Steppe Bison

Here’s the Steppe Bison (Bison priscus), customized from Breyer’s bison model! This was actually the very first model I started working on in this series, and I can still remember my trepidation as I sat with a coping saw in my hand, deciding whether to make the first cuts to pare away large sections of the hair-textured shoulders so I could make more smooth space for painting. But I did it, and the rest is, well, (pre)history!

The steppe bison once roamed throughout much of the temperate northern hemisphere on the grasslands known as the mammoth steppe. It resembles its modern counterparts, the European bison, plains bison and wood bison, but has larger horns and is on average more massive, rivaled only by the largest of wood bison for size. It may have gone extinct less than 5,500 years ago.

After shearing off the sides of the Breyer bison’s shoulders, I lowered his head and removed the lump on the bridge of his nose. I also shortened his tail and pulled his back legs in–I kind of feel like the original pose looked like he was urinating, though I know that it was really to balance out that big, heavy head! And, of course, I removed the original horns and sculpted him new, more species-appropriate ones. He also got a brand new nose and mouth, since I didn’t really care for the original, and I sculpted actual, visible ears! After LOTS of sanding, I repainted him to a deep brown, with cave paintings from Altamira hand-painted on his sides. His fur is merino wool painstakingly attached swatch by swatch; I used a technique that allowed the glue at the base to stiffen and give it more body, so you can feel some texture if you touch the fur.

Measurements: 12 1/2″ x 8″ x 6″

Artist & Author Lupa