Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Ancient Breeds: The Caspian


The Caspian is an ancient breed that originates from Persia, in the northern region of modern-day Iran, near the Caspian Sea. The first writings and art depicting the breed have been traced as far back to 3000 B.C. and is likely the influencer to many light type horses, including the Arabian and most Oriental breeds. They were commonly used for driving royal chariots. Unfortunately, the breed was assumed extinct after the fall of the Persian Empire in 331 B.C. with the arrival of the famed Greek Warrior, Alexander the Great. It wasn't until 1965 A.D., when the American, Louise Firouz discovered a small herd of small, light boned horses near the Caspian Sea, while she was on an expedition for small ponies for her riding school. She then set out to restore the breed through a breeding program in Europe and keep a number on the existing population. Her efforts came to a halt when Iran went to war with Iraq in 1979, in which after the war was over, she was able to establish the International Caspian Studbook in 1978. Since then, the Caspian has been exported and bred in the United Kingdom, U.S.A., Australia, and New Zealand. Today, the Caspian is commonly ridden by children in jumping disciplines and is an excellent carriage/driving horse.
The height ranges from 10-12 hh. The color ranges from Black, Chestnut, Bay, the Dun gene, and Grey.


"International Encyclopedia Of Horse Breeds" by Bonnie Hendricks

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Hence The Reason I Don't Collect In Congas

Many people collect in different ways.

Some collect only one color
(I do not actively collect black horses, by the way)

Others collect only one type or breed
(I don't actively collect Decorators, either, but if one strikes my fancy, then I'll actually consider it).

And yet, the current popular way to collect model horses is to have every single color created on one mold. These are known as Congas.

Sure, it's pretty cool seeing how each color pulls out a different characteristic in the mold.

I mean, if I actively congaed anything, it would be the Classic scale Mesteno mold.
(I have a rule that I cannot do a custom to sell on this mold, because I would want to keep every. single. one. of. them!!)

Stablemates and Mini Whinnies are super easy to conga, due to being small, inexpensive, and the variety of molds (until recently) tend to be limited.
(I have tons of the same molds in the G2 Stablemates!)
(Yes, I absolutely love the SM G6 Magnolia, too!)

But, when it comes to the big guys....

They're all in doubles.
(Except for the TR Shetland Ponies! And we all know why that is!!)

So, how do I really collect?

Tariq & Omaira

Well, in families.

Blue-Eyed Bandit & Bev

Tyfon & Dungaree

Faith & Anthony

Rainfest & Lakota

Partly Cloudy & Sato

Some Couples have been around longer than others and are still waiting on a foal.

CuChulainn & Ellenora

Another long-time couple and they're going to be getting a foal this year!

Cascade & Drizzle

So, yeah, there's the family completion with a foal issue. There's also the stallion missing problem. For some weird reason, I have a ton of TR Pony and SM Mares.

Misty & Stormy

I know who I want to have as Wings, Stormy's dad - it's the Breyerfest 2013 SR Chincoteague Pony, Buckaroo. I've come close to getting him a couple of times, but it's either the model is no longer available, I'm out of money, or I don't have anything worthy of a trade.

Brighid & McKay


But, the biggest problem I have, is the multitudes of Stallions.
Well, it's kind of obvious.
I like hair and action.
So, I tend to gravitate towards all of the macho looking stallions with their hair flying as they're just all vin' 'n' vinegar. 
(By the way, Brishin would be an awesome match for the TR scale Epona draft resin. I can totally see her standing there, looking behind at him and their foal, with the expression of: "Seriously? You're going to do that now?" While the foal is acting like the father).


I do have plans for a perfect family photo for Brighty....but that means I need to another brighty mold to customize.




Ansel Adams

Yeah, I knew what I was getting into when I got him. "I've already got so many studs who need mares and foals! I don't need another one!"
But, it was for sentimental reasons. And I'm glad I got him!

I do get sucked in and get the already family sets, only if I really like the models in the set.
(I'll talk about Buckeye in a later post).

But, this family is entirely pieced together by myself.

And, boy! Wintersong waited a long time for his family - I got him the year he was released in 2007!
(I had actually got Shadow before Groovy Girl, who I got last year).

In all of this, I know for sure that it would be an eerie day when every single family is complete.
I also know it won't last long!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

How to Sculpt an Ear with a Breathing Hole

Shadow's extremely large breathing hole in her left nostril.

Typically, when customizing, artists will fill in the factory breathing hole that's located in the nostrils or the corner of the mouth and drill a small hole in the groin where it would be properly hidden. However, I like to place my models (OF and CMs alike) in water when I'm doing photo shoots at either a lake or a river.

Strider - CL CM

Which means...

Partly Cloudy & Emerald Isle - TR OF

the water level...

Drizzle - TR OF - Look at that Splash!

…can get pretty high.

So, having a hole in the groin makes me uncomfortable when envisioning the water level rising up through the hole and getting locked inside the hollow model - therefore, causing molding. 

That's when I started brainstorming on how to place a hidden hole in the ear. It actually didn't take me that long to figure it out, it was more of trying it out to see if it would work is why it took me so long.


Metal Needle Sculpting Tool
Cone Shape Silicone Blending Tool (these are used for oil paints)
Old Paint Brush for applying the Rubbing Alcohol
Two-Part Sculpting Material (Aves Apoxie or Magic Sculpt)
Rubbing Alcohol
Dremel w/ Diamond Bit Drill

First thing you need to do is drill a hole that's big enough to "find" during sculpting. Make sure it's in the correct location for the ear.

EDIT! Also have a larger hole in the belly or the groin, so that you can empty out any dried Apoxie that have accidentally broken off inside while sculpting. (Thankfully, the hole that I had already sculpted over has a layer of masking tape with the sticky side pointed inward to catch any little stuff that had dislodged over time).

It helps to sculpt one ear and let it cure before sculpting the other one. This enables you to not accidentally smash one ear while sculpting the other.

Once one ear is cured (this one is not one with a hole in it, by the way), carefully shape the  second one to be similar shape and size.

When folding the ear, keep it more open and poke the metal needle tool through what would be the ear canal.

Of course, I'm sculpting an ear that is pointed backwards! But, I'm sure this technique would work no matter which way the ear is pointed.

Carefully place the ear over the hole and mold it to the desired position.

Take the needle tool again and gently press the Apoxie to the sides of the hole.

Now, you need a small snake (a little longer than this piece) for the muscle around the ear.

And smooth it to the head and ear (use the silicone tool for blending to the ear). This helps prop up the ears - otherwise, they would lay over on the head funny and not look natural.

Now saturate the inside of the ear and smooth (and texture) it with the silicone tool. Also, continue to smooth out or texture the base of the ear to the head.

Congratulations! You have now made an ear with a breathing hole in it!!

Friday, January 7, 2022

Christmas Festivities

It was the Mini Hoofbeats Riding Stable's annual Christmas Party. Elaborate plans were made. Money spent on gifts, costumes, wrapping paper, tarps (yes, tarps - the window still hasn't been replaced yet!) All of it ready to go....that is....It is now past the time when everyone is supposed to arrive to help set up and Lisa, Delphine, Abigail, and Charlotte are the only ones on time - where are the rest of the girls.

Charlotte threw her hands up upon arriving to the nearly empty arena, "I'm here before they are! Where in the world are they?!"

"I don't know," Lisa check's her phone for the millionth time, "I haven't seen any messages saying anything about being unable to come. They better come quick, because the new girl is coming and I don't want her being the only one other than you and Delphine."

No wonder why that box was heavy! What a little sneak!

About twenty minutes after set up time, the girls come tumbling into the arena partially wet and giggling up a storm.

The brief scolding only affected Jenny, since she was the one who invited the new girl; who thankfully hadn't arrived yet.

"Don't worry!" Pipes up Lucky, "I got pictures!"
"Well, now that everyone's here," Lisa announced as she saw the new girl peek in the door, "Whoever's doing the Costume Parade, go and get your horses ready!"

First up was Lisa and Brighid.

Next was Brigette (yes, there are two with different spellings!) and the newest member of the herd, Princess Mitra the Caspian Horse.

Jenny with Heidi in her famous Angel costume.

It was nice to see Snow Princess in her Christmas costume, too.

And Jordan looks like she's being swallowed by that scarf.

Lucky borrowed Delphine's Little Red Riding Hood Outfit again and tacked up Sgt. Reckless in her Jan Brett inspired blanket.

Serena's such a good sport, in spite of constantly being knocked in the head with the basket whenever Wintersong decided he wanted to lead instead of being lead.

Charlotte threw a hat on and called it good for her. But she made sure her stallion, Orient Wonder, was completely decked out for the parade. However, she had forgotten how snug his bridle is. "I need to get that fixed," she whispered to him while getting him tacked up.

After the Costume Parade, it was time to start the White "Horse" Gift Exchange.

So many fun things!

Oh, dear! Arrow snuck in and took a bee-line to the candy cane decorations thinking they were real. Of course, one of the new barn kitties already did her fair share of mischief in regards to those candy canes in her way.

Jenny trying to help the new girl feel comfortable in the midst of the chaos.

Oooh....Lisa got one of her long sought out for models in his original box - the Palomino Family Arabian Stallion!!!
And Pru got Stablemate Blind Bags!

And so did Abigail! Though, she got the Unicorn ones! Maybe the two of them might trade to have one of each later....

Just when you think unwrapping, trading, or stealing the gifts was chaotic enough as it is - the Wrap That Pony Race was over the top hilarious! It was the younger girls against the older girls and the younger girls were winning!

Oops! Ran out of paper!

The new girl, Lyndsay, quickly grabs the red ribbon in their last leg of the race.

Lucky and Lunamoon seem to be in their own little world - unaffected by everything else going on around them.

Oops! The wrapping paper container got knocked over as Brigette was reaching for it. Hopefully, there's more paper on this roll (there isn't).

Ugh! Straw's stuck to the tape!!

"Where's the scissors? I can't cut tape without scissors and it's bad to do it with your teeth!"
Poor Pru! Sometimes she really doesn't understand Abigail's reasoning.

The cheer squad.

Everyone made sure they stayed to help clean up afterwards. Even in clean up, everyone is still having fun. But having fun can still make one tired enough to want to snuggle up in their warm bed, dreaming of what fun plans are they going to do for next year.

Oh! And here's one of Lucky's photos of what mischief they all were up to to make them late to the party.