Buddy Davis: Making a Dino


We've asked Buddy to share some of the hows of dino building: how did you get into this, how do you make the skin look like that, how does a dinosaur share the Gospel . . . that kind of thing. If you have questions that we haven't asked here, please just send us an e-mail with your question, and we'll ask Buddy for the answer.

Q. How do you use your modeling to preach the Gospel?
A. Dinosaurs are a great way to reach many people. I now know that the teeth of the T-Rex which I'm sculpting were originally used to eat fruits and vegetables. You see, dinosaurs were vegetarians when they were first created by God, so the teeth take on a very special meaning to a Creationist. As do the claws, horns, fast speed, and other created characteristics. Once you've opened the Bible with dinosaur talk, the Holy Spirit can lead straight into a discussion of the Gospel story.

Q. How did you get started with dinosaur sculpting?
A. When I was about 32 years old, my cousin (Mike Carpenter) asked me to build a dinosaur. I didn't know one dinosaur from the other, but I became passionate about them. Kay and I went to museums and bought every book we could find. It was, obviously, a God thing. He knew where He eventually wanted me to be (and how to get me there). He met me right where I was, started small, and gradually worked me into bigger projects.


Q. How did you find books about dinosaurs that presented them in a truthful manner (i.e., the originals having been created by God on the sixth day of Creation, about 6,000 years ago)?
A. I didn't. I was an evolutionist when I built my first dinosaur. I even wrote a song about a Stegosaurus beging 140 million years old. Even though I'd been a born-again Christian for many years, when I modeled my first Ornitholestes and Stegosaurus I hadn't yet learned the truth of creation and the lie of evolution. God would use an insurance salesman (Mr. Don Ivers), who gave me some ICR literature on Creation, to point us to the Truth. From there on out, my models were done from a young-earth Creationist perspective.

Q. How did you get started on that Ornitholestes?
A. Since there weren't any books on dinosaur sculpting, I had to improvise. Having been a professional taxidermist for a number of years, I looked to the supplies I had in hand. I studied pictures of small dinosaurs and decided on Ornitholestes. I used turkey feet for the hands and feet and stretched turkey skin over the head. I never could get all of the pin feathers out, though; and, when I became a Creationist, I clearly understood that dinosaurs did not change into birds, so the model was destroyed. It was crudely done, but God used this meagre beginning to bring me to where I am now. Like most artists, I thought it was beautiful at the time, but I now know that it was pretty weird looking.

Q. How did you decide that you needed to try your hand at big dinosaurs?
A. The reason that I built the first big dinosaur was: I wanted to build an airplane. Really bad. (And I still do.) So, I made a deal with Kay that if I could build a dinosaur, I'd be happy. Now, I wouldn't trade that dinosaur for the building of an airplane, because we both know I'd probably have been killed in that airplane. Anyway, as I worked on this big dinosaur, I became more and more interested in them. It took me about three years to finish this steggy, since it wasn't my full-time job. But it was the one that got me started in the dino-building business.


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