Saturday, October 6, 2012

Racing surcingles

Speaking of racing tack... I use 6mm elastic for my racing surcingles and girths, which unfortunately limits the colour combinations as I can only find it in black or white. (There are no craft stores near me any more so I have to buy just about everything online, mostly form eBay.) And you know how colour-coordinated model people like to be!

In my on-going research of model tack, I sometimes come across surcingles (overgirths) and girths that are synthetic and have elastic inserts, like this:

Right now, I don't like the way I have keepers on my surcingles. The method is basically a long strip of leather with (usually contrasting) keepers around it. It does the job, but I don't like the way it looks. It's difficult, if not down-right impossible, to attach keepers directly to the elastic like in the photo below - their narrowness, and the stretchiness of the elastic, means they generally don't last long (and the glue hardens the elastic, which can cause a potential scratching issue on models).

So what I'd like to try is creating a surcingle that has the elastic insert, but also has the keepers directly attached. And I think the way to do this is with grosgrain ribbon (the nylon ribbon some tackmakers use for halters) in 6mm width.

The benefit of having a synthetic girth on models allows for more colour combinations - and what could be better than that? And when I get my hands on some vertically-striped grosgrain from the States (just look at these beauties here), I'll be able to do stripey combos as well.

My only concern right now is the nail heads on either side of the keepers. I'm thinking I'll either need to drop the surcingle strap to the 2mm leather instead of 3mm (will probably help with the perspective of scale too) to fit the 1.5mm nailheads on, or revert to silver ink to simulate the nailheads. Oh, and how to attach the elastic to the grosgrain without causing a lot of bulk. Hmm!


  1. You can always colour your elastic using permanent markers - there are some super coloured sharpies out there now. I got about 12 different colours from woolies.

    1. You do that? I would be way too scared of bleeding to even try!