Hairing the Model Horse Part One – The tail
You will need:
Glue (PVA and/or Superglue)
Paper/cardboard/something you don’t mind getting messy!
Hair Prepped model horse
Mousse/hair styling products
1. You have your horse that has just been painted and is ready to hair. To make them ready for hair on the tail they need a dock sculpted. I dremelled a line into my horse’s dock here because it helps me to remember where the centre of the dock is and so I can hair easily... But I do not do this all the time and you don’t need to. Some artists like to have a nice trench for the hair to be inserted into. Again, I do this sometimes but it isn't necessary, it all depends on what you would find easier.
You need to prepare the hair for putting onto the horse. With your pack of mohair, you tease out clumps of mohair and cut it off. Then, with your PVA glue (I tend to just blob glue onto some paper as it makes it easier) cover the end of the mohair you just cut in PVA glue and attach it to the paper/cardboard. I don’t actually have any photos of this unfortunately in this part! 2. Wait until the hair clumps you glued to the paper/cardboard is half dry before peeling one off and cutting it again. If it is completely dry it can get stuck to the cardboard/paper as you pull it off and it can take some of the paper with it. Half dry seems to be just right!
I tend to cut at a slight slant, depending what side of the dock I attach it to, and then I make a triangle shape at the end for when placing it in the middle of the dock. This will hopefully become clearer in the next few photos.
Dip in your PVA glue once more, mainly on the side you are attaching the hair to (or if you want you can use superglue on this part) and attach it to the very end of your horse’s dock.
I cut the hair straight here, of course this is fine but I have since altered my technique slightly, hence why I wrote about it above.
3. More hair is added to around the dock area. This is to give the tail more bulk, but it all depends on the effect you want to achieve. I like my model horses to have nice, full tails!
4. This piece of mohair now goes on the top of the hair you already put. This is the piece of hair that I cut so it is triangular shaped. This bit of the hair for me is one of the most important bits as, if you did the others fairly messily, this one covers it up. One this is placed on the horse, hold it down (or just wait for it to dry if it is superglue, you don't want to get stuck to the horse, I speak from experience!) and tease the hair over and around the dock, as if it is falling naturally from where it is over the bits of hair you had.
Unfortunately this photo doesn't show what I poorly explained!
5. Don’t try brushing it or anything until you have haired right up to the end, and if you run out of the clumps of mohair you created just create more. I never make more than three or four at a time and I build up the tail in sections. If I create too many then they dry and stick to the cardboard/paper I am using. It also encourages you to take your time and to do it slowly, and gives a chance for the hair to properly dry. It doesn't take me absolutely hours to do, but it is still a fairly time consuming process - approximately a couple of hours if I work solidly and quickly, but I tend to work fast!
I am a very impatient artist...
6. Once you have finished, just leave it until you are absolutely sure all the glue has dried. Once you are sure it has you can use an old toothbrush to brush out any excess hair as not all of it will be attached to the horse. You will find that a lot comes out but don't worry! After you have brushed it will all flow together more and look a lot better and natural. If some is sticking out in weird places and not how you want it to look, get some water and use some tissue and drape it over the horse’s tail so the hair falls to how you imagined - this is optional. It is also easier to style and cut the hair when it is wet! After you have cut it you can always use some mousse for hair to help style it, although with this example I actually didn't - I usually always do!
Here is the finished horse:
I hope this is helpful to everyone! Part two will come soon...