Life continues to be interesting, and when I say interesting what I really mean is complicated! Fortunately, I have another great guest blogger tutorial to share. This comes from Emily Rodgers, a model tackmaker and real life Parelli schooled horse trainer. For more information, be sure to check out her Savvy with Sonny blog.
Mummy Horses: A Thing of the Past
by Emily Rodgers
After my beloved Valentino suffered a tail crack on the way home, I knew I had to look into alternate ways of shipping. The old toilet papered/mummy horse just wasn’t cutting it. So I asked one of my best friends, Susan, if she had any suggestions. Like always, she told me how to solve the problem: gun cases!
Here is what she told me to do:
You will need 1) a four pistol gun case 2) scissors and 3) a permanent marker.
The gun cases can be purchased here, or your local Wal Mart. Just make sure they are the four-pistol kind.To get started, open up the gun case. You will see both sides contain “bumpy” foam. Lift up the thicker side to reveal “smooth” foam underneath.
Take out the “bumpy” and “smooth” foam and replace the “bumpy” in the bottom. You are going to be cutting out of the “SMOOTH” foam!
Once the smooth foam is out, lay it on a flat surface and place the model in the middle. Begin tracing the model with a permanent marker. Be VERY careful to not get any on your model.
This outline does not have to be perfect. So a good way to keep marker from getting on your horse is to always hold the marker straight up and down. That way if you do get close, because of the way the horse is shaped, the handle part of the marker would hit the horse before the tip did.
NOTE: You only need to cut out the side of the horse that is lying down. So in the case, Harley is laying on his right side so I only need to cut out his right legs. This might be different for horses with crazy legs, but most of the time you only cut out two legs and a tail.
Start the cutting in the center. In the begging it only needs to be a rough outline. I never go all the way to the pen mark at first; I always leave about a centimeter of space. You want your horse to be snug! You don’t want him to have room to wiggle. So it is better to start small and work out rather than cut too much at once and not be able to go back.
Throughout my cutting I periodically place the horse back onto the foam to make sure I am on the right track. This also gives me an idea of how much of the next part I need to cut.
Legs and small places can be tricky to cut. I have found that holding the scissors vertical and making small snips is the best technique. It takes a while to work all the way through the foam, but it works a lot better than holding the scissors horizontal.
Once I think my foam is finished, I place it back in the case with the horse. Here I can check the fit.
Because of the way Harley is shaped, his leg hind leg is sticking out a bit. I solve this by taking a piece of foam that I had cut out and place it under his leg. You might have to do this with a tail. ALSO, you do not need to have the head and ears perfectly tight. They can have some wiggle room, but make sure the body is secure first. Since my foam is really tight around Harley's head, I may go back and give him a bit extra room.
And here is the finished product :). I understand this can get expensive, especially if you have a lot of horses. But, if you collect more over time, it isn't so bad! I usually just have them for my fragile resins, but I know Susan uses them for OF's, too! Feel free to asking questions or post suggestions!
Thanks again, Emily (and Susan, too!).