PROUD: Sculptor Dan Davie alongside his Vietnam War-era Australian soldier to be sent to Edmonton.
PROUD: Sculptor Dan Davie alongside his Vietnam War-era Australian soldier to be sent to Edmonton. Troy Jegers

Gympie region sculptor creates lifelike Anzac soldier

CHATSWORTH sculptor Dan Davie has honoured the Anzac spirit once again this year with his latest creation, a steel Vietnam War-era Australian soldier set to join its brother at the Edmonton Cenotaph.

The life-sized soldier, complete with a familiar slouch hat and holding the Vietnam staple L1A1 Self Loading Rifle, took six months for Mr Davie to complete - following on from his First World War circa 1916 soldier completed in late 2017.

Dan Davie with his newest statue of a 1916 Digger which will make its new home at the Edmonton Cenotaph.
Dan Davie with his newest statue of a 1916 Digger which will make its new home at the Edmonton Cenotaph. Scott Kovacevic

History caught in 100kg of steel

An intricate artistic process involved forging individual panels and fabricating them together, sandblasting, spraying and finishing with two coats of anti-graffiti clear.

Mr Davie said the project also involved a little bit of research.

"I went around to Owen Guns and took some photos of an SLR, and used the internet. I dressed the mannequin in army clothes,” he said.

"There's a fault in it that ex-military people pick up. He's supposed to have his hand further down (on the gun), but because I needed the rifle further away from him so they could get him with the metal spray I couldn't have it too close to him, I had to move it forward.”

He said the Anzac-themed commissions allowed him to pay respects to those who have served.

"I do enjoy it because my stepfather was in World War II, I heard lots of stories from the war days, wartime. I think we're all proud of our Anzacs,” Mr Davie said.

"I think when they see the two different soldiers together on the cenotaph, it will be quite special. I don't think it's been done before.”