Originally published January 14, 2018.
For those who might not have heard, #NaMoPaiMo is National Model Painting Month, an international painting challenge in February between model horse hobbyists. It was founded and is run by Jennifer Buxton and is a fun online (and sometimes in-person) gathering of sharing progress, tips and fun.
Now in its second year, I will be participating again with another stablemate custom. I've chosen a Breyer G1 Thoroughbred mare who I am transforming into an Arabian mare. My January month will be spent finishing her sculpting and prepping her for next month's painting.
While I'm at it, I thought I'd walk you through her major changes, which I also thought would be a great insight for those wanting to know how to make great little stablemate customs.
I really love the extra challenge of changing breeds. It takes a little extra work in dremeling and sculpting, but in the case of this girl it was straight forward enough. A little extra clay on the butt and crop for a straighter Arabian back, carved head for that tiny Arabian muzzle and concave profile, and a new neck.
Fearlessness I feel is the biggest tool you can use when customizing, especially these old stablemates. The G1 TB mare, like many of that time, are lovely but have wonky legs. I had to chop off both forelegs and reattach for a more correct stance. The difference is huge when you view her from the front.
And by the way, good sturdy wire and dremeling deep holes for it are crucial to re-attaching legs that will be strong.
To the Ferrier!
The feet, I find, are usually the wonkiest part of almost all the G1s, especially if they are more recent productions (from when the molds were deteriorating). A little extra clay to the hooves and a lot of dremeling of the pasterns goes a long way. Given the small size, this is often the most frustrating part of the process, but well worth it. A couple more passes and this girl will have lovely feet.
And that's the biggest elements I wrestle with when customizing stablemates. Up next, I'll discuss taking customizing up a notch with perfect craftsmanship, which I'll demonstrate as I prep this girl for painting. More to come!
The author and model horse customizer.
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