Saturday, March 16, 2013

May have found a nice pairing option (no not wine!)

I think I found an answer to my question about who to pair with Totilas....Eberl's Korsar.  Too bad none for sale on MH$P :(

I'll need to think about this, but perhaps with this pairing I can leave Totilas as an OF so I have an entry in both CM/AR and OF should the show call for a distinction.  I did buy 2 Totilas so I can always CM one....hmm, the creative thoughts are coming to me!  That's enough for Saturday night.  Going to go enjoy my HBO "Game of Thrones".  Night!

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Arrivals

Today turned out to be a pretty good day :)  Work wasn't too bad, and when I got home I had a nice surprise waiting at the Breyer Totilases? Totili? Totilas's?  Whatever, you know what I mean!  I had checked Breyer's website yesterday and say they were backordered, so I wasn't expecting them anytime soon.  What a nice model too!  Question to the viewers:  Who should the large one be paired with in a harness team (AR or OFP)?  I want to get him CM'd so that the front legs look more carriagey, but I was wondering about maybe a CM'd Salinero or CM'd Valentine mare?  Similar body sizes.  I like Valentine's head (I think Salinero is too muley or too much like Cleveland Bay mold), but not sure she'd look good with Totilas.  Send me your thoughts....

Before I came home, I stopped at HobbyTown USA for some brass, a pin vise, a mini drill bit assortment, and to take a look at the Breyer selection.  They're one of the only stores, if not THE only store, that carries Breyers here.  They had a dapple gray pinto Weathergirl that I almost got, but I ended up leaving with a little resin Totilas instead.  I don't know what it is about minis & me right now, and I don't even know what I'm going to do with him, but I really like minis!  I noticed when I got home that he has a big popped bubble in his paint, so he may just have to end up getting CM'd sometime.  Into what, I don't know!  I feel like making a dressage set for him though :)

I'm going to try my hand at making some parts.  We shall see what happens!  I really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to raw metal.  I like the pre-made stuff I can get from my trusted hobby supply folks online!      

Thursday, March 14, 2013

2013 Carolina Gold Classic

Let me start off by saying -- I wasn't even there!  I haven't been to a live show in literally years.  But, I can vicariously show through some of my customers, so that makes me just as happy as if I were really there in the action.  None of these upcoming photos are mine -- they were taken by Marlayna Youngblood and her mom, who were at the show.  Hope it's ok that I proudly display them :)
The polo set took 1st at this show -- Yay!  It's my 1st and only polo set to-date.  But, it's really pretty much the same as a regular english saddle with just some modifications and lots of extra accessories.  I did plait the noseband out of a faux rawhide lace.  That was kind of a challenge.  I think I had to restart at least twice because I got off in the braiding.  Braiding isn't my forte.  I really think the tack looks quite pretty with that horse.  I was trying a new leather on the seat which wasn't quite as pliable as I'm used to, but I think the overall result looks great!  I like that it's smooth and not grainy, so maybe if I condition it I'll have better luck.  We shall see.  I should make a polo set for myself one of these days  :)

The harness was the newest addition to the lineup, and it took 2nd place.  Again, this is only the 2nd harness I've completed (I'm still working on that draft harness...slowly but surely).  My first was basically the same harness, I just gained some experience on refining so this looks a ton better.  Overall, I think it's a flashy pleasure harness!  I was very excited to see this one do so well.  On a sidenote, I was looking up the action figure I bought for myself to originally be my driver.  It was Mick from the Rocky I Jakks Pacific line.  I got the guy at Toys R Us for $8, and today -- Amazon has him listed for nearly $80!  Can't believe I sold him!  Oh well.

This racing set was my first commissioned piece of any kind, and only the 2nd racing set I had ever made.  My first, not so pretty but I thought this turned out well.  It always does a good job at the shows, usually taking 1st or 2nd.  Apparently this time around, it was beat out by another commissioned racing set of mine (see below).  I'm sorry for Marlayna, but yay for me...toot toot! That was me tooting my own horn a little :)

All of the above sets I have made for Marlayna over the years, with the exception of this last photo of course and I had no hand in the western saddle at all.  I'm really not a prolific tackmaker at all (this is more than 50% of all the commissioned tack I've made!), so I'm always happy to hear from my few customers how their sets are doing.  She's so great about telling me how they do!  I don't make all that much, and even when I do it's usually something just for me that gets about 2/3 done before I get sidetracked.  Lots of unfinished things I could/should work on.

Well, I just wanted to give a shout out to everyone and tell them what a good job they've done!  4 NAN-Q's for my pieces in one show.  That's not too bad.  Keep the updates coming, good luck, and happy horsing :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Getting Harness Crazy!

The harness commission I just completed did very well at it's first show.  It was at the 2013 Carolina Classic, and it took 2nd place out of maybe 8-ish in the harness division.  Yay for a NAN-Q!  The judge's only criticism was that the cart was too large for the horse -- hmm, there really is a limit to available model vehicles out there so I don't know what she was expecting!  According to my customer, this judge has been extremely critical in the past (knocking performance entries down because they have bases, etc) so if the only thing she had to say was that the carriage was too big, then that's ok.  The harness was nice ;)  I apologize in advance for the photo quality -- these are cell phone pictures & overexposed.  My digicam is either packed up or at work, so this is all I have for now!

I was in a bit of a panic because I was feeling so hurried on this set.  Normally, a couple months window is what I need, but this was done in like 2 weeks.  When I first began, I found that my supplies were running a bit thin (no bit, no conchos, none of the leather size that I need for the majority of the set...), and so I got nervous that I wouldn't have time to get it done prior to the show.

I had run into Hobby Lobby for something not related to model horses, and I was surprised to find really nice-looking leather lace in 3/32" of all things!  Just what I was out of!   I also saw a black dye that I decided to try...Tandy Eco-Flo.  I haven't used it before -- it was quite strange.  It was almost like the consistency of mashed up jello.  I don't if it was just old or if it was supposed to be like that, but it seemed to do a decent job on the set (blinkers & breastplate).  The Tandy dye swabs they supplied at Hobby Lobby were no good.  They left tons of fibers behind with the dye, so I don't suggest using them.

Anyway, I feel like maybe I already talked about this in the last post -- I'm moving on now...

I get a little energized about making more pieces when someone tells me my sets performed well for them.  I was poking around on Breyer's website today, and I found an interesting model I hadn't seen before -- Totilas.  That looks like an Eberl sculpture variation of Absinthe or something (I didn't read the product description -- probably tells me that if I would actually read!).  Anyway, next thing I know I bought 2!  I think he looks like a super cool performance horse and now I'm dreaming of a dressage entry + a CM'd version of him to be a carriage horse.  Or maybe both carriage horses (driven dressage??), I don't know.

This photo is property of

This photo is property of
 I'm getting dreamy about my Lg. Traditional Draft Harness too.  I've decided that I'm going to actually try and cut a lot of my metal pieces from silver nickel stock.  I'm a reader of the Scale Model Horse Drawn Vehicle forum, and boy are those guys good at miniature metalsmithing.  For Christmas, I received a book on how to cast small rubber and metal parts, so there might be something useful there too.  I really don't know.  I have my master hame made out of wood right now, so I do have something to cast but I just don't know what I'm doing!  I tend to favor the pre-made parts from Rio Rondo or TWMHC -- she sells Sulser and Rancho de los Cabellitos products on eBay :)

Anyway, we shall see.  I'll post some progress, if there ever is any.  Hopefully I'll also continue with all 10 fingers still intact.

Question for anyone out there who may read this blog...
When showing a pair of horses in performance, do you actually only tag one of the 2 horses for the class, or are both part of the single entry?  I've only ever done entries with one horse, so I'm just curious what you all do when your entry includes multiple horses.  Also, is it wise to have 1 CM and 1 OF so that you can enter in both divisions if that were offered at the show?  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Harness Commission Photos & Life Updates

It's 3 months into 2013 already...where did the time go?! Let's see, what's going on with me.

Living Situation: Things have been super crazy with the move. Move-out dates kept changing, or I should say keep changing. The bank hasn't even taken full control of my folks' house yet, so they keep going back over there to see if they missed anything during the pack/move. I've been set for awhile, so I'm not too worried about it. We've been living at my house for 2 weeks today, and it's actually not so bad. Things are still a bit cramped, boxes are all piled in my dining room, and I don't feel quite settled in. I'm sleeping on an air mattress until my basement gets carpeted -- that's where my bedroom will be. Ah well, it'll be all fine soon enough. I have Home Depot coming with my carpet in a couple weeks, and just yesterday I got a well-timed promo coupon in the mail for 24-months financing which is very helpful.

Personal Life: Nothing to report! Oh wait, finally paid of my student loan a couple days ago. Yay! I feel VERY good about that :)

 Model Horsing: I agreed to take on a harness commission before the move with the intent on starting it after we were settled in my house, and thought I would have had all January + February to work on the thing. With all the date shifting, I was just able to start it 2 weeks ago and I finally wrapped up an hour ago. I think that's record time! I'm very happy with how it turned out too. I had my real horse's harness to go by, but just some of the details I was able to incorporate really make me excited that it'll be shown. This is only the 2nd harness I've ever made. My first one won at nearly every show it was at, and it didn't look nearly as nice as this one. I have high hopes! I have some cell phone photos of digicam is at work I think. I don't know, maybe it's packed. EDIT (4/24/13):  I accidentally deleted the photo album so they're gone -- oops!