Live From the Slightly Less Messy Workbench

Live from the Workbench 05-16-2018

Spring was over almost before it started, as Virginia spiked from 30 degree days to 90 degree days with only a slight pause in between. Thankfully we’re back into the 80’s, so hopefully I can get some art done!

I’ve broken my vow to not buy any new art supplies since Toys ‘R Us finally started discounting the Breyers and I needed some specific items to help refine the prop-making process.

100% Silicone Caulk Mold Making Experiment

100% Silicone Caulk Mold Making Experiments End Results

I’ve been playing around with using 100% Silicone Caulk to make molds for casting plaster for a while. It’s cheap and relatively easy, but the results have always been slightly frustrating. Bubbles, gaps, weird artifacts… each time I try and make a mold I don’t really know what I’ll get!

Which is frustrating and a waste of time and materials.

So I grabbed a few tubes of caulk and set out to experiment my way into a better method! I used the outside glass table as my workbench, since making these tends to get soap and wet very very quickly.

I’m happy to report that I think I found a successful method… I just need to let them finish outgassing so I can do some plaster cast tests! *crosses fingers* A proper How-To blog post will follow if I succeeded.

Papercraft (aka Semi-Origami Boxes) for Model Horse Bases

Papercraft Model Horse Base Storage Box Template

One of the fun projects on the workbench this year has been papercrafting. I have figured out how to make boxes for the model horse bases that keep the base firmly in place and away from the top so the grass isn’t rubbed during storage.

But I learned while making ten boxes in a row for the ‘use up all the weird shaped bases’ push last month that I need a much better template. I was using a piece of cardstock and tracing around it, but that didn’t work well. I had to go back and use a ruler to square things up and the boxes weren’t as uniform as I would have liked.

So I went back to the drawing board (literally) and picked up a piece of plastic that’s normally used for stencils and got to work. I’m going to do a few more boxes before I do a tutorial for it, but it seems to be a winner! 🙂

Breyer Model Horse Customs

Custom Breyer Stablemate Model Horses in progress 05-16-2018

I have been bribing myself to Adult more by picking up small mystery blind bag Stablemates and Mini Whinnies from Walmart. The accompanying rule to these prizes was that I had to start painting them immediately… which means I have some new faces on the workbench! 🙂

Breyer Stablemate Friesian – Pink and Purple : This one needs a lot more work. The pinks blend and cover well, but the purple is very watery and takes a lot of layers.

Breyer Stablemate Friesian – Dark Bay : I’m going very slowly on this one, so lots of color left to add! He’s going to be a very dark bay at the end, so right now I’m just building up thin layers of a bunch of different browns.

Breyer Stablemate Highland Pony – Light Dappled Grey : I have the base color where I want it, so now it’s just detailing all the dappling. This is the first dapple gray I’ve done in a while, so I have no idea how long it will actually take. *rolls up sleeves*

Breyer Stablemate Highland Pony – Aqua Reverse Tobiano : This one was just for fun! The teal isn’t covering at all well (yay Craftsmart paints! *sighs*), but it’s getting there slowly but surely.

Breyer Mini Whinnie Playful Arabian Stallion – Chestnut Frame Overo : Every time I think I’m done prepping, I find another thing to tweak! So although the base color is very close to where I’d like it, there’s still a ways to go.

Breyer Stablemate Paso Fino – Breyer Body Box Trade : I’ve been experimenting with palomino coloring in the sketchbook and I think I’ve finally found a good mix. So this little gal will be getting more shading this week! 🙂

Fat Pony Magnets

Jumping Fat Pony Sculpture in progress

I had a little bit of leftover epoxy from working on the new body box trade basem so I started working on a new sculpture for a jumping (or rearing) Fat Pony. In the grand tradition of model horse customizing, this required chopping up an existing cast and playing around with some epoxy.

She’s far from finished, but this little gal should be joining the ranks of the ‘waiting on new OOMOO 30’ projects by the end of the month! 🙂

Etsy Listings, Photography Headaches, and other To-Do Lists

Cat vs Dog vs Lightbox (or: Why I Can't Have Nice Things)

I have a LOT of stuff on the workbench still waiting in the photography wings. *sighs*

As always, I need to grit my teeth and do some photography and photo editing. I’m just crazy frustrated with my inability to take constantly decent photos. I want it to be simple photo-math, yet no two photos come out the same.

Even with all the online tutorials (for photography and image editing and free challenge classes and Facebook groups), I’m still horrible at it. I’m halfway tempted to try and find an in-person class to learn what I’m doing wrong. Are there such things as home-visits for photography teachers?

But I need to keep on keeping on… there are Etsy listings to make! 🙂

*rolls up sleeves and Gets-On-With-It-Already*

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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