How to make 1:32 Scale Model Horse Fencing

Four Kinds of Stablemate Fencing
Four Kinds of Stablemate Fencing

In the last ‘Let’s Build Something!’ post I showed you how to make and repair grass bases for your Stablemate (1:32) scale models. Now it’s time to add some model horse fencing to that setup.

This post will cover how to make multiple kinds of wooden and faux-PVC fencing. I’ll have another post up in a week or so that will cover wire and arena fencing.

On a scale of one-to-‘Ack, my finger!’ this is on the easy end of things. It does take some practice to get everything to line up, but that’s more careful planning and less rocket science.


Stablemate Fence Building Supplies
Stablemate Fence Building Supplies

To assemble these fences, I am using Liquitex white gesso, a ruler, a mechanical pencil, sandpaper, a tiny bit of wax or plasticine clay, wire snips, paper clips, a hand drill, Loctite Super Glue Gel,  Elmer’s wood glue, a x-acto handle with a Razor Saw Blade (52 teeth per inch) and a x-acto miter box.

If you don’t have any of these tools, the initial supplies will cost a bit, but after that fencing is pretty cheap to make. It’s the labor that’s the hard part!

I use basswood when I build the fences because balsa wood is both more fragile and more grainy. If you open the picture of the three fences at the top you can see the balsa wood rails on the leftmost fence are thicker and much more textured than the rest.

(Balsa wood is great for aged wood fencing though.)

Wooden Fencing

Wooden board fencing is normally attached to the front of a round or square post using nails or screws. The post are four or six inches wide and the boards are 1 inch thick, six inch wide, and up to sixteen foot long.

Fence Pieces Assemble!
Fence Pieces Assemble!

The installation guides for most recommend the posts be set between eight and twelve feet apart and that the fence should be roughly five feet high. (The height of the fence depends more on how likely the horse is to go over it than anything else.)

Translating that to 1:32 scale is really easy, thanks to the internet. I just hopped over to this Scale Conversion Calculator and popped in the measurements.

Fence Posts Glued to the Base
Fence Posts Glued to the Base

Thus I need to build a build a fence that is 1.88 inches high, with posts 0.19 inches wide and more that 3 inches apart. The boards would need to be less than 6 inches long and 0.19 inches wide.

The main issue is that nothing is 0.19 inches wide, but at 0.1875 a 3/16th inch is pretty darned close. For these fences I used 1/4th inch boards instead of 3/16th, because that is what I had on hand (and I think they look a bit better).

Drilling Fence Post Holes for removable Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Drilling Fence Post Holes

The base I am using as my example today has a grassy surface of 3.25 inches. It had a fence on it previously that broke off at some point, leaving nice bare square patches to work with. The base itself is roughly 4 inches wide, so I’ll be using that as the length for my boards.

With a basic plan outlines and trusty new sawblade in hand I headed for the miter box. Measure twice, cut once!

Cutting paperclips to make pins for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Wire Snips and Paper Clips!

Now that I have the fence pieces cut, it’s time to decide how to attach it to the base. Normally I would simply wood glue the finished fence to the base once it has been assembled, but I’m looking to make a removable fence this time (for fun!)

Sidenote: Cutting paperclips with normal scissors is likely to ruin the scissors.

Filling in post holes with clay for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
I use green or brown clay normally, the blue just makes it easier to see!

So before I start gluing things together, I’m going to drill holes in the posts and in the base so I can insert a small piece of wire. This is pretty much the same method you’d use to pin Stablemate legs when they’ve broken (or need to be resculpted), which is where I got the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see, I’m not the best at drilling on center holes (yet!) but thankfully this method is pretty forgiving. The holes are much bigger than the wires, and the wax/clay method gives us plenty of wiggle room.

Squaring up the fence posts for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Setting the Fence Posts

Once the hole are drilled in the posts cut down the paperclip so you have two bits of wire. Put a dollop of super glue on top of the hole and then push in the wire, twisting as you go to make sure  wire is nicely coated.

For the base, you will want to put a little bit of plasticine clay into the hole. The clay will be down far enough that you can’t see it even when the posts are gone. It’s the clay that is going to hold the wire snug– and that will let us work with not-quite-straight wires.

Leveling the top board for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Measure a dozen times. glue once!

First stick the posts in the holes and rotate them until you have the best alignment with the base and they are as straight up and down as you can get them.

Second, place the top row rail. For this fence I put it flush against the top, but you can set it further down if you wanted. I’m using just a little bit of carpenters glue here. You put it on the posts, wait a minute for it to get a little tacky and then attach the post.

Wood glue is better than superglue here because it takes a few minutes to set properly, which lets you move the boards if they need adjusting.

Leveling the bottom rail for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
A little patience goes a long way…

For this fence I’m doing four boards, so once the first one dried I placed once at the bottom to square it up. I didn’t want it flush with the ground, so I used another board to ad a little height. You can use a level to make sure each one is in place before you continue.

Spacing between the boards is purely cosmetic, there are lots of difference fence designs out there, so once you have the basics down you can get creative!

Unpainted four rail Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Ready for paint!

To finish it off all you need is the sandpaper and white gesso. Go slowly here and you’ll end up with a nice matte finish. You don’t want to use a high gloss finish here because it will make the fence look plastic… which brings up to the next section.

PVC Fencing

PVC fencing is normally attached in the middle of the post, where the pieces lock together. This is a bit harder than the first method since it requires that the boards be centered on the posts and that the boards that extend past the posts are separate pieces.

But finding ways to build things is half the fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Even if I still haven’t figured out how to make the post caps yet… darnit.)

Squaring up the bottom rail for the Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse faux-PVC fencing
Squaring up the bottom rail

So to start with we use the same method to make the posts and the wires as before. But this time the measurements are a little more difficult, we’ll wait and measure the distance between the upright posts since it can vary depending on the wire placements. It’s a lot easier to measure from the posts instead of trying to fit the posts to pre-cut boards.

(I may or may not have learned this the hard way.)

Figuring out the width of the wooden posts for Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale model horse fencing
Almost a perfect match!

The lucky thing is that the posts are roughly three boards wide, so I can use that to help center the boards on the post. Or I can after I’ve gotten to the point where I can lay the fence on it’s side.

The other change in fence assembly is that I’m starting from the bottom instead of the top. I’ve used 1/4 inch square dowels to set the distance between the ground and the bottom board and we’re going to use another board to make sure it’s in the middle of the posts correctly.

Once the bottom board is solidly in place, I carefully worked the fence loose and then flipped it on its side. Once it was resting on a bed of other boards it was a lot easier to glue on the other boards.

Assembling the wooden Breyer Stablemate 1:32 scale faux-PVC model horse fencing
Working out PVC Fence Assembly

I put the top board on second, to help make sure the whole thing was square and then put the middle board in place.

The end pieces were a bit harder, since I did them by eye instead of using a guide some of them came out a little crooked. Overall I think it came out okay for a first try.

Unpainted Breyer Stablemate 1:32 Scale Model Horse Fences
Gesso Time!

The main issue I ended up with on this Beta-Fence was that I didn’t sand all of the pieces before I assembled them.

Painting before assembly is bad because the wood glue won’t adhere, but not sanding was just me getting too excited about the project to wait. (Darnit!)

So the PVC still needs several more rounds of sanding, and gloss, but you in spots you can see how the smooth gloss finish will look like plastic.

And That’s All She Wrote… (for now)

So that’s how I build these two fences! As you can see they both need some more work to sand off some of the problem areas– I’ll come back and update this photo in a few days, I just wanted to get this done and posted today.

Semi-Finished Breyer Stablemate Scale Model Horse Fences
Semi-Finished Fences

Using those two techniques you can actually build a wide range of fencing. The miter box makes cutting 45 degree angles a breeze and I’ve got plans in the works to do more elaborate fences, but using the techniques outlined here. There are a bunch of other fence styles left that I also need to cover, but that’s for another blog post…

Want to buy instead of build? Check out my store!

Have any questions? Ask them over on my Facebook page and I’ll be happy to answer! ๐Ÿ˜€

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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