Just a quick sneak peak at a future sales piece; A 'Tiny' by Sarah Rose to a silver bay minimum sabino. He is based on the Gypsy Vanner Stallion Silver Bullet.
Today I want to let you all in on what I think is a far too well hidden trick in our hobby: Foam! Expanding foam insulation to be exact, also known as space invading foam. This stuff is fabulous for filling holes (read "CMers dream")!
I learned of this trick from Bluebird Studios blog & had to try it myself. That was several months ago & it has definitely been added to my 'toolbox' of techniques. The foam I found right off the bat was Touch 'n Foam No Warp Window & Door Sealant which is awesome because it is reusable; most foams are once you open it, use it or loose it because you can't store it. Albeit this one doesn't last forever; you do have to use it up in about three weeks, but that's a heck of a lot better than all in one day!
I'd just gotten a new can for some projects, so I can show you a, pretty, brand new can. It has a trigger gadget that you screw onto the top & a straw that fits over that, & your ready to roll. You WILL need to wear gloves (I always go powderless since I use them for finishing too & you don't want dusty hands when finishing your perfect paintjob!). This stuff is like the best glue on the planet & you will not be getting it off your hands! You also must have a respirator since the stuff smells horrid (I think the can said something about c02. Don't be doing this around any flames regardless!), & eye protection since I don't even want to know what this stuff could do to eyes if is managed to splatter or something.
This is my Darth Vader get up! I highly suggest you invest in a pair of goggles & a respirator, not merely a dust mask; they have a tendency to just trap dust & fumes under them. A respirator & goggles really do come in handy for everything. I use mine when Demeling, heat-&-moving (since the plastic has a tendency to smoke a bit), foaming, & sometimes (probably should be on a regular basis actually) sanding & spraying primer & finish. In my defence, I do do both of those in good outdoor ventilation, but I still probably should wear them.
You'll also need some sort of a 'drop cloth', news print or something. I used a torn open paper grocery sack. Trust me, you don't want to have to try to get this foam off of any flooring you may care about.
The primary victim of the day was a Cantrell 'Rastus' that is here for a hair do. He will be a mold master, so I was given the less than perfect cast since all he has to do in life is be molded. But he had a thinner-than-I-was-comfortable-with head so I wanted to fill it with foam before I was handling him for sculpting hair. Since you do have to use the foam up in a few weeks I grabbed a couple others that have been hanging around; A Baby Flo who's getting a moved head/neck, the other is a Smart Chic Oleana who is getting a whole new neck. So nothing all too major today (actually this was a few days ago). I have used this foam for some really drastic stuff that I'll get to in a mo. }:]
Position the straw where you'd like to foam & pull the trigger. It will come out fast & immediately start to expand. Let the trigger go before you have as much as you want, the foam will continue to come out for a few seconds after you let go. Do make an effort to not get it anywhere you don't want it. It is far easier to get it off of a model than your skin, but why make more work for yourself?
When you're finished with the foam for the day, gently bend the straw back over itself & pop it over the knob on top. Voila! Saved for a later date!
Back to the horses, after an hour or two you can touch the foam, but don't do anything to it yet, the inside is still not cured; wait 'til the next day. Once it's sure to be cured you can rip it off, cut it off, or push it in. (TIP: I've been saving the excess & using them as packing peanuts!!) You can trim it down & leave enough to be part of your armature, or you can take it all off. With the CMs I will trim most of it down, attach the supportive wire into the foam, & once the glue & epoxy is set I will sculpt over it as usual. For Rastus I just need to fill in the hole I made to add the foam.
Now, you can go pretty crazy CMing with this stuff on your side. These were the first victims I ever tried using the foam on (below). They are a couple of Merrylegs, heat-&-moved to be pulling ponies (like the drafties but in pony size; look it up!). All these cuts make the model very unstable since some places only have a small bit of plastic yet connecting it to the model.
Add foam & this is the evil looking creation I got!
But it worked very well! It held everything together & supported the more fragile parts. I was able to sculpt right over the foam & move on with my CMs lickety split.
With the success of these guys, I have been using it for filling anything that needs it such as tail wire holes & the gaps left from cutting out manes & tails. But I was curious; how crazy COULD you get??
Yes my friends, that is an Imperador das Aguas JM from BF. I adore Marchadors, I have been a fan of them since I learned of the breed in 2011. But this sculpt fell short of my expectations. I really do love Mink's sculpts, but this guy is not on my top favorite list. To me, he looks far too short in the back & barrel, way too long in the neck, a smidge too short in the leg, WAAAAAAAY too skinny, & that funky head gets me. So, I decided to make it better!
I cut him down his mold seam, took off his tail & head, then put his body back together widening it with bits of popsicle sticks to prop it up (removing them once the foam cured) & packing-taping it together long enough to foam away! Once that cured I cut his barrel in two to lengthen his back & barrel, braced it together with a dowel rod inside, taped the halves together & foamed that too. I heated his head to straighten the odd dip in his jaws, then foamed it together with the popsicle sticks & tape to widen it as well, then wired it back onto his neck. I heated & straightened his fetlocks to lengthen his legs, wired on his tail at a lower set, Dremeled off here, & epoxy added there. He is not finished, but her looks MUCH better to me now!
SO! Yes! The possibilities are endless for expanding foam! I hardly hear of anyone using it, so I wanted to share it with you all!
The particular foam that I use is fire retardant. I wanted to put that to the test to know what I could get away with if I needed/wanted to heat-&-move anything after having foamed a horse. Back in December of 2016 I took a chunk of cured foam outside to a safe concrete patch, bucket of water at hand, & took the heat gun to it. I used the heat gun much closer, for much longer, at a much higher temp than I ever EVER would on a model horse. It burnt up, as in toasted brown & black & shriveled up to a nasty looking wad, smoked like heck (I certainly would not suggest heating it indoors), but it never actually caught fire. I did not try an actual flame on it since that would never be something that I would need to do.
I won't be held accountable if you burn your house down or asphyxiate yourself on fumes, but my conclusion has led me to be able to do a little heat-&-moving afterwards on some models.
BE SURE to wear a respirator (which I do regardless because of the smoky fumes that can come off of the plastic): it is not a pleasant odor that the foam emits when heated & it's probably seven different kinds of terrible for you too.
Also be aware that the fumes from the foam can are very flammable too. I tested this on a cured piece of foam, not anything fresh from the can.
PLEASE NOTE: Some expanding foam absolutely IS flammable!! My experiment was only on 'Touch n' Foam No Warp Window & Door Sealant' & NO OTHERS. Heat it & any others at your own risk.
...Isn't it lovely how many different ways our hobby can kill you? ;)
Had to mention that my CM Copperfox Cob, SWF To Boldly Go, is in the spotlight on the CF blog. :) Go 'Foxy'! http://www.copperfoxmodelhorses.com/our-blog/copperfox-in-the-show-ring-swf-to-boldly-go
Thank you Becky for a lovely write up!
Spring Is In The Air
Can't leave you without a dose of nature!
These happy little flowers are Spring Beauties, blooming off the corner of my house. I couldn't resist photographing them with my new camera. This picture is deceiving; these guys are actually a smidge smaller than my fingerprint!
& THIS is a Polyphemus moth cocoon! Mom found it on Monday in a bunch of daylilies she was moving, it's been living in my workroom ever since. S/he's been rat'lin' 'round in there!! I can't believe it hasn't come out yet! But sometime soon, I'm sure, I'll have a moth picture for you guys!
While I would be very surprised if she ever were to read it, I would like to wish Her Majesty The Queen a very Happy 91st Birthday! I admire her greatly; she is an amazing woman as well as a fellow horse lover.
A very Happy Birthday Ma'am.
Photograph of Queen Elizabeth II riding to trooping the colour for the last time in July 1986. The queen rode the same horse, 'Burmese', originally presented by Canadian government, from 1969 to 1986. With Charles, Prince of Wales, on the white horse to the left, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on the bay horse behind the Queen. PHOTO CREDIT Sandpiper. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Sandpiper at the Wikipedia. This applies worldwide. In case this is not legally possible: Sandpiper grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:ElizabethIItroopingcolour.jpg
It's been a little quiet on the blog here lately. Nothing I consider all of too exciting is going on right at the mo. I am judging a MEPSA AR/CM qualifier...
Sorting, counting, noting, & just generally trying to stay organized before the judging actually started.
Which is always fun. Hoping to write a little something about judging a photo show here soon, but not ready for that yet. :)
Of course the beat rolls on in the studio, but also not ready to share anything there either.
The most excitement has been a few purchases on my part. All really good deals, a trait which I pride myself on to tell the truth! ;) I bought a Classic scale second mold 'Conquest V1' Friesian stallion, a Trad 'Heart's Afire' filly, & a MM 'Albus', all to hoard for myself. Also bought a Surprise Foal SM family set mostly just because I wanted the Reiner for a CM idea that I can't shake, but the Dungaree is a happy bonus! The Cantering Foal, well, I have a handful of them but he'll find his place in this world!
I am such a sucker for Friesians! Found out that my guy is the tweaked 2nd-mold version of Conquest V1. Heart's Afire is one I have wanted for over a decade! I couldn't pass on the great deal this gal was & I am happy to call her my own now! & what can I say, I am fond of Albus! I wanted to paint one for myself in the color I always imagined him in!
Also a couple weeks ago bought two Mego dolls to eventually go with a performance set that's a WIP; a sales piece that is spoken for.
They'll get an overhaul to bring them up to snuff, but I am pleased with them!
Did you spot the two unaccounted for ponies in the group shot above? Did the one look a little familiar? I part traded some 'cloths' for the Mini Fabrizio for Kim's NaMoPaiMo Albus!
Man I love my new camera! I'm sloooowly getting the hang of it. This is a pretty darn good pic of Albus taken in my workroom!
He is the second of my friend Kim's pieces that I am proud to own! He is beautiful too! Such a lovely smooth & shaded bay! Yum Yum!
Rastus doesn't quite know what to think of his new little NaMoPaiMo brother!
Speaking of Kim & NaMoPaiMo, she recently finished the Ground Effects that she was also working on while doing Albus. Since Ground Effects made a WIP appearance on my blog I thought it fit to show her off finished too.
She is staying in Kim's collection, with the handle of KP Palindrome. I love everything about her, but I especially like her base! It's the nicest Ground Effects base I've seen so far!
I think that's about it for news right now. I feel like I'm cobbling together a blog post this time, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! With luck in the coming weeks there will be a post on behind the scenes of a photo show, & painting a black horse (since am acquiring a herd of future blacks! Six at last count!). So check back soon!
Cheers all, & happy Spring!
Not the greatest of pictures, taken on my phone last year, but this glorious beast (an Amaryllis) blooms like clockwork every spring at Local Roots, the local produce co-op in Wooster. If I get the opportunity I will get a pic of it with my camera this year. Unfortunately they don't have it in as picturesque a spot this year.
Ramblings & tutorials of a model horse artist.
Just a 'public service notice' to any of my blog readers; Since there's not really any way to 'follow' a weebly blog, if you shoot me an email (sprucewoodfarmsstudio at gmail dot com) I will add you to my blog announcement list & will send you an email when a new post is added. :)