Friday, 24 April 2015

Some Photo Show Photos

Taking a break from moulding and casting my micro models, I got my background and new grass mat out and took some photographs of my models.

I bought the grass mat from Tiger, a new shop that is taking the UK (and definitely Europe) by storm. They always have little fun items in their stores, and always changing their stock based on the time of year. At the moment, they have gardening items for sale and this included a grass-themed doormat. I didn't think doormat when I saw it though, I thought 'model horse field!'

And that is what it became!

This is a CollectA Haflinger custom, who is actually for sale! Breed-wise though, absolutely stumped... I am possibly thinking a chincoteague?

This is Chocolate Chip Cookie, my CollectA Shetland that I painted for myself. She was painted to be sold but I fell in love, so she has been with me for about two years now!

It is a similar story with this one, too! I fell in love with this one last year when painting, so he is residing in my cabinet. This was a Schleich Stallion, at the moment I have completely forgotten the name of the breed!

Again, this one is for sale as well; the CollectA Welsh foal. I painted this one in oils a couple of years ago. It was a great experience, but I prefer airbrushing my acrylics. 

This is an Eris resin, I believe sculpted by Kitty Cantrell. I bought him through Equinart Creations when I went to Breyerfest last year in 2014. Not many were made at all, so he is quite a rare one I reckon! He is a rose dapple grey.

Bailadito as a dapple grey. I painted this one a couple of years ago and he is living in my cabinet with my other Bailadito resin, a bay painted by Deb Brown.

This is a Horatio resin I painted for my collection. He is known as Badger. I have another in progress as a skewbald, and he REALLY looks like a cob called Bernie at the yard I currently ride at, so I will finish him off and be keeping him, too!

This is a Hamlet for my collection, a gorgeous white grey. He really suits this colour and makes him pop as a show cob. He needs a tack set, I reckon!

And, last but not least, this gorgeous Sweet Lullaby and Very Little One, by Kelly. They are a portrait of some warmbloods at an old yard I went to, where Fan was the mother and Bunny was the foal.

This was the first time in a good few years where I have taken proper photos of the models in my collection, which made me happy. It is nice to have some like this where they look like they are in a natural environment as opposed to just a blanket for a background!


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part Three - The Second Mould

After the success with Peridot and my first two good pewter castings, I decided to clay up Topaz and have a go at seeing if I could produce models of her as well.

Having made her mould, I had a go casting... And out came this nasty, bubbly thing...

After some quick research, I discovered that this process can occur when the mould 'sweats' and can easily be cured with talc. So I had to give it a go! And the result was perfect.

Again, the mould isn't perfect. Although I learnt a lot with moulding Peridot, as it happens I know what I need to do for Garnet's mould. I also know that at some point, I will be making more moulds in the near future, probably for these same models!

While I thought that having the base at the top of the mould would be a good move, it turns out to be the contrary. I have had to use apoxie sculpt on the bases in order to make them flat and to get the arabian to stand properly. Oh well, I know for next time!

I cast some more of each, and now I have three of both models.

The response I have had on these models has been great though, thank you so much. It really means a lot! These models will not be released until June, the last week in May at the absolute earliest. This is because I am in the middle of studying for my finals in Pharmacy, my exams are in May and I also shoot off to Canada to visit a friend for a week. I can't wait!

But I don't want to release them and have orders piling up when I can't do anything about it. I would rather keep casting and plugging away and when I have a lot of models, I can then 'open' their editions for people to purchase and they can get their mits on them right away without having to wait too long, hopefully.

I hope that makes sense! I need to get on with Garnet's mould now. Wish me luck!


Monday, 20 April 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part Two - The First Success!

So, after the first 'successful' casting of Peridot being somewhat limp (only two full legs came out!) I knew it was down to the pouring technique. Pewter is incredibly different to resin; for starters, it is HOT! Not your standard chemical reaction that takes place in resin to cause it to set, this metal is over 200 degrees!

The way it pours is also different, it seems faster and there seems to be a greater deal of surface tension (it is the only way I can describe it). I knew that I needed a metal funnel of some sort in order to slow down the pouring process and stem the flow of the pewter into the mould. I needed the pour to be quick, but also concise.

I went into town on Friday, just for some general shopping, where I stumbled across Lakeland. I LOVE this shop! Although slightly pricey, it sells all sorts of baking products, and some of my friends will know that I love baking (here is a 'healthy' carrot cake I made last night, in fact!).
I found, just through casual browsing, a small piping nozzle, capable of forming writing icing for bakers with steady hands. The nozzle hole is 2 mm across at best, which I thought would be absolutely perfect for what I wanted to achieve. And I was right!

Lo and behold, the first successful casting with ALL four legs! I was ecstatic!

There were some other casting issues, however. It took me another four or five goes to produce a second full bodied casting. I finally realised why; gravity played a big part in making sure the pewter got to the off hind of this model. Whether this is due to the mould itself (probably, it isn't very good and I was contemplating making another!) or I know that some casters have to occasionally tip their moulds to the side in order to let them cast properly, who knows. The main thing is that I am now getting good castings of Peridot that I can clean up.

So, what is coming up? I just poured the first half of Topaz's mould. Tonight, I am hoping the entire mould will be done, where I can then have a go pouring a pewter casting of her, as well as trying to clay up Garnet. I do have revision to do, however, but plenty of time for that when the mould is curing!


Sunday, 19 April 2015

Pewter Micro Models... Part One - A New Experience!

I had recently sculpted three models, all one inch tall; Topaz, Garnet and Peridot. 

I wanted to have them cast and reproduced, to give people the option to have them in their collections, seeing as they soon became very popular with a lot of hobbyists! I know of a couple of sculptors that have produced mini models this size and reproduced them in pewter metal, rather than resin.

There are many reasons for this; not only is it cheaper, there is less chance for air bubbles, you can melt it down again if you go wrong (unlike resin which sets) and it is durable! I ordered the gear (including the moulding materials, the pewter itself and also a crucible to pour the metal) and got cracking.

The first thing to do was to clay up the model. I used Peridot for the first model, as I figured he would be the easiest...

Once this was done, I mixed the moulding material with the catalyst and poured. It is different to the other silica moulds I have made - it is brick red in colour!

I used a fair amount of catalyst too, so it set rather quick (not too quick though) so then it was time to get it out, take the clay off from the other side, and to then pour the second half. So far, so good!

The first mistake here was that I didn't use any mould release for the clay. If I had, it would have all come off a great deal easier. I know for next time, however, so it isn't all bad. 

Overall, the mould was a success. However, the first pouring didn't go as planned... In fact, this photo below was the last casting (of about 4 or 5 attempts!) before I gave up for the evening. As you can see, not all of the legs cast (but this was the best attempt! My first attempt only had a neck!)

When it came to pouring the metal, it was incredibly smooth and rapid, meaning it was difficult and extremely limiting with the pour hole I had. I knew how to get over this hurdle, I just had to try again...

Stay tuned for Part Two!


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Two Custom Fjords

I finally finished these two just before my sealer ran out! It is nice, because I started these two (i.e. chopped off their heads/necks) back before I got ill a good few months ago and now I have finished them, it signifies me recovering. They were great fun to do as well!

Both have new homes, they are going to someone who absolutely adores Fjord horses, so they will be very cherished!

First up is the Classic scale model... I decided to go with a blue dun for this one, just to mix things up a bit!

And a 'regular' yellow dun for the stablemate...

This has all greatly put my faith back into resculpting! Expect more from me soon...


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Azucena Update

So, many people are aware that I was to do her waste mould and casting the other day, where I was to finish working on her resin form for production.

Well, it didn't go to plan!

I made a skin mould, where it requires brushing on the mould every hour or so and also creating a fibreglass case for support. Although it seemed to go to plan, when I opened the mould to get my horse out, it wouldn't go back together properly (no matter how hard I tried to line it all up!) and the outer casing also didn't seem to properly encapsulate my mould after I created it.

Sure, if I did it again it would probably work... But I don't need the extra stress of that in my life right now, especially when I nearly lost my sculpture because of it! She came out of the mould earless and footless, as well as covered in knife marks. I had to build a lot of her up all over again.

Today, I took some photographs of her on my proper camera, no phone photos! They really show the details and perspectives better.

I worked on her tail last night, I was going to leave it and then work on it more in the final resin form but I thought why not now?

Obviously she still isn't 100% perfect, there are still things I want to change on her, but these aren't structural, more of the finer areas that I know will be so much easier if she was in resin.

So, who is going to do the waste mould for me?

I am so grateful for Horsing Around, who have said they are able to do a waste casting for me to finish working on the final details. This has really saved me!! I wasn't sure what I would do if it wasn't for them!

I am hoping tomorrow to send her out.

So, once I have the final, final finished resin form with all of the changes and extra detailings, will be when I offer her up for pre-order sales. I am not sure how popular she will be for general sale, so this is the best way for me to do it. If she doesn't make the 10 pre orders I would like, then no problem! I have my own final copy I can keep. I am half hoping she will though... I would love people to enjoy her.


Another Fjord in Progress!

This Breyer Classic Haflinger is another model that has been in progress for a while. At the end of last summer, I chopped off her mane and that was as far as I ever got. She is now sporting a lovely tin foil neck at the moment! Hopefully this is to change in the very near future...

Meanwhile, my two Highlands got a spray of my primer to see where further prepping was required.

Lots of people are interested in them, thank you so much! It is fun customising the stablemates other than just a simple repaint, it is just finding the time. I also have a G3 TWH that I want to customise to look more relaxed and happy, and a G4 sliding stop quarter horse where I want to get rid of his curly mane and tail!


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Stablemate Resculpts

I have had these two Highlands lying around for a while, the grey one with his feather chopped off as well as his mane and tail, and the bay had his head removed from his body, and his neck binned! It wasn't until yesterday that I made the plunge and completely resculpted them.

They still need some sanding, but I am pleased. The one on the left I am thinking a Welsh pony for a breed, and a Fjord pony for the right one. I will give them a spray of primer later as well, which helps me to see more clearly which areas need more work.

I also have this Para-dressage model, which I have put a roman nose on him and I have started the resculpting process. He is still missing his tail but I will do that later!


Friday, 10 April 2015

Huck Custom Finished

Yesterday I finally finished my Huckleberry Bey Breyer... After a slight disaster with his base! Luckily I had some I cast in resin last year exactly for the purpose of broken discs so he is now sporting one of those. The great thing about this base is that it is already a sandy colour unpainted, so doesn't necessarily need anything doing to it - result!

He is currently for sale (£55 plus £5 postage) so if you are interested then contact me. He really is a handsome and unique chap! He would also make a GREAT pair with the OF SR Polaris...

Meanwhile, I finished one of the Stablemate models that I had in progress. This is the new 'Dungaree' Breyer that has only recently made it over to the UK. Being a quarter horse, I wanted to think of another unique colour that the breed could still pass as. In doing so, I went for a cremello colour.

I have other models on order from MPV but I am currently unsure as to when they will arrive... I heard that, due to bad weather in the States, shipping to suppliers was unfortunately delayed. I will have to see, perhaps I will email them!

Other models I still have in progress is the Breyer Stablemate Icelandic and Mustang (for 2015), and an Animal Artistry Unicorn resin. The resin needs a tad more shading and details and she will be finished.

I am also working on Azucena, my classic scaled andalusian scuplture... Some of you may be aware I was preparing a waste mould... Well, I have a lot to update you on, basically...


Thursday, 9 April 2015

A Future Sculpture...?

When I do artwork, I want it to have a personal feel. For example, Azucena is based on Tanoka, a horse I used to look after (and I also sculpted a Tanoka medallion!) Earlier this year, I visited Iceland where I experienced the Blue Lagoon, one of the 25 wonders of the World, and I also got to experience the tolt upon riding an Icelandic Pony through the snow and around the mountainous scenery on this lovely island.

I really want to capture the beauty of this wonderful breed that is so pure and beautiful, with their small yet surefooted hooves and their thick, gorgeous and bushy manes, alongside their honest eyes.

I would love to recreate this breed, although many Icelandic model horses are in their pace or tolt gait. I want to keep my sculpture in a different pose to the rest and focus on the breed's intricate features themselves. This sketch only took me a couple of minutes, I was scouring the internet in search of ideal poses to inspire me and some images made this creation in my mind. Scale-wise, I am slowly working up to traditional scale (as Azucena is classic scale!).

If you are thinking about a break away somewhere, definitely consider Reykjavik. It was beautiful and a trip I won't forget!


More finished models

I finished these ones the other day. I also have more in progress that I am to finish off soon as well!

This G3 Warmblood really suits a chestnut roan. I also gave her a cheeky little snip on her muzzle!

I also finished a Union Jack resin, to a standard gorgeous bay. I gave him high socks. I am absolutely in love with the facial making I gave him.

I finally got round to completing this Animal Artistry Hackney pony as well. I need more Animal Artistries in my collection! This one has been nearly finished for a while now but unfortunately, because this model is polyester resin, the ear chipped as it is more brittle. It took me a while to fix the issue and finish him off. I am glad I did though, a wonderful representation of the breed.

I also have some models in progress, including this Breyer Huckleberry Bey. I went for a slightly unusual colour, a chestnut rabicano. All he needs now is his chestnuts and hooves coloured in. I did his eyes and facial marking after this photo was taken.

I also have three new Stablemates in progress, which I will share photos soon, and an Animal Artistry Unicorn - cast in polyurethane resin this time!