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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Favorite

Today I want to show you folks one of my favorite things. As some of you know already, I customize model horses as well as show them. Yes, model horses, the Breyers we played with as kids are big business. There are thousands of adults that collect, show, customize, sculpt and cast small runs of artist pieces. They can cost anywhere from a few to a few thousand dollars. There are many super talented artists out there both customizing existing production run plastic ponies and sculpting original pieces and casting them in limited run resins to be sold unpainted. They range from less than 2 inches tall to over 12 inches tall. I know several artists that paint horses so realistically, they look as if they could breathe. Most paint with acrylics, though some use oils or pastels and colored pencils.

Here are some of my favorite artists...

Sarah Rose - Sculptor and Painter, you can see her work here

This is Deseoso, one of her sculptures, incidentally painted by one of the best painters in the hobby, Danielle Feldman.

I also greatly admire Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig. Her work is so full of life and fire. My absolute holy grail is Orinocco, I would give vital body parts for one of these guys.

I also have a great deal of respect for Chris Nandell of Beau Cheveaux. She paints in oils, and the patience it and talent it takes are amazing. Here is just one example of her fantastic work.

I could go on and on about the amazing artists in this hobby. I also want to show some of my work. This is Firareth, he won Reserve Champion Other Mixed/Pure breeds at his first show. You can see more of my work on my website linked at the top left of the blog.

There is a ton more information online, here is a list of several interesting websites to check out.

North American Model Horse Show Assoc.

Model Horse Sales Pages

Resins by Randy

Model Horse Gallery


  1. Those are all gorgeous! I've thought before about buying one of the custom kits and painting one to look like my horse, but there's NO WAY mine would look that good!

  2. WOW!!! Gorgeous work, love the Arab and your horse is magnificent!!! I love big sturdy horses.
    ~Jane and Gilly~

  3. See and I still have all my Breyers, (around 100 or so) clear back to the first one my Aunt & Uncle gave me as a Christmas gift when I was like 9.

    No. 48 Black Morgan

    Back when Breyer cast one mold, painted it one way and gave it one name.

    When they rescaled their operation back to one mold painted 6 ways and named 16 different things, it just cheapened the appeal for me.

    The horses you featured however are gorgeous!

  4. Um, have you looked at the new Breyers recently? They have TONS of new molds. As for the way they used to do things, they made the Family Arabians in a myriad of colors, as well as the Fighting Stallion, the Western Horse, and many of the other original models. They were produced in a ton of colors to sell more models as Breyer had only a few molds.

  5. I LOVE collecting model horses. I mostly collect the Arabian models but often if theres a nice overo that catches my eye... I also like to custom models but never get that really smooth texture. Do you need an airbrush?
    I also collect Grand Champions if anyone knows about them. I've cut down alot though since Empire went under and now only collect feed n' nuzzles.

  6. The Pale Horseman said...
    I LOVE collecting model horses. I mostly collect the Arabian models but often if theres a nice overo that catches my eye... I also like to custom models but never get that really smooth texture. Do you need an airbrush?

    To get a smooth texture you either need an airbrush or you have to use very thinned down acrylics in multiple layers. Some artists achieve this with oils as well. Chris Nandell has an excellent book on the subject. Also pastels can be used to paint and get a smooth finish, see Danielle Feldman's page for how-to's and instructional DVDs.

  7. SCAE- Yes I am aware a few of the molds were cast and painted as a couple of "different horses", the fighting stallion was available in alabaster or palomino and came in two sizes, but then the QH mare became not only that, but several others as well. One being sorrel w/flaxen m/t another being a sort of appy/roan, both of which I have. It seemed the number of molds decreased, while the color and name selection increased many times over.

    I noticed it in their little catalog type pamphlet that came with each horse. One of my old clients had visited the factory and had lived down the street. She had contacts and a house filled with 'limited editions'. I thought those were unbelievably spectacular.

  8. Thanks for such a great post about the model horse hobby. I have models by most of the artists you featured and they are all amazing--oh, to have that sort of talent!

  9. I have a friend who does this. It is an amazing world.
    I love your model--a good stout horse of beauty.

  10. Those are beautiful. I still have a few Breyer horses and tons and tons of Beswick pottery horses.
    I so understand the appeal of these.

  11. These horses are GREAT! Where do you find about the shows? I'd like to just go to them and check them out in person?

    I collect the Painted Ponies:

  12. Your drafter is amazing. All of them are. I have in the neighborhood of a20 Breyers. My favorite mold was the Semi-Rearing Mustang but has been replaced by the Friesian molds. I've tried a bit of customizing for my own enjoyment but have never shown one. I decided to stick to my own sculptures. They are easier to work with. :)

  13. Wow... Back in the early 80s I got the little Breyer magazine, and was very impressed by all the repaint/rehair models.

    These really take it to an amazing level!

  14. I am SO impressed with custom painting models. I love yours, that's for sure. I'm going to make you do one for me when my foal is born and I know what he looks like!

    I had models painted by a woman to look like some horses we've owned. They are nice and I really like them. The artist was very talented.

    TELL ME, where can I see ones that are doing with colored pencils? And HOW in the world do they do that????