Monday, 30 May 2016

Jump to it!

Continuing on from my previous post...

After the success of my G2 TB resculpt, Eclipse...

EA Eclipse

...I really fancied attempting another custom I'd been wanting to do on that mould for years - a landing horse.

Showjumping Talentseekers

I know, right, not the easiest thing in the world to do!

I knew I wanted it to stand on only one leg, through a wire onto a base (and let's be honest here, I really wanted to make multiple dioramas more than anything else!) in this kind of pose, with the other foreleg thrown out ready to touch down.

Showjumping Talentseekers

The sculpt as it was was fairly close to that kind of pose, so it didn't take much to remove one foreleg and reset it. I did all the resculpting with superglue and bicarbonate of soda rather than epoxy - more because I'm incredibly impatient sometimes and wanted to get as much done in one day, and also because I really hate using epoxy. It gets everywhere and just eurgh.

I wanted to tweak the hind legs more but I think I'll leave that for another future custom.
Anyway, I redid her mane and tail with glued thread which is definitely my new favourite way of doing hair as you can get some really nice natural poses I'd really struggle to capture with clay.

She's going to be a nice bright coppery chestnut with a bit of chrome, but at the moment I've hit a bit of a snag - I ran out of dullcote unexpectedly, and really needed to seal some pastels. I had an old can of sealer I thought would be ok but it spluttered a lot and well, you can see the result. I've ordered up some more dullcote which should arrive in the next few days, then I'll hopefully be able to fix it with another few layers, if not I'll need to sand her back and start again.

G2 TB resculpt WIP

Prior to painting her properly, I set to work on what she'll hopefully be doing as a performance prospect - cross country!

Although I've made a teeny tiny micro mini water complex before, I wanted to try my hand at a proper water jump, and when I saw photos of -this one- at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky course, I knew I just had to make my own interpretation.

I started off with a cork-based placemat and a thickish piece of foamex for the base, then built up one end for the bank.

Stablemate water jump WIP

With a sanding block 'hedge'

Stablemate water jump WIP

A slightly better mockup with wooden dowelling and a rubberised horsehair hedge.

Stablemate water jump WIP

Stablemate water jump WIP

Stablemate water jump WIP

I roughed up the surface of the bank and 'water' with filler to give a nicer texture...

Stablemate water jump WIP

...then gave everything a first coat of paint.

Stablemate water jump WIP

Whilst I put the hedge together elsewhere, I started to add foliage to  the bank section. I probably should have waited a bit but it looked so empty!

Stablemate water jump WIP

I drilled some holes for the internal supports for the hedge and stuck them into place. I painted them afterwards so they wouldn't be so obvious. The wooden supports were made from pine dowelling and stained and buffed with natural beeswax (which smells amazing by the way, I should have been a carpenter!)

Stablemate water jump WIP

I couldn't find any suitable wooden sticks or thin dowelling in my wood stash for the uprights, but hit upon a cunning solution in the kitchen of all places - pasta!

Stablemate water jump WIP

Well, linguini to be precise.

Stablemate water jump WIP
Who has the shiniest scalpel handles? I doooooo!

Once in situ it really looked the part, as did the hedge once that was in place too.

Stablemate water jump WIP

Stablemate water jump WIP

I'm not quite finished it yet so I'll leave you with a sneak peek of how it looks at the moment...

 Stablemate water jump WIP

Stablemate water jump WIP

...and I'll hopefully have an update this week once I've finished it off!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

New pony shelves!

As you may have noticed, my Julip herd has grown exponentially over the years and as a result, space is now at a premium. I keep most out on open shelves with a handful of the more light sensitive ones locked up in a stable to keep out the sunlight. The only problem is, the shelves - made by my dad when I was about nine - are far too tall, and there was a lot of wasted space going unused.

Old shelves

They weren't quite deep enough to get two rows in so I stuck a big sheet of card in to extend it out by an inch or two which did the job but wasn't ideal.

Old shelves

I'd asked if Dad could put up another level months ago but something always came up at the weekend or he'd just sat down with a cup of tea and couldn't possibly even think about moving, so it never quite managed to get done. I'd have done it myself but he's in charge of all the major DIY in the house. (plus, I didn't want to be the one responsible in case it all came crashing down!)

Today however, we had success!

The ponies were removed...

New shelves for the ponies! shelves were put up...

New shelves for the ponies!

...and the residents moved back in!

New shelves for the ponies!

Beforehand they were all doubled up so I couldn't see the ones in the back row very well but now I can see them all at once which is great. There's not enough space for a second row of big horses but plenty of room for ponies if I had them side on, so my order list can grow guilt-free once more!

There's another shelf on the right for my custom Schleichs - they were getting very cramped and a few had actually got damaged from being displayed too close together so extra space for them was a priority.

New shelves for the ponies!

Ideally I'd like to use the space for more Julips but as I don't have anywhere else to keep the Schleichs at the moment it's going to have to do for now.

I think the plan is to completely gut and redecorate my room this summer as it has literally been well over a decade since I had anything done to it and its in dire need of better storage and a new carpet that isn't covered in glue, paint and god knows what else!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

What's on the workbench this week?

Bodies, bodies everywhere!

I've always really liked the G4 draught horse but found his back too short for my liking, soooo, he underwent a bit of spinal surgery...

WIP G4 draught custom

WIP G4 draught custom

(He's thinking with portals, obviously)

I resculpted his neck too, as I want him to be one of those super chunky European draught breeds when he's done, though I haven't decided exactly what breed. I really want him to be some shade of roan though.

I lengthened his barrel with the wire/superglue/bicarb method which I much prefer to using epoxy.

WIP G4 draught custom

WIP G4 draught custom

I've always loved the look of string/thread mane and tails, so I teased out some very fine silk floss and superglued it on. It's a little rough in places, but I'm pleased nonetheless.
I'm still debating about whether to give him feathering or not.

My second victim is a G2 TB. I've always wanted to reposition one from gallop to landing from a jump for performance, and finally took the plunge yesterday.

My resculpting skills really aren't great, and I know the shoulder muscling doesn't quite match so I may sand down the OF side and redo it so they don't look too dissimilar. I used superglue and bicarb for it all, no epoxy at all.

WIP landing stablemate custom
After and before!
WIP landing stablemate custom

WIP landing stablemate custom

She has a metal pin in her front foot so I can have her installed on a base. This initially caused some problems when I couldn't find my smallest drill-bit and had to improvise, then spent ages trying to find some clear acrylic rod only to eventually remember that it would be hidden in a base so didn't need to be transparent at all! 


WIP landing stablemate custom

I lopped her ears and tail off and resculpted them so she looked more alert.

WIP landing stablemate custom

WIP landing stablemate custom

I can't wait to make a diorama for her - I really want to do a cross country water complex...

WIP landing stablemate custom

As of today I've started on her mane and tail - thread again, although I may have had a better idea, so I'll see how this one turns out first and then rethink if necessary.

WIP landing stablemate custom

Any idea for a colour?

Model horse rug tutorial!

 I honestly thought I'd already posted this on here before as I'd had it on a few forums about five years ago, but I can't find it anywhere so I suppose it's better late than never!

As it's quite an old tutorial, I make my rugs slightly differently these days, but hopefully this should give you all a simple and relatively easy to follow guide to make your own.

First of all, you will need...

Felt. (I'm only going to be concentrating on felt for this one but you can of course use fabric as well)
Bias Binding. (You can get this from most haberdashery shops or buy online. Wide ribbon works just as well if you don't have any)
Glue. (I use 'Bostik All Purpose')
Ribbon/leather for straps. (I used fake leather ribbon in the end so it's not visible in this pic)
Needle and thread. I used a single strand of embroidery thread as I couldn't find my normal sewing stuff in the right colour. You can of course use a sewing machine but I unfortunately don't have one.
Wire. (for making buckles - disregard if you have premade Rio Rondo ones or alternative fastenings)
Pliers. (for making buckles/holding stuff together etc)
Scissors. (I don't think I need to tell you what those do lol)
A horse to wear it!

What you'll need

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Headcollars for all!

Well, perhaps not all, but two's certainly a start!

Since getting them back from the Copperfox show, I knew I wanted to give my newbies some clothes. I'm keeping my glossy Cadno boxed for now as I literally have no more space for trads until I get my room redecorated with new furniture and things (hopefully this summer, fingers crossed!) but the matte version is happily out on display with his two Kickstarter CFs. 


I'd made Fantastic Mr Copperfox a headcollar and rug fairly recently but Kick Start 'Er hadn't had anything so I thought I'd rustle her up a halter at the same time.

EA Fantastic Mr Copperfox

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Copperfox Cadno - Matte and GLOSSY versions!

As you'll have no doubt seen in my previous post, I was lucky enough to win the Reserve Championship at the Copperfox Tour in Scotland yesterday, the main prize for which was a gorgeous glossy version of the regular run, Cadno.

Seeing as I'd bought the matte version that day, I thought it would be nice to compare the two, as well as giving non Copperfox owners a good look at the new models and the boxes they come in.

First of all, I just want to say that I'm going to be more critical of these models than I normally would be as I know there are a lot of serious showers who are very particular about flaws and things which I personally wouldn't see as problematic, but I thought that I'd try to show them off as honestly as I could so people who don't have the opportunity to see them in person before they buy can get a good look at them.

I absolutely LOVE the models I got, and honestly don't see their problems as, well, 'problems' but then I don't show very often so its all relative really. We also have to take into account that this is a brand new company and its obvious that they are constantly improving on quality so people ought not to be as harsh about them as I've seen some people being on forums.

Anyway, now that's out of the way, on to the review!


Copperfox UK Tour - Scotland Stop! IMG INT

Months ago, when I first learned that Copperfox would be touring the UK and one of those stops would be up here in Scotland, my heart sang. We have so few model horsey events 'up north' and I just couldn't wait as for once, I could go to a show in a day, without having to travel and stay somewhere overnight!

Of course, it being me, I procrastinated to my usual ridiculous degree, only assembling my list of models and setups to take a couple of days before the show - some of which were only painted and/or made literally within the last couple of weeks.

Finally, the day dawned - rather unfortunately for me much earlier than intended, as for some reason my brain thought it would be a bright idea to wake up at ohdeargodwhy o'clock. (I was awake for ages, then finally checked my phone to discover to my horror it was 4:55am and I didn't need to be up til 7. Urgh)

Once finally vaguely conscious, I bundled all my models into the car, and Dad and I set off to pick up fellow hobby friends Eleanor and Arla, who we were giving lifts to as the hall was a bit of a faff to get to if you didn't drive. The drive up was nice, only about half an hour away and close to Loch Lomond, and we even spotted a couple of ponies in fields which is always a bonus when going for a horse themed day out.

(apologies in advance for some of the blurry photos - my camera didn't always like the indoor light levels and my phone agreed)

This post is going to be loooooong with lots of photos so if you'd rather just look at them without my rambling commentary, check them all out -here-. Feel free to save photos if you or your horses are in them!