Tag Archives: Mr. L. B. Scuttlebutt

Fuzzy Pony Progress

One of the projects I’m hoping to finish before my September live shows is this fuzzy little pony. You may remember him from back when he was a bunch of pieces, but he’s whole and horse shaped now!

After I sculpted his feathers, I decided I wanted him to be hairy overall so I sculpted hair on his chin and belly and used messo to make hair patterns over the rest of his body.

The only problem with hair texture is that it’s hard to get pastels to color every bit. So I always put down a layer or two of acrylic to get into all the crevices. Since this pony is going to be a sun-faded black, I used a brown acrylic for his base.

After the first layer of acrylic I found some places I wanted to re-texture, hence the white on his barrel.

He was looking pretty stark and scary at first, but now with some layers of pastel his color is starting to come along. And I’m very pleased with his fuzzy look!

Adding an Acrylic Peg for Stability

If you have a model who only has a few hooves on the ground or is simply unbalanced, they might need a stand or peg as support. A horse with only one or two hooves touching the ground usually needs the added security of a base, like my Shetland pony work in progress:

Often, an acrylic rod is used when the horse has a hoof that nearly touches the ground, but not quite, and needs to for stability. Many people prefer acrylic rods to bases because they are less obtrusive and often make the horse easier to show.

My new resin, Linda York’s “Roll” has been having some tippiness issues. As I get closer to priming him, it’s becoming more and more important that he can stand upright safely- I won’t be able to prime or fixative him if he needs to be lying down all the time!

This resin has three hooves on the ground and another slightly raised, so he’s a perfect candidate for an added acrylic rod.

I believe you can buy acrylic rods in various sizes from hobby and craft stores, but another excellent source is hobbyist Myla Pearce, who sells them in various sizes through the Model Horse Sales Pages. In this instance I’m using her smallest size, 1/16″, which she recommends for Stablemate leg supports.

The first step is to drill a hole in the hoof where the rod will go. You want to drill a straight, deep hole without punching through the other side of the hoof. I chose a diamond drill bit only slightly larger than my acrylic rod.

Happily, I managed to drill neatly and straightly up into the hoof, making a perfect little nest for the rod.

Then I simply inserted a piece of the cut rod into the hole. Once I had it cut to roughly the correct size, I pulled it out, set in just a drop of super glue, and replaced the rod.

As you can see, the rod wasn’t the exact right length. It’s extra height is lifting his near fore leg off the ground. This is easily remedied, however, and easier than trying to cut the exact right size before gluing. Once the glue is completely dry, simply use a needle file to incrementally shorten the acrylic rod until you reach the correct height.

Voila! A happy, stable horse ready for primer and beyond.

Fixing a Broken Leg 201: joints

Last month I did a quick little tutorial on how to do a basic fix on a broken leg using wire. This month I find myself fixing another leg, this time more complicated because it’s broken right below a joint.

This fix uses a similar technique, but with a bit of a tweak to make it more stable.

Required reading: How to Fix a Broken Leg

The sad (and blurry, sorry) victim:

This break was half on purpose and half not- I was intentionally repositioning the leg, but failed to heat it enough before bending and it snapped. Oops.

Because the break is right below the bent hock, I need to use a wire join that is also bent to follow the shape of the leg so that it actually stabilizes the break.

weak join

strong join

The first step in the fix is simply to embed a piece of wire into the straighter side of the break, in this case the cannon bone (just like in steps 1-2 of the first tutorial). Once the wire is fully fixed in that side and the glue is dry, gently bend the wire to match the shape of the full leg (see below).

Since my wire joiner has a bend, the hole its going to fit into, in the upper part of the break, needs to match that bent shape. I used my carbide scraper to dig out a trench in the front of the bent hock. You could certainly use a dremel, but it’s not necessary.

Here I’ve dug my trench into the hock and fixed the wire, now bent, into the model’s cannon bone.

I keep scraping until the wire nestles fully into the trench and the leg lines up properly.

The wire nestled in its new home

Here I’ve got the leg just about where I want it.

As you can see above, I’ll need to do some resculpting (including removal) on that hock joint to make it anatomically correct. The important thing here is to get the bottom part of the leg securely where I want it to be on the finished custom, and then I can worry about the details.

Once the wire sits fully in the trench and you have the leg positioned how you want it, just fix the wire into the trench using superglue and baking soda. It sometimes helps at this stage to have an extra hand, or rest your horse upside down in a cup so you can hold the leg in place while still applying glue.

Once the glue is dry, make the fix even more secure by filling in the surrounding area with your epoxy of choice.

Ta da!

Distracted by Awesomeness

I have been trying to blog but I am having this wonderful difficulty: all of my time is taken up by one of the following:

1. Watching the new Avengers movie

2. Waiting in line for the new Avengers movie

3. Convincing others to attend the new Avengers movie

Awesomeness happens.

So while I work on some meatier posts, here is a picture of the galloping pony as he is now.

He looks much better with a neck on, huh?

Enthusiastic Dismemberment!

Since coming back from the show I’ve been full of inspiration and enthusiasm for more customizing. This poor pony has been in this uncomfortable state since early 2000.

Unfortunately for him, sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better.

But roughly 24 hours later…

He’s only barely horse shaped, but at least he has all his limbs reattached!