Tag Archives: WIP

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!

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.

In the Studio After BreyerWest

Most of my hobby time since January was spent preparing for BreyerWest- customizing and painting RoboClop, making tack and props, and obsessively planning my classlist. Back in the studio now, I’ve got a number of fun projects in the works.

The work in progress cupboard

I’ve got two trade-commissions going: Hazel needs a few more coats of oils and her markings, while Moxie is getting her pinto pattern and acrylic details. I bought two of Maggie Bennett‘s fantastic resin micros at BreyerWest, one of which is half painted and the other of which I have grand plans for. On the right are two new horses (a CM and a resin) that I had just started in oils when the BreyerWest madness really took hold.

One thing that didn’t get done in time for BreyerWest was RoboClop’s pinto coat. He showed as a pretty bay with high whites, but he was always destined to be a tobiano. He got a bath to take off the sticky wax and now he’s getting his markings mapped on in colored pencil before I start layers of acrylics.

I’m loving having the new micros to work on- I like to do micros primarily in acrylics, and it’s fun to work on them between coats on other horses. This fantastic little sculpt is called Bambi, and she’s currently half dappled grey.

Sitting on my iPad with my main reference picture.

Lots of good fun in the future for me! Just one little thing delaying my work… I’m about to fly to Italy for a three week vacation :D Wheeeeee!

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!

Peaceful Pastelling

After what feels like months prepping (actually, I guess it was) I am finally starting to put color on my two resin commissions. The two resins are Justice by Kristina Lucas Francis (the drafter) and Stacey Tumlinson’s mini Majestuoso (the Spanish).

Both horses are artist’s choice colors and they are both going to be chestnut, although very different shades. Justice will be a flaxen chestnut tobiano and Maj will be a deep red chestnut with a hint of metallic shine. At least, that’s the plan!

I am also doing my fourth attempt at a palomino on Chryselephantasia. I did a palomino earlier this year who turned out lovely and was almost effortless… and now this. She is really making me work, but I think I’ve got things right this time.

yellow ponies

The above picture is from a week ago. Chrys was still getting her main body color, and the two resins are getting their yellow-tan undercoats. It was funny working on three yellow horses for a while there.

Since then the two resins have taken a turn toward orangey chestnut.

drafter 12-29-13

As I like to do at about this stage, I also added some basic acrylics so I can start visualizing the finished horse. I blocked in Justice’s tobiano pattern too, so I know where I need to keep going on the chestnut. He’s a bit overly orange right now, but I’m pretty confident in where he’s going.

Majestuoso has a longer way to go, since he’ll be a much darker chestnut.

Maj 12-29-13

Blocking in his dark mane and tail really shows just how far he still needs to go. I love how even just painting the eyes black suddenly brings the horses to life. This guy has a lot of layers left.

Chrys is getting closer and closer- she too got her hair and marking blocked in, and I took the tape off her hooves.

Chrys 12-29-13

At this point I’m only pastelling her greys, and fixing a few boo boos in her coat. Once that’s done, she’ll be getting her whites for real. I’m pleased with how soft her coat came out (finally!) and the super subtle dappling.

I’m so happy to be pastelling again! But I’d better keep up with sculpting and prepping too, so I’ll have a new herd ready for color when these guys are done. I’ve got at least two bays and two appaloosas coming up…

 

 

 

 

So behind!

Yikes! Can you believe it’s already August? I mean, I can, I just wish it wasn’t. I could use another month to catch up on… everything.

One thing I’m very behind on is blogging. I have a lot of pictures and progress waiting to be shared. The other thing I’m behind on are my goals for the Rose City Live at the beginning of September. Here’s what I’m hoping to get done by then:

  • repair Nightfox’s finish
  • finish acrylic details on Hale resin- and name him!
  • sculpt, cast, and paint a rider for Nightfox
  • prep and paint Chryselephantine 2.0
  • repair and repaint Alpo

WIP herd 8-2-13

And here’s where I am on those goals:

  • Nightfox has some acrylic repair, but needs socking and pastel
  • Hale needs work on his hooves, eyes, and chestnuts. Also a name.
  • The rider is sculpted and awaits casting- more on this later!
  • Chryselephantine is just getting her first layer of acrylic, along with last minute details like veining.
  • Alpo has a new leg but still needs to be sanded and get his tail back on. Plus painting!

So I have a long way to go. Right now I’m waiting for Blick Art to open, so I’m taking the time to catch up the blog on my recent antics! For there are many.

As mentioned above, Chryelephantine is finally getting some paint!

Chrys - acrylic layer

I don’t always do an acrylic layer before pastels, but it can be helpful in speeding up the process. Plus, I’m trying to follow the basic steps I used on an earlier palomino that I really liked, and this is how I started. Also, this light color does a great job of showing last minute blemishes that need to be fixed before I move into pastels.

During this stage, I am also adding last minute details with modeling paste. To show the part of her mane that is shaved (as per Saddlebred show standards) I did a layer of modeling paste along her bridlepath to the forelock, with a bit of shaved-hair texture.

Chrys - bridle path

She also got added veining and some neck wrinkles. Next she’ll get a bunch of socking, and then it’s time to add pastels! I’m really excited to get her in clothes.

Lots more stuff coming… my first adventures in resin casting! Building a full-scale panel jump! General madness! Stay tuned :)