Monday, 27 February 2012

Cross Country Set Up

My cross country set up is now complete and ready to travel to Macclesfield Live on March 10th! I'm looking forward to showing it as a lot of effort has gone in! It's not going to do amazingly well but I would still like to get it out there!

First up the complete tack set:

As you can see it looks very nice on CRS Perfection!

The Bridle

The bridle is a grackle bridle with a D-ring snaffle bit. The bit is made by Rio Rondo and most of the hardware is also Rio Rondo hardware.

The small plates on the side are just cut off the outside of those sheets of etched buckles you get. A nice bit of recycling there! All the buckles are fully working and most also have keepers.

The front of the bridle has a little piece of sheepskin underneath to create a soft piece of padding for ponies nose:

Here you can see the other side. It's not fully sticky waxed down yet but will be by showtime!

The Boots

This was really daunting. I've never made boots before so I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out! I opted for open fronted tendon boots and bell boots on the front and full tendon boots behind. I decided that Ideal might need a little encouragement to get over the jumps :p

The front boots are made out of leather. The tendon boots have working buckles and a sheep skin lining. The bell boots do up with sticky wax as velcro would have added too much bulk to the boot.

The rear boots are also made out of leather and do up with sticky wax for the same reason as with the bell boots.

As you can see the straps go round and then have a flap to cover them:

This is a good close up of the buckles on the front boots:

The Girth

Another new area for me! I figured he should probably have a stud girth (he does actually have some little hand made studs that will be sticky waxed on at the show).

Breyer saddles don't have proper girth straps so I had to add in some proper one's so that I could attach the girth:

The girth itself is fully padded with felt and then stuck down around the edges. I cut a buckle in half to make the D ring so I could attach the breastplate. The padding was just two layers of leather so that allowed me to put the straps on for realism and to make the D-ring go through the leather:


The final item of tack was the breastplate. I make these all the time so nothing challenging here. It's pretty simple and has a little piece of sheepskin as the centre piece:

Working buckles and straps attach it to the saddle:

The Jump & Base

This isn't particularly complex! The base is several pieces of cardboard layered up to create a small ditch dip under the jump. It has then been covered with scatter to create a realistic finish:

The jump is made of logs stolen from the log store. There is a larger log on top, two offcuts to keep it raised and smaller logs either side of the 'ditch'. There are cuts of wood to act as pegs to keep it up:

The final details were added by creating the signs either side of the jump. Nothing special here just cocktail sticks and coloured card!

The Rider

The rider is a Breyer 'Megan' that has been partially adapted. The shirt was made by me and is literally held on by sticky wax! She has had a strap added to her hat and little spurs made out of wire:

To finish the detailing she has had a watch sculpted and her hands painted black to look like gloves. I also made her a little medical band by getting a piece of paper and covering it in selotape and adding a strap to attach it to her arm:

So are some pictures of the finished set up! I still need to get some photoshow shots of it but this should do for now!

As you can see the jump is pretty low as this is quite a low level set up! Hence the open fronted boots and the lack of martingale and over girth!

Monday, 20 February 2012

UH Custom Contest Entry

This weekend I started (and finished) my UH customzing contest entry. The theme of the contest is 'British' so me being me I put that into Google images and used to choose the image.

The resulting image was a 'Red Coat' Colonial soldier from the American Civil War. I thought why not and got to work.

For the horse to work he needed to have a hat and a gun which I sculpted out of Amazing Sculpt and added on.

In this image you can just see him fully prepped with just a few layers of paint initially added:

He has had his trousers and boots done and that is all....

I built up the colour in layers just as if it were layers of clothing. In this image you can see the first layer of red which created his characteristic red coat:

The next stage was to paint his 'skin' this meant doing his face and front hooves in a skin type colour. They then had pastels added. All of his paintwork was done as if he was human and not equine.

The final few layers involved adding all the details and trims. These had to be carefully built up. The last thing to be painted was the gun and then the guns details:

And here is the finished piece! This is the decent picture of him. In the background is a printed off image of Civil War British soldiers to help give some context to the piece. You can clearly see all the painted on details and the sculpting:

The other side of the horse showing the buttons up the boots and other details:

The belly actually had most of the detail as this is where the coat did up. Note the sash passing over the belt buckle and the detail on the jacket:

And finally an image of the head. The soldier in the picture had grey hair so I thought my little Andy should have a grey mane and tail to match:

So yes I will keep you posted and let you know if I win!

Mucho fluffiness!

Remember the electrocuted Shetland pony and the slightly bald Hobo???

Well now they are mucho fluffy! Well I say that the Shetland will eventually be part of a performance set up the theme of which is small children hacking off ponies mane whilst mother goes inside to get a cup of tea..something that working at pony club happened far to many times for comfort!

First off is 'All the Small Things' as you can see he is rather nice with his new mane and tail. The mane actually turned out quite nice I thought it would be hideous...

And now Shetland :D He has lots of tail fluff and the deliberately short mane for the performance set up:

Now to just get some willing victims to complete the set up!

Grackle Bridle & Breastplate

For Macclesfield Live Show on March 10th I intend to complete a Cross Country set up. The inspiration for the set up is this picture here:

All credit to whoever took that picture - it is not mine I stole it off Google!

To complete the set up I need to make several things:

  • Grackle bridle
  • Breastplate
  • Boots
  • Saddle
  • Rider
  • Cross Country Jump
  • Base
The first thing on the list was the bridle so I set to work and over the weekend have managed to create something vaguely resembling a bridle!

This is the first picture I took:

As you can see I've done the cheek pieces, head band and throatlash. I've also started the noseband by creating the little piece of fleece that will go under the cross piece. I'm using a cast pewter D-ring snaffle bit which I found in my box of many random things...

This is the second shot:

As you can see the noseband is complete. The two pieces cross through the cross piece but are pretty much glued down so can't move, as a result it has been fitted to the model I am using for the set up (a Show Jumping Warmblood - Breyer Ideal).

The next picture:

A little more progress has been made and all the pieces are now pretty much attached. The final stages are to finish off the noseband and to create a headband and then to complete the reins.

The finished bridle:

I finished it off with some little pieces of gold metal (just the trims from those buckle sheets you get from Rio Rondo) and have vaguely fitted the bridle. Some buckles still need doing up but that takes a lot of mental strength...

I decided that before I left for University I should also finish the breasplate....

So here is the completed breastplate:

It also has a nice piece of sheepskin and is fully adjustable with working buckles. It is loosely placed around the horses neck here and will be properly fitted when the saddle is done!

So my mission for next weekend is to do the boots, saddle and rider....

Monday, 6 February 2012

What happens when you electrocute a Shetland pony?

It's one of life's many mysteries...

But now I have an answer for you!

This is what happens....

New Customs

Over the weekend I got four new customs painted so I thought I would share them with you.

Commission Pieces
First up are two commission pieces. Both are for the same women who wanted portraits done of her daughters two ponies.

The first is a beautiful Classic Scale Andalusian stallion. He is a very light grey and done mostly in pastels with some airbrushing underneath to add colour to his base coat. His details have been finished in hand painted acrylics as always

(o and yes we had snow)!

The second was described by her initially to me as a Light Bay Dartmoor. It is actually light bay with Panagre which is a colour I had never done before. He is done entirely in pastels with his details finished in hand painted acrylics.

Test Models
I always do a test model when I do a commission piece to make sure that the colour is just perfect for the customer. These two were no exception to the general rule.

The first is a lovely Hobo done to a light grey. He will need mohairing but here are his pictures pre-hairing:

The second is the test model for the Dartmoor. She is a beautiful Black Forest mare and looks absolutely stunning. She has already been sold and will be proxy shown by myself throughout the show season so please come and take a look at her prettiness!

So there we have it! This weekends creations. All were done on Saturday morning and photographed on Sunday (just in time for the snow). Definitely looking forward to trying to get lots of painting done over reading week!