Category Archives: Custom Model Horses

These are posts regarding the finished (or in-progress) customized model horses.


By | October 6, 2016


This little gal has been a looooong time in the making!

Evangelina was a custom order that I started back in March but one thing led to another and I didn’t get her finished until September. From her teeny tiny spots to her striped hooves, this little gal took a lot of cross-eyed nights to pull off. (I really need to get a magnifying glass headset).

She was the first realistic leopard appaloosa that I’ve done in a long time and it was fun running around Google digging up good reference photos. I know it makes me a dinosaur, but I remember what it was like pre-Google and it’s such a happy feeling to have things right at my fingertips!

The basecoat was done in white, grey, and a little hint of pink. Then the basic shape of the spots were laid down so I could get owner’s approval on the pattern. But stark black on white looks really fake… so I went back over all of them and added mapping, cleaned up the edges, and white-washed a few of them. That got rid of the contrast of the initial layout and made her look a little more realistic.

Medium: Gesso, FolkArt Acrylics (944 Nutmeg, 708 Dove Gray, 2905 Cinnamon, 425 Medium Gray, 420 Linen), Apple Barrel (20504 Black, 20258 Melted Chocolate), CraftSmart (Coral)

Continue reading

Partial Eclipse

By | March 24, 2016
Partial Eclipse - Left

Partial Eclipse

This little gal has been hanging out in my body box for a loooong time…

Every so often I will buy bulk lots of stablemates off of eBay and that’s where this little gal came from. Eclipse was half-painted and prepped with what I think was automotive primer. Other (saner) folks might have let her go as a casualty of war, but I wasn’t about to give up the fight!

So after several baths of  Easy Off, scrubs with a toothbrush, and many a long battle with sandpaper, she was ready for paint again. I prepped her as best I could, but she’s just too rough in places to do much beyond hold sway over a bookshelf herd. So no Photo Shows or Live Shows for this gal, alas.

Continue reading

How to Prep a Breyer Mini Whinnie

By | March 22, 2016
Prepping Breyer Mini Whinnies

Prepping Breyer Mini Whinnies

There’s nothing quite as much fun as opening a Breyer Mini Whinnie Surprise blind bag and seeing what pops out!

Well, okay, I fib– most of the fun is finding out which unsuspecting body I get to paint. Mwahahaha! 😉

But preparing a Mini for paint isn’t the same as prepping a Stablemate (or larger scale). These guys have a few weird quirks of their own. Since I wasn’t finding much info online when I searched I figured I should get off my duff and put a page together…

Continue reading

Jane of Aces

By | March 13, 2016
Jane of Aces - Right

Jane of Aces

She might be a simple brown horse, but this little gal is no Plain Jane. As a filly she always dreamed of flying and if you give her a pasture to run in and she’ll show you her dog fighting moves!

This little gal is named after the flying aces of old, although she’s got more in common with Snoopy than the real Red Baron. If you have a work desk or a bookshelf in dire need equine daydreams, then look no further, this little gal is here to save the day!

Jane is a rich medium bay with only a small stripe on her forehead and snip on her nose. Her Breyer logo was removed and seams sanded, but nothing else was done to the mold.  Jane has realistic glossed eyes and uncarved hooves. She is one of my attempts at painting horses using only acrylic craft paints, so no pastels here… although I did stoop to using colored pencils to detail her hooves.

Continue reading


By | February 5, 2016
Rumtumtugger - Angle


Every bookshelf herd needs a little pony attitude to keep things real and Rumtumtugger is just the lead mare for the job!

This little gal is named after a cat from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, who much like ponies, is quite sure of what he wants and notoriously hard to please. Give this mare an inch and before you can finish singing Memory she’ll be ruling over your whole house with an iron hoof.

This little gal is a Safari Ltd TOOB horse, which normally means an (HSO) Horse-Shaped-Object, but they’ve actually done a pretty good job with the Ponies.

She’s roughly 2.5 inches long and a 1.5 inches high, so bigger than a Micromini or Mini Whinnie (1:64 scale) and smaller than a Stablemate (1:32)– so maybe 1:50ish? She’s roughly 2/3rds the size of a Stablemate Shetland Pony, so I suppose you could claim she is Miniature Pony…

Continue reading

Escape Velocity

By | February 2, 2016
Escape Velocity - Angle

Escape Velocity – Dramatic Angle is Dramatic!

Have a desk or a bookshelf that is in desperate need of some physics-inspired bay awesomeness? Then look no further, this little gal is here to save the day!

It’s been a long time since I painted a realistic Stablemate that wasn’t a custom order, so I decided to pull a New Year’s Resolution and get some of the folks in the body box into some less Fantastic clothes.

This little gal is named after Terminal Velocity, a favorite micro-warmblood from my home herd and I really debated putting her up to Etsy. But I’m learning to embrace the fact that anything I can paint once, I can probably paint even better a second time… so off to the races she goes!

Escape Velocity is a solid dark seal bay with only a small star on her forehead. I was going to add a little more of chrome, maybe a cornet band or two, but she was just too handsome to meddle with once the basecoat was done. She has glossed eyes and nostrils, her breyer logo was removed and her seams sanded. There were some seams on her mane and tail that would have required resculpting to fix, so those are still there (and visible in the photos).

Continue reading


By | January 25, 2016
Solskin - Left


Resisting the temptation to name this guy Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana was very very hard… but I prevailed!

Solskin is Danish for ‘sunshine’ and that name fit this little guy like a glove. (When in doubt Google Translate is a great place to dig up interesting nomenclature.) He is one of the older pre-2012 residents of my workbench and the first horse of 2016 to get finished.

He started out as a shaded yellow coat that I meant to add dark points to, but once I started in on the orange pastel shading I couldn’t bring myself to cover up his legs with black. So his faux-bay is a little more faux, but I think he still looks pretty dapper!

Solskin is rarity among my fantasy customs because he lacks the normal high gloss finish. I was going to gloss him up, but when I hit him with the final Dulllcote to check for issues he just looked to handsome to re-gloss.

Continue reading

Christmas Pony

By | December 27, 2015
Christmas Pony - Angle

Christmas Pony

Once upon a December there was someone who said ‘a pony’ when her cousin asked what she wanted for Christmas… and so she got one!

To be fair, I am pretty sure she was kidding and/or wasn’t expecting a little bundle of metallic-ly awesome appaloosa, but this is why when you should be careful what you ask for when your cousin works with someone who commits art. 😉 Mwahahahaha!

(Also noted: I always ask for a pony whenever anyone asks me if I want something.)

This little gal has a very sparse appaloosa blanket, two front socks, and a small star (moon?), but she’s not short on shine. She’s got a high gloss finish and as you can see from the no-flash/with-flash front photo below she ranges from a richer copper to a golden hue depending on the light.

She was a lot of fun to paint– I haven’t done a speed run in quite a while and it was amusing to see just how long it really takes me to take a model from start to finish! 🙂

Medium: Liquitex Artist’s Color Acrylics (Gesso, Iridescent Rich Bronze), FolkArt Acrylics (666 Antique Copper, 577 Sahara Gold, 944 Nutmeg), Apple Barrel Acrylics (20504 Black), Ceramcoat (02604 Metallic 14k Gold)

Continue reading

Just A Jewel

By | December 11, 2015
Just A Jewel - Front Angle

Just A Jewel – Front Angle

I love trying to paint portrait horses (or in this case semi-portrait horses), but Jewel was one of the cases where it took me a dozen tries to get the color just right.

You wouldn’t know it to look at the photos, but this little gal has an awful lot of browns in her mix! While it makes her a beauty in person, it certainly put up a fight when it came to my camera…

So apologies in advance for the Evil Black Dots and my inability to get the focus to work properly. You’ll have to squint a bit and imagine the awesome. *sighs*

(You can see more in progress photos and commentary on her facebook album.)

Now onwards, to the story of The Thousand  Shades of Brown!

Continue reading

Coal Miner’s Chrome

By | December 7, 2015
Coal Miner's Chrome

Coal Miner’s Chrome

This is yet another long overdue post for a horse that I finished in 2015… way back in January to be exact. Like a canary escaping a coal mine, this little gal has finally made it out of the body box off my art desk!

She has been sitting forlorn and basecoated yellow for almost ten years waiting for inspiration to strike. I had planned on making her a faux-bay with dark points and sabino markings, but somewhere along the way she decided that being a doodle pony was a lot more fun.

She’s had her seams sanded and logo removed, but I didn’t do any additional carvings to her ears or hooves. Chrome’s been painted in acrylics and sealed with a matte finish– one of the only Doodle Ponies without gloss! She has enough shine on her own and I just couldn’t bring myself to add anymore.

Medium: Liquitex Artist Color Acrylics (Gesso, Mars Black), Apple Barrel Acrylics (20586 Canary Yellow), Micron pen.

Continue reading

4th Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show Donation

By | November 26, 2015
Clover Tobiano - Front Right Angle

Clover Tobiano – Front Right Angle

What better post for Thanksgiving that this long overdue workbench favorite!

This handsome gal is a Breyer Stablemate G3 painted into a clover-spotted green tobiano with a white clover star on her forehead. She was a donation to the 4th Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show which was held in October of this year. She was a sibling donation to the landscape jumper I did for the M.O.M. Live Show donation, run by the same showholder.

I’ve gotten a little obsessed over converting horse patterns into 4-H clover-friendly variations. After the extended blanket appaloosa I painted last year, I wanted to see what I could pull off with a tobiano pattern.

I ended up doing most of the clover shapes in green, but there are a few places where the pattern flips and you can see the white clovers overlapping the green.

Topped off with a lilac ribbon and realistic eyes, I was really sorry to see this gal go! I’m hoping she’s found a home with someone who will fall in love with her cloverness as much as I did. 🙂

Continue reading

M.O.M. Live 2015 Show Donation

By | October 26, 2015
MOM Live 2015 Show Donation - Angle

M.O.M. Live 2015 Show Donation

This handsome fella was a donation to the May 16, 2015 M.O.M. Live in Black River Falls, WI. The request was for a horse to match up with the America the Beautiful song. I had never painted a landscape before, much less on a horse so this was an interesting adventure!

Just like last year’s donation’s dapple attempts it was a lot of fun to work outside my comfort zone. The challenge to trying something I wouldn’t have otherwise is one of the reasons I try and fulfill all show donation requests. Well, that and I love supporting the live show hobby however I can since I don’t have the money (or energy) to run my own anymore. 🙂

Although he didn’t turn out quite like I’d imagined him in my head, he’s a pretty awesome little fella, from high-gloss sea to snow-capped mountain top. Sadly I couldn’t pull of the tiny bald eagle, so he had to settle for a 4-H clover cloud instead.

As always, there is a Facebook gallery showing all of the in-progress steps as I painted him and the photos below enlarge quite a bit when clicked!

Medium: Liquitex Artist Color Acrylics (Gesso, Ivory Black, Turquoise Green, Raw Sienna), Folk Art (720 Cobalt Blue, 476 Asphaltum, 504 VanDyke Brown, 944 Nutmeg, 2908 Real Brown, 420 Linen), Apple Barrel (21386 Arbor Green, 20530 Wedgewood Green, 20513 Bright Yellow) Continue reading

Portrait Horse: Vincent

By | June 1, 2015
Vincent - Thumbnail


There is something addictively awesome about taking someone else’s art and making it come to life on a horse!

This little guy is Vincent and is drawn by the talented ContinuingLegacy (Izzy). Because I was working with an artist it made it a breeze to collaborate the sculpt and painting, since they could do sketch overlays on photos of the actual model.

But since this work was such a back and forth between me and the artist, I took a lot of photos. A lot. (Just shy of a thousand.) So when it came time to make this post I had a hard time weeding it down. If you want to see even more photos, please check out Vincent’s Facebook Album over on my page! 🙂 Continue reading

McLaughlin’s Midnight Dancer

By | October 12, 2014
McLaughlin's Midnight Dancer

McLaughlin’s Midnight Dancer

Once upon a time there was a lonely G1 Stablemate Morgan Stallion who wandered eBay in search of a home. He was mint his owner said, he was in excellent shape! And lo, he was sold to the highest bidder and trotted off his new home.

Only he wasn’t mint, and he wasn’t in good condition, and his new owner was bummed.

And lo, he was bummed, for he had thought himself a most handsome horse.

But all was not lost, because scratches and black marks and slightly warping are still not enough to turn this old gentleman into a dud. So his owner shipped him off to me for a bit of sprucing up!

Thus follows the story of Dancer, who was a ‘simple’ black custom the drove me happily nuts with his seams and his refusal to take good photos… Continue reading

3rd Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show Donation

By | May 16, 2014
3rd Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show Donation

3rd Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show Donation

This handsome guy is a Breyer Stablemate G3 Mustang stallion painted into a clover-spotted green appaloosa with a white clover star on his forehead. He was a donation to the 3rd Annual Jackson County 4-H and Open Model Show to be held in October of this year (NAN qualification and website link pending). He was a sibling donation to the bay drafter I did for the M.O.M. Live Show donation, run by the same showholder.

Much like the bay drafter was my first attempt at dappling, this little guy was my first attempt at painting clovers! I naively thought that painting the 4-H clover logo would be a walk in the park, but I ended up revising the idea into a simpler clover shape.

I also had fun working clover shapes into the edges of the blanket, so he looks like someone dumped a bucket of snow on a cloverfield! 🙂 Continue reading