A SCRAP metal sculptor who uses old horse shoes to make life-sized animals has made a War Horse replica ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Former riding instructor Ben Lee, who started his Cricklade-based business BL Sculptures in 2016, made the sculpture using horse shoes for the head.

Then he melted down old bolts and washers in his forge and sprayed them red to cascade down the mane which he had made from an old engine hoist.

“My brother and granddad were in the army and I was always taught to respect things like that,” he said. “So it was a good outlet really.”

He started his business after welding a horse shoe centrepiece at his wedding, just to try it it out.

“That was the first time I picked up a welder, “he said, “It’s almost happened by accident.

“But my dad was a clock maker so I was always in the workshop with him and my mum was quite arty and creative.”

He is supplied with his horse shoes by two local farriers based not far from to his workshop in Castle Eaton.

“They just go to the scrapyard and get melted down I assume,” he added, “But I like to turn them into something new and different.”

The majority of his work is made up of commissions and he is even starting to ship the recycled works abroad.

“I’ve hardly got any time to do my own stuff,” he said. “I’ve got loads of stags I’m making. I’ve got a job that’s going out to America in January for a gundog club, which train dogs to hunt. It's for two German shepherds made out of horse shoes.

“A customer had a Spanish horse and I made a life-size version of it from scraps, bits of car, things like that.

"It took about six months but looked really cool when it came out.”

Ben has put the War Horse replica on ebay and hopes to raise money for the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes from the sale, which ends on Remembrance Sunday.