Friday, December 12, 2014

Blogidays Day Twelve: Prop Talk

On this final day of Blogidays, I thought it would be fun to discuss the elusive and often frustrating topic of Stablemate scale props by just going through what's currently in my prop box, and how each item was made or where it was purchased.

First up is my little stepping stones doll/prop. The doll (who's permanently attached to the stones for super easy setting up at shows) is customized from a generic plastic figure I bought in a huge lot a while back- more on her later. 

The "stones" are just little pieces of a dowel glued down to a rectangle cut out from the back of a Breyer box. Painted the whole thing green, and it's that simple!

Flower pots are a performance essential, and mine are from Micheal's a million years ago. They're wood stained with a color of leather dye that I never actually liked on leather!

Same goes for the standards- just various dowels glued together and stained with dye. Paint or real wood stain would probably get better results, but I kind of like the uneven, weathered look that I ended up with. 

Measurements-wise, I'm a total eyeballing girl. I just kind of go with whatever size looks best with the horse (references photos of real jumps for comparison). The jump cups are sculpted from Apoxie Sculpt, but I've had a lot of luck with just plain ol' soda can and super glue in the past.

This little mailbox is another Micheal's find. 

This is exactly how it came out of the package- talk about an easy prop!

Moving on to dressage, my dowel collection comes in handy again. The markers are just square dowels cut down and painted. I'd really like to try some kind of stencil in the future to get cleaner letters than what I can manage with a Sharpie!

My dressage railing is another super easy dowel creation- literally just cut down to size, glued together and painted. 

The options out there for Stablemate cows are considerably more limited than the Traditional cow choices- I personally like Breyer's little running calf. 

(I know Cassie Thomas also has some great little cows out there, too!)

My hunt for in-scale Stablemate flowers has been a long and difficult journey, but for the moment I'm loving these teensy tiny dried flowers I came across on eBay.

They're actually meant for nail art, but they just happen to be perfect Stablemate scale! My only gripe is that they are really, truly tiny, and sometimes difficult to work with, not to mention very fragile! It sure beats cutting out minuscule petals from tissue, though, so I'll take it. 

This is the crown jewel of my prop box: a meadowbrook cart by Argylefarm I had made back in 2011. 

This baby is hardwood, handmade goodness that has never failed to take the blue ribbon in every class it has ever entered! 

While I'm a very stubborn DIY-er, I don't mind turning to other artists for items like this that I know I'll never be able to make myself. 

The girl in green started out life the same
"mold" as her friend in blue!
Maybe the biggest difference in Stablemate and Traditional props is the use of dolls- they're much easier to come by, and tend to be an overall higher quality, in larger scales. While I'm usually fine leaving the riders off my performance horses, there are some games and Other Performance entries I have cooking that could really benefit from little tiny people.

The little guy in red was a product of me grabbing a package of little people at
Micheal's, only to bring them home and realize they're much too small for this
scale! Ugh!

Finding 1:32 scale people is a bit of a treasure hunt. For riders, you have your standard Breyer and Breyer knock-off (the rider with the purple shirt is just slightly too large for this scale- ugh!) dolls. The horizons expand a bit when you step outside of horse-specific dolls and open up your search to just any people in the right scale.

I turned to my good friend eBay, and ended up getting a lot of 20 something little plastic people intended for use with model trains. The two standing men in these pictures were a part of that lot, as well as both the ladies in the previous picture. These were a total jackpot- they're just about the right size, and made of a hard plastic that's easy to saw apart, sculpt on, sand down, and paint to get just the pose I need. 

Moving right along, we have our standard poles and cones, made from bamboo skewers and clay respectively. I've been eyeing some cones meant for little racecars to possibly upgrade from my own less than polished version... I'm sure there's someone in the hobby who produces cleaner ones too!

As for footing, this tiny scale is much easier than the larger versions. For a while I simply used sandy-colored felt cut to the size I needed- no mess, not fragile, and easy to get to and from shows! I've recently upgraded to some sandpaper glued down to a wood plaque:

The hard surface helps the horse and any props stand a little more securely. This little board is my catch-all "arena" base, that can cover everything from dressage to roping.

For my more outdoorsy, trail-type entries, I turn to this grassy base I splurged on over the summer. In my hurry to get ready for my last show, I temporarily attached it to a piece of cardboard, but I think it's high time I secure it down to a cleaner base.

I love its dimension and varying textures! 

That just about wraps up my prop tour, as well as Blogidays! I've had a lot of fun coming up with the posts over the past twelve days, and I hope you've enjoyed them! We'll now return to your regularly scheduled two or three posts a week.

The very exciting news on the holiday raffle front is that we just broke $100 raised for Free the Children! This is double our initial goal, and both Anna and I are just absolutely over the moon. Thank you so much to everyone who has already entered! For those of you who haven't- what are you waiting for? You only have twelve days left until the winners are picked!

Speaking of hurrying up, if you still don't have a present for your model horse-y friend, you're in luck! This holiday halter is still up for grabs here

Thank you to everyone who's been reading and commenting, and happy Blogidays!

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