Before Christmas I was approached by the show hostess of the American Heartland Live Show, being held in Platte City, MO May 21 and 22, to see if I would be willing to prep some models that would be painted and auctioned off for charity. I agreed, and was sent 5 models.
Thats Goffert, Running Stallion/Unicorn, Pluto, Classic Mesteno Grazing, and Stone Morgan. Each of these molds has presented its own challenges in prepping.
I'll start with the lovely Pluto. This mold was donated by Judy Miller.
Pluto just before primer.
Such a lovely pose, but the mold itself held a ugly surprise. Prepping went well until the point where I started to lightly sand the body smooth. This body would NOT go smooth at all. I sanded and sanded and sanded till my hands were claws and still it wasn't ready for primer.
I finally broke down and asked for some advice in a few places, and was told to use the trick of rubbing alcohol. The alcohol, when used in small amounts rubbed on the body, slightly 'melts' the plastic. This was exactly what I needed in lieu of re-sculpting the entire body.
After that problem was solved, there was the next little issue of Pluto being gender-less. After some careful study, I decided the mold looked more mare-like to me than stud-like. So "it" became a "her".
forgive the grainy photo!
My first attempts at sculpting mare parts didn't go quite so well. She looked like she was either a nursing mare, or just about to deliver with the smallest pregnant belly ever! (Though had I thought about that sooner, I would have re-sculpted her to be a near term pregnant mare cause that would be neat!) However, since she wasn't supposed to be a prego mare (thinking performance classes here), her newly formed girlhood needed to be adjusted.
'plastic surgery' rocks!
This seems to be more like it! After I was happy about the re-sculpt I then started in on some other issues this old gal had. She rocked when standing, had little to no detail in her hooves, nose, and ears, and this split level seam she had on her belly.
I for whatever reason totally didn't take pictures of her after she was primed, before I sent her off to the painter. She was sent to Lauren Reed to paint, and the next three picture credits go to her.
She got painted to a lovely palomino with chrome! Lauren did a beautiful job on her!
Oh how about the Morgan next? He was also donated by Judy Miller.
whatcha lookin' at me for?
His biggest mold issue was he had a floating hoof. This meant that when he was on a flat surface, one rear hoof was not flat level, but instead had the tiniest bit of distance between the hoof and surface. This usually isn't that hard to correct, a little bit of clay under his hoof and away we go. However once I got into getting him to stand level and flat, I realized that one of his hooves were not anatomically straight. If he had been a real horse, his bone would have been broken at the fetlock.
So out came the heat gun, and we set that hoof to rights.
Oh and did I mention that this guy had a giant crater in one of his hind hooves? Yep. Like someone had caved the entire side of his hoof in with a finger. So that got repaired as well. He also got some definition in the usual places though I honestly can't remember now If I carved out his hooves or not?! Not that it matters a whole lot....
But since this guy screams stud, and he came rather, well, lacking, we needed to remedy that little problem in a jiffy.
Now I will have to say here that sculpting 'boy bits' while your son, husband/boyfriend, stepson, father - well ANY male relative around is quite the interesting experience. My boyfriend thought it was rather fascinating and tried to offer 'help' in the shape and size of certain parts that start with the letter "T". My son, who is 10, was extremely embarrassed that mom would even think about those parts, much less create them in full 3-D. My father took one look at what I was doing, turned bright red, and walked out of the room.
Personally, I was laughing at all three of them. Funnily enough, the one that didn't have any sort of visible reaction was the 13 year old step son. He either wasn't paying much attention, or just didn't care. I suspect the latter....
But, and no thanks to the BF on this, I rather overdid things the first time. I won't show the photo due to bloggers sensitive nature about things such as this, but suffice it to say that Mr. Morgan here was decidedly more human looking than equine in that department. Again, NO thanks to the BF there....
So after some 're-tooling', we ended up with a much more anatomically correct stallion. Which again, we will not show pictures of because I don't want Google Police to come after me.
it was the stretched out hind that was the problem child.
He was the only one of the five that got prepped in white primer. And I will never use that primer again.
He was sent to Lynn Royea, and these next three pictures are credited to her. She painted him to a luscious bay. Love love love that pangare on him! She did an AMAZING job.
Horse number three posed little challenge at all - not like the first two. He is the Hartland ASB, also donated by Judy Miller.
The Show's website doesn't have finished pictures of him yet, but here he is in his primed glory.
He is also another mold that was made intentionally an "It", so he became a gelding. He is currently being finished by Gay Mahlandt and I cannot WAIT to see him finished.
Then there is this little guy. This little man has a bit of a story behind him.
note the different colored hind hoof...
The original model was donated by Amber Ackerman. He was mailed with a broken leg, which was absolutely fine. Broken legs are easy for me to fix, and in no time I had his leg pinned and set back together.
However, before that happened, I made a HUGE boo-boo on him. He came to me still in his OF clothes, and not thinking anything of it, I stripped him. (Yea I know, its worthless to strip an OF model.) Well I ignored that little 'rule' and did it anyways. When I went to scrub the oven cleaner off of him, the brush I was using was the wrong brush to be using. Unbeknownst to me, I was literally creating thousands of tiny scratches in his mane, tail, body, face, etc. It wasn't until he had dried and I sat down to examine him to see what prep work needed done that I realized my mistake.
His mane detail was totally annihilated. I would have to completely remove and re-sculpt his mane, tail, face, etc. This was something I did NOT have time to do. So I went ahead and fixed his leg anyways, and in the meantime got hold of Melissa and explained my situation.
She was extremely forgiving, and accepted my fix; which was to locate another mold, out of my own pocket, prep that one, and send it along its way. In exchange I would keep this one and do what I wanted to it later on 'whenever'.
I lost four ebay auctions in a week on this guy LOL! I finally won one and for a lot less than what I was willing to pay. The other upside was that the 'new' one would be structurally more sound than the first, as that leg wouldn't be broken!
The replacement was a easy, quick prep - just some seams, basic sanding, and a little work on the ears - he was good to go.
the replacement model the day I received it
one week later!
Besides the intact leg, this one was in much better condition all around.
And look at what Julie Cervantes turned him into!
credit goes to Julie for these pics, of course!
lovin' that detail! gorgeous!
Didn't she do just the most incredible job? I think she did!
It is a wonderful feeling for a prepper to see the fruits of my hard work in such glorious full color detail! This is what keeps me motivated.
Nextly in line is...
This poor guy started life off as this mythical animal...
image credit to modelhorsegallery
But lost his horn. I killeded it.
He also had some severe farrier issues.... as anyone that has ever tried to prep this mold knows he doesn't stand all that well without help.
So after some serious finagling with my heat gun, some clay, and his legs, he finally stood on his own four legs without falling over drunklike. Which, is a good thing...
Prepping on him went smoothly after that. Oh, he was also given generously by Judy Miller.
His finish work pictures haven't yet been put up either but he is being painted by Kollean Gouyton. Another one I can't wait to see when finished!
Now thats five horses out of six, yes? So where is Goffert?
Goffert was a BAD horse. Very, very Bad.
He became that ONE horse that every artist/prepper dreads working on. He purposely broke himself just to spite me, I think. Which is very sad, because what did I ever do to him? I petted him, gave him baths, got all the dirty black stuff off of him, fixed a serious injury to his leg... why I was KIND!
And this is how he repaid all that kindness...
He blew seams out.
The full length of his belly, back, underside of neck and jaw, and down his face.
Its difficult to see in these pics unless you blow 'em up big but there is a lighter white line where the seam is usually located on the mold. That lighter white line is the soda glue I applied after taking a dremel and basically 'gutting' the seam. In an upcoming blog post, I'll go over the details of how I did that as a tutorial.
After three priming attempts he kept coming back with little imperfections like this mold mark on his leg....
clicky to make bigger to see details...
scratches on his mane and tail...
and while this is the leg that had the 'injury' I fixed previously (see soda glue in mid cannon bone?) it was the gouges/cuts/whatever they were in the feather detail that just would NOT take primer!
Sadly enough, after primer attempt one, but before primer attempt two, I resculpted that area of feather on the picture above and made it look really, really neat. That area of the mold is seriously lacking in detail. However, when primer job numero dos went bad due to it FLAKING OFF (a serious WTH? moment....), the clay I had sculpted popped right off the leg. It just wasn't meant to be.
He was just problem after problem, headache after headache, and quite frankly, I wanted to smash him into pieces when his seams blew out after the third primer attempt.
So what did I do with such an Ill-behaved beastie? I got permission to replace him in the show auction with a brand new, nice and pretty
Bay Glossy Braveheart Resin from Horse Power Graphics.
Clicky HERE :) for full color pictures of the pretty pony.
So not all is lost. Goffert will join the ranks of the yet to be tamed wild hosses in my body corral, where the other monsters will teach him some manners.
Or so I hope. Cause he won't see the light of day any time soon.
There will also be this little guy raffled off at the show as well:
ok, I know, horrible picture.
This little guy started life as "Amber", and I turned his head a little more so he's looking back behind him, re-sculpted his neck, turned one ear, gave him a brand new mane, tail, and boy parts appropriate for about a 2-3 month old colt. I named him "Adam" but even I admit that's not very creative. LOL.
He will be finished rather quickly and mailed off to Carole Ingram for color and personality! He isn't listed on the show website yet, which is why I'm mentioning him here. :D
I blogged about him before -
If anyone is interested!
Since that post, the tail I sculpted on him broke in two places, and the pastel job I had started on him wasn't going well at all. So he got stripped, a new tail put back on, and re-prepped for priming.
Now all of these horses and more can be found at
Raffle Tickets are a buck a pop, or you get 6 for only $5.00!
There are some incredibly talented people donating supplies, horses, tack, paint jobs, shiny things, and other artwork to this show and it all goes to a great cause.
The Long Meadow Rescue Ranch
Which is MO's livestock Humane Society. They are a full scale Horse Rescue and Rehab center and I'm all for that. So get yourself some goodies, and you just might win one of the lovely horses mentioned above.