Category: "Animals"

Ivy Hollow, Rural Free Delivery Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019

by brae  

Rural Free Delivery has come to the village of Ivy Hollow! Mr. McCants and his trusty equine companion Jebediah will make sure your mail arrives at your home safely and in a timely manner. Register your address at the local post office today!
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RFD - Rural Free Delivery - transformed the landscape of rural towns by removing the arduous chore of traveling long miles to the post office as well as providing greater access to goods and services. Mail order increased purchasing options for individuals and fueled business. Mail carriers were responsible for providing their own wagons and horses, having to traverse poor roads in all types of weather. RFD eventually led to the Rural Post Roads Act, which further developed rural communities by improving roads.

I set my post office in 1917, a number of years after the advent of RFD. The mail wagon passenger cabin was scratch built and fitted over a doctor's buggy kit chassis. Jebediah the horse started as a plastic Breyer model.

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These are the final photos I narrowed down to, and I had to pick four to submit. I love how the wagon turned out. :D I'll finish up the how-to posts on it in the weeks to come.

I packed a lot into this tiny building.

Postal cat! :D

I didn't get to making my own harness, but Tiki from Kulp Model Horse Store saved me at the last minute. I do still plan to make my own.

The tiny postcard is a replica of the original inspiration.

I'm thoroughly exhausted, so the long recap post will have to wait. Thank you to HBS, and thanks to everyone for all the support and encouragement! :D

Making a 1/12 scale horse - part 7

by brae  

Continuing work on the 1/12 scale model horse. As a reminder, this is where I started - a 1:12 scale Breyer Thoroughbred.

I've completed Jebediah for pictures today, but I do plan to redo the mane and tail. This was my first time hairing a horse, but I think it turned out pretty well. :]  I'm not a fan of the purple hue of the hair (here I've color corrected in PhotoShop, which is a pain), and I think a darker hair would look better overall, but this is what I had on hand.

The fibers curled a little when I wet them for styling and cutting, but they flattened out as it dried. It's less wispy and artificial than it looked out of the package. Here's what he looked like right after the hair was applied.

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.

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