Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Custom and resin halter showing

Guest blogger, Lauren Mauldin is back with part three of her model horse showing series.  Today's topic is near and dear to my heart--custom and resin halter showing.  Thanks, Lauren!

Model Horse Showing III--Custom and Resin Halter

by Lauren Mauldin

Last week in model horse mania 2013, we went over original finish halter showing. Today we're still in halter land, but instead of factory finish plastic ponies I'm going to introduce to the beautiful world of customs and resins.

Get ready to be wowed by a lot of amazing photos by Jennifer Buxton who has a beautiful collection of these horses. Today's post will be photo heavy, because I think the beauty of these pieces can be explained best by just looking at them!

Khompounded Interest, Breyer Weather Girl customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
What is a Custom?

A customized model is a horse that started out life as a plastic factory finish.  An artist then found said plastic pony, and altered it to create an original piece of artwork.  Artists can customize OF models in several different ways:

  • New paint (known as a simple CM)
  • New sculpted mane and tale
  • Additional sculpted on details (veins, boy/girl parts, chestnuts, horse shoes)
  • Heating the plastic to bend legs
  • Totally hacking the model apart and sculpting entirely new limbs (known as a drastic CM)
This is a simple custom:
Appartion, Breyer Totillas painted by Sheryl Liesure
This is a drastic custom. 
Lady Liberty, Breyer Clock Horse body with Salinero head
customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
Custom horses (CM) are unique in that they are always a one of a kind.  Model horse hobbyists can sometimes commission an artist to create their dream model for them with varying price points.  If you were to go out and buy a custom horse that is live show quality, expect to pay $200 - $2000+ depending on the size of the model, complexity of the customizing, name of the artist who did it and overall "wow" factor of the model.
Princess Trillium, Breyer Stage Mom with Weather Girl head
customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
What is an Artist Resin?

Artist resins (AR) are original sculptures - meaning they didn't come from any type of manufactured model horse.  An artist will sculpt the horse entirely on their own, and then have it cast in resin in small batches.  Typically an artist resin will have around 200 pieces available (sometimes more or less) and then that's it.  Each time a horse is cast, the quality of the mold deteriorates a little bit - so it's not possible to have an infinite supply.  Prices for an artist resin vary, but usually start at around $200 and go up from there depending on how many there are offered and the size of the model itself.  This does not include paint, and is just for the raw mold itself. 
BFF, Stacy Tumlinson Scarlett resin customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy
From there, hobbyists usually commission an artist to paint the resin for them or paint it themselves.  Resins comes in all shapes, sizes and breeds.  Some are highly stylized, and some are elegant and understated.  Just depends on the sculptor's style!
Tuscalero, Sarah Rose Caldero resin painted by Kate Schick
 How are CMs and ARs judged?

Like OF halter, a big component of CM and AR halter is breed.  However, unlike OF they aren't judged on collectibility.  Since most of these models are 100% unique due to artistic differences, there is no way to judge them on how collectible they are.  Instead, they have a special division known as Workmanship.

Workmanship means what its name implies - how well the model was crafted and executed.  The model is judged on the following:

  • Prep work - Are there any rough seams or areas that need to be sanded?
  • Sculpture - Is the sculpting work smooth and anatomically accurate?
  • Finishwork - Is the paint job free of brush strokes?  Does the color amaze?  What kind of details does this horse have?
  • And let me tell you - great artists will get really cracked out on minor details.  I don't want to tell you how many individual hairs they paint on these horses.  It would blow your mind... just look at some pictures!
Carol Williams Victrix resin painted by Liz Shaw
Sarah Rose Independence resin painted by Carol Williams
Carol Williams Matriarch resin painted by Carol Williams
Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Carol Willaims
Stacy Tumlinson Ravenhill Revisited resin painted by Carol Williams
Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Carol Williams
To me, custom models and artists resins are more than just elaborate toys to show with... they are truly works of art.  I wish I had the skills and patience to paint them this well myself, but if I ever got back into the hobby I would surely have to get a few nice resins just to enjoy on my shelf!
Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig Orinoco resin painted by Carol Williams 
Kathi Bogucki Dozen Roses resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig
Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig Stormwatch resin painted by Adalee Hude
Customized Breyer by Tiffany Purdy
Don't forget about the giveaway of a little pack of Novice Live Show Quality or Photo Show Quality prizes.  Use the widget below to enter for your chance to win these fabulous prizes (and maybe some other surprises)!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Next week, we will get back to my favorite division and what I spent all my time showing in - performance!


  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful collection and photos with me this week!

  2. Well looks like I'm going to have to contact CarolWilliams to see how much it would cost to get a Gammon painted ;)
    Beautiful collection though, I LOVE the paint job on the Storm Watch but I think my favorite is either BFF or Tuscalero.

  3. For the record--the named horses in the first part of the post belong to me. The horses in the second half of the post are some I admired and photographed at Springamathing Live 2014 and GLC No Frills December show 2013. I would dearly love to have any of them in my collection, but I'm relatively certain none are for sale!


  4. (I hate it when the comment system eats the post!)

    Very nice.

    However, there are three "customized" areas not mentioned above.

    Article defines "customization" of plastic (factory/mass produced) models. However, many shows also use the "customization" nomenclature to describe the modification of mass produced/factory china (think Hagen Renaker) or mass produced/factory resins (think North Lights). "Cold painted"

    There is also the whole range of "original sculptures". Some include this in CM, others AR. (In part because some OSs are the prototypes of an AR run.)

    And the new/growing area of customizing/firing chinas -- from modifying greenware to custom glazing.

  5. Quiero saber si están ala venta esos hermosos caballos

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