Sunday, March 20, 2011

Finished at last!

For something different, how about an almost wordless Sunday? Dan's harness is done.I didn't notice the breeching was sitting wonky until after I had uploaded the pictures (of course).

I have an ISH!

On Friday I received mail of the exciting kind - an ISH body!
I've been looking for one for ages to use for my tack, as he is an extremely popular mould, and I had heard that he is a bit smaller than the Breyers. Even though there are $25 bodies in the US, the cost of shipping them to Australia would probably be around $25 again.

A few months ago, Stone had second-quality bodies in their eBay store for about $20. I was contemplating buying one then, but they sold out before I could purchase one.

By the looks of the seams on this guy, I think he may have been one of those second-quality models. Good thing I'm not a customiser!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Collar day

(Technically Dan's harness is finished, but there are a couple of adjustments she would like fixed before I share it with my readers. So, you'll just have to wait!)

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and attempt a practise collar for Lisa's harness, using the tutorial found in issue VIII of the Model Horse Magazine.

(Apologies for the photos - I don't have a scanner.)

With only the picture to try and copy the pattern from, I ended up drawing it free hand (with lots of guessed measurements to try and keep it even). Unfortunately the tutorial does not mention how high the curve should be, nor the distance from the middle or anything else that may be of help.

After turning the collar right side out, I found it look like something a little familiar.

I didn't have any 'felt scraps', so I found some ugly brown felt that I swear had been waiting for this project, and chopped it into tiny pieces. Stuffing the collar took longer than I expected - around fifteen minutes - and by the time I'd finished, I had invisible bits of wool felt everywhere over my skin. Worst feeling ever.

Stitching up the hole was difficult - sewing the collar earlier had been difficult, but this was just downright hard. My poor finger. :( I attached the hames, and yay!

According to the tutorial I'm all finished, but either I missed something or the tutorial missed a step. Because my collar shouldn't be able to do this.

Or this:

On a real collar, the hames are definitely fixed in place and do not move around. I looked at many different pictures of collars, and the only difference I can see is that there is a deep groove or channel on the collar that the hames sits in. That's all I can see that would hold the hames onto the collar in such a fixed position. Unless they are using glue or something behind, but I doubt it.

I think I will need to use some black thread in places where it won't be seen in order to keep the hames tight against the collar. I'm reluctant to use glue in case it discolours or causes damage to the hames, and I don't want to leave the hames loose as there is just way too much potential for damage to a model.

Other than that major issue, it looks nice from the front.

I am considering whether I should adjust the pattern slightly, since it seems like the curve came out steeper. Unfortunately Lauren hasn't provided any side-on pictures of the collar in the tutorial, and it seems her website is no longer available. I'll need to do more thinking before I decide to change the pattern or not.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Visit, and Lisa's harness

Yesterday I spent most of the day at Lisa's new property. Her previous location was on the other side of the city, around 2-3 hours from me, and now she only lives half an hour away! This is very exciting as now I can go drool at her ponies as often as she will let me.

We had several goals to accomplish while I was there. First and foremost, to meet her new Welsh ponies, Trinity and Precious (who are adorable). We also had to brainstorm out the rosettes we are going to order for our joint-run live show, Performance Extravaganza, which will be in August this year, and also work out new colours to be used for her live show, Mini Mania, in May.

The last goal was to attain measurements of her Depeche resin so I can start on his harness. Of course I forgot to take my measurement list with me, but I guess I can always go up and take new measurements if needed. ;)

We had some time to kill after lunch, so also went through her (huge!) tack collection to cull out the items she no longer uses to put up for sale. I think Lisa has more classic saddles than traditional - which is curious as she has far more traditional-sized models! We discovered a number of pieces that could be better (and fetch a better price) if spruced up, so I've taken those home to have a play with and see what I can do. These items are from when she first started collecting in early 2000s.

So here are the items, untouched, and what I plan to do to them.

Smallish classic Western saddle. I intend to redo both cinches and put etched buckles on. Remove the tapaderos, since they are only legal for Western Parade and this saddle isn't all that flash. Add straps to the breastplace, and possibly make a new one. I may also play with putting some excess leather underneath the cantle to push the back up, as the saddle is not made on a tree.

Black large classic Western bridle with black and white romal reins. I will put on a new headstall and bit. The reins are pretty cool - they are posable like rawhide, but feel more like waxed cotton or something, so I don't intend to play with those.

Traditional one-ear Western bridle with carved cheekpieces , rawhide romal reins and fancy bit. I really like the bit on this bridle. It looks handmade and is really different. It almost looks like a parade bit. The cheekpieces will stay, but I will give it a new headstall and change the buckles to tongue buckles. I will probably also upgrade the reins.

Traditional bridle with nylon purple brow and nosebands. Basically I will only be salvaging the hardware from this bridle, and using it on a purple and white racing bridle for Lisa.

Classic hackamore bridle with rawhide bosal. The bosal is REALLY cute. I would totally be buying it if I had any young horses to use it on. New headstall and cheekpieces, new reins (will attempt to tie a mecate too!)

I REALLY want to start working on this right now, but since the carts are finished, Lisa's harness is more important. I think I will keep these spruce-up items as treats to do once the harness is finished.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Almost there!

So close, and yet so far.

Dan's entire harness is about 99% finished. At this point all I have left to do is the browband as I'm waiting on some 6mm blue leather to appear. And then I'll be finished!

Not quite rejoicing yet though. It pays to be cynical sometimes - there will probably be something that needs changing once it's in Dan's hands. I hassled her for about 30 different measurements during the week before she sent Ricky off to be repainted, and I am fairly confident that the blinkers will be sitting correctly.And if not, well, we won't find out until Ricky is home again, closer to the end of the year.

I was going to post pictures, but as I was editing them, I noticed a few bits that needed some work, so for once this will be a pictureless post!