Risky business and surefire tool maintenance

I have been working on my chestnut MM cantering horse and am very pleased so far. The white marking really made the color pop. But suddenly I realized that although I have been imagining him as a stallion (and he is rather manly and majestic, IMO) he had no stallion parts. So, feeling adventurous, I actually added epoxy after painting. I was super careful to use clean tools and have clean hands. Also, I experimented and added burnt sienna pastel dust to the epoxy before adding it, thus tinting it much closer to the shade of his coat. It’s not the exact color, but a good start. You can see a bit of his new sheath in the picture below, and it blends in tolerably–certainly better than the off-white of epoxy. I’ll probably have to sculpt a bit more with thick acrylic (I certainly can’t do any sanding!) but I think this is going to work… as long as the pastel dust doesn’t make the epoxy, er, fall off… how embarrassing for my poor stally that would be!

His true color is a bit brighter and redder (rather Secretariat-esque, actually) and he still lacks facial details, hoof detailing, etc.

In the same epoxy batch I did some under-the-tail detailing on my mule, so my sculpting was rather focused today. And this is why I get made fun of by my housemates- I spend my free time sculpting tiny horse genitalia.

My beloved file and some favorite sculpting tools

While working on my mule’s tail I was once again delighted by my irreplaceable file. It’s a great tool, even though one might think that its large size makes it mostly useless for minis. But it’s very useful for taking off large areas of epoxy or doing straight edges, and it doesn’t tire out like sandpaper. Plus, I can use it to sharpen my other sculpting tools.

Inevitably despite my efforts I get dried epoxy all over them, and fine edges become crusty. So every once in a while I just file down my tools and voila, they are good as new and ready for fine detailing!

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