Life after RAF Lyneham has been tough for many ex-servicemen and civilians who were made redundant after the Hercules fleet left last year.

But Darren Wilson, who served and worked at Lyneham for more than 20 years, is carving himself out a future in an unusual way.

He has set up his own company, PolyStone Designs, and is making sculptures from waste paint on the base.

Mr Wilson, 42, served at Lyneham for 12 years as a senior aircraftsman, before spending the past decade as a paint sprayer, working on Hercules parts.

Shortly before the fleet left for Brize Norton last year, he started experimenting with chunks of the thousands of layers of old waste paint which had built up on the floor of the workshop over the years.

“I started off just moulding it into basic shapes and then moved on to creating things like animals out of it,” he said.

Then, when he became one of the thousands made redundant last year, he aquired hoards of the old paint and is now sculpting it into jewellery and ornaments.

He has even crafted a model of the Hercules itself, giving people the opportunity to own a special piece of local history.

Mr Wilson, who lives in Westerham Walk, Calne, with his wife Catherine, said: “Life after Lyneham has been tough for a lot of people. It was like a big family.

“I still speak to people who have struggled and they are just taking whatever work they can find so they can get by.

“But I really enjoy what I am doing here, it is what I want to do.

“I have always been quite arty, I used to do some watercolours before I moved into this.

“I think it’s nice that I am using those resources from the base, which would otherwise have been considered waste, to get myself off the ground.”

Mr Wilson sands down the raw paint layers in his garage, before creating earrings, necklaces, ornaments and more. The finished pieces look like granite but are very light. He said: “It started off with a few friends taking an interest but now I hope it’s something that could be really big.

“Although I still have plenty of material left, it won’t last forever, which makes the pieces unique.”

To purchase, visit G&S Jewellers, in Calne, or Dandelion, in Royal Wootton Bassett, or log on to