Category: "Animals"

Making a 1/12 scale horse - part 6

by brae  

Continuing work on the 1/12 scale model horse. After the initial primer coat, I fine-tuned the body and then did a final primer coat.

I started the final paint with some shadowing. I thought he looked like Batman right here.

The hair was accomplished with multiple layers of paint using small and large brushes. I made a lot of it up as I went.

Some areas on the body turned out better than others, and I can always rework later...but I was pleased enough to move on. I do really like the face.

I had planned to complete the mane and tail today, but the mohair I bought photographs as muted purple. It looks charcoal grey in person. Even with the mismatched color, I can see just how having the mane will transform the look overall.

Ivy Hollow - lighting

by brae  

Originally, I thought to have a removable roof and possibly a removable wall. I'm pretty much set on having only the roof removable at this point, so I put an additional window on the back wall for better viewing the interior with the roof on.

With a removable roof, ceiling lights are just too much of a hassle. Possible, but a hassle. I'm opting instead for wall lights only, and the Meyers Wall Lights are the perfect blend of vintage and shop. While considered an outdoor light, they are small enough to work well indoors. Plus, I like the look of the pea bulb (not shown in my photos since they are still safe in their packages). As for whether there would be electricity in this post office in 1917, I'm deciding yes!

Using the artist's model as a guide for height, I chose a place relatively high on the wall.

I'm still deciding if I'll have one on each side wall and two on the back wall.

I had originally planned on only one centered over the back counter, but the added window meant I would have to arrange any shelving or desk in a different configuration than originally envisioned. I could likely eliminate the one to the right of the back window and have plenty of light. That would allow for full shelving on the right, a cabinet under the window and then a desk counter on the left. I could also add a desk lamp. I'll do some mockups in cardboard to see what I like best.

I won't have an outside light since my inspiration post office inspiration did not. Let's just say the business hours were limited to daylight hours, but you still had to see to work inside. This would be especially important during winter or stormy days.

To install my wall lights, I'll need channels running to the floor and through the foundation. I'll also need a wire for the stove to run to the battery in the back. Having the building on an angle makes it easier to build a shed in the back to house both the battery for the flickering lights and the power strip for the regular lights.

Looks like Daisy has found a great place to curl up and stay warm. This beautiful sleeping kitty was made by JMDS. I'll need to make her a less modern pillow if she is to stay in the post office. :] She's rather pristine for a rural cat, so she might end up having a permanent home in another build. It's not as though I don't have enough mini cats to find one to wander into the post office.

Horse Harness - part 1

by brae  

Maybe that should read, "Putting Jebediah to work, part 1." As you know, I'm using a Breyer thoroughbred horse for my mail wagon. I found it interesting that at least one pacer (harness racing horse) pulled a mail wagon in real life.

Mail Wagon Horse Mon, Jan 19, 1914 · The Star Press (Muncie, Indiana) · Newspapers.com

After finally getting my hands on the marvelous book Making Model Horse Harness by Anne Funnell, I started reading the material and doing more sleuthing online. Anne's business is no more, so I am doing my best to scout Rio Rondo for the things I need. They seem to be well-stocked, so I am making a shopping list while I work on a mockup.

I bought this bridle from Texas Tiny at the local mini shows this past spring.

I fitted it to Jebediah to see. Yeah, it was a pain. I can see there will be more swearing in my future as I make said harness. :D But, it fits perfectly and is very well made. I'm not sure if I will be able to modify this one (the reins are not long enough, there's no simulated bit and there are no blinders), or if I will have to use this as a guide to make my own with the harness.

I had the idea of doing a test run with ribbon before diving into the leather and custom hardware. This would give me a feel for the parts and lengths/widths of the tack. Michaels is always hit or miss in the supplies department, but it was the closest store while out to lunch. I bought 1/8" wide white ribbon - the two colors missing from the stock of plain 1/8" ribbon were brown and black. Sigh. I colored the white ribbon with a permanent marker and let it dry overnight. I'm not worried about color transfer since Jebediah is still in his primed state. I had 1/4" black ribbon at home. These aren't the precise widths I'll need, but they are a good approximation.

I didn't get very far, since one part really depends on another, but it was worth a shot. I need to just get the materials and start to work - trial and error. But, this attempt did help me study the drawings in better detail and estimate the amount of leather I will need. I also kept a tally of the various hardware components since the book doesn't have a detailed listing of items with sizes. The book appears to be a companion to the kits and hardware sold by Anne Funnell, so that is understandable. If you have the kit, you need only the part number - not the size. And, the kit itself would have likely had a parts list with sizes and lengths noted.

I am reconsidering adding flocking to Jebediah in seeing how much handling needs to be done when attaching and, especially, tightening the buckles. I know I can get a good approximation of hair on the body with paint, and the mane and tail will no longer be plastic to help drive the realism.

Jebediah McCants

by brae  

That's my horse's name - Jebediah McCants. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt anyone guessed it. :D

I looked up the meaning of Jebediah, and it means "beloved friend." McCants is some distant ancestral name, and I thought the names sounded good together. I'm figuring our RFD carrier is Mr. McCants, since the carriers were charged with supplying their own transportation, therefore caring for their own horses.

Jebediah looks eager to get on with things, no? I'm gearing up to gear him up, researching more in depth on harnesses and the like. More on that to come...

Ivy Hollow - what's in and what's out

by brae  

I've run into a snag with the buggy kit, but all is not lost. More on that to come.

I am realizing just how little room I have to work with inside. Instead of changing the game plan and altering the building to be larger, I will forge ahead with what I've started. I originally wanted a postal teller, a desk, a gate to separate the public from the postmaster, a potbelly stove, and a bench or chair for waiting customers. It's just too small inside for all that without having the customer practically standing outside to conduct business let alone sit inside, and the postmaster has no room to work in the back area. I don't think the door would be able to open inward with this setup.

It doesn't have a lot of pizzazz looking in, either. Boooorrrring.

So, the Chrysnbon desk is out (as if you could really see it anyway). :[ Instead, I would have one gate, a smaller desk, a countertop for sorting mail (shelves on the wall above as well), the postal teller and a stove. I could make a built in counter all the way across in the back and have a stool to serve as a desk. That would likely be cleaner and more efficient for the postmaster. If the customer wants to sit, they'll still have to go elsewhere. haaaaaaaaaa

It's a more dynamic view looking in as well. Hi, peeps! :D

I'm also realizing how long the mail wagon and horse are going to be on the board, especially compared to the post office. This might all end up looking ridiculous. After staring at it awhile, I turned the building on an angle on the landscaping board. Why do structures have to be square on the base? They don't! :D This looks like it might work better, but it was still off to me. The horse is ignoring us.

So, I flipped the whole shebang. Since the horse faces a direction that looks better photographed from a certain angle, this might be the best layout in the end. Hi, horsie.

Let's hope the wagon issue is fixed soon so I can keep on with it.

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