Monday, April 11, 2016

SPN61 Update 4/11/16

    I'm so excited!! I've finished the updated concept for SPN61 and there's not much left to do on the sculpt! What I did, was I sculpted the basic pose and shape I want, and got the neck to a point where I was happy with the details. Then, I drew what I had on paper, and sketched out the extended detail concept - what I have to sculpt next.

    Basically, all that's left to do is add the little details and the mane, ears, and tail. Then I'll be able to bake and prep him for casting! If he doesn't act up again, I should have a reveal by the end of April! (Don't hold your breath though! I'm bound to get stuck somewhere!)

That's all for now!
Over and Out!

Friday, April 8, 2016

SPN61 Update 4/08/16

No one's figured out the name yet?

Anyway, I've finally gotten its neck to a good spot. I've been fighting with its neck for what feels like a month (It probably was,) but now I can finally move on! I'm probably going to leave it as it is for now while I go re-draw the design. Nothing major, I just can't continue until I know exactly how I want to do the details. Since I haven't revealed what it is yet, this might sound a bit confusing or counter-intuitive. All in due time!! 

I doubt he'll be done by mid-April as originally intended, but anything's possible! I'm aiming for the beginning of May, with mid-may at the latest. All that's left to do is refining, so it really shouldn't take all that long to do.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tutorial: Give Me a Hand, Here!

    Today's tutorial will show you how to fix the Breyer rider's hands to hold the reins more properly. I was requested to make this tutorial after posting a close-up of my Yvonne doll's modified hands on deviantART.

They were only modified to hold the reins between the pinky and the ring finger. I didn't alter anything else. Today, I'm going to show you how to alter your rider's hands so they can hold the reins with a tight grip, and between their pinky and ring finger!

So, here's what you'll need:
  • A Cutting Board
  • A candle or heat source
  • A knife (Preferably an x-acto knife, but any razor sharp blade will do)
  • The rider you want to modify
  • A spare bridle or piece of lace to use as the reins

    Okay! So, before we get cutting anything, let's take a look at how reins are supposed to be held (English or barrel reins [when using two hands], not split or romal reins.) I have a set of reins laying nearby, so I'll show you quickly how the rein is held. Ideally, you want your hands closed tight around the reins. Basically, make a fist. I had to loosen my grip to get these photos, because I had to use one hand to take the picture. If these aren't clear enough, try googling it!

    Now that we know what it looks like, let's get to work! For a single set of reins, the rein should come out of the bottom of the ring finger, like pictured above. So, we're going to cut the pinky away, as shown here:

    You don't have to map it out if you don't want to. I did, to show clearly where I was going to cut. Now, if you're needing the rider to hold a double set of reins, such as with a full bridle or pelham bit, you'll want to cut the ring finger away as well, following this second line here:

    Today we're only doing the pinky. So, start heating up the hand with your heat source. Try to get only their fingers, as if you heat too much up, you may warp their hands in unnatural ways. 

    You may have noticed I burnt her thumb. Always be careful when dealing with heat! Be sure you disperse the heat over the area; don't just hold it in one place. Also, be careful not to burn yourself!

    Once you get their hand heated up, Lay their hand down and take your knife, and cut along the crease of the pinky. The fingers may flatten out; this is okay. Be careful to cut only the crease, as you may weaken the integrity of the fingers if you cut anywhere else.

DO NOT CUT LIKE THIS!! You WILL cut yourself!
I had already cut her finger away, but I couldn't get it on camera, so I had to hold it like this for the picture.
    At this point, you should be able to move their pinky independently from the rest of their fingers. Now, re-heat their hand and press the flat part of their fingers (by the top knuckles) into the cutting board. You want to start closing their fingers into a fist. Hold the hand in place until it cools down. You can gently blow on it to aid in cooling. 

I thought I had a picture of this! Sorry!

 Now, get that spare rein I mentioned, and shove it in their palm. We're going to start closing their fingers around the rein. For this stage, I have a thick cotton rein. The idea here was to have the thicker rein in place so I didn't close her hand too much, but I ended up needing to close it more anyway, so you can get away with a thin leather lace if you want to.

Now reheat their hand, and press the fingers around the reins. You don't have to worry about getting a round shape just yet, but you are certainly welcome to try. There's no right and wrong way to do this, just as long as you keep working to achieve your end goal.

    Keep heating and working it until you get the right shape you want.

Here's what the finished hand looks like compared to the original:

Hopefully yours won't have a burnt thumb!
    Now do the same for the other side! Your rider will then have a tight grip and reins won't be able to fall out very easily! If you're still not satisfied with your hands, keep working with them until you reach a point that you're happy with. You can always come back to it later if you decide you're still not happy with it!

She won't be letting go of those reins any time soon!
    For the best results, use skived reins. These ones are a bit too thick, which makes them stiff and not want to sit on the pinky right. If you use the correct thickness of lace, the riders will have a better time holding the reins between their pinkies.

    I hope this helped! If you have any questions or suggestions for future posts, please leave a comment!

Over and Out! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Copperfox 10 Day Challenge: Day 10

Today is April Fool's Day! I promise I have no tricks up my sleeve! 

Day 10:
Imagine a story or create a character
If your model horses came to life, what would they do? What adventures would they go on? Pick one of your models and create a mini story, storyboard/comic or images of your models as real life horses, characters or personalities.

    I used to do this all the time as a kid! For some reason, my Irish Diamond was always getting loose and running wild and my riders would always have to mount up and go after him. I don't know why; he's not really a rowdy model! Now, Isadora Cruce I could see, but not Irish. Maybe that's why?

    Even still, whenever I take photos of my models, I tend to have some sort of story to tell. Since I can't really create a new story at the moment, I'll post some of my photos and explain the stories I had in mind when I took them!

    This one depicts Yvonne and John enjoying a nice evening ride. The stable is nearby a lot of rock walls and shelf systems, so they needed to explore! I think when I did this one, I had the idea of them being on horse watch (because you know me - there's always a horse loose!) So, they're probably covering all of their bases and travelling in groups. I only brought these two when I went out, but we can pretend there are other groups out looking, eh?

    Keeping on the subject of "loose horses," this is a (bad) picture of John returning after taking Felix out to retrieve the mare that had escaped her paddock. Naughty little mare! Luckily she was just curious and didn't mind the rider approaching! Maybe he should do a fence check and repair the broken fence before letting her out again? (Fun fact: these are the same two horses as the ones in the first picture!)

    It's a cold winter morning and Tiffany is out with a bucket of grain. Breakfast! Boon greets her first, with Valentine close on his heels. Felix and Misty start making their way toward the girl as they pick up on the sudden change of attention. Is that food, they hear?

    Tiffany offers Boon the bucket of grain.

    That's actually all I've got! I thought I had more than that, but apparently not... oh well. I hope you liked it anyway! Before I go, remember these words today, as pranks know no bounds:

(Don't assassinate anyone. That's a terrible practical joke. And also illegal. And bad. No-no.)

Over and Out!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Copperfox 10 Day Challenge: Day 9

Day 9: Plan to go to a live show or enter a photo show
A bigger challenge for today! Find out what live shows are in your area and plan to attend one. Live Show is one of the best parts of the model horse hobby and the best way to experience them is to have a go. Alternatively, find a photo show online and enter a picture.

     Yay! One I can do without doing anything! Last year I started searching for live shows in my area. That was an endeavor! Unfortunately, I'm in such an odd spot in Kentucky that live shows are just... not common. The only Live show up in Lexington that I can do is during Breyerfest, which requires that I go to Breyerfest. I've only gone to Breyerfest once in my life and, while I plan to go in 2017, I don't have much hope for going in 2016. So, that leaves one more show in my area:

The Big Orange Bash in Knoxville. I'm hoping to go this year, but I have literally no show string, and I have no money for props. Chances are low that I'll go, but I'm definitely planning for it!

If any of you know of any live shows in the South-East Kentucky/North East Tennessee/Western Virginia area (they don't have to be NAN-qualifiers) please let me know!

Over and Out!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Copperfox 10 Day Challenge: Day 8

Day 8: Join a Model Horse Group, Forum or Club
There are so many fabulous groups, forums and clubs out there both online and offline to join, all over the world. Joining a group (or forum or club) is a way to chat to other like minded individuals about your models, to share ideas and be part of the community that has the same interest as you.

    I actually run and help run a couple groups. I run the Breyer-Lovers-club on deviantART (which will be opening up to all model horses, not just Breyers,) as well as Plastic Pony Photos on Facebook. You're more than welcome to join either (or both) of them!

Over and Out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Copperfox 10 Day Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: Share your favourite piece in your model horse collection
What is that piece in your collection that you would never part with? It is the first model you owned, a customised model or a piece of hand crafted tack?

    I don't have anything in my collection I absolutely wouldn't part with. If the price is right, I would part with a lot of the things. However, I have two models in planning that I would never part with.

    Those would be portraits of my last two horses, Irish and Dakota:

Also Irish
Very old picture of me on Dakota... from 2010/2011

    As well as whatever portrait I make of my next horse. (As I am currently horseless.)

That's all for this post!
Over and Out!