Tag Archives: OF

Repairin’ for Erin: Straightening a Bent Leg

My friend Erin is a dedicated and accomplished hobbyist. Among other things, she is a committed and skillful performance shower…

English Performance Champion at Breyerfest 2013

English Performance Champion at Breyerfest 2013

…and makes top quality western tack:

Pleasure saddle made in 2014

Pleasure saddle made in 2014

Erin has been wonderfully generous with her knowledge, helping me learn about working with leather and improve my performance entries. So I was excited to find an opportunity to me to use my skills to help her out in kind.

Although Erin’s short foray into oil painting was pretty successful, she doesn’t do any customizing or repairs herself. Being a clumsy person, I’ve inevitably learned to repair models. Earlier this month I was visiting Erin and found several horses to kidnap and repair. I figured I could do some mini tutorials as I went.

The first horse in need is a OF Stablemate Arabian Mare who was formerly a part of Erin’s mini show string. Alas, Miss Pinto has been staying home since she developed a bent foreleg.

Ouch! That can't be comfortable.

Ouch! That can’t be comfortable.

Bent legs are a relatively common problem in plastic models and can be caused by heat, pressure or a combination of the two. You can prevent bent legs by protecting your horses from extreme temperatures (e.g. never leaving them in a hot car) and packing them carefully for any transport.

Fixing a bent leg on a show quality model follows the same general practice as bending a leg while customizing- only you need to be much more careful about the finish. Overheating an area can cause the plastic to bubble.

To make this repair, you’ll need a heat gun, a wide bowl of cool water (big enough to dunk your horse into), and something to protect your hands while you shift the leg. I use an old pair of thick socks. The plastic will be hot when you touch it, and you will burn yourself without something over your skin. Trust me.

Curious cats are optional but encouraged.

Curious cats are optional but encouraged.

The key to this is to take your time. With your hand protection on, turn on the heat gun and wave it back and forth slowly over the bent leg, keeping the gun about 3/4″-1″ away from the horse to prevent damaging the finish. Move the gun so that every side of the leg gets heat. Bends are generally going to happen between joints. Pinpoint the place you need to manipulate to fix it, and aim to get that whole area warm.

Erins Arab Mare - heating area

The red block shows where I’m aiming the heat for this fix

After a minute or so, gently try to bend the leg back into the correct place. If it doesn’t move easily, heat it a bit more and try again. Once you’ve got the leg in the position you want, dunk it into the bowl of water. That cools the leg and (hopefully) keeps it in the new position.

Erins Arab Mare - cooling

Once the leg is moved some, check your horse again. Is further bending needed?

Frances is skeptical

Frances is skeptical

If the leg is being stubborn, heat and move it again. Something you have to do this a couple times to get it right, as the leg naturally wants to move back into the bent position. Be firm, and show the leg who’s boss… but gently and slowly, so as not to damage the finish.

The final result: showable once again!

The final result: showable once again!

With only about ten minutes of fiddling, this mare now has a straightened leg. She’s ready to go back out on the show table!


RITNY part two: Customs and Original Finish

When the first two divisions finished up, we moved on the OF Plastic and Custom halter divisions. There were lots of gorgeous ponies out on the tables and made me itch to start painting again. I’ve got two horses in prepping stage that refuse to be ready, but every prepping session gets me closer (I hope).

Check out some of the shiny on parade, and a few ribbons for my horses too :)

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Original Finish Eye Candy – part two

More judging, more drooling. Oh, for unlimited money and space…

Stone Horses Country Fair 2009 SR Seeker – photo from Stone Horse Reference

I am such a sucker for rat tailed Appaloosas. This guy has a realistic but still wildly spotted pattern, and nice details too.

Little Horse Show 2011 SR Piccolo – photo from Stone Horse Reference

I love the Pebbles Arabian, particularly in bay, and the twitched head and swishy tail just seals the deal.

2008 Ebay Store SR Alano – photo from Stone Horse Reference

I don’t really like the Chips Drafter (I think he’s rather too leggy) but this golden sheened chestnut with a swishy tail is striking and anyway, he could be shown as a young stallion not quite grown into his legs. I could make it work…

2008 Jubilee SR “Ruth” – photo from Stone Horse Reference

Can you tell I love the swishy tails? And such a lovely dainty grey.

CollectA Appaloosa mare – photo by EMK_horses

I’ve been seeing more and more of the new CollectA horses by Deb McDermott in the model horse world. The Appaloosa mare makes a nice Mustang, and I’m a fan. I’d want to customize one but I think they break my size rules, so I’ll just admire. I like the CollectA Arabian and Thoroughbred mares, too.

Stone Horse Country Fair 2009 SR “Crystal” – photo from Stone Horse Reference

One more Pebbles Arabian, with just a hint of rose grey on the hips.

I’m finally done with judging. Most of my recent free time has been spent working on holiday gifts (crafty!) or on job applications. In this economy, I’m not holding my breath, but at least I’ll put out some feelers. I’m lucky to have a job, even if it isn’t as dynamic and intellectually stimulating as I’d like.

I’ve been listening to the BBC Rado Sherlock Holmes Stories, which are great. I just finished “Shoscombe Old Place” which actually involves race horses. I think Shoscombe would be a good name for a jolly hunter horse- like the lovely custom Roundabout resin that Jennifer Buxton is working on.

Original Finish Eye Candy – part one

I’m currently judging 3 different OF photo show divisions for MHOSS and IMEHA. That means lots and lots of eye candy! I don’t collect OFs, and don’t want to start, but looking at all these pretty ponies is a nice way to arm-chair collect them…and in all sizes, too!

Since I’m getting to oogle all these nice models (and quite busy doing so!) I thought I’d post some of my favorites. These photos are NOT from the shows themselves, but other photos of the same models I’m admiring.

PS Chips Mini Me Par T Time – photo by spirithorse21

Pintos are not usually my favorites, but the combination of the conservative tobiano with the beautiful honey bay is just drool-worthy. Plus the Chips Stock horse is, imho, greatly improved in character with a turned head and/or swished tail.

Breyer G3 Cantering Warmblood in dark palomino – JC Penny 2007 SR – photo by PrincesMilady on flickr

I love this mold, and I’m a sucker for dark palominos.

G3 Thoroughbred RR in rich bay – photo from identifyyourbreyer.com

This picture does not do the model justice. This mold is really complimented with by the simple but rich bay color.

Palouse Echo in red dun – photo from Stone Horse Reference

This is one of my favorite Peter Stone molds, and the red dun is just delicious.

PS SR Hamilton in dapple steel grey – photo from Stone Horse Reference

I’m not usually a fan of the Peter Stone Arabian, but this steely grey is rather scrumptious.

Mini Third Times the Charm from the JAH SR Mini Connesieur Collection – photo by Dorothy Graham on Pony Lagoon

Despite it’s flaws I have a real soft spot for this mold, and with that lovely Conn-quality chestnut paint job she is a real heart-stealer.

All this oogling makes me want to get at my customs, and as always I am experiencing what I call “Customizing ADHD.” I am always starting more and leaping from project to project. There are so many unfinished or about to be started equines! But first, I’ve got to finish judging. And maybe do my laundry…

Nostalgia Time

The last weekend had multiple live shows around the US, including the NW Expo Model Horse Show in my hometown of Corvallis, Oregon. Back in the day I used to show in the novice division at this annual show. And since then I love to visit and see all the shiny ponies, even if I’m not showing. This year the show happened to fall on the weekend my in-laws were visiting, so I didn’t get to attend.

In the hopes of seeing pictures from this years show, I went to the show’s website. I’m sure that Tracy Durrell-Khalife, the show’s host, is still busy getting in the results to NAMSHA and it was overly optimistic of me to hope for pictures already. I didn’t find 2011 pictures, but I did find sometime else fun… two fuzzy pictures of my 12-year old self at a past show!

Setting up my OF Spotted Mule for the Longears Championship judge-off

The grey Brighty on the right is also mine, and is the only model of my childhood collection that I’ve kept

These were fun to find. I actually think Tracy has a picture or two of me winning NW Expo Novice championships, but I couldn’t find them on her site… I think I’ll email her to see if I can get a hold of them. Meanwhile I’ll maybe add one of these to my new About page.

Random Collection Picture

These guys are two of the four in my OF collection. They live on the windowsill above the kitchen sink. On the right is Mirabel, a Safari Mythical Realms Unicorn baby, and on the right is the Safari Flower Fairies Pony, Gavin.

Favorite Breed Assignments

I’m up to my neck in IMEHA classes to judge, but making slow progress. It’s put a bit of a halt on studio goings on and blog posting too. So tonight I’m taking a break to share some of my favorite uncommon but awesome breed assignments for mini molds.

Classic Swaps as a Caspian Pony

Caspian ponies have short heads, large eyes, and small muzzles. The neck is slim and graceful, leading into sloping shoulders, good withers, straight back, slim body and high set tail. The legs are slim, with dense, strong bone.The overall impression of the Caspian, from the tip of its muzzle to the crested, flowing tail, is that of a very small, well-proportioned horse. They are usually bay, grey, black, dun, or chestnut.

Swaps also makes a lovely Anglo-Arab.

Classic Andalusian Stallion as Azteca

The Azteca is a mix of Andalusian, Lusitano, Quarter Horse, and Criollo bloodlines. Specific combinations of these three breeds make up the Azteca breed from Azteca A to Azteca F based on the crossbreeding table. Impress your judge by naming the exact mix!

Ideally, the horse is a balance of both breeds, being not too tall and lean, nor too short and stocky. The head has a straight or slightly convex profile, with small, well-pricked ears, and expressive eyes. The neck is well muscled and slightly arched. Withers are medium to sharp, and the horse has a straight, fairly short back, and a broad, round croup. The mane and tail are flowing and the tail is set low. The girth is deep and full, and the shoulder is long and sloping. The Azteca has well-muscled cannon bones with good joints; however, the cannons are long and thin. The bone density should favor the Spanish ancestry rather than the Quarter Horse.

Classic Terrang as Budyonny

The Budonny breed generally stands about 16 hh and is generally chestnutwith a golden sheen, although they may also be bay, gray or black. They have a well-proportioned head with a straight profile, a long neck, pronounced withers, sloping shoulders, a wide, deep chest, a long, straight back, and a slightly sloping croup. Their legs are long and strong with good joints and well-formed hooves. The modern horse has a strong build, good bone, and are quite similar to the Thoroughbred. 

Stablemate G2 Andalusian as Warlander

The head is carried upright and shows the stamp of nobility. The profile is straight or slightly convex. The neck is well-muscled and high arched, springing from the shoulder, and narrowing toward the head with a fine clean throatlatch. The mane should be abundant with thick luxurious hair that is neither coarse nor overly fine. The back is straight and strong flowing from the withers in a straight line to a well rounded croup. The overall look should be a smooth line that flows gracefully. The shoulder is well sloping, long, and muscular with a 50 degree angle. Legs should have solid bone, without being overly heavy. All solid coat colors are permitted.

I also like the G2 Andy as a Lippizaner, Alter Real, and Lusitano.

Stablemate G3 Friesian as Warlander

I also like the G3 Friesian as a Fell Pony, Friesian Sport Horse, and perhaps Welsh Cob.

Stablemate G3 Thoroughbred as British Riding Pony

Riding Ponies are more like a small horse than a pony, with small heads and ears. They are compact, with sloping shoulders and a narrow front. Their feet are tough and they possess strong limbs. They are well-proportioned with comfortable gaits and free-flowing movement. There are three types. The show pony resembles a miniature show hack with pony features, and often contain Arabian or Thoroughbred blood. The show hunter type is similar to the show pony, but with more substance. The pony should be suitable to carry a child across country. The working hunter is a stockier and more workmanlike type. I like this mold as a Show Pony or Show Hunter Type.

The G3 Thoroughbred also makes a good Rheinland Pfalz-Saar, a breed I had never heard of until I started judging this show.

Stablemate G3 Drafter as Norman Cob

The Norman Cob is stockily built throughout and is obviously strong and powerful, but it is not a true heavy breed and lacks the massive frame and proportions of the heavy draft horses a good trade for its energetic and active ability. A crested neck and a sensible head are typical. The Norman Cob is compact through the body with a short, strong back running into powerful quarters.  The barrel of the horse is characteristically deep an round and the strong shoulder is nicely sloped. The limbs of the Norman Cob are short and very muscular but they are lighter than those of the heavy breeds and do not carry the same profuse feather.  The traditional coat colors are chestnut, bay or bay-brown.  Occasionally red-roan or gray occurs.

Stablemate G3 Standing Pony as Kerry Bog Pony

The Kerry Bog Pony has an average sized head with a dished face. The nexk is strong and of medium length. The shoulder is rounded and muscular. The body is compact and strong with a deep chest of good girth, well-sprung ribs, and powerful quarters. The legs are strong with a short cannon bone and pasterns. CThey can be any solid color as well as tobiano, sabino, and rabicano.

I love the G3 Pony. He is versatile and also makes a lovely Icelandic Pony, Highland Pony (minimal white only), Dales Pony (minimal white only), Shetland/Welsh Cross, Grade Pony, Chincoteague Pony, Dartmoor Pony, or Welsh Section A.

Peter Stone Chips Thoroughbred as Light Waler

The Waler is commonly confused with the Australian Stock Horse but is in fact a separate breed. Walers have a well sloped shoulder, strong back, powerful legs, big clean joints and correctly sloped pasterns, at an angle corresponding to the shoulder. They have a deep girth, well-sprung ribs, alert eyes, and a strong, graceful neck. As befitting a cavalry horse, some carry their heads high, to protect the rider. Colouring is predominantly solid bay, chestnut, black, brown and grey. There are four types of Waler: a pony type, light type (pictured), medium type, and heavy type.

Peter Stone Chips Andalusian as Abaco Barb

The Barb is a light riding horse with great stamina. It has a powerful front end, high withers, short back, a sloping, narrow croup, and carries its tail low. It is hardy, with clean legs, and small, round, sound hooves. It usually is gray, but bay, black, chestnut, and brown horses are also found. The Abaco Barb is an endangered strain of the Spanish Barb horse breed that resides on the Island of Abaco in the Bahamas. The Abaco Barb can come in different colors than the usual Barb, including pinto (including the relatively uncommon splashed white), roan,chestnut, black and other colors.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I do!

All of the information and pictures above I found by simply googling the breeds, so there is plenty of info and photos out there to use as reference materials. Always remember to provide information to judges if you are using a rare breed… we really appreciate it!