Tag Archives: Sleipnir

Sleipnir Lokison, Steed of Odin and Eight-Legged Wonder of Norse Myth!

I didn’t need to have this guy done until Christmas, but I couldn’t help myself. Everything from the sculpting to the carousel-horse dapple grey paint job was a blast. Well, maybe not all that sanding.

Part way through the sculpting I got this intense desire to base his color on the tawny grey-brown of a hawk. I got the idea right before bedtime and couldn’t sleep until I’d gotten out the colored pencils and done a sketch. The next morning I did a better version, and this was my plan:

The plan deviated somewhat from the color his future owner requested, which was a steely, variegated grey with darker grey mane and tail and grey eyes. Sleipnir is actually specified as being grey in the 13th century Prose Edda, so this plan made sense. But I really liked my concept, so I decided to impose martial law artistic license.

But partway into the painting, I turned back to the original plan. My tawny hawk thing was just not working. So I kept going until he started to look better, and I finally I was pleased with his look. I ended up only disobeying my friend’s request in one way, and that is that he has amber-gold eyes instead of grey. His hooves are a metallic steel-grey and the mark on his hip is the Triple Horn, the emblem of the god Odin.

Now how am I going to keep this a secret for five months?

Neverending Prepwork

The appy sporthorse and the pinto pony have both gained another layer of color. Meanwhile, I am sanding, sanding, and sanding some more to get Sleipnir ready to paint.

That’s my pile of used sandpaper… from one side. All those pieces makes for a lot of little seams. I’ve finally got both sides done and a couple teeny holes patched, so hopefully is ready for final priming. Fingers crossed!

Patches the Eight-Legged Horse

Sleipnir has a new nickname. Because he is made of so many parts, getting him fully prepped and smooth has been quite a task. Every time I look at him, I find new places that need filling and/or sanding. Last night I sat down and circled everything I could find that needed fixing.

Oy! I’ve got my work cut out for me. After some time with the sand paper and epoxy, he began to earn his new nickname, “Patches.”

It’s the rare epoxy-loosa!

Then I had some leftover epoxy (and time) so I made a bunch of ears for my collection. Ears don’t use much epoxy, so it seemed to take forever to go through my extra. But I used it up before it dried and now I have quick a few more ears for next time someone needs a transplant.

Splitting a Schleich in Half

…is honestly a big pain in the butt, and a task I won’t be repeating if I can help it. But if you really must know, here’s how I did it.

Unlike Breyer and Peter Stone horses, which are made of hard plastic and hollow, Schleich horses (and similar brands) are made of a softer, more rubbery plastic, and they are solid. This makes is much harder to cut through them, because there is way more material to go through.

If you have a Jigsaw you should just skip all this and head to the tool box. But I only have a dremel, so that’s what I used.

The first thing I tried was using an abrasive metal brush tool to strip away plastic where I wanted the model to split. The brush is not very big, however, so although it works well against the rubbery plastic I could only make about a quarter inch dent into the horse.

I needed to somehow get rid of and/or weaken the plastic still firmly holding the middle of the horse together. So I got out a cutting bit…

and starting drilling holes through the remaining plastic (a straight up drill bit would work for this as well).

After drilling a bunch of holes all the way through the remaining plastic, it was weakened enough to pull apart.

You can see the “star” where I drilled through the middle:

The second model, for whatever reason, needed quite a few more holes drilled, but finally he too was able to be pulled apart.

I’m just glad that part of the Sleipnir project is over with and I’m on to the fun stuff now!

Sleipnir Gets Hairy

This Sleipnir project is such a blast to do. I’m really enjoying myself and spending a lot of time working on him. Even though his body still needs a decent amount of work, this weekend he got a mane and tail- I just couldn’t wait!

Since the mane we designed is large and mostly upright, I used wires and tape to make an armature, and sculpted the hair on top of that. First I dremeled holes along his neckline for the wires, just like I’d normally do for a tail.

Then I planted wires in the holes and secured them with super glue and baking soda. Once they were dry, I trimmed and bent them into the right positions.

Then, using Laura Skillern’s excellent method, I blue taped over my wires in the shape of the mane-to-be and added glue and baking soda over the tape for stability. This also helps the epoxy grab onto the tape armature.

Then I slabbed epoxy over the blue tape liberally.

After that, it’s just about shaping and more shaping. I use different tools depending on the day and the horse and whether or not Venus is in the sixth house. These were my favored tools of the day:

As I sculpt, I use water (some people use rubbing alcohol) on a smooth brush to go over the sculpting and smooth out any harsh lines. Here is his new hirsute look:

I’m very pleased with his new do, so pleased in fact that I went on a put a mane on my running pony too, because I felt like I was in a good groove. And next up… adding feathers! This is gonna be a very hairy guy.

The beginnings of Sleipnir

When my dear friend Sarah asked me to make her a model of the eight-legged stallion of Norse mythology, Sleipnir, I couldn’t help but say yes. Even though it’s a completely insane project and I have quite a few others I’m in the middle of- or would like to start. But I couldn’t resist.

Traditional references aren’t as applicable for an eight legged horse, but we found lots of very cool Sleipnir art on Deviantart to inspire us and aid in the brainstorming (including this amazing skeleton). From there I made a series of sketches until we were both happy with the plan:

It took me a couple of weeks to get both of the bodies I needed (Schleich’s Andalusian Stallion and Haflinger Mare) and I was very eager to begin. Alas, cutting a Schleich in half is a huge pain and I burnt out my dremel before I finished both.

Now, with new dremel in hand, I’ve been using every spare moment to work on this wacky, fun project. Check it out!

The unsuspecting victims

Plotting the carnage

Ouch!

Starting to come together… sort of…

Pinning the pieces – you definitely want at least two big wire pins to hold together something this large

Assembly progress: 6/8

All legs attached and lookin’ fine!

Next up: tons and tons of sculpting. But it’s super satisfying just to have him at this stage. Now I think I can calm down and spend time with all the projects. Sometimes you just need to scratch a certain itch.