Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wordless Day

Today was not a studio day nor a write a how-to article day. So here's a flood of pictures that I have that I think will be great references. A couple have been thrown in for good fun.

Extremely creepy giant plushie in Canada
Gigit, a friend's French Bulldog puppie the day she picked her up. If you'd like to see more pictures of puppy cuteness, comment! 

As with all of my pictures, feel free to use them but give me credit if you use them. Thanks!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Getting Ready for BF C/Y Show-Making Customs With Performance In Mind-Pt 2

If you haven't read the first post, here it is Link.

The next part of this mini series will be about events and breeds.

What types of events do I want to use my model in?

There are many events that you can show a model in. But if you are making a model for a specific event, you can not just Google the event and pick up the first horse picture you see. Remember, and I can not stress this enough, for performance research separates the good performance showers from great ones (there are other factors, but this is a biggie).  Before making the custom, go to International Federation for Equestrian Sports website to see the rules for events. Knowing what the faults are will help you narrow down and figure out what is and what isn't acceptable when looking for reference pictures. If an event isn't there, go and look up rules for open shows, or breed association rules. A big example for researching before hacking, is western pleasure. A big no-no is peanut rolling.

 So you'll want to steer away from such a position  The same goes for Dressage. Rolkur is not seen favorably and is also banned by the FEI. So making a horse way behind the vertical and looking distressed is not the way to win dressage. Picking the events really boils down to research.. research..and even more research. You want to find the perfect movement and reference picture, depicting a winning picture of a horse doing what it's supposed to do.
For making a horse that spans over a single type of seat, ex. English, you could either take a model and make it on the bit with happy ears or Google general pictures of English horses and wait until you find a horse that's in a versatile pose that you're looking for. 
So for events remember 1) research 2)research and 3) Make what you like
Even if the model does not win, remember that if the model you've made is something you love, then you'll like it at the end of the day. You won't become angry with it and toss it into the trashcan, or snap off all of it's legs and then throw it into the trashcan. (Can you guess that I've heard stories like this? Yup I have. Even though such behavior could be added to the list of a sore looser :) ).


Breeds and Their Special Things

When deciding on the breed of a model, remember that some horses can not *easily* show or not show period in some  classes. For example, a Peruvian Paso horse performing the paso llano can not show in Olympic level jumping. Why? A horse performing such a gait isn't doing something that would depict such an event well. It's the same thing as a Mini horse being put into a trotting harness and being set against Standardbreds in the Hambletonian. Doesn't work, right? Specific events are only for specific breeds. Remember that when researching and deciding on your model breed. If you want a horse performing a special gait, remember that the amount of classes that it can show in will be cut down.
Pic Source
Another important thing that I will expand on more later is conformation. Look up the breed info and find the horse that is a great depiction of the breed. Sources that are great are champions. Original foundation horses can show the deep first roots of the breed.
Also, do not follow fads. Fads are called fads for a reason. They don't last. So when making a model, find a sturdy specimen that is parallel to the breed standard. Do not follow little things that are big today, but will be gone tomorrow.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Goat

Decided to work on my goat today. This is how far I got on the poor thing. :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Getting Ready For The BF C/Y Show--Making Customs With Performance In Mind-Pt 1

Making Customs With Performance In Mind

I love performance, and I usually make my customs to reflect that. For making customs for performance, there are some things to remember.
  • Am I going for versatility or single seat?
  • What type of events do I plan for the model to be able to be used in?
  • What breed do I want?
  • What classes can the Breed not participate in?
  • What pose do I want?
  • Is the model being made to be tack friendly and/or doll friendly?
Those are all of the things that you need to remember when making a performance horse.
For the Breyerfest C/Y show there are four divisions: English, Western, Other, and Scene.  Within each, there are multiple classes. English and Western can have the same horse preforming in each division (One horse can do all of the western, another can do all the English, etc). Other can only have one horse per class. Scene is a different beast, but you can still only have one 'main' horse per class.

Am I going for versatility or single seat?

If you want to have a custom that can do it all, you must remember these things: mane, tail, and pose. You also have to remember documentation. If you have documentation that's creditable, your horse can do many things. But it must be creditable. For example, English horses have braided manes. Of course if you have documentation showing that they can been shown in English classes having banded manes, go right ahead. Also documentation shows the level that you're horse is at and what's allowable, but I'll explain that later when we get to performance showing.

Mane And Tail

If you want a model to be used in English, having a braided mane and tail is a good start. Generally English horses have a braided mane and a possible braided tail. Here's a great how-to on doing it:
How To Make Braids PT One
How To Make Braids PT Two
Even within English, horses that are for cross country have loose manes so their riders can grab on. Of course, to an extent some judges will make allowances to models. You can't undo braids so your plastic model can be ready for Cross country after Showjumping, right?
Western horses generally have banded manes and loose tails. Here's another great post on how to make those:
How To Make A Banded Mane

For a model to be versatile  it should have a mane and tail that allows for it to be able to cross over the lines of English, Western, or Other. Now, for myself, if I want a model to have a versatile mane, I make its mane loose and short to medium length. The tail is not braided but loose.
For example, this is more versatile

than this. The mane is the big versatility difference.


Now For Pose. Basically any horse that is on the bit with friendly ears makes a great versatile model. A standing horse is great, and can be creatively used for a numerous amount of classes.  This custom has been used in Western and Harness but I plan on using him in English too. He's Nan Qualified in Harness. He's on the bit with a friendly expression and attentive ears.
I know, this picture again :) 
Versatile horses that are in a trotting pose really depend on their speed. Of course if you have a certain seat decided already, then go for it. Standardbred trotters will have a different trot than a thoroughbred trotting to the starting gates of a race. If you want a versatile horse, going at a slow-ish to medium-ish trot is good. Going too fast will not work for western pleasure.
This is a good speed---Pic source
For faster gaits, a versatile model will have to be on the bit and looking attentive. Cantering/loping horses can be used in many classes. Going at a relaxed pace is essential. Not too fast and not too slow makes for a good versatile performance horse.
If you're going for a more specialized seat, such as solely western pleasure, the horse will be traveling at a slower speed. For barrel racing, the horse may be cantering around a barrel, leaning to the side. In jumping, the horse may be doing a 'high' headed canter, looking towards the next jump it will fly over.
Good versatile performance horse speed--Pic Link
Galloping belongs to its own beast. You must be very creative in your documentation to be able to have a versatile galloping custom. I'm not saying you can not, but it must be creative. Galloping horses can be found in many events such as racing. 
Poses such as rearing and bucking really aren't versatile. A rearing horse being shown in western pleasure is a fault. Why? A horse in pleasure classes should be frankly a pleasure to ride. Such poses are really isolated to other classes like Circus. The rearing horse could be shown in jumping or any class, but it really is not desirable for the horse to be rearing. Performance is supposed to be taking a second long moment of real life and being able to depict it in model form. Bucking is great for rodeos, but it falls under the same category as rearing. They're undesirable traits for a horse to be doing in many classes, so it really isn't versatile. Still, it's always cool to see such models used creatively in other classes.
This is why I love performance so much. There's an endless amount of possibilities of what your model could end up like. Braids, Banded, loose, galloping, cantering, standing and many more!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Racing Saddle

Today I made a racing saddle. It's probably the fastest I've ever made a saddle before, and I used the pattern from Model Horse Performance. Can't say the saddle is all too great, but I'm pretty happy with the very first attempt.
Sorry about the bad picture...seems that the saddle has now disappeared. I'm pretty sure that I can blame it on a certain four legged furry friend... :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Ready for the C/Y Show--The Art Of Customs

Customs come in every model size available.
They can come in dog shapes,

And horsey ones.
Horse Customs may be remade with performance in mind,
Or created for the fun pose.
And supplies can range from pastels to air-brushes.
In short though, customs are always a change, whether in color or position, from orignal finish.
At the BF C/Y show, entrants are only allowed to remake their own models.
The cool thing about Breyerfest is that even if you don't want to go out and buy a new model to hack up, they have free stablemate painting for kids. So every kid can potentionally enter a custom model. Adults can paint too. They just have to pay a dollar or so. Very reasonable.
Customs are not so different from Orignal Finish models. When making a custom, it's very important to make sure all of the seams are gone, and that the Breyer Logo isn't there either. You don't want people thinking it's a regular model, right?
When prepping, make sure that the model is smooth, like the orignal finish models. That's very important. The idea and concept of a model may be a A++, but if the model's prepping contains bumps, clay leftovers, or huge chunks missing from its body, it could bump the model to last place.
Lines, circles, notes made to remind me where to sand.
The paint job's also an important part of model horses. You do not want overspray, or paint drips. Also, 'flat paintings', which is where a model does not have any shading, is a problem too.
You can't go and buy a custom from someone else and claim it as your own during Breyerfest's C/Y show. . For one, that's ethically wrong. How do you feel good winning, when you know you cheated and lied about who created your new model? Two, the point of the BF C/Y show is to teach children how to show. It's a beginner show. If you want to show your arist made custom, go show in the open show. Every year there is a controversy due to the fact that someone, knowing the rules, goes and shows a model not made by their own hands. Maybe if it's said enough, maybe there will not be a case of it! It's wishful thinking I know. *Mini Rant
Anyways, I'll split up customs in a couple of ways. Performance and Halter. And different techniques hopefully including: clay, supplies, etc.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


My dog is done! And I'm really happy how he came out. Only thing he needs now is sealer and glossing, but that's a small thing to do. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Almost There

White markings have been pretty much painted and all that's left are the eyes and nose. Plus a little shading here and there. ;) Overall, I'm pretty happy with this dog.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Nope not a model horse type of day.  Instead I started painting the dog.
I didn't have a lot of studio time today so I didn't get too far with him.
At this point though, there are many combos of breeds he could be! Flat coated retriever, Golden Retriever mixes, etc. Well tomorrow will be markings day since the base coat is done.
Also, for the Breyerfest series, would you rather hear about Customs or Performance first?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Almost There

Well I have one model done. It's an old Breyer Golden Retriever I customized years ago. He just surfaced! Have absolutely no idea what to color him though. Ideas?
And here's my pony that's very close to being done being prepped. Holes and divots just need filled, plus the braids need some help. Said pony also needs a gender. I was thinking a gelding. 
Well that's all for tonight! But I do have something prepped. Even though it isn't a horse. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Pile To Choose from...

I have a couple of bodies that seem to be nearing the end of prepping stage. Hopefully I'll be painting soon. They both fell victim to the angry primer can so a good amount of sanding was needed to get rid of the itchy layer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Getting Ready for Breyerfest C/Y Show Pt. 5

How To Make Breed Cards for Part-breds

Making breed cards for mixed horses is slightly different than regular breeds. Your model is a mix of two, not one, so you need both sides to be represented. 
I'm going to use my Palomino Weather girl as an example. Since she's palomino, she can't be a full blooded Arabian horse. So I looked up different half-Arabian crosses, and eventually came to the Arab x Welsh pony cross. 

Since this horse will be a well known mix, I mark the breed card as:

Arab x Welsh Cross
Description: A small pony with Arabian refined features
Height: 11 Hands-15 hands
Color: Any color except Appaloosa
 For crosses that aren't well known, make sure you have a picture of either a horse of that linage or two pictures of the parent breeds. When using mixes that aren't nationally recognized , you don't really need a description, height, color, etc of horse breeds. Crosses are fun because there are so many ideas and mixes that you can use!
Well, that's the end of the Halter part of Breyerfest (I think), so hopefully the next installment is performance or customs!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Swipe and Do Over

After doing some sanding, I decided to spray primer. Of course my Primer had a meltdown and decided that instead of spraying liquid out, it decided to spray out stuff that looked like the Christmas Snow. Oh back to square one.
I don't think you can see that snowy texture on the pony, but goodness can I! 
Anyways, on a happier note, if you didn't notice, I changed the font to the title. I think it looks more crafty and fun. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Can't start Until You Finish

Even though I have a load of bodies that haven't been started, it's time for me to actually finish something. I think the last horse I actually finished was in October/November. So no more starting until I finish one.
This pony only needed a tail and gender parts sculpted.
So using Don't Eat The Paint Blog's how-to on sculpting tails, I used painter's tape and figured out the shape of her tail.
I Super Glued it stiff.
Then I began to sculpt.
I began by rolling Apoxie Sculpt.
And here's the end result...Can't say I'm crazy about the tail though....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Getting Ready For BF C/Y Show PT 4-Typing Up Those Breed Cards

In here   I mentioned that you need to make breed cards for rare breeds, rare colors, or mixes. This is a how-to on how I make breed cards. There are many other ways. Some people cut up their breed books and slide their cuttings into organized sleeves inside a binder. I do not, mostly because of some shows having strict rules on the page sizes and all. It's just easier for me to type it up than to cut. Plus if I have an electronic copy, I can keep printing them off to my heart's desire. With a book I only have one copy. Once that one copy is lost or messed up, that's the end of that breed card.

How To Make Breed Cards

When searching online for breed info there are two roots you can go. You can look at the actual breed website or a list of horse breeds. Or an actual physical breed book can be used. This how-to is for internet, but it could be easily applied to physical books.
The things that you want to include in your breed card are:
  • Conformation
  • Height 
  • Color
  • Uses (if space allows) 
  • Picture (will be shown later, so don't worry)
For conformation you don't want all of this, it simply will not fit on a small card. I'll show you using the Russian Don Horse. Take only the important parts. You want the bare minimum that gets the point across, so no history or vast amounts of description about your horse breed.
The important stuff is highlighted
I use Microsoft word, and make a text box.
3 X 5 sized

Then I type in the info

Next it's time to look for pictures. When I type up the breed in Good images, I get a variety of shapes and sizes. (Howrse is still around? Wow I was one of the 'first gen' people when it came out in '09). Anyways, you want to find a horse that looks like yours but follows the breed description. You don't want the horse to look completely wrong for the breed you're trying to portray. 

Copy and paste the picture into the document and re-size it.
I also add the source where I got the breed info from.

Next will be on mixes. :)

Mother and Son?

It's always fun to play around with in-progress models, especially when they go together!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Side Saddling It

I've finished a sidesaddle   Now I would not per say call it good, but I like it! Now with every new pattern, you've got to try it out and see what you need to change it to be better.
Now I made the flat seat English Sidesaddle. In the book, there are four different sidesaddles. Judging from the one I made, Carrie Olguin makes the directions simple and easy to follow. I can defiantly see myself making more.
The Tree
End Result

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sort of Horsey Related....

I'm running for Student Council Co-President with my friend at school. My school's very small and since so many teens are using social media, I decided to use it. So I'm using paint.net to make these,

Of course there had to be a horsey part of my campaign, right?
And am putting them on Facebook and Twitter.
At least I get to come up with cool pictures and slogans!

Ooo and in other news, this is my 100th post. Yippee!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Laying on the Clay

We left off of Satan last time in the end stages of cutting and chopping.

Now he's had the clay laid on, shockingly the only really big things that need to be done with him are the mane, off side shoulder, and ears. Plus the gaps in the face. Maybe that isn't a tiny bit but it feels like he's so close!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Getting Ready For Breyerfest C/Y Show Pt. 3-Picking Your Breed

Once you've picked out your best halter models, it's time to look for classes that your models can fit in. Remember though that only one model can be in each class.

Picking Your Breed

To find different breeds I use horse breed books. But there are also numerous websites on breeds that work well too. I think this is a great one--Horse breed website . If you find a breed that is rare or isn't listed in the breed guide or it's an unusual color, you'll have to make a breed card. I'll discuss on how to make a breed card later in another post.
Breyer models come in many shapes and sizes. For some, numerous breeds can be added to their name. Even though Flash may be pinned by Breyer as a Morgan, you may be able to make him a Quarter Pony. But if you aren't sure about a breed, you can always be safe and go with what Breyer has made the model.
When deciding on a breed, look at the model and decide what type it is : draft, light, or pony.
Draft horses are the plows of the horse world.

Light horses are the ones that are ridden or used for more 'light' work such as riding, light driving, racing or things of that nature.

Ponies are any breed of horse that is shorter than 14.2 hands (a hand is 4 inches).

Once you've figured out the conformation type, you've narrowed down your list of possible breeds.
Most horse breed sources are categorized into the different breed types.
Light Breeds can be broken down even further. There are: Gaited, Spanish, Stock, and Sport plus light.
Gaited horses are horses that have special gaits other than walk, trot, canter, or gallop. An example would be a Missouri Fox Trotter. Spanish horses are horses than originated in Spanish type countries such as the Andalusian. Stock horses are the Quarter horses/ bulldogs of the world. The other light breeds are breeds like the Arab.

Sport horses can be chopped up into sections of its own. It can be broken down into the Thoroughbred/ Standardbred, Warmbloods, and Carriage breeds (carriage breeds are different from draft). Carriage breeds are the 'showy' type of horse bred for harness work, such as the Friesian.
To put that all on one page here it is:

Go through your list and start looking at the pictures of the different horse breeds. Any that your model is close to, make a note. Looks at conformation and color. Both are important.
Out of the all breeds you made a note to, now's your chance to decide what your model will be. Remember for breed assignments, it comes down to really what your preference. Except for example you can't have a Clydesdale trying to pass as a Thoroughbred. Breeds that are close in conformation can be interchanged. Really though, pick the one you like best. At the show though, if your model doesn't place as one breed, you can not enter it into another class as another breed. That's a no-no.
If a model has the right conformation, but not the right color, you can make the model a mix. Just make sure you also have a breed card to show the two breeds mixing together to make your model.
Model horse breed assignments aren't a black and white deal. Most models can go for being multiple breeds and do well being so.
Another rule for Breyerfest is that every model that you're showing must have a identification tag. This identifies your model as yours, plus if you don't have it your model will be disqualified. Afterwards follow the rules on writing the tag for your model, loop it on securely and you're done!
If you have any questions comment away!