Sunday, January 30, 2011

Skive, skive, skive.

There is lace all over my desk at the moment. Here's just a snippet of some, drying after an application of gum trag.

I spent last night reading through the WEG Diorama Project article in JAH, courtesy of Jennifer Buxton's post.  By the end of it, I was so inspired to start on my harness orders that I think I dreamt about harnesses...

Dan was online last night so we spent a few moments comparing measurements between my four tack models (Smarty Jones, Ideal, Lady Phase and Lonesome Glory) and her Eberl Ricardo resin, whom the set will be for. She determined that Ricky is about 2cm bigger in all measurements than Smarty, so I will be roughly building the harness on him - with measurements for back-up, of course!

Since I have made a couple of classic harnesses based on the Zlico ZGB harness, that's what I'll be using again. It's a nice multi-purpose harness designed by George Bowman, one of the world's top drivers. It can be switched from single to full with a few additions, and is nice enough to use for dressage and cones, but strong enough for marathon. So if Dan decides to enter Ricky into marathon as well, all she needs to do is switch out the cart. Easy!

I've ordered my bits from TWMHC, along with some racing stirrups (before they sell out again) and hames for Lisa's collar harness. They'll get here in about a week to a week and a half, but in the meantime I have plenty of prep-work to do. There's lace to skive and treat, as mentioned above, and I also need to experiment with a tongue-buckle bridle. There isn't much point in doing a slip-buckle bridle with a tongue-buckle harness!

I am lucky with the ZGB harness though. This is the bridle:

See on the crownpiece how there are extra layers on the poll? And remember how I have whined about 4.5mm lace being too wide for RR's buckles? Now I have a solution (for this harness at least)! I can just attach two 2mm strips of lace side by side onto another layer, thus resulting in a bridle with 2mm straps that fit through the buckles. Yay! Obviously this method won't work on regular bridles, so I still need to find some 3.5mm or 4mm lace for that, but for harnesses I shouldn't have any trouble with this. Lovely!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

EQ2010 - Driving Obstacles - Pairs

Driving Obstacles - Pairs is extremely similar to singles, so you can refer to that post for more information, and this one for pretty pictures!

EQ2010 - Jump and Drive

I carried on about this event prior to going to Equitana, so I wonder why it's taken me so long to post it! Silly me.

This is an event that seems more competition-for-the-sake-of-entertainment rather than an actual event, so I don't think we'll be seeing many jump and drive model horse set ups in the near future, unless it's in the Scene class as a demonstration!

Unfortunately, we were at the wrong end of the arena for this event, so the light changed mid-way and my photos are kind of bad. See them anyway after the jump!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


T"he more I've worked on this bridle for Dan, the more convinced I am that Smarty Jones was made for this colour. But I bet if I make a donation bridle in this colour, the person who received it would not have a Smarty, so I think I'll wait and hope that someone will just order one instead. :D

Speaking of orders, here's a Western halter order, made to fit Zippo (hopefully! I had to work off measurements). I was surprised to note that this is the first Western halter I've made on this dark brown colour.  I think it came out very nice anyway, and will be in the mail soon for its new owner. I added silver tips to the crownpiece after these photos were taken.

Back to Dan's bridle. The entire set is FINISHED! (Unless she wants to change something else. :P)

It's made to fit Ruffian, who I no longer have, so this is mostly made from measurements.

She has a longer head than Smarty,  but these pictures are on him as Dan also has a Smarty and she can compare that way. Fingers crossed it will fit!

 I did originally make it with buckle reins, but Dan changed her mind.

Here it is on Mr Long Head, Lonesome Glory.

My donation for the Down Under Nationals show (the Australian equivalent of NAN) will be a racing set, so it's nice to get some more practise in before I start on that project.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Year orders

Part 2 of Dan's Christmas present was a racing set to go with part 1 (NIB Ruffian). She kindly left the colour choice up to me, so after finding an awesome picture of a yellow bridle on a dark bay (which of course I can't find now), I decide to go with yellow, white and black. But one problem. I don't have enough yellow leather! Oops. So I've ordered it and while waiting for it to arrive, I got started on the saddle.

Dan asked me to make the saddle smaller than my previous one, so out came the paper and pencil. I now have a Smarty Jones tack model (thanks, Lisa!) rather than Ideal, so I think this saddle is more correct.

Above the new pattern is laid over the old; you can see there is more definition in the pommel and the flaps.

Something I had wanted to try after crafting the first saddle for Lisa was a tree of some kind. I didn't like how the first saddle was perpetually flat, and I worried how it would sit on a model with a more defined wither, like Smarty.

I admit I don't know the first thing about trees, or how to attach the leather, or what type of glue to use. This is part of the reason why I've been so reluctant to get into saddles for so long.

Last year I had ordered some aluminium sheets from Oakridge Hobbies, after reading Jennifer Buxton's tutorial on roller buckles. Oakridge had two sizes, 0.008" (which was the size Jennifer recommended for the rollers), and 0.016". I bought both, cause they were cheap (sucker for a bargain), and the larger size might come in useful. That's actually what I used for this saddle's tree.

I traced the pattern onto the tin with permanent texta, then cut it out with regular scissors, making sure it was slightly smaller than the pattern (so it wouldn't show). To get it into shape, I bent the front section into a vague saddle-like shape by pressing it against my cutting mat. The tin is kind of stiff so it took a little bit of effort, and means the saddle shouldn't bend out of shape too easily, but should be able to be shaped to the horse without too much trouble.

Next came the underside leather. For some reason I traced off the tree, not the paper pattern, so I didn't cut flaps. I have durr moments sometimes. :P I added flaps after I glued the tree to the underside leather (after roughing the tree with a nail file and using my trusty Selley's Super Glue gel), and they aren't visible unless you turn the saddle over.

 Next came the attachments for stirrups, and the girth billets.I copied the method I used for Lisa's saddle - two d-rings attached to a strap for the stirrup rings, and one long strap (with a wider strap over the top) to act as girth billets and the buckle protector thing (there's a name for it but its purpose is to cushion the jockey against the girth's buckle).

At this point I also cut the slits for the surcingle (angled up towards the pommel), and threaded the stirrup leathers. Ignore the temporary D-ring stirrups, hehe!

My TWMHC order arrived yesterday, so I was able to add stirrups to the saddle. And here's where we are at the moment: wearing a temporary surcingle while I wait for the yellow leather to arrive! I do need to put trim around the edge of the seat, and on the pommel, too, but that won't take long.

In other news, I have somehow signed myself up to make five harnesses within the next few months. All are traditional, except for one lone classic harness (which is for me). Lisa needs three, and there's a marathon harness for Dan. I can start Dan's harness immediately, as it will be made to fit Ideal, but Lisa's will have to wait until I can go to her place and measure her resins. One of her harnesses may also feature a collar, courtesy of the tutorial in Model Horse Magazine number 8. I really am stepping out! The tutorial sounds pretty easy so I am kind of looking forward to it.