Making a 1/12 scale horse - part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the 1/12 scale model horse.  I found a great tutorial about removing the tail and building up with Apoxie Sculpt, though this technique ends with a sculpted tail instead of fiber.  This site directed me to two additional tutorials - one for adding a tail and one for hairing.  The hairing for this example does not drill holes for the mane, so I will be on my own for that, but it is good to see the prep work involved.

I ended up going with the wrapped wire tail from the second tutorial using 18 gauge copper wire.

I followed the tutorial, but mine ended up looking a little different.

I wrapped the wire with DMC cotton using Weldbond adhesive.

I left it long since the horse body is partially hollow, and I thought the added length would be good for stability.  When I inserted the wire, I added Weldbond and super glue gel to the top since it would likely come in contact with the body inside.  Every bit helps.

I had some Apoxie Sculpt in my stash from when I first envisioned this project.  I looked at the Apoxie website, and they say their products have a three-year shelf life.  I've never opened it since I bought it in January 2016, so it would likely be okay.  But, I would be heartbroken if it falls apart later, so I replaced it with fresh product.

Some of the attributes listed on the back are promising: highly adhesive, 0% shrinkage and cracking, 1-3 hour working time, and 24-hour full cure.  There's a nifty table showing how the putty changes over the working time.  It also comes in colors, which is less of an issue for me since I plan to paint the whole horse anyway.  I'm using white putty.

Part B was very stiff and sticky coming out of the cup, but it mixed easily.  (Yes, I made way more than I needed, but I didn't want to have to start over if I needed more.)  I did use latex gloves while mixing but used my bare hands when working the putty into place.  You can use water to smooth it, and the website recommends freezing unused portions to extend the life.

I also have a good set of sculpting tools from way back in my art days.  :]

Using a 1/4" drill bit, I drilled a hole for the wire, making it large enough to also add the putty.  As you can see, I got the first hole too low.  The drill bit wanted to slip on the smooth plastic.

I sculpted the tail definition from the body to the wire and plugged the extra hole.  Mine looks different from the tutorial, but I think it will work just fine.  You can sand the putty once it's cured, so I will smooth it out even more later.

I used the same putty to fine tune the slit along the neck at the withers...

...and at the forehead.

Now, I leave the putty to set.

I've been thinking, since I might want to have some accessories for the horse later on, I thought it best to make those pieces before adding any delicate furred finishes.  So, I'll be stopping after I paint while I either shop or make things.  If anyone knows of reasonable tack sources or good tutorials, please let me know.  I've been doing my own research as well.  I'm leaning toward a retired racehorse, though I also have that old mail wagon kit.  Different tack setups for each.


Comment from: Debora L. [Visitor]
I love seeing this step by step! Can’t wait to see what you find or make as tack.
02/21/19 @ 17:21
Comment from: Sheila Lester [Visitor]
Love how the horse is coming along. So interesting to see and you're fearless when it comes to trying out new things like this.
02/21/19 @ 19:19
Comment from: Marilyn H [Visitor]
Rio Rondo carries model horse tack and supplies. I can't wait to see how the horse turns out. I've always wanted to customize one of the Breyers I have but have always been to nervous to try.
02/22/19 @ 06:47
Comment from: Jeanne [Visitor]
I've been slowly browsing through a 1980s-90s collection of miniatures magazines that a fellow club member gave me, and when this morning I picked up the next one in the stack, it was the January 1982 Nutshell News focusing on model horses, tack, stables, etc, having just read *your* post the night before! There is an article about modifying Breyer horses, but to be honest, I think you are already doing pretty much everything the author -- Sandy Tomezik -- recommends! There are other articles about horsey artisans, and more ads for them than I think usual in NN at this period. Unfortunately most of them seem to not be in business any more -- Heather Hills Miniatures, for one. Apparently Sylvia Rountree of The Dolls' Cobbler used to do saddles and tack in addition to (human!) miniature shoes. I didn't find anything in a quick Google search about Fredricka Young, also profiled in this issue. I did inadvertently find these though -- 69 pages of info on "a good [miniature] tack-making environment" -- tools, supplies, etc., and a current model tack artist's blog. (He looks more like a racehorse to me, but the mail wagon kit is fabulous!)
02/22/19 @ 07:28
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you so much! The links are lovely, and I'll have a look for that old Nutshell News issue. :>>
02/22/19 @ 08:11
Comment from: Jodi [Visitor]
Wow! You are really doing an incredible job here, Brae! Thanks for the info about Epoxy Sculpt - always wanted to try it but glad I didn't order and have it setting around yet! Will wait until I actually have a project to work on! Thinking about the extra length of that wire and where it was going made me cringe a little! I know I have seen various tackle things by Fred Cobbs or Prestige Leather, and I think SP Miniatures had them?
02/22/19 @ 12:45
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
Since this is a Breyer, the company now makes a lot of cool tack and accessories. Just to a google search. If you have Murdock's or Bombgard's--farm and ranch stores you might find some. I bought a pair of cowboys boots at the Denver Miniature show last fall and got the lady's card for her miniature leather work. I'll see if I can find it. She gave all of her tack patterns to a friend and she lives in the south. I'll see what I can find, but her work was pretty awesome. Eager to see what you do with with handsome fellow.
02/22/19 @ 16:52
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks for the leads and encouragement!! :>>
02/27/19 @ 21:58
Comment from: Kamelia [Visitor]
So great to se the progress.
03/02/19 @ 07:42
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! :>>
03/03/19 @ 16:15

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