Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coming along.....slowly.

Just did a little more work.  Exhausted.  Been up the last three days on just a couple hours sleep a day.  Still psyched about the single-footed guy.
He's got more mane and more tail now.

Cupid was bad last night.  He moved somehow on his own and the antler shifted and set up that way, so I had to drill it out and reset it again.  This time I put the other side in and then set the first side again with glue and finally packed the area around the antler bases with apoxie.
But what sucks is I just revisited some more refernece pictures of Caribou and the antlers, Both of them...have to come off again and be completely remade.  They aren't correct for a caribou.  It's so confusing because you see that normally they swing back and into the arch, and there is usually a branch in the middle that goes forward and up, then there was what I thought were two more that come out at the bottom and go along the face parrallel to the nose.  That's true, but most times over there is only ONE central comb shaped branch that runs down the nose.  It's normally on one antler and it connects the two antlers at the bottom making the entire head set look like a big 'V'.  So anyway, I have to redo these antlers. They need to swing back more dramatically and have a more pronounced arch.  So back to the drawing board.
(God I'm tired)

Ok, now for the better news.
I like her better this way now.

 I also am doing a brand new Mare Giving Birth set. I'm really seriously considering doing this set in Appaloosa.  Still more tweaking to do.

I've got a mane going and more tail work done to the Teke.  He's got some joint work in now and a new left shoulder.. Still have to refine the joints when it dries. He's got his gender now too. I have to work on that some more also. This is a very lightweight CM. Hardly any weight to him at all. I'm going to get another one of these models and do a CM Marwari only I'm going to resculpt the ears to face forward and look correct. No dented smushed ear tips.  What's scaring me is that the more I look at him with a mane now...the more I think he needs a longer neck.  (screams)

I just killed a cow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

RIP Continental Hobby Center

This makes me so sick. (There's a rant coming on here)
We had a hobby store back when I was a kid called Continental Hobby Center or as everyone called it "Continentals".  It was a small private owned mom n pop Hobby shop.  They carried minatures, doll house supplies, model train accessories, they held RC car racing in the upstairs area, they carried model car kits and anything and everything craft. From expensive to the cheapest.  Little flocked teddy bears for .25 and little plastic soda cans for .10 each. lol  I still have a bunch of those little flocked sitting teddy bears. They also carried Breyers.  They had a huge display case in the front of the store where one of every Breyer they had graced the shelf.  I was horse crazy ever since I was four.  It was a treat to go there and I'd just gaze up at the horses and drool forever. We didn't have a lot of money then and $30+ for a plastic horse model was unheard of for my family. (Stay at home mom-three kids-dad worked full time at Kmart as a maintenance man)  We were lucky we had heat in the winter. So even after I had my own money I had just never bought a Breyer. I think I literally forgot I could. So in 1998 I went to Continentals and discovered Stablemates. I was in love.  Tiny Breyer's...... all the detail of the big ones........$3.00 each!  I bought one of every one they had. I still have those today. I'll have to take a picture of my stablemate collection. The only mold I conga (or attempt to) is the sm ASB. Anyway, the first time I bought a traditional Breyer was in the year 2000 I think and the horse I bought was Carpe Diem. I was there with my mom. Just a few years before she died, and I saw that horse and thought it was so pretty.  I'll never forget my mom saying to me,  "Why don't you get it?'  Then she offered to get it for me and I said No, I'm going to get it.  I don't know why I never bought a Breyer before then. I've worshipped these horse statues all my life.  Carpe Diem was followed by Stardust the Unicorn.  It's funny now that I think about it, because I hack these things apart every day.  I literally take dremmels and butane torches and melt them down and cut them apart.  It's nothing for me to get a Breyer body anywhere. And when I was a kid, obtaining or even touching one of these horses was like getting your hands on a moon rock.

Well, years ago the Continental Hobby Center closed up.  The building was sold to a man that had a vintage toy shop.  Basically it's a toy and comic pawn shop is what it is. Let's be real here.  It's a nasty dirty pawn shop. It was called The Collector's Lair, or The Vault. He had a shop across town also but when he bought this store, he got rid of that one.  Anyway, they had every vintage (well 70's and 80's) toy you could think of.  But the problem was this store went through a transformation that you wouldn't believe.  The Continental Hobby Center was a tile floor, CLEAN, establisment. The aisles were neat and everything was pristine. Glass display cases and white shelves. In a couple of months after the Vault moved in, this place looked like a DUMP. They added ratty carpet to parts of the store that I'm sure there weren't before.  The shelves were overloaded with boxes and books and figures.  They had aisles blocked with toys and chests and tubs of loose action figures everywhere. They had boxes stacked up on top of each other in the middle of the aisles.  There were even big spills of paint in the aisles left there on the carpet to dry and harden to an unremovable stained mess. The place looked like a teenage boys bedroom.  An extremely MESSY teenage boys bedroom. You couldn't turn around in there. I'm serious. You could not turn around. It was a death trap in that building. Things piled up from floor to ceiling as far as the eye could see.  Everytime we went in there we were so disgusted we wanted to call and report them to the fire marshall but we remembered all the hard to find toys and action figures and things we could get there we could never find anywhere else.  (Luvjeordie=Avid toy collector)  So we never called thinking someone must have already done it.  Year after year the same mess.  The place was almost laughable it was so messy. It was a falling hazard, a tripping hazard, a fire hazard, We always said if that place ever caught on fire, they'd never get it out. People would never be able to get out.  Doors were blocked with junk and toys.  Even the mess flooded outside where they stacked up old broken shelves and other various garbage and junk in front of the store on the sidewalk.  Hoarders.  That's exactly what it looked like.  It looked like an espisode of one of those hoarding shows. Junk and just ...STUFF everywhere. You had to crawl and wade through the mess physically. And this was a business and it stayed like that for years!  Until last Saturday morning at 4:00 am.

Nobody is buying the owners story.  He was on the news last night standing there shifting his weight back n forth looking at the ground and not the interview's eyes or the cameras, while smiling and talking in the most unremorseful attitude you've ever heard come from a man who's just lost his entire livelyhood.  There's talk all over the city about the owner having set the store on fire himself to get the insurence money out of it.  Talk that the Fire Marshalls were after him, and that they were the reason behind his having to clean up the store a lot several months ago.  The last time we were in there was right before Xmas and even though it was still filled with junk everywhere, you could see someone must have made them put a dent in it, because the loose figures were put up in crates and not strone everywhere. The aisles were somewhat passable.  It was a tiny bandaid but a bandaid nonetheless.  Anyway, there's a lot of talk.  I don't know what insurence company gave this moron a policy to insure his business but there's no way in hell I'd give him a nickel on it to replace a single baseball card the way he was just ASKING for that fire.  You don't keep a store looking like that and cash in on a policy after it catches fire.  To see that man talk about the store and then stand there and SMILE and crack jokes about not having anything to do the next day.  Makes my skin crawl.  Insurence investigators and the Fire Marshalls are investigating heavily.  They can't get down in the basement yet to determine cause.  This building looked fairly small, but it was two stories down in the basement.  It had a fallout shelter in the bottom of it.  Few people knew that. So when the fire broke out , it came from the fighters weren't allowed IN the building to put it out.  Because the floors weren't stable to stand on. They literally had to stay out the window and hose in from ladder trucks. The fire was last Saturday, and it's still burning today down below. This is all that's left of the Continental Hobby Center.

Another day another set of improvements. (I hope)

Well they look like improvements to me anyway.
The TWH foal now has fetlock joints and a right shoulder and a chest, oh and a gender.  He's a boy.  I've still got to do something about the croup and the withers. The whole topline still looks off.  The hump above the shoulder bone is in the wrong place I think.
But still, He's got better shaped feet now. I've still got a lot of work to do to the legs yet. Reshaping and resculpting the bones. And working on the knees.  He's got an indication of a bushy tail now. Oh, and I slimmed his face down under the jaw some and on top of the head. His front legs need a lot more apoxie to them. They are really thin still.

The big boy's looking awsome now. He's got some knee joints, and some fill in aireas. He's got a new bottom lip and a new chin and new redefined nostrils. Added the base for the mane and started filling in the tail. Added some more fillin apoxie to his neck on one side. When it's dry, I'll sand it back down again and maybe add more.  That's what i do most of them time.  sand it down then build it back up again, then sand it off again.  (sigh)  My indian name is "Wastes Apoxie". 
The one thing about him looking different than the reference photo is his back is alittle more sloped inward or sunken in than the real guy.  I know this, and it's simple as anything to pat down a touch of apoxie in the middle of his back and simply smooth it out to look exactly like the big guy, and I almost did this but I got to thinking. Apoxie can lift after time if models experience a climate change, or temperature change, and they can warp.  It's nothing you can do to prevent it.  If it's going to happen,'s going to just happen.  The only thing you can do is repair the cracks and Zap A Gap them, sand them down smooth, re-prime, and re-touch the paintjob.  I've had models I've made years ago, never cracked ever. Still intact fully, and some I've had crack in a matter of less than a year and even shorter time.  Sometimes it happens. Drilling breath holes doesn't prevent it.  It's still happened.  I've taken to flattening out a sheet of wet apoxie and literally sliding it in through the open neck hole of a horse and sticking it all around the inside cavity of a CM and sometimes that's the best thing to do. Sandwich the plastic in between two layers of apoxie.  Inside and out.  So anyway, I was thinking, if I put a flat piece of apoxie like a patch right over the middle of that's going to wind up cracking right there and lifting.  So to avoid a patch of apoxie in a place that could be "lift central" if the model ever does warp microscopically, I'd rather have his conformation off a hair  from the reference photo than to risk the model itself losing display life. I've looked at a bunch of single-footed horses in the last few weeks and there are many that have a slight dip in their backs anyway.  It's just this "particular" one is a hefty one and has a little bulk to him.  But it's not worth the risk add ing such a small flat piece of apoxie there.

I sanded down the Teke a little but nothing real exciting on him yet. I'll get the mane in and take another picture of him. But Cupid's got an antler now!  He's also got a new nose.  I looked at my deer book and he needed some rhinoplasty. He was hard to handle with the antler set, so I'm going to bulk his nose/face up later. His nose is a little too long and thin. He's not going to have a roman nose but just a little more bulked up.  If he were a female it may look better but the males have a more bulked appearance in the face.

Still trying to get the hang of this blog program.  I haven't used anything like this before so I don't know.  I have my own website so I never really needed to use a blog.  I got to message forums sometimes, but I rarely post anything on my own type of forum.  I'm usualy the kind of person that only feels the need to post on a forum if I'm ticked off and want a place to vent about something, so the downfall to that is usually people assume I'm just a negative angry person when I'm really not.  I just never have the need or desire to post when I'm happy.  lol 

But on to some work in progress.  I would have posted this stuff in a section of my own website but it's a real pain in the ass updating the site.  Not that I'm complaining about my web provider, God no.  I love them to death.  Them's good people.  I just hate that it takes so long to upload all the photos and pages and waiting for the cpanel to reload.  You can only do like 12 files at a time and it takes several minutes of the computer freezing til it's ready to select more files.  So I don't have a very quick website to update.  Hence why I don't update that often.
But without further adue (or however you spell that)

Here are some in progress photos of some stuff I'm working on right now.  I will try to take new shots of each one every night I finish working on them just to document the progress.
 This is a Cigar model I'm really excited about.  I've been working on him since Christmas.  My brother told me, "Don't do that til next Xmas.  It wont sell now. There's no market for it."  I was so antsy about the idea of doing it, I just couldn't wait. I ocasionally get really psyched about an idea and just can't wait to get started.
Here he is.  A Caribou "Reindeer" out of the Breyer Cigar model. As you can see there's very little left of Cigar.

 I've been working forever on the antlers.  I finally wound up using the original main branch of the Breyer Elk antlers I had after scrapping two homemade sets for having the angle off. Recycling is what it's all about right? lol  I don't know why the hind left foot looks like it's twisted a little in the picture.  It doesn't look like that in real life.  I think it was the angle of the shot a little bit. Since it's going to be literally closer to Valentine's Day before he's completed. (sigh) I've decided to name this one "Cupid". I had an idea I wanted to do a series (I'm always doing series' of weird model collections) of all Santa's reindeer, and use different Breyer's for them.  I'm seriously thinking about still doing that.  Just like with the Nightmare Horses I do, just do maybe one or two of these a year til I get all eight done.  Sucks that they all wont ever be together though but. Oh well. Cupid.  He's going to have an acrylic rod down his middle to get him to stand.  There's little else I can do with him. 

Next is a TWH foal I'm doing.

I used the paint foal that came with the lady phase set. (I think) It's the standing stock horse foal Breyer model. Or was anyway.  I'm still working on him.
Next, and this is exciting.  Breyer released a new mold and as I've said before in my opinon the ears suck.  It's the new Marwari model.  The ears on mine and at least three other people I know now who've bought them said their's were smushed down.  The eartips are supposed to be curled for the Marwari breed but my model and now three other people told me their's were like this too.  The ears weren't molded to a curl.  They were instead mushed down and literally dented to just resemble a curled ear from afar.  Well, I decided that mine isn't going to be a Marwari anymore.  It's now a Akhal Teke stallion.  An angry Akhal Teke stallion.

He's not really foaming at the mouth. He actually has an open mouth now with a little bit of his front teeth showing and his tongue also in there a bit. So I'm at a point now where I don't know if he should have his neck lengthened.  He looks very Teke now, but I don't know if he should have an even longer neck. I have to shape the muscles in his newly bent front leg to match the other side, and get some more joint work done.  He needs a mane.
There are a couple of pix of Tekes rearing that show the neck really isn't all that long, but the body will have to be a little longer however when you do something to a model, sometimes it's not right.  Like if a model is in the exact proportions to a real horse it may look ok on the real horse but something just wont look right on the model.  There's a term for it.  It basically means that sometimes models or figures of something can get away with slightly dramatized features where it wouldn't look correct in real life but on the model it does..  Anyway, In lamens' terms, if I lengthen this thing's body, it may be correct for the breed but look wonky as hell on the model. I'm measuring and eyeballing these pictures and the size of the barrel from front to back under the belly and on top of the back looks actually pretty spot on to the model.  About as much distance between the hind legs and front legs on the bottom and top of the back. So I think it really actually does look close enough.  And we all know that each horse's conformation varies with age, gender, and bloodline.  So hopefully mine will be a pretty "OK" Teke. He's going to be metallic creamello.  (I think)

The white colorless area where I made him thinner is playing tricks on my eyes too.

Next, I'm working on a cantering thoroughbred mare out of the Lonesome Glory mold. I'm stuck on this one.  I'm in the hacking phase right now and I don't know if I like the canter pose.  It looks awfully stiff to me.  I don't know whether her front straight leg is still too long or what.  I know what I want and for some reason can't get this mare to do it.

I know the neck needs to be longer with more of a lowered slope to it.  That I got.  But the hind legs look like they're too stiff of a motion.  I was going for this pose.

That back hind leg isn't corroperating for some reason.  I've lengthened it to death. I see the hind leg in the far back needs to be foot on the ground and not really turned out but it's not looking right. If i bend her other hind leg anymore she wants to fall over and go lop-sided. I think (and I'm dreading this)  is that it looks like I'm going to have to shorten her bent hind leg because as you can see it looks like it's literally longer from the fetlock joint to the hock joint on that leg than the other back leg is. The shank is longer on that leg. And I hate cutting off a leg and reattching it. Makes the cm weaker sometimes. (horff)  I was still debating on whether to take her out of that pose and trying for this more.

Turn her front legs both out and straighten her a little more.  I think that may give her some life and not make her look so Barbie Prancer horse stiff in that freeze frame pose.  Almost like the Breyer running stallion.  God what to do with that one.  I have one of those sitting downstairs and have no clue what to do with it. 
Anyway, Next,
This... I'm exstatic about.  I'm doing a single-footed horse out of the Peter stone saddlebred. The traditional one.
He's coming along wonderfully.
So far.

The one I'm modeling him after is the horse in the 96 Breeds of the world  horse book, or something to that effect.

I need to shape his topline and his throat a lot more but he's coming along. I'm still filling in joints too. And last but not least. Well no there's also a Belgian foal I'm working on.  Well anyway, I found this Breyer pig with a broken ear on my back porch, (storage) and had the craziest idea.  I took a picture of a pot bellied pig off google and out of the raw apoxie (a ton of it) I'm making this thing.  I crack up laughing every time I look at him/her.

I'm nowhere near finished with it. I need to turn that nose a up a bit but looking at some other pictures of pot bellies, their noses don't turn up so much so I may just use this as a loose inspiration and see where it takes me. until later.....

Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm going to try to figure out how to use this in the coming months I guess. I hate facebook, so I really don't want to get involved with that.  I had a lot of problems once with someone trying to use my name to rip off people in facebook so I really don't wanna get into using that service much.  No guarentees I'll be using this much  For right now I'll probably do some test posts, so nothing real exciting right now.