Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Magic!

Like a lot of people, I have something of an issue with my attention span. So sometimes I sit down to write a presentation for grad school and instead make a Magic Eye:

[click to embiggen]

It's not perfect, but eventually I had to get back to writing about scambaiting and my eyes were starting to hurt. The hidden image is revealed after the jump:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What I Love About Animal Artistry

You know what I love most about AA resins? They are similar enough to china that they are tough to repair. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but I can repair them and most people are willing to give away a broken AA. That includes this little guy:


Friday, November 18, 2011

Royal By Accident

Many, many moons ago, I started a little Stone Chips QH. Being as anal about stock horses as y'all know I am, I practically resculpted his whole front end and painted him solid palomino. I showed him a few times under the name "Royal By Marriage"*, but the little guy couldn't buy a NAN card until I gave him a lacy tovero pattern. In return, he gave me my first NAN championship. I promised the little dude that he'd always have a home with me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Been a Long Year

When I think of where I was and how I was this time last year, it's like night and day. I lost good things that made me happy. I still make some of the same mistakes that made me miserable. I've deepened friendships and ended others. I strive to be more honest with myself about who I am on a basal level and how much I can realistically pile on my plate.

What's that expression about the eyes being bigger than the stomach? My eyes are bigger than my schedule. It has been a consistent and lifelong fault. I remember having a conversation with my parents at the ripe old age of 14 about taking on too much. "Really? Laura, you think you can handle jazz band, church and school choir, the school musical, art class, models on top of your regular school work?" So I quit band and models, made honor roll, chased off a boy and barely kept from snapping like a twig.

My mantra was always "I'll find time." In my mind, that time was always the next free weekend, oblivious to the idea that the next free weekend could be months away and when I got there, I more likely would just collapse under the weight of my exhaustion. But then those valuable times of collapse/rest that often kept me away from a full systems meltdown went away when the unpredicted disasters started to flood in and take up every remaining second. I had to double and triple schedule just to make it to medical appointments. I would work sitting in waiting rooms. Or I'd sit there and marinate in self-pity or fear. It tenderizes the meat so I'd be emotionally soft when repeatedly stabbed with a metaphorical fork.

I'm working through a dramatic personal re-org. I'm learning how to say "no thanks, I'm full." I try to remind myself that taking on a new thing means compromising or removing an old thing. Baby steps.

All that goes to say that I'll be posting again, although I'm not going to promise to myself or anyone else that it will be regular or like clockwork as it was briefly. But I enjoy writing and making ponies and both feed into the other as a perpetual motion machine of productivity. And I wanna draw a little. I passed up an opportunity to sell my 2D art about a month ago. But the honest answer is it I don't do any of this to sell my work. I just like it. Sales are a byproduct.

Having said that, I'm hoping to produce some work for sale in the near future because I'm a poor college student and I can't buy groceries with personal growth or pay rent with emotional fulfillment. My landlord is a hard ass like that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


First, something model horse-y and pretty...

I bought these two from Maggie Bennett at Breyerfest this year. There were my annual "I'm buying something for ME" treat. I find myself really drawn to paint them at the moment even though I have no shows coming up. Most of my live showing schedule went out the window for the foreseeable future with grad school. While I won't be driving to paint and sell whatever the hot new resin is this fall, it does give me time to refocus on what makes me happy. And that means little pewter ponies.

And then there's the new injury (pics after the jump.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beginning a New Chapter

So I'm starting graduate school in a few weeks. I'm going to be a Husky.

This has been a long term goal of mine, and not just because I thought their mascot was cute when I was ten. I am very excited to get started (and more excited to finish--and graduate--and start my new career--and make more money--a lot more money...) But the downside is my model time will be more limited over the next couple years.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Showing 101: Model Halter vs. Real Halter, Pt. 3

Color is a constant issue in model horse showing. Unlike horse breeders, Stone, Breyer, and independent artists aren’t restricted in any way as to color. We don’t have to worry about those silly genetics. We can just pick something pretty and run with it! As a result, it falls to the shower to research a breed that matches the body type of the model and comes in the same color.

Breed books are an okay start, but they have an unfortunate tendency to be unspecific unclear, and inaccurate. Luckily, hobbyist Leslie Kathman has created a handy-dandy guide just for this purpose. Beyond that, there’s good ol’ Google Image Search, which is where you’ll eventually end up anyway trying to find photos for documentation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Showing 101: Model Halter vs. Real Halter, Pt. 2

I’m not going to talk about live Quarter Horses anymore (is that a sigh of relief I hear?) but I am going to start with this year’s NAN Champ OF Quarter Horse.

I’ve judged this specific horse at previous shows, I’ve lost to him at other shows, and I’d steal him off the table if I had a chance (I’m kidding--sort of.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Showing 101: Model Halter vs. Real Halter, Pt. 1

When talking to non-hobbyists, I find it’s usually easiest to describe live showing as a shrunken down version of the real thing. However, this comparison only works to a point. Not all breed associations offer “halter” classes at their shows and those that do each play by their unique set of rules.

And then there’s fashion. A written breed standard is rarely amended, let alone substantially altered, but the current aesthetic in all halter shown breeds appears to be in constant flux. In some breeds, halter bloodlines have become so specialized they’ve virtually become a breed within a breed. For illustrative purposes, I’m going to use the Quarter Horse as the most dramatic example of this split, but the same issues apply to a number of breeds including other stock breeds, Arabians, and Morgans. Cutting, reining, roping, pleasure, hunter, racing, and halter have all split out to varying degrees within the AQHA, but no type is excluded from a model horse halter class.

When I judge a model QH class, I know I have options on how I can approach it. The first option is to judge it as a real world halter class and choose horses that best represent this physical type:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Below The Belt


I asked on my facebook page a few days ago for questions and topic suggestions, when this particular--eh hem--topic came up again. By far, this has been my most requested topic to date: resculpting horse genitalia.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Wrinkle In Time

Wrinkles are one of those things for which everyone has different approach. This is what works for me.


One of the more interesting and challenging things about working with Breyers (to me at least) is putting details back into a model. Breyer’s production technique (injection molding) is not detail friendly. The molds are made of hard metal and the subtle under cuts make it difficult to pull each piece from the mold.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 3

Welcome to the exciting final installment of my explanation of yellow NAN cards! You can find part one here and part two here.

A wonderfully painted Uranus by Chris Nandell

Today, I’m focusing exclusively on workmanship. On Friday, I mentioned this is my favorite division, and I mean that both as a shower and a judge. I paint plastic ponies for a living, so this division most closely approximates the challenges I face as a painter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Top It All Off

Required Reading

Dress(age) for Success

By popular request, I’m adding a tutorial about how I sculpt the top of a dressage braid. To be honest, it’s not a topic I’ve devoted a lot of thought to in the past, but writing this has been a great chance to think about my technique, why I use it, and how I can improve.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 2

Today, I’m focusing on one of the two “yellow card” divisions currently at NAN (and a regular feature at local shows.)

Collectibility is a relatively new division in live showing. Traditionally, a model’s rarity was considered in regular breed classes. But with Breyer’s introduction of newer, more detailed, and often more accurate molds, rare vintage models were gradually being squeezed out of traditional breed classes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


After finishing such pretty necks last week, how about another pretty option to put on top of them? I covered sculpting basic long manes a few weeks ago, and it’s the prerequisite reading for today’s post.


I figured I’d class it up a bit this week and cover banded manes. Banded manes are a grooming style common in showing western pleasure, halter, and showmanship. It pops up in other weird places from time to time as well, such as Hunter Under Saddle:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 1

Yellow NAN cards (officially "non-breed" cards) cover several showing arenas, so I've decided to split this post into three parts. As I did previously, parts two and three will cover common judging standards.

A collectibility winner, or a color class winner?

Friday, June 10, 2011


If Google search says it’s a real word, than it must be so.

Part 1 is here and part two is here.


Since I waxed on about it last week, I figured I’d put my Apoxie where my mouth is and resculpt a Roxy this week. But not literally because Apoxie is kinda gross tasting. Just because it’s safe to eat this stuff doesn’t mean I actually want to.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Showing 101: Live Show Quality

Pronounced L-S-Q (you will rarely hear someone say live-show-quality) this term has been used so frequently and stretched so far from it original meaning, that it’s surprising it’s still used at all. On the low end, it’s a meaningless marketing term thrown into every ad on MH$Ps. On the high end, it means 100% certified quality: stick it on the table and watch the ribbons roll in.

A few years ago, the incomparable Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig wrote a very thorough definition of what the term means to her. She is describing the pinnacle of realism and the ideal artists strive for:

Live Show Quality Guidelines

It's a great article and well worth the read. I don’t agree with all of her opinions on conformation, but this is a good example of the varied and contrasting opinions you will encounter in the world of live showing.

This is your reading assignment for the week. There won’t be a pop quiz on Monday, but I’d like talk more about workmanship next week and this article is a good starting point.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off With His Head (Necks part 2 of 3)

For a change of pace, I'm writing and posting from the lounge of Scarlett's barn. She is currently rolling and farting around the indoor arena with enthusiasm.


Last week I talked about different elements that contribute to the shape of a neck. I’m going to build off of that so I recommend checking it out if you haven’t read it already. I going to continue to babble for a little bit longer about how neck shapes (specifically movement this week) because my customizing technique requires me to have a solid understanding of the mechanics.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Showing 101: Breed Documentation

Today's guest blogger is Amy Widman, owner of this Smarty Jones along with many, many, many National and overall championships:

As has been hinted at in prior posts, assigning accurate breeds to your models can make or break your shot at a pretty blue ribbon. And providing accurate, easy to read/understand documentation about those breed assignments can only help your horses in the ring. So…..

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Okay, this went from one part…to two…to now three. It could be 8 parts in a week--who knows. And please forgive the interruptions of the last few weeks. I’m not planning on making it a habit. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming:


Just guessing from the hundreds (of thousands) of customs I’ve seen over my years in the hobby, I’d say necks are the body part customizers struggle with most. And I can understand why as a horse’s neck seems to move like it’s made of rubber. It can stretch, twist, and compress as if it had no bones. Trying to recreate that movement with wire and clay is a unique challenge.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Showing 101: Green with Card Envy

Green NAN cards (aka “breed cards”) are the most common type of NAN card, and likely the first you will encounter. They are given to the first and second place winners of breed classes in halter divisions. OF Breyers, Stones, resins, customs--they all win identical blank cards (on which you fill out your name, your horse's name, and the name of the class it was won in.)

Individual shows have a fair amount of flexibility to create their own classlists. But if they are giving out green cards, it means that each class is formed around a specific breed or breed group. Typical breed classes include Appaloosa, Morgan, and Arabian, while typical breed groups are Carriage, European Warmblood, and Stock Pony.**

**These groups all tend to contain the same collection of breeds from show to show (with some variation.) Stock Pony generally includes Paint Pony, Quarter Pony, Pony of the Americas, etc. European Warmblood covers a long list of breeds including but not limited to Hanoverian, Trakehner, Dutch Warmblood, German Warmblood, Selle Français, etc. Carriage…deserves its own entry.

Winner of a "European Warmblood" class (shown as a German Warmblood)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Showing 101: Breed Assignments


This is a new feature featuring an older feature that was new when I wrote it. And then this was all supposed to go up last week during what we’ve since come to know as the Great Blogger Blackout of ’11.


I'm reposting and rewriting some of the material from my now slightly defunct Showing 101 blog, in addition to adding some new content.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stand Up Straight

Required Reading

Brands I Prefer: Everything Else

As I’ve mentioned before, I love working with these old Love molds, but the legs on these guys can be atrocious. Without digging up a china copy to compare, it’s hard to tell how much of their turned out legs are part of the original sculpture, the outcome of imperfect casting, or the result of abuse received after leaving the factory.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Riding Ponies is an Unsafe Activity

I'm having an interesting few months. My focus has been on self-improvement, but beyond the diet and dance lessons I’ve decided to finally fix this:


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pony Express: Packing, Shipping, and Moving Your Models


I’m in the middle of a move, so my plastic pony making time is considerably limited this week. There's also the back issues, which I'll post a summary of on Monday. However, I’m hoping to make lemons into lemon drops out of my current predicament. Today, I’m going to talk about my packing and shipping techniques.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Express Yourself

I’ve gotten a couple requests for this topic, but been a bit slow getting around to it. I had to get through a few topics first to provide a background, but better late than never? Right?...right?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dress(age) for Success

I’d love to take credit for this entire technique, but the very basic idea has been around in the hobby for years and years. I discovered it in old edition of JAH, way back in the days when it was pocket sized and printed in black and white. If I can find it during the course of my packing, I’ll post the edition number and author’s name for y’all. I don’t own the copyright to the article, so I can’t post the whole thing here. I’m getting rid of my collection of back issues of JAH as soon as I can find them all, so keep an eye out for them on MH$Ps if you're interested.


Over the years, I’ve seen some really amazing sculpted braids. My hat goes off to those artists as they are far braver and/or more patient than I am. I’ve tried it, but the strands always break on me or get blobby or turn into a giant mushy mess.

So I prefer the floss technique:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Easiest Way To Make Muzzle Wrinkles Ever

Or your money back.


Before I talk about the how-to, I'd like to give y'all a little background on how Breyers are made.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Better to Hear You With (My Dear)

I get asked how I sculpt ears a lot. My standard answers is:
1) Flatten a ball of clay
2) Cut into a triangle
3) Fold
4) Shape
That’s overly simplistic and it hits on why I chose to write this blog the way I do. The devil is in the details.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Late Night Sale

These guys will get nice formal photos tomorrow afternoon and proper MH$P ads, but I thought I'd give y'all a shot at them first. Hit me up here or on Facebook.

SM Candace Liddy Resin who's exact name escapes me at the moment. Shown as "Oops" - $200

CM Color Changing Half-Passing WB - $200

Drastic CM LG "Leviathan" - $750

Custom Cleveland Bay, Roan Mule "CBGB" - $450

Rabicano Dinky Duke "Liberty Valance" - $300

Thursday, March 24, 2011


This topic was by request of Jennie. I love suggestions.


So the Swaps I was working on a few weeks ago was only the first of many old Love molds I’m working on for Breyerfest and the Artisans’ Gallery. I’m a firm believer that the older the copy, the better as they generally have crisper details than the later releases. The downside of this is the seams on these models are a prepper’s worst nightmare.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eye Spy with My Little Eye

As requested*, today I'm cover painting eyeballs. Being my usual detail oriented self, I can't cover one topic entirely in one tutorial, so today I'm just going to cover painting eyeballs on a mini.

*Always feel free to suggest topics in the comments. I am easily influenced and give in to peer pressure.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Email Address

I changed it a while ago but I still have friends who send things to by extinct one. Not their fault if they missed my fabulous MH$Ps add.

No excuses. Nag me if I have something outstanding. I have the attention span of a Jack Russell on crack. Charlie Sheen.

This is off topic but only vaguely relevant. I'm trying to make an effort to post on Mondays, but again--attention span. Read the Oatmeal if you do not already.

No insult intended, but I get 50 emails a day in this is true more often than not.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Whorl-Away: New References


A couple weeks ago I posted a hair chart. You can find a higher resolution version in An Atlas of Animal Anatomy (so cheap and so worth the purchase). But--after years of working with this chart--its shortcomings are starting to bug me.

So I’m supplementing this chart with the following references. All of these photos are uploaded at gigantic resolutions, so click on the small pics below for links to the full-size images.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Mane Event

Like tails, I’m breaking the topic of manes up into several different posts. I can’t guarantee I’ll post them all back to back, so I broke the subject down by types. During the series, I’m planning to cover:

Monday, February 28, 2011

You Say Hoarding, I Say 'Savoring'

Three years ago, I came home from Breyerfest with eight Alborozos. At current count, I have five left to customize, many in various states of disassembly:


Thursday, February 24, 2011

White Out

When I was 13, I attempted my first pinto: a medicine hat Lady Phase. This was my second custom and my first traditional scale paint job. It was an extreme challenge for me as I had 1) no idea what I was doing and 2) limited supplies. I was painting with cheapy acrylics and those brushes you buy by the dozen in plastic bags. The model was a disaster of epic proportions. It was my single worst custom and the runner up wasn’t even close.

The evidence was quickly destroyed, but the learning experience has stayed with me. Lesson #1: I sucked as a handpainter and needed to find a new medium immediately. I cobbled to together my life savings (approximately $21 and change), bought my first airbrush, and never looked back.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fake It Till You Make It

Casanova’s pattern is halfway to completion.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Rack: Lengthening a Model's Back

I was pleasantly surprised to see y'all found last week's tutorial helpful. It's not a standard topic for model horse tutorials, but it's nice to see such a positive reception. As a follow up, this week I'm going to opposite direction:

When Should I Lengthen a Back?

Last time on “Don’t Eat the Paint”…

Some breeds have long backs. Some have short backs. Ponies are usually long:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That Swaps Thing

It has occurred to me that I never posted a full picture of my Swaps in progress. Bad me.

This angle is unflattering.

In between commission work, I'm doing a rough prep job on him before he goes off to his painter, Lauren Tapley (or Hoeffer...but she's still Tapley in my cell because I resist change.) She is currently thinking something in the dun family.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Times, They Are a Changing

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard that Breyer is discontinuing JAH.

I originally subscribed as a horse crazy kid, way back in the mid-nineties. I think I begged for month before my mom relented and sent in the subscription card found in every yellow Breyer box. My first issues opened up a new world to me of custom Breyers and performance set-ups. I spent hours reading the classifieds, scanning for (what else?) Shams for sale.

The How-To's were a godsend. I can say with confidence that I wouldn't be where I am today without them. There was particular article, which lead to a custom, which lead to a sale years later, which drew me back into customizing.

So part of me is deeply sad to see it go.

However, I've also been in the hobby long enough at this point to know that nothing ever just disappears. Magazines have come and gone. But overall, for every resource I've seen fall away, dozens have popped up to replace it. Breyer is moving into the digital age and much of the content is moving online. If this prompts Breyer to expand their website, I see this as an overall gain for the hobby.

Still, I'll miss it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Drawn and Quartered: Shortening a Model’s Back

Required Reading

Super Glue and Baking Soda: A Love Story
Best Laid Plans
Brands I Prefer: Everything Else
Brands I Prefer: Clay
Building a Frame & Armature


1 model horse
1 bottle of super glue
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 Sharpie marker
2 oz of Apoxie

Why should I shorten my model’s back?

Because it’s easier than it looks. Despite being a relatively minor procedure, it can give the same impression as a more dramatic overhaul of a conformationally-challenged plastic horse. In short, little effort but a huge impact. I’m kinda surprised how rarely you see this process done.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weird Keyword Searches

Blogger has this handy little feature which tracks how people find my blog. It includes keyword searches, which have become my own private source of entertainment. Some of these are too good not to share:
  • "can a horse eat paint off a car"
  • "scotchblue painter's tape frog"
  • "abstract bold colors with horse with blue mane and tail on lower"
  • "the order that"
"Barbaro statue" is always near the top. So when you notice I work Churchill's Barbaro-The-Gelding Statue into every post, know it's an attempt to draw in non-model horse readers.

He's cute and I appreciate the engineering, but a very obvious gelding.

(Not really. I've run out of things to say about the statue.)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Designing and Sculpting a Tail: Part 2

Part 1 is here.


2 oz Apoxie Sculpt
12 inches of wire
1 model horse (tail removed)
1 bottle of super glue
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 sharpie marker
1 paint brush (used)
2 oz of water or rubbing alcohol

By now, your horse’s butt should look something like this:

Okay, I faked this photo. But you get the idea, right?

And you have an idea of what you’d like your tail to look like:

Alborozo at Auction

Not my auction, but "Claudio" is for sale again.

Apoxie and Rubbing Alcohol

This is genius and I wish I'd thought of it first.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Designing and Sculpting a Tail: Part 1

For those of you who are familiar with my Showing 101 blog, you may remember that I have a tendency to get underestimate how much I have to say on a topic and end up breaking them down into something akin to a Dickens novel.

I think I promised this post would cover manes and tails. I've broken tails down into two parts, one for this week and one for next. Manes will be covered sooner rather than later.

Required Reading

Super Glue and Baking Soda: A Love Story
Best Laid Plans
Brands I Prefer: Everything Else
Brands I Prefer: Clay
Building a Frame & Armature

Hair--hands down--is my favorite thing to sculpt. Most of model horse sculpting is very clinical. It’s about precision and recreation rather than expression. As an artist with a strong creative impulse, the technical bits can drag down my enthusiasm for work without some sort of release. Manes and tails are that release. They’re kinda a Zen thing for me.

A sculptor cannot exactly recreate (in clay) the mass of a swishing tail, flying foot feathers, or a windblown mane. And by and large, I don’t think hobbyists want 100% accuracy. If they did, everyone would be hairing their model horses.* The objective of mohair is to recreate while sculpted hair is meant to represent.

How an artist goes about representing hair is unique as a fingerprint. In this tutorial, I’m going to talk about my approach, but I would encourage you to explore different tools and tricks in the hunt for your own style. In my opinion, the more comfortable you are in your own style, the more naturally sculpting will come to you.


12 inches of wire
1 model horse
1 bottle of super glue
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 writing utensil
1 photo reference
1 sheet of tracing paper

Designing the Tail

The easiest way to design a tail is to start with a photo of the real thing. I try to find a photo matching the position of the model I’m starting with. The closer the better--even two horses going the speed at the same gait will have a different shape to their tail at different phases of the gait.

Print out your photo. I try to print the photo as close to the actual size of my model as possible. Don’t worry about making it perfect, you just want it in generally the same size.

Next, bring out your tracing paper and tack it in place over your photo reference. Trace the outline of the tail, being as detailed as possible.

Fold your tracing paper. This time, trace your tracing and try to simplify the shape.

I try to vary the size of each clump of hair (or “spike.”) Little spikes, big spikes, short spikes, long spikes, wide spikes, thin spikes. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The goal here is to avoid looking too regular:

Looks a little like a squid.

When you are happy with your shape, feel free to move onto the next step. Don’t be afraid to sketch out more than one idea, reference multiple photos, and work out problems on paper. I could drawn ten of these before I'd be totally happy with the shape (I've done five already tonight. I'd keep going but I have to be up early tomorrow.) It’s much, much easier to make changes on paper than to go back and fix it after you’ve built the tail.

Removing the Tail

There is more than one way to skin a cat. When you are removing the tail from a plastic horse, you have a wide variety of methods to choose from. If you have one that works for you, I won’t be heartbroken if you don’t use mine.

This is my preferred method:

If you have a models with a tail that hangs away from the body (such as Salinero, Roxy, the Half-Passing Warmblood, Flash, Cigar, etc.) you can just snap the thing off. Hold the body securing in one hand, grip the tail with the other and pull up. It’s a strangely satisfying sound. For extra enjoyment, try doing this at a model horse show. Your fellow collectors will collectively, instinctively wince when they hear the sound of snapping plastic. Seriously, this never gets old for me.

Snapping the tail will leave a small stub, which you can remove with a dremel.

Use the tools that look like teeny sanding belts.

If your model’s tail is attached to the body, you’ll need to take a different approach. You’ll need a cutting tool such as:


With my dremel, I cut around the edge of the existing tail. Start at the top and work your way down the sides.

Can’t reach under the tail? Don’t sweat it for now. Just cut what you can reach without nicking the butt.

Same as we did with detached tails, now snap off the tail by pushing against the bottom end of the tail.

If it doesn’t want to move with a reasonable amount of pressure (please don’t hurt yourselves,) it’s time to dive into some different tools. Honestly, I’ll just grab whatever I have on hand and try to be patient while I whittle away the tail.

Meh, worth a shot.

Your tail should be off by now. If not, return to the previous paragraph.

It will look messy at this point. Go back to your grinding tool.

Clean up the excess plastic and try to reclaim as much of the butt as you can. Now you should have a clean--but gaping--hole.

If possible, I’ll stick a little piece of masking tape in the hole and cover it in baking soda/super glue. If I know my new tail will cover the hole, I won’t worry about getting his rear end as presentable as possible. However, if I know this area won’t be covered, it’s time to bring out the Apoxie and start patching.

I’ll give y’all the week to finish up repairing your model’s back end and let the clay dry. Your homework is to add a small (1/8 inch) hole, once you’re happy with your resculpted horse’s behind. I use a drill bit that fits in my dremel:

To be continued…

*It’s worth noting that at one point in time, everyone did hair their models. My second custom was haired. It was also awful and the last I tried my hand at mohair. This tutorial is from one of the best in the business, Carol Williams. It’s a great read and almost enough to encourage me to give it a second chance. Almost.