Tag Archives: resins

Creative Spraying

Most models have a good handle- their tail sticks out, or they have a base, or something else easy to hold while priming, fixativing, or painting. But sometimes you have to get creative.

When my main projects are drying or otherwise on hold, I’ve been working on some of Maggie Bennett‘s awesome micro mini resins. They are super fun and I enjoy painting them in acrylics.

My current project is Maggie’s sleeping resin, Kahlua.

Because of her size and her pose, Kahlua doesn’t have a great handle. I needed to spray her initial layers with fixative, so I decided to get creative. The advantage to her pose is that she has a large area that won’t be seen- her belly and bottom.

So I grabbed my trusty dremel, picked just the right bit, and caaaarefully made a hole in her belly.

The drill bit I used was chosen to match the size of a toothpick. And thus…

Micro on a stick!

I made sure she was firmly on there…

…and then took her outside for an all-over spray of Dull Cote. Then I simply planted her stick in a glob of playdoh.

Easy peasy! She’s drying safely on the shelf next to her buddy Hazel, who also got a layer of fixative.

Hurrah! This will make the rest of my work on Kahlua much easier.

Freeing Hazel

Morgan Kilbourns Mini Hazel resin is cast with a base, which I am removing as part of this commission. She now has an acrylic rod in her front hoof to provide stabilization.

Removing a resin from an attached base is a time consuming process. It’s not terribly difficult, although I do recommend that you only attempt something like this if you are also confident doing small repairs and minor resculpting. Unless you have a way steadier hand than I do, you’ll inevitably end up having to resculpt a bit of hoof or fill in a gouge somewhere.

Hazel before- securely attached to her resin base.

Generally something like this would be done in the sculpting and prepping stage, so the resin would be blank. Here I’m doing it with the paint job largely done, so I’ll need to protect the finish. Even on a blank resin, these kinds of precautions can help keep your horse safe while you work on it.

I wrapped Hazel in several layers of cotton and then fleece, leaving only her back hooves exposed. I used rubber bands to loosely hold the fabric on while I worked.

For the next step, I got out my trusty dremel. I wanted to cut through the thick base around the hooves to get the bulk of the resin off before I worked more closely to the hooves. For something like this I often use a large drill bit and use it to gnaw sideways through the resin. A round cutting bit- especially a diamond bit- will also work.

A key thing to keep in mind with something like this is that you want to keep as much stress as possible off the parts you’re keeping- in this case, the legs. I was careful to hold the legs still to minimize the amount of vibrations from the dremel. This prevents weakening the important bits.

After some quality time with the drill bit, I had taken off the front chunk of the base and the middle bit, leaving little stumps under the hooves.

Now I switched to a diamond cutting bit (pictured above) and very carefully cut away the bulk of the stump, leaving a few millimeters of resin under the hoof. Again, be sure to hold the hoof stable and only let the dremel shake the part it’s slicing off.

You can see in the photo above that- like many resins- Hazel was cast with wire in her legs for stability. The wires go all the way into the base. As I cut away the bulk of the resin, I also had to avoid the wires. Once the resin was cut away, I snipped the wires down as far as possible.

Once both hooves were resting on just a bit of resin, I sat down with my carbide scrapers, needles files, sandpaper, and an exacto knife. I used the knife to cut through the thin resin around the hoof. As I got closer to the hooves, I switched to the carbide scrapers and sandpaper to remove excess resin without damaging the sculpted parts. I used the needle files to shave down the rest of the armature wire. Slowly I got the hooves reshaped and flat.

The last step was to add the acrylic rod to the front hoof so Hazel can balance. For this I used a small drill bit about the same size as my acrylic (1/16 inch). I carefully drilled straight up into the hoof, trying to go as far as possible without coming out the top (inevitably I failed, and had to patch the top of the hoof). Then I estimated the length of acrylic needed, cut a generous piece, and inserted it into the hoof. Then you just need to use the needle files and/or sandpaper to adjust the length, and glue the acrylic into it’s final position.

Ready to roll!

All done! Now I just need to give her a bath to get the resin dust off, and I can move on to more painting!

Commission finished!

Now that she’s been delivered to her owner, I’m happy to share that the red dun overo Moxie is finished! I was able to get her done in time for her to be delivered as a surprise to her (very patient) owner at Breyerfest.

This was my first dun paintjob in oils so it was a new challenge for sure, but I’m happy with how she turned out. I’m looking forward to painting my own Moxie… once I finish customizing her :)

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Progress Update

My focus for the last few weeks has been two trade-commissions I have in progress. I’m very eager to get both of these horses back to their owners with their new paint jobs.

First up is this Moxie resin (sculpted by Sarah Rose). She’s very close to finished as a red dun overo. She still needs her mane and tail painted and other acrylic details, but her body color- acrylic markings over oils- is done (and dun!).

Next to Moxie on the shelf is this Mini Hazel resin (by Morgen Kilbourn). I had always loved the traditional sized Hazel resin so I was very excited when Morgen cast her in mini size. I am painting this one to a deep dark bay. I wish she was easier to photograph- I’ve done many layers (more than I’d anticipated!) on the way to capturing the purpleish and gold tones of the reference picture. She still has more oils work to go and will be finished up with some minimal whites.

The other piece demanding my attention is my newest performance horse, RoboClop. I showed him at BreyerWest as a solid bay, but he was always meant to be a pinto like my reference picture. I finally got his markings on and I’m really pleased with how they came out.

Showing in English Pleasure at the Region 1 Championship Show

I’ve had a few weekends away but I’m looking forward to a more low key weekend coming up- with lots of time set aside for painting.

Anyone for a trade?

I’m really excited to be back in my studio and working on some more tack plus a whole pile of beautiful naked resins. Most of them have planned colors and even names… I just gotta get painting! Once done, these guys will actually double my resin show string!

full_trailer

That said, I’ve got my eye on the new stock horse mare that Sarah Rose is working on. She fun, correct, and performance friendly! You can see pictures of her on the Rose Studios page. I’m excited to say that I’ve already arranged a paintjob-for-blank trade on her- a friend is purchasing two Moxies; I’ll paint one for her and keep the other as payment. Perfect!

That deal is already claimed, but I’m interested in a similar arrangement for Adelee Hude’s new Lippizan stallion Adagio. If you’re interested in having me paint your Adagio, check out my MH$P ad for trade details.

I am why I can’t have nice things…

In December I lucked upon an ad on MH$P for a Mini Cromwell resin at a very affordable price. I’d had my eye on this resin so I jumped on the opportunity and grabbed him.

cromwell before

I really like this resin as is, but I want him to be a performance horse (I just love drafters under saddle!) and his face is a bit narrow for his breed. So only a few weeks after this guy came to his new home, he found himself going under the knife…

cromwell after 1

It’s funny to start cutting on something so nice and new, but I have a vision. I promise I’ll put him back together!

cromwell after 2

Post Moving Ponies

I packed up my horses and hobby stuff around the end of January in preparation for our February move. After we moved, I was busy for a while unpacking, shopping for furniture, and a hundred other little post-moving tasks. But then… I started to get the itch to work on horses. I really missed it.

At that point our only available work surface was the kitchen island, which was also where we prepped and ate meals and a catch-all for household detritus. But I managed to make it work. With most of my supplies still in boxes it was possible to get out the necessary items for a work session and then re-store them away during meals.

kitchen island studio

The kitchen island studio

Last fall I got two new resins that I was very excited to paint- Wee Wyakin, as a trade-commission deal, and Covenant Renewed, as a birthday gift from my parents. I’d bee working on prepping them before we packed up, and I was excited to get them out again.

It was wonderful to be painting again. My Wee Wyakin was destined for a complicated semi-leopard pattern, which is lots of fun to paint. And Covenant Renewed, the Morgan stallion of my dreams, was slated for a deep luscious bay.

Wee Wyakin (or Pollyanna Plaudit, as she is named) was done in a combination of acrylics, pastel, and pencil, with many, many layers of work.

Pollyanna wip 1

Starting the first layer of hairing and leopard spots

Pollyanna wip 2

Staying safe in the tea cupboard

Pollyanna wip 3

Roaning continues…

Pollyanna wip 5

Starting to look like the references, but far from done.

I had a show coming up in April, and at the last minute (at least, by customizing standards) I decided I could get my Morgan, Salty Captain, done too. I have less photos of his process but he went from funky…

Funky Captain

…to hunky in a matter of weeks.

Beautiful in Bay

Just in time to win his class at NW Expo too!

NW Expo 2014

I’m so happy to have added these two lovelies to my growing resin collection!