Babe's in Toyland ...

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 07-08-2009 06:54 AM 1369 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This particular client had a fascination with “Babe’s in Toyland” and the desire to poses the largest toy solder on the block. I think something in all of us that have ever played with toy soldiers sparks up and wonders just how fierce our sandbox army would have been with a company of 6’6” armed standing figures?

This sculpture is a design by Master Craftsman Stanley D. Saperstein carved by Master Chainsaw Carver Bob Eigenrauch pattered after the original “Babes in Toyland” figures … colorized to the specifications provided by the original wardrobe. If you saw the movie, it was originally in black and white.

The figure is a poplar material, glued up into massive rough blocks that were strategically setup so portions like the legs were already separated. The bulk carving is done with three sized chainsaws, moving down to into two sizes of angle grinder. Then the final detail was hand carved.

The white coating is a gesso designed to fill the grain and any imperfections to create the effect of rolling clothing. The poplar is kiln dried as this sculpture will reside indoors. Green lumber of course is a bad candidate for indoor use as the pieces will split rather quickly.

Fun project – purely artistic in nature, great client that really appreciated our work and our willingness to take on this commission. We’re an eclectic shop that will often take the off-the-wall projects that are out of range for larger more production oriented operations.

He was around for Halloween – we placed him outside between two parked cars in the driveway and he gave everyone walking up a good jump when they saw him. Seemed real – wasn’t – or was he?

More Images and details on this project:

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

5 comments so far

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Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4011 days

#1 posted 07-08-2009 07:11 AM

very cool and unique … a giant toy. You must really enjoy yourself !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View a1Jim's profile


117127 posts in 3605 days

#2 posted 07-08-2009 07:13 AM

Interesting project (by master poster Jim)

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3704 days

#3 posted 07-08-2009 09:44 AM

Did you smooth him up after the chain saw carver finished? Turned out very well.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4189 days

#4 posted 07-08-2009 01:03 PM

hard to believe that face is done with a chainsaw!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 3276 days

#5 posted 07-09-2009 01:55 AM

Initial carving is done with a chainsaw – detail is hand carved. It’s sanded with angle grinders down to sanding disks … We gesso the whole figure top to bottom to smooth it out further. That’s what gives it the clothing surface look. You can actually take cloth and press it into the gesso while it’s still soft and it takes the impression of fabric if you want to go that far into the detail!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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