Monday, January 16, 2017

Fixing the feet

As much as I love Brigitte Eberl's sculptures, they are the bane of my existence when it comes to prepping. I have two on my desk right now, and they are both rough, pinhole filled messes with bad feet. Fortunately, thanks to the NaMoPaiMo Facebook group, I have some new tools in my prepping arsenal. In particular, I can't wait to try out this wonderful tutorial by Ela Zarzecka of MetalfishArt. Thank you, Ela!

Hooves Tutorial

by Ela Zarzecka

1. Original hooves with air bubbles under the surface, hoof walls are uneven, frogs are missing. Let's get started!
2. Hollow out the hooves (I used a Dremel) but try to avoid sanding hoof walls. If you uncover a wire - remove it. 
3. Fill the holes with Apoxie (or any other putty you use) and be sure to use plenty of it. 
4. Put your model on a sheet of paper. Hold it by the coronets and push it firmly to the ground.
5. Smooth out Apoxie with water and leave it for 24 hours. The paper will probably stick to the hooves - remove it at the end with water or sanding paper. 
6. Use x-acto knife or carbide scraper to remove the excess Apoxie. 
7. Sand the hooves to give them desired shape (I prefer 220 CAMI grade - 6/0 grit or 66 microns - sanding paper) . If you don't want them to be perfectly round, try to use more pressure while sanding the center area of the hoof wall.
8.-9. Hooves are uneven at the bottom so choose one that looks the best and use it as a guide to even out the rest of them. 
10. Sketch the frogs then carve them with carbide scrapers*. 
11.-12. Use CS05 Knife Tip and CS04 Angled Round Tip to carve the angle of wall and the bar of wall. Smooth it out with 220 grit sanding paper. With CS02 Tapered Round Tip carve collateral grooves and central groove.  

*If you don't have the carbide scrapers, you can use small diamond files (or any other tools you have - be creative!) or try to sculpt frogs instead of carving them.
12. Again, smooth everything out with sanding paper. Use fine sanding sponge for smoothing the whole hoof. 
13. Finished painted hooves.


  1. you've hollowed out the hoof, good time to add magnets using two part epoxy, wax paper and small sheet of metal to pull magnet to bottom of hoof. Start with upside down horse, add glue, magnet, wax paper and sheet metal, then turn right side up and let epoxy dry to rubbery stage. carve extra glue away from hoof and let dry to rock hard state. The only negative to magnets is using iron oxide, it collects on the magnets and can make a mess, just watch it.