Monday, March 5, 2012

Fix a flat

Resins are tough, but they're not indestructible. Long thin legs and fragile ear tips are prone to breakage, particularly when placed in a box and shipped across the country. Every now and then, even a well packed model is going to arrive with broken body parts.

This was the case with Raconteur. Although the damage wasn't noticeable at first glance...
closer inspection revealed a crack right below the knee...
 that ran nearly the entire circumference of his leg.
It's disappointing to receive a broken model, but fortunately I'm good at fixing things. I started by carefully dremelling out the crack. It's important to remove the entire crack, which in this case extended well into the middle of Raconteur's leg.
I then filled the dremelled area with a two part epoxy and allowed that to dry overnight. 
The next morning, I checked to make sure the epoxy was completely set before attacking it--carefully!--with 400 grit sandpaper.
This step is essential in creating an invisible repair so I spent a lot of time making sure that the transition from resin to epoxy was as smooth and seamless as possible.
The last step is to repair the finishwork. Fortunately, Raconteur has mostly black legs so color matching wasn't a huge issue. I used pastels to build up a reddish brown undertone...
and then painted over the entire area with many thin layers of black acrylic paint.
I allowed the leg to dry thoroughly before treating it with a several light coat of protective spray.  Ta da! Raconteur's leg is almost as good as new.  If you hold him upside down in bright sunlight and really study the area below the knee, you might be able to see the patch, but it's nearly invisible. I'm calling this one a success!
Many thanks to Tiffany Purdy for being my fix-it consultant. I don't know what I'd do without her!


  1. What a fantastic repair. As good as new.

  2. Gorgeous horse and fantastic fix! Congrats!

  3. since you are good at fixing things, do you think you'd be able to repair a horse with a detatched head(a mail mishap as well)?

  4. Looks really good to me!

  5. Incredible repair job! I still want a blinged up Western Halter from you! ;0)

  6. Beautiful repair, Jennifer. I have repaired things before, but haven't had the courage to tackle an OF resin donkey I have. Your post makes it look so easy; I may be able to break out my dremel for the work now!

  7. I've done this sort of fix before, but never on a resin with a good paintjob. It took me a while to work up the nerve to dremel out the crack. I kept having visions of the dremel skidding out of my hands and ruining my pretty new horse! Once I got over that, it was really pretty easy. The important thing is to take your time and work very carefully.

    Anon--how in the world did your horse lose his head in the mail? Whew, talk about a rough trip!! If it's an unpainted or body quality horse, the fix really shouldn't be difficult. If you're hoping to save the finishwork that's a different story entirely. If Raconteur's leg had not been black, I would have sent him to Tiffany for fixing.

  8. Well, gee whiz. Where were you when I was busy busting up the legs of my Breyers when I was a kid... LOL. I'm actually astonished that he broke, though, because I've seen how carefully those horses are packed. Looks like enough bubble wrap/peanuts for a drop off a five-story building!

    My poor father spent a lot of time trying to mend my Breyers, and you will be horrified to hear how he did it (I'm guessing at this, but I know what things looked like when he was done).
    1) Cut head off a nail.
    2) Holding with pliers, heat nail/pin (with what I have no idea).
    3) Drive pin into leg stump.
    4) Heat nail again, and drive other end into other leg stump.
    The result was usually a wobbly leg with some expanse of nail showing in between the parts. Some melted leg blobbishness, too. Lovely! Oh, well, these repairs were semi-functional. I usually managed to rebreak them, unfortunately.

    What was worse was my poor clinky Palomino mare and foal... I adored those two and just HAD to mess with them. Foal had every leg broken at least twice, and mom suffered almost as badly. Dad went through a lot of some kind of now-yellowing glue. I still have them, and the foal is now completely missing the bottom half of a leg and therefore has to lean up against his mama to stand. They'll be in my blog one of these days! :-)

    (This is in no way an endictment of my dear, departed and extremely patient Daddy. God bless him for even working on these frustrating projects over the years.)

    1. I had a couple of childhood models in permanent 'polo wraps' (aka cloth tape) covering repaired legs courtesy of my dad :-)

  9. managed to fix several broken ceramic objects using this information (thank you!)

    I found this site (see link below) that restores ceramics and it documented further details on How to repair / restore broken, chipped or cracked ceramic step by step with several examples. It also lists what materials to use and where to purchase them (glue, fillers, cold glaze, paints). Take a look at:

    Good luck with your repair