Tag Archives: How-To’s

These are all the How-To posts I’ve written covering a variety of subjects.

How to Make Cheap Model Horse Holders from Index Cards

By | August 18, 2017
How to Make Cheap Model Horse Holders from Index Cards

Index Card Model Horse Holders, gogogo!

Every so often I get the urge to be crafty and make storage containers for the various things on my art desk. I’ve made craft paint storage and tool/brush caddies and a stab at Stablemate shelving before… but I needed something better to hold my models-in-progress.

Thankfully my workbench hoarding tendencies are great for providing random supplies to build things! So I grabbed some index cards, white glue, scissors/X-acto knife, and a ruler and got to work making some WiP stalls.

Continue reading

How to Make a Paper Gift Box

By | July 12, 2017
Handmade Cardstock Box for Magnets

Fair Winds and Following Seas– err, boxes!

Historically I’ve been bad about presentation when shipping things. Those who’ve ordered from me in the past know that my packing methods consist mainly paper towels and scrunched newspaper. So now I’m on a quest to make cheap boxes and upgrade my game a little! 🙂

My first thought was just to grab for a paper mache box or a white box just goes against the grain. (And I really don’t have the space to store a bulk order, nor the sales volume. Although this one is really tempting. *sighs*)

So off to the drawing board!

Continue reading

How To Make Craft Paint Storage From Boxes

By | January 5, 2017
Craft Paint storage solutions... on the cheap!

Craft Paint storage solutions… on the cheap!

If there’s one thing I have a hoard of, it’s craft paint! 😀 (Over 100 bottles and counting.)

But these little 2fl oz bottles can be a pain to store. Put them on a bookshelf and you can’t see the colors in the back. Stack them on their sides and it’s a pain to get the bottles in the middle.

So one day I decided enough was enough!

I had cardboard. I had packing tape. I was going to have a solution. (To be fair, this is how 99% of all my crafting storage adventures begin.)

Continue reading

How to Paint Faux Turquoise

By | August 20, 2016
How to Paint Faux Turquoise Battle Mountain Blue Gem Acrylics

How to Paint Faux Turquoise Battle Mountain Blue Gem Acrylics

I promised a friend to paint her a turquoise clydesdale horse head magnet, easy-peasy right? I thought for sure the internet would have a bevy of articles on how to paint something to make it look like it was carved from turquoise.  But apparently I’m the only one that’s trying this brand of madness.

So a grabbed a spare cat magnet cast and here’s a tutorial on how to create a faux turquoise paint job using acrylic paints!

Short version: I’m using acrylics to paint a replica of a Battle Mountain, Blue Gem turquoise. As always click on the pics to embiggen and if you have any questions, just ask in the comments below. 🙂

Continue reading

How to Make Stablemate (1:32) Scale Ground, Trail, or Jump Poles and Cavaletti

By | May 15, 2016
Making Stablemate (1:32) Scale Cavaletti and Poles

Making Stablemate (1:32) Scale Cavaletti and Poles

This tutorial covers how to make model horse scale copies of the wooden poles and cavaletti that are used in a variety of horsey ways. They can be used as training aids (walk-over or trot-over poles), as part of a jump (ground poles or rails), or as part of an English or Western trail class (ground or trail poles). Cavaletti are used primarily for training, but I have seen them used for lower level jumping classes in barn shows.

I’d made a sets of these poles years ago, but have never shown with them, so some tweaking may be needed for true Live Show Quality (LSQ). These are great for play or Photo Showing!

On a scale of 1 to ‘ow my finger!’ These are probably a six because of the bits where you are carving out the notches in the cavaletti with the x-acto blade. Just go slow and be careful and it should be fine! 🙂

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

Silicone Caulk and Cornstarch Molds – Take 2!

By | March 2, 2016
Casting a Complex Octopus

Hark, an Octopus!

I tried combining caulk and cornstarch back at the beginning of my 100% Silicone Caulk mold making adventures… and it was dismal failure. It never set completely and ended up sticking to the sculpture.

But the more I did research into the casting and molding world the more I came across articles and YouTube videos insisting it worked, so I figured it was time to try again!

The tl;dr story is that this works exceptionally well for making molds of sturdy objects that you are looking to cast in resin. It doesn’t work well for for fragile objects, because of the amount of pressure required or for plaster casting (without a release agent) since that sticks to the molds (boo!).

As always, click the pictures to embiggen! 🙂

Continue reading

Perfecting the Plaster of Paris and Wood Glue Mix

By | December 18, 2015
Water + Plaster of Paris + Wood Glue + Paint = Kittenloafs!

Water + Plaster of Paris + Wood Glue + Paint = Kittenloafs!

I’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with casting using a mixture of plaster of paris and wood glue. But since I’m starting to try and figure out how much things really cost to make it’s time to finesse the mix so it’s a bit more consistent… Bring on the grade school science experimentation!

Basic Ingredients:

So I’m spending roughly $12.00 in the name of SCIENCE!

For this experiment I am using the kittenloaf mold. It takes roughly two tablespoons of plaster mix, which matches up well to the two tablespoon size of the resin casting cups I got from the Alumilite™ Amazing Casting Resin. Besides, who doesn’t need more plaster cats in their life? 😉

Continue reading

Adventures in Aluminium Lost Wax Casting (Part I)

By | September 6, 2015
Plaster Molds after the wax was removed

Plaster Molds after the wax was removed

A friend of mind built a DIY forge to melt aluminum cans and play with casting things. They didn’t mind if I played along… but to cast aluminum you need sand and plaster molds. Thankfully that’s something right up my alley!

Or at least in the same neighborhood. 😉

Previously I’ve made plaster positive casts from 100% Silicone Caulk molds,  but these would need to be negative casts, so I decided it was time to play with lost wax casting.

As always, click for much larger photos! Continue reading

Stablemate Photography

By | June 28, 2015
A Simple Studio Setup

A Simple Studio Setup

I’ve been meaning to translate my Facebook Gallery about Model Horse Photography Basics into a proper blog post for a while now… marry that up to my vow of finishing draft posts and here it is!

This post is about the various settings I use to photograph model horses in 1:32 (Breyer Stalemate) scale and smaller. The same things can be used for larger scales with a few tweaks. This post doesn’t cover image editing, white balances, etc. just Av, F-stops, and ISOs!

The Basics

  • F# Lens Aperture, F# (F5 -> F32)
    smaller number = more light, larger number = more depth of field
  • Av Shutter Speed, 1/x (1/15 -> 4)
    larger number = more light
  • ISO Film Speed, ISO (100 -> 1600)
    larger number = more grainy, more light

Continue reading