In addition to the huge quantities of cat 3, cat 4 and a sixteen inch shell, several members were planning some creative pyro with the help of the on-site professionals. Here we take a look at two of them: The massive wheel installation, and the Eros statue from Pepsi and Tony, designed to explode with love! Or is that fireworks?

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.

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1: 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!

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1: 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

Wheel 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 own.

"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 over them.

"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!"

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1: 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.

Eros : Loading the bow of Eros. 10Mb Windows Media video file. Please "right click" and save to your PC before playing.

©2006 UK Firework Review