JUSTA DIVA

I thought I'd share with you how my appaloosa mare Justa Diva came about. Her transformation from a simple old Breyer Cantering Welsh Pony model into Supreme Live Champion appaloosa mare.

This is a good old Breyer Cantering Welsh Pony model that I actually bought at the Copperfox Live show from Christine just to remind me what Diva had looked like just 10 days before the show. This gal was a real last minute creation and a bit of an adventure in hacking hell out of a model as I haven't done anything like this in a decade.

 

Here she is having been cut in half  to have her back lengthened by just under 1cm. The gap is filled with a loo roll, silver foil then car filler and milliput.

Her head had been resculpted with new lower jaw, ears have been turned round, head lowered and neck reshaped. Her near hind leg has been cut and lengthened by just under 1cm.

Lots of milliput sculpting later, adding in all the muscle work. The pen marks are to show me where I want to get in there and carve into her with the dremel. A note here on using a dremel or other power tool for your drilling and sanding etc, it will save you a lot of hand pain if you invest in a snake extension so you don't get the nasty vibration right into your wrist. About 12 years ago I had to have two operations for carpal tunnel on my right hand due to damage by dremels over the years.

The entire model was resculpted with none of the original plastic visible by the time I'd finished. Luckily we have a Aga so drying time on the milliput was quicker as she was kept nice and warm sitting on the warming plate between sessions.

Sculpting all done and our girl is now being painted. I did her base colouring in pastels over a white gesso base. She then had layers of pencil work in different colours of brown and cream. Extra white patches were added in thin layers of acrylics. This isn't standard white but a colour I mix myself using titanium white, buff, a tiny bit of ochre and mixing white, it gives a more realistic finish than using blazing white titanium.

All the pencil work was done whilst watching TV in the evenings, I could tell you every word of ads etc but never actually looked up to see what was on offer!

Her mane and tail, eyes, nostrils and hooves were left till last. She was then matt sprayed for the final time and eyes, hooves and nostrils glazed. I use satin varnish for hooves and nostrils and gloss for the eyes.

She had Rio Rondo horseshoes added and little nails and clenches and that was it.

 

Here is the finished product. She was actually completed the night before the show, talk about a rush job.

Now here's a before and after shot so you can see the difference. Lots of folks thought she was either a resin (not permitted at the Copperfox show) or a customised Breyer Roxy. Nobody guessed at her real identity!

And here she is in all her glory. I'm so pleased with how she turned out. I'm now hacking hell out of that other cantering welsh to make another performance horse.

Karon x