Breyer Horse Events: Learn How To Customize and Make Props!

June 9, 2011

Join Golden Oak Stables on June 25th 2011 and learn how to add your creativity to you hobby! Two talented and wonderful instructors will help students to learn how to take their raw talent and create something wonderful.

Linda Carrier will teach the morning session where attendees will learn to make two popular props to use while playing, showing or displaying. Bending poles and ground poles will be created in this morning session which can be used to show in either English or Western performance classes. Bending poles are great for speed games or gymkhana entries and ground poles make a great prop for both English and Western trail classes. Linda will show you how to create a realistic and ready to show prop with her expert knowledge. A long time model horse hobbyist, successful live shower and judge, Linda is a wealth of knowledge for any that have the privilege of learning from her.

At 11:30 lunch will be served which is included in your entry and will provide an hour for chatting with other attendees, shopping Golden Oak Stables’ great inventory and getting ready for the afternoon class, customizing.

Robert Butler, an expert in diorama and miniature painting will teach attendees the basics and beyond of model horse customizing. Attendees will bring a model of their choosing to paint and create their very own dream horse. The colors of the rainbow are wide in the model horse world and Robert will take attendees through each and every step, from color mixing to details such as eyes and veining.

Golden Oak Stables also has their doors open on June 25th for visitors to take part in a Breyer Fun day. Games, Stablemate Painting and shopping abound are all on the schedule for this day that is packed with events for any Breyer collector.

No matter what you do with your models, if you’re a collector and in the New England area this is the event of the summer! Don’t miss your chance to learn from the experts a few new skills which you can bring to your collection. Learning from only the best, Golden Oak Stables brings you an event that is unmissable!

~Stacy

Email Stacy: Stacy@GoldenOakStables.com


Breyer Horses: Customizing All On Your Own

April 1, 2010

It can be a little intimidating to show off your own art work to the world, no matter what kind of art it is, or where you are showing it off. As model horse hobbyists we have a whole section of our hobby that caters to the large amounts of creativity that we have, through customizing. Many find it difficult to gain confidence in this through showing simply because there are so many talented creative people in the hobby, but here are a few things to remember and to look for!

Customizing is the big word that model horse hobbyists use for altering a model horse in any way. Whether it be painting, resculpting, hairing, pastelling or any other of the hundreds of different things you can do to a Breyer horse to make it your own. Many people strive to create the most realistic model possible, others create models that remind them of horses that they know in real life, and others create fantasy or decorator models. Whatever you want to create, you have a place in the hobby!

With the internet as prevalent as it is today,  Breyer horse artists have a big advantage than others may have had in the past. There are dozens of professional model horse artists’ blogs which you can read on a regular basis. These are often filled with ideas, tips, and tricks to help you with your projects. Learning from another artist is truly a wonderful way to learn the trade and a wonderful way to meet other artists! Another great thing about the internet is that there are dozens of Breyer horse forums that are available to everyone! These websites often have specific areas for hobbyists to post their creations to get either support or a friendly critique. Sometimes support is one of the hardest things to get, and the support of other hobbyists can help you gain the confidence to move forward.

If you have desire to show your creations, forums are also excellent for helping you understand what many judges look for in models, which can help you place in the ribbons. Speaking of live shows, there are shows out there that have special classes just for customizers. At Golden Oak Stables‘ shows, we hold “Owner Custom” classes which are open only to the showers which attend the shows, and their creations. These classes were very full at our spring show and we have high expectations for future shows. These classes were truly the highlight of the day. Most shows which you will find these will be novice shows or shows with an extensive custom class list. In New England we even have an Amateur Owner Club starting up specifically for these classes, so keep your eyes out!

The Breyer horse hobby is amazing for fostering creativity so keep on creating, no matter where you are in the country or the world!

~Stacy

Email Stacy: Stacy@GoldenOakStables.com


Breyer Horse Event Report: Saddle-Up For Spring 2010

March 29, 2010

This weekend marked the first show of 2010 for Golden Oak Stables, Saddle-Up For Spring. This all novice/youth show and fun day was packed to the gills with showers, Breyer lovers, family and friends alike.

Starting promptly at 10am, the classes began to fill up quickly. Many halter classes had anywhere between 40 and 60 horses in them, far more than many novice shows. With only 10 places to be awarded, nearly any horse on the table could have been awarded that blue ribbon, and just about every horse deserved to place, but with only 10 places to be given out, the judges had their work cut out for them! Our largest class was a Quarter Horse class with over 60 horses, which had to be split because it was just too big! This of course is a good thing, full classes make for good competition and there is nothing better than some good, healthy competition.

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The performance classes were out of this world as well! The classes all had between 5-15 entries in them, and for performance classes that is very good! Linda, our performance judge, was blown away by the level of entries and the amazing skill that was shown that day. The creativity, craftsmanship and level of detail was truly first class. We have some really talented youths and novices in this area; watch out New England!
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The custom classes were also out of this world! We have both Owner customized classes as well as Professional customized classes so that our entrants feel comfortable showing their work in a safe environment that is on a fair playing ground with others. To our surprise and excitement, our Owner customized classes were stuffed much fuller than our Professional customized classes!  To see up and coming showers also being up and coming customizers is something that we are truly proud of!

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The day was also filled with fun day activities and many came from near and far to visit. It was truly a wonderful event and I am excited to say that I can’t wait until our next show in June!

So mark you calendars and get ready for Summer Break Live, June 26th 2010!
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~Stacy

Email Stacy: Stacy@GoldenOakStables.com


What Breyer Horse Talents Do You Have?

December 14, 2009

We all have talents of some sort, some of us are wonderful singers, some are gifted artists, but just about all of us have some sort of talent that we can use in our Breyer horse hobby!

I started off collecting just Breyers, but eventually my curiosity and craftiness got to me and I tried to make a halter and other stable accessories. Many of us have tried to create something for our horses, and many more of us have kept with it and done a wonderful job creating amazing miniatures. From halters and bridles to hay nets and water buckets, there’s so many things to create for anyone that has ambition.

Customizing is also a popular activity in the hobby; many hobbyists start off pulling out their craft paints and changing up a much loved horse. Now nearly everyone starting off has their first project end up looking a bit Frankenstein like, but everyone is in the same boat when they start. You might be surprised to know that even popular artists started off with their craft paints and funky paint jobs.

There are many people who are wonderful seamstresses. You might have to think a little outside of the box, but sewing is a wonderful talent to have in the hobby. Doll makers are extremely popular and in extremely short supply. Another popular thing in the hobby are cloth carrying bags for traveling with models. In addition to that, you can create wonderful stable blankets to keep all the ponies in your barn warm!

Now my first halters and customs were pretty sad attempts at the project, but keeping with it helped me learn not only persistence but it also helped me learn the craft of creating. I’m not the best customizer, but I’m still working and learning. As for my tack? I’m working on stablemate scale tack and won my first NAN cards this year! It just takes time and patience. Check out Golden Oak Stables for their line of craft kits that can help you get started on your journey. Everyone has a talent that can transcend into the hobby, it just takes some creativity and patience. What talents do you have?

~Stacy

Email Stacy: Stacy@GoldenOakStables.com


Breyer Horse Restoration: Removing Acrylic Paint Part 1

August 21, 2009

In honor of Golden Oak Stables‘ workshop day being held next weekend I wanted to do something a little special.

Today we’re going to take a look at Breyer horse restoration. Breyer horse restoration is a very complicated trade, it takes hours of time and years of skill, but done correctly it can produce beautiful results. Breyer horse restoration artists are few and far between and finding a good one is hard, for today we’ll focus on something that you can try yourself.

Materials

  • Breyer Horse that has been repainted with Acrylic
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Acrylic Brush Cleaning soap
  • Regular toothbrush
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Papertowels

Everyone has done it once, gotten excited about repainting and slapped some paint on a beloved model, and even if you haven’t, you’ve probably come across one in your travels that was badly repainted. Today we’ll learn part one of removing acrylic paint from an original finish Breyer Horse.

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Restoration takes hours upon hours, and can be extremely frustrating. I would only suggest doing it if the horse is rare, hard to find, or sentimental. There are times when its just going to be cheaper to buy a new model.

This Breyer has been repainted using Acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is a water based and water soluble paint that is commonly used for painting Breyers. You can check if the paint is acrylic by trying to flake it lightly with a fingernail. Be VERY careful not to scratch the model. If it flakes easily, its probably acrylic.

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The first step is to initially loosen the paint. Place your horse in a large bucket and fill it up with water. Its best to do this outside so that you don’t make a bit mess indoors. You may need to use something to weigh your horse down, Breyers are hallow and will float, wet rags work well for this. Start off by leaving him in there for a few hours.

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After that you’ll want to work on your horse immediately. Using a clean toothbrush start scrubbing lightly. Areas of paint on the body will be easiest to get off. Manes and tails will be difficult. There are crevices that require lots of time and detail work, we’ll cover that in part two. At this time though you can start loosening it by scrubbing it too, but don’t expect it to come off on your first try.

If you still have stubborn paint on the body after scrubbing with the toothbrush, try using a bit of acrylic brush soap. Acrylic brush soap is created to remove acrylic paint from paint brushes, and it works similarly by loosening the paint.

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Next week we’ll finish up with the mane and tail. Don’t give up! This takes time but at the end you’ll feel so great knowing you brought back a horse to its former beauty!

~Stacy

Email Stacy: Stacy@GoldenOakStables.com


Breyer Horse Customizing – How To: 4th of July Fun!

July 3, 2009

Today I wanted to do something a bit different. Fridays will become a regular “How-To” day to keep you busy with a project on the weekend, but for our first one I thought it would be appropriate to choose a patriotic project for the upcoming holiday! So today we’re going to focus on customizing a Breyer into a decorator!

The 4th of July means different things for everyone, but fireworks are a pretty common symbol. For this project I decided to choose the subject of a skyline (Boston in particular) with fireworks in the background. This project can be completed within a couple hours and is good for a beginner or intermediate hobbiest.

Supplies Needed:

  • Breyer Horse any horse will do but a traditional foal or a classic adult is a good size to work on.
  • Black spray primer.
  • Latex gloves (To keep your hands paint free).
  • Acrylic Paint , key colors to start with are Black, White, Brown, Red, Blue and Yellow. Most colors can be mixed from these colors.
  • Paint Brushes, Small sizes preferably, if small sizes aren’t available, toothpicks will help.
  • Paper Plates (For paint mixing).
  • Plastic knife or a painters knife.
  • Two small containers for water, one with plain water, and one with a squirt of either dish soap or paint brush soap.
  • Paper Towels.
  • Newspaper (To cover your surface).
  • Clear Spray Sealer.

The first step to customizing any Breyer horse is to first prepare the model with a coat of primer. This is called prepping. Paint will not stick to a Breyer horse without a coat of primer. Primer can be found in any hardware store or general stores like Walmart. I recommend Rustoleum brand.

For this project, I found a photo of the Boston skyline to work from, its always important to find a photo of some sort to work off of, whether it be a decorator or a realistic horse. The photo I chose showed a dark sky, so in this case, I decided to use black spray primer as my base coat. If I were to use white like I’d choose for most normal Breyer Horse customizing I would have to paint the entire horse black anyways, so using black primer instead saves a step. Using gloves, spray 1/2 of the horse as per the spray can’s instruction and let dry. After letting the first half dry go back and spray the other side. Be sure to get into all the crevices and to also keep the spray can 6-12 inches from the horse so that you don’t spray on too thick. The paint should always be kept very thin when priming. Also remember to spray in a well ventilated area.

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After the primer is dry on the horse its time to start getting your paint together. Be sure to let your primer dry fully; this can take some time depending on the humidity. For the picture I am using as reference, the sky is slightly yellow. Using a mix of brown and yellow mix the paint together until you get a color that matches the photo. Mixing with a painting knife is best, a plastic knife can work if you don’t have a painting knife. It is better to mix your paint with a knife instead of your brush because you will the the paint a more constant color and you also will waste less paint and cause less wear and tear on your brushes.

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After mixing the paint until you get a color which matches your reference photo you can begin to paint in the sky. The main body is where you need to start the horizon of your photograph. The horizon should be placed about 1/4 of an inch above the bottom point of the belly. Begin painting at the horizon line on the stomach and move up and over the body. You want the “Sky” to become darker as it moves up the body to create a realistic skyline. Here’s how it looks after the first layer.

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Once the first layer of acrylic is put on begin working your second layer in using larger brush strokes to blend it in. Your first layer will most likely be very streaky but working in the second layer with the longer brush strokes will help to even it out. Remember the top should be darker than the bottom and to work in 360 degrees around the horse. After the second layer of paint is on your horse should look something like this. You will want to let this layer dry fully before going onto the next step. If your second layer still leaves your paint streaky try a third layer and thin the paint a little bit with a few drops of water.

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The next area to work on is the buildings of the skyline. When you look closely at the photo that you are working from you will probably notice that while being silhouetted, the buildings are hit slightly by light, so they aren’t pure black like you might think. I chose a very dark purple due to this, while being dark it still was light enough to catch some light on the model. Begin painting with a very fine paintbrush, either a size 0 or 00. Start with tall thin rectangles and vary the size and width of them to create a realistic scene. Buildings are rarely the same size in real life. Once you have drawn the outlines for the buildings fill them in with the same color.

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After you have both sides of horse filled in with “Buildings” use a larger brush and a bit of black paint to blend in the buildings with the base color of the horse. Work in thin layers and pull the paint from the black into the purple. Be careful not to go outside of the “buildings” and to not put too much black in so that you loose the purple hue.

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Once all the buildings are filled in and shaded in with the base coat you’ll want to let the horse dry fully. While doing this you can begin to mix your paint for the “lights in the windows” I started a new paper plate for this because the project will now be working with lighter colors and this should help prevent mixing. I mixed a bright yellow along with white and a little dab of purple to get a realistic color that was bright but not blinding.

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Using the smallest brush possible (size 00) or a toothpick begin painting on your “Windows”. This is a good time to look at your reference photo and take a look at how windows are lit up. In most cases its very random as to how windows will look. Try to keep your dots as straight as possible so that the lights still look like rows of real windows in a building and remember to do both sides.
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After all your windows are painted you can begin painting on your “Fireworks” for this I used purple, green and blue as my colors. I first mixed the color with an equal part white paint to create a base color, after mixing I painted a few on each side of the horse, some of them poking out from the buildings, some on the horse’s side and back and a couple on the horses’ neck.

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After I had all of the fireworks painted in I began to go in with a darker color and do a bit of shading and detailing on the fireworks. Again the smallest brush possible is the best thing to use to get the fine details in. Paint some finer thin lines using the darker paint on top of the fireworks you have already painted. Doing this will make them look more three dimensional.

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Once the fireworks are painted, you might want to put some eye whites on the horse to make it look a little realistic. Using a little white paint paint one corner of each eye with a VERY thin line. This will make your horse look more like a “Horse”. You can also choose to leave them off to make him look more like a piece of art! Be sure to clean your brushes after finishing any project with water and either dish soap or paint brush soap. Taking care of your brushes is very important so that you have them for next time. Never allow your brushes to sit in a glass of water for an extended period of time. After that when your horse is dry spray it with a light coat of clear sealant and you have your very own patriotic pony!

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Happy 4th of July!

~ Stacy


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