Russell Gammage demonstrates the complex process of making wooden figures for museum displays.
M/S of a model, Carrie Dixon, dressed as woman from the twelfth century in a bright green medieval dress and head-dress with long fake blonde plaits. She is posing in front of artist and sculptor, Russell Gammage. Gammage sits down in an armchair and begins to sketch the woman on a piece of paper attached to a drawing board. According to the narrator "the reason for this elaborate reconstruction is to provide an exact replica of an upper class woman of that period". Carrie stands stiffly with her arms stretched in front of her. The pose is supposed to be that of a young wife showing her latest dress, exported from France, to her husband. High angle C/U of Gammage drawing. Gammage makes wood and tin models for museums all over the world and goes to a lot of trouble to ensure their authenticity. C/U of the woman posing. Tilt down to display the detail of the costume. M/S of Gammage drawing and referring to a picture in a historical text book. Gammage puts down the drawing board and picks up a long red cloak lying beside him and drapes it over the shoulders of his model. C/U of Gammage sewing the cloak into place. M/S of Gammage returning to his seat to continue his drawing. The reason Gammage uses a live model is to ensure his wooden ones look naturalistic.
C/U of Gammage's hands holding a piece of tracing paper over a block of wood and tracing the outline of a woman's torso onto it. Gammage then takes a hammer and chisel and begins to chip away at the block. The narrator explains this model is part of a series destined for Mauritius and that each model takes a week to complete. C/U of the chisel carving the shape of a woman into the wood. C/U of Gammage's face as he works. C/U of different sized chisels lying on Gammage's workbench. He lays the one he has been using down and selects a different one. C/U of the wood being carved. M/S of the shadow of Gammage's hands and chisel falling across the original drawings pinned to the shelves next to where he works. M/S of Gammage smoothing the almost complete torso with sand paper. C/U of the rather curvaceous female torso carved from the wooden block. M/S of Gammage releasing the wooden torso from the vice and taking it away to another part of his workshop. Gammage picks up another block of wood which has the shape of a pair of legs marked on it. He uses an electric saw to cut out the shape - Gammage prefers to carve by hand but the demand for his models is too great to allow him that amount of time. C/U of the electric saw being used. After cutting out the legs he lays them onto a drawing of legs as if to compare them. C/U of the original colour drawing of the model. Panning shot from the drawing to the finished model - a foot high replica of a medieval woman dressed in green. Gammage adds the final touches - he sews on a long red cloak.
C/U of three of Gammage's other wooden models - "through his carvings and research, Mr. Gammage has become a walking encyclopaedia of history". C/U of a model of a Saxon from the ninth to eleventh century. C/U of a wooden Roman Legionnaire of the first century AD. Panning shot to a third model - a fifth century BC Greek infantry man - "the detail obtained from ancient Greek vases". C/U of the model of the medieval woman - camera tilts down to reveal the detail of the model.