Monday, July 10, 2017

The Micro Hunter

It's becoming clear to me that I just really, really like micro jumpers. But I did decide that after two cross country projects, it was time for a little back to basics.

This was another project I started in 2015 and eventually deserted for one reason or another- finding a project already partially completed is always a treat!

This little guy is Maggie Bennett's "Jumping Mule" sculpture, who is no longer a mule but instead a neatly braided bay hunter with some sweet high whites.

Hunter jumps fall easily into the trap of white poles and forgettable standards, so I knew I wanted to try something a bit new and different for this one. Each little shack standard was constructed board-by-board, then weathered down and accented with some moss to really give a lived-in, outdoor life look.

The little trees were sculpted by hand with Apoxie, texturized with rough sandpaper for some believable bark, and decked out with my new favorite thing ever, Woodland Scenics' foliage flocking. When I originally bought this stuff, I was confused and disappointed by its clumping, stick-together quality; I thought I'd purchased a bag of loose flocking! Turns out this was a blessing in disguise, as this stuff makes for the best no-mess tree flocking I've ever used.

The top layer of the base is sculpted specifically to hide the horse's attached base, and I love the balancing illusion of the final product. He's still fully attached to his solid pewter base, it's just hidden in the "sand"! For once, I have no worries about the horse coming unattached from the base or tipping over.

Sculpting on that top layer of the base also provided an opportunity for packing in some extra detail such as sandy texture and itty bitty hoof prints. I think the lack of a glass-smooth surface adds to the arena dirt illusion!

And finally, an obligatory scale picture:

I've been really, really enjoying making these self-contained micro dioramas. While it makes my heart happy to hear people are taking them to shows (facing off against horses five times their size!), I also think they make lovely little shelf pieces. There's something so satisfying about this scale!

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