces!
Eros: Loaded and ready to, er, explode!
"As the Dorset-fest was going to be held on Valentines
Day, we thought that it would be a good idea to build something
suitable to get blown up on the day." explains Pepsi. "We
chose Eros who emerged from Chaos in Greek mythology (also known
as Cupid in Roman theology). Using Eros as a base meant that
I didn't have to stick to the traditional fat cherub look.
"It was made from a base of chicken wire (which we wrapped
around my arms, legs and body to get the basic shape, smoothing
out the lumpy chesty bits to make sure it didn't look too feminine!!).
Papier-mâché was put over the wire and built up over a period
of around four weeks. I wanted to remove the wire prior to firing
so the papier-mâché had to be really thick to hold up on its
"The head and face were made by putting a mask on a balloon
and building the papier-mâché up over it. The balloon and mask
were removed prior to firing. The feet were made by putting
my safety boots inside clingfilm and putting papier-mâché all
"Once I was happy with the thickness of the dried papier-mâché,
we cut it all open, removed the chicken wire, boots etc and
then glued it back together and put even more papier-mâché on
top. His bow was made separately by making the basic shape out
of cardboard and putting papier-mâché over that. It was finished
off by painting it up to look a bit like a knight, complete
with painted on knee-high boots and spray painted chain mail.
"We decided to give him a rather large set of bat wings
to complete the look which were simply made from card and spray-painted
with black and some silver detail.
"The only real cost was in the paint and quite a few bags
of flour in the papier-mâché. Newspapers were scrounged from
everyone I knew!"
Under construction 2:
Completed and awaiting pyro-payload 3:
Final touches 4:
Loading the killer crackers! 5:
Posing with Eros
"We set up a rocket across his chest to look as though
he had fired an arrow from his bow." continues Pepsi. "His
extended arm had a roman candle in it to fire at the same time
as fountains which were stuffed in his head (meant to come out
his eyes). On the rear of each tip of his wing was a rocket
launcher with Whoppas quickmatched to go up together. He also
had a belly full of Chinese firecrackers (never again, too much
rubbish to pick up!!). He had some other candles stuffed in
his arms and legs as well."
Well done Pepsi and Tony. Don't try this at home folks, remember
this event took place with the help and supervision of a considerable
number of professional crews on site.
: Loading the bow of Eros. 10Mb Windows Media video
file. Please "right click" and save to
your PC before playing.