Any type of model can be repositioned, from the artist resins to even the flimsy Schleich models! Although, of course, the bendy models are MUCH harder to work with; for a start, they need to properly be resculpted and NOT touched afterwards as to prevent any resculpting work from cracking.
This Tip Tuesday features a Breyer Keltec Salinero getting his front leg straightened out. I think Breyer Traditionals are the easiest models to reposition and bend. They are made from a thermoplastic, meaning that upon heating, they are malleable. This is unlike the Breyer Stablemates where heat guns are necessary for them.
The most important thing about repositioning is having the courage. Using battered up bodies that are destined for the dustbin are good candidates for those starting out in this aspect of customising. With references handy, and the right materials, and confidence, you will be moving limbs and heads around in no time!
I need to also mention to BE CAREFUL! We will be dealing with BOILING HOT water AND a junior hack saw. I don't want to hear about burning yourselves or cutting yourself! I would strongly advise assistance if you are just starting out.
I also want to mention that this Tip Tuesday only covers the simplest form of repositioning, and not termed in my opinion as 'drastic'. To me, drastic is chopping the entire leg or joint off the model and re-fixing it in a completely new way. This requires much more material and time!
General things that are required
-Model Horse (of course!)
-Junior Hack Saw
-Cold Water (running tap?)
If anyone wants to know, I bought my cheap junior hack saw years ago via eBay. eBay is simply great for little things like that! All of the other things I found at home.
The first thing about repositioning is the right place to cut into the model. You have to find the joint that you want to move. This is why it is so technical; you can'y just cut anywhere, but where the bones meet naturally in the real horse itself. If I want to move a particular leg, I cut straight into where I want it to bend and I cut a triangle out of the other side, making room for the plastic to fold. This technique prevents the limb from lengthening too much which can cause distortion and poor conformation in the final outcome.
Because I want to straighten this model's leg from a fairly bent position, I have made quite a few cuts. However sometimes only one is required. It all depends on what you want to achieve!
I would also say to be careful when cutting; you don't want to take the entire limb off, yet you want to cut enough into the leg so that when it comes to heating the plastic, it doesn't take too much force to move the leg to how you want it. In this example, I hadn't cut too much into the elbow joint but I ended up not moving the leg here too much, so it was ok!
Once all of the cuts have been made (remember to take CARE!) then it is time to boil the kettle! Although, not for a brew (unless you want one! Tea is always a good choice!) we are simply creating extremely hot water to drip the model's limb into.
Once this is ready, simply dip your horse into the mug. Leave it there for between 30 seconds to one minute. This should be sufficient time to warm the plastic up and make it malleable enough.
Once moved into the desired position, plunge the limb into cold water. I tend to use the running tap for this to help get into the crevices and to ensure cooling in the cut.
Whilst I was repositioning this model, I also tweaked his off fore slightly so he could then stand on two legs. It always helps with their balance! It is the great thing about this method and if your models have warped legs, then I would recommend this!
That is all for this week's Tip Tuesday. Next week I will talk about the resculpting work that goes into the model to get that leg right! It is far from done yet!