Category: "Animals"

Luciana Violetta di Quattro Formaggi

by brae  

Or, Vi (vee) for short.  :D  We have a new housemate!  Violetta is a rescue kitty, roughly seven years old and very affectionate.  She doesn't talk much yet, except for many loud protests in the carrier while driving.  She has some hair loss, either from a flea allergy (she was treated for a bad case of fleas in the past) or just stress grooming.  Perhaps a quiet and stable household will help.

Her shelter name was Luciana, but I changed it to Violetta.  I joked that her full name is Luciana Violetta di Quattro Formaggi, named for my favorite type of pizza.  :D

She's set up in the guest room, though Jasper did have a quick peek at her.  There was some hissing from him, which surprised me since he's been good with other cats.  No matter, since she will stay in the guest room and we'll introduce the two slowly.  :]  Right now, she's hiding under the guest bed for a respite as I type but she's been sweet and curious toward me so far.  I hope the slow introduction will work well, and the two kitties will be fast friends in the long run.

Happy Groundhog Day 2016!

by brae  

It's Groundhog Day, but I think Woodrow is still making up his mind whether there will be an early Spring or six more weeks of Winter.

It's not like I am lacking in mini projects to keep me busy...but it would be nice to have the windows open.  :]  Woodrow is supposed to be impartial, but his surroundings suggest a hankering for gardening.  The Iowa magical corn is from Blondie.  :D

Woodrow looks all scientific with his almanac, charts and graphs.

But, I spy a dart to throw at those winter and spring posters.

No matter what the outcome, I'm all for his plan of having dessert and a cordial.  :D

Woodrow by *reve*.  Yellow pot with succulents and zebra from April.  Pansies and violet plants from Debora.  Jacobean book rest kit from Cynthia Howe Miniatures.  Winter and Spring images from The Graphics Fairy.  Magnifying glass and calipers from Bill.  Dessert from MiniFanaticus.

Making a 1/12 scale horse - part 1

by brae  

I've made a burrowing owl, chicks, hens and fish, but I've always left the more complex animals to the artisans.  I have wanted to add a 1:12 scale horse to my collection for some time now, and I figured a break in between projects would be a good time to do so.

I'll be starting with a 1:12 scale Breyer Thoroughbred.  Adding flocking or fur adds bulk, so I thought I would start with the leanest horse model available.  Of course, you can scrape down a model before flocking as well but I'd rather keep it as simple as possible.

The barn find shed at Milo Valley Farm was never meant to be a stable, which is a good thing since my horse clearly isn't going to fit comfortably.  :D

Outside is good, though.

Baslow Ranch also works well for a backdrop.

My plan is to remove the plastic tail and molded mane to add mohair instead.  This entire process has the keen ability to end in disaster anywhere along the line, but the materials are all relatively inexpensive so therefore worth the effort even if I end up having to trash one model to get to the better, final result.

I picked up a set of diamond burrs for my Dremel to help with the deconstruction.

I found a great tutorial about removing the tail and building up with Apoxie Sculpt, so I picked that up as well even though I plan on having a mohair mane and tail.

After the deconstruction and any necessary remodeling, I will begin with painting.  I've always had a fondness for roan horses, so I might give that a go.  April sent me a fabulous set of brushes and clay tools called a Bundle Monster that will be invaluable here.  :D

There are a few methods for furring plastic animals, and one of the more in depth tutorials is this one from Paizley Pawz (be sure to look through the before & after gallery).  There is also a tutorial for making a furred fox, but I don't have the two magazines listed.  I will be on the lookout for them before I start that part of the transformation so I can see both methods in full and make an informed decision on how to proceed.  I've just started researching, but Soft Flock seems a possibility as well; they have a how-to on their website, too.

I haven't yet found a tutorial for both flocking and adding a mohair mane and tail to the same horse.  While there are a lot of fantastic painted models out there, I just think the flocking on the body sets it apart as in this example.  The challenge is in shaping the mane without ruining the flocking, I would imagine.

I personally have been on a horse twice.  The first time was when I was young and away at camp.  My horse decided it wanted to turn around on the trail, which happened to have a slight drop off to one side.  The counselors were yelling at me to get the horse under control, but it wasn't listening to me at all.  I weighed maybe 60 pounds, so that horse figured the seat was empty and wanted to head back for a snooze.  :D

The second time was about five years ago for less than five minutes, just to pose for this photo.  This horse was very responsive and well behaved.  Dude is an American Quarter Horse.  :]

Now, time to let things stew while I gather more info on techniques.

Tinysaurus Rex

by brae  

Ages ago, I saw a Tinysaur T-Rex that April had assembled.  I put off getting one of my own, which is always a mistake.  If you like something for a future project, it's better to get it and store it.  When I finally got around to looking for them, they had vanished like the actual dinosaurs during a mass extinction!  :O

I persevered, and finally they arrived...the T-Rex and the Stegosaurus.  I ordered mine from The Evolution Store back in 2013, but you can now find them at Everything Tiny.

Look how small the T-Rex head is, and then notice there are a lot of parts even smaller!!!  :O

I had started this model in 2013 for my Christmas scene that year but never got back to it until now.

My X-Acto blade was huge in comparison.  Nothing but super sharp, out of the box blades for this work.  Separating the pieces took a lot of patience.  I recommend working in an area with no breeze, no small spaces for flying parts to fall into (I'm looking at you, keyboard) and no loud noises.  No deep breaths or sneezing, either!

Maybe if José's tiny X-Acto truly worked, it would have been easier.  :D

I glued my model together, though I did a dry run on all the parts each step of the way.  There would be no way to take it apart if a gluing error occurred.  I used tiny tip tweezers for the parts and bent tip tweezers to hold the model.

So wee!!!  :D  I tell you, the pieces look huge in this photo...they are not.

I put together one of the regular size wood models back when I was young, so it's nice to have a mini one for my mini houses.  Plus one of my inspiration photos for the HBS Creatin' Contest had a wood dinosaur model in it (and a round window on a white brick wall).  Meant to be!

no discernible source found for this image since there were over 1,500 instances of it in a google search

Meeko, the cat with the interesting expression

by brae  

I really wasn't in the market for another mini cat, but well....  I'm sure we've all been there.  :D  I've named him Meeko since he reminds me of the expressive racoon in Pocahontas.  He is made by JMDS.

He came with a removable set of bat wings to dress up for Halloween.

I was thinking he would be a good companion for Gustav, for whom I have an idea in mind for a dwelling.

Just need to get past the HBS dealine.  Say it with me...roughly 1 month left!  :O

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