Stagecoach - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Stagecoach

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POWELL, WYOMING -

Powell High School students built a stagecoach, after they finished a Viking ship and a fighter plane. In the meantime, they've taxidermied a wolf and a grizzly bear.

Powell High School is home to some very creative student artists. They started with a WWI Sopwith Camel.

The art teacher explains as he turns the propeller, "The heads turn with the propeller"

Then, they produced a very large ship model.

Powell High Art Teacher Jim Gilman points out, "And it's a one third scale Viking Coastal Trader."

They are not paper machete. They're made of wood, metal, and moxy. So, is this a reproduction of a stagecoach from a 1939 John Wayne movie titled, Stagecoach?

Gilman says about fifty students worked on the project. Danial Wheeler helped create the carriage suspension. "It's supposed to be built almost identical to how a stagecoach would have been built," said Wheeler

Cecil Gallagher did the metal work. Gallagher proudly pointed out, "The stagecoach they used in the movie, I think it resembles it perfectly 

Sterling Cozzens created the interior. He says they watched the movie closely to create an exact replica.

Cozzens explained, "We had to stop and look at some of the things we had missed, and at some of the things we would have to change."

The carriage doesn't just look real. It acts real. The suspension that would have smoothed a bumpy ride for the passengers would have been made of leather in the old days. These are water hoses from the fire department.

How do students build something like this? Their teacher says it's all about problem solving, which is a life skill.

He explained, "There's all kinds of things going on here. There's math, there's engineering, there's art of course. There's problem solving."

While they're figuring out how to hang the stagecoach from the ceiling, Powell art students are also figuring out how to turn a carcass into a mount that hangs on the wall. They've already finished a grizzly bear, and are working on a very large wolf now. Why not learn taxidermy as well

Gilman said students have suggested a dragon, or a submarine for their next project.

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