Model Horse Showing – Artist Resins and Customs

Model Horse Showing – Artist Resins and Customs

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!

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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)
A simple custom.  Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
A simple custom. Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
A drastic custom. Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
A drastic custom. Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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.

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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.

BFF2
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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!

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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!

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

 

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

 

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

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!

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

 

Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton
Photo copyright Jennifer Buxton

Next week, we will get back to my favorite division and what I spent all my time showing in – performance!

Also, 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)!

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14 thoughts on “Model Horse Showing – Artist Resins and Customs

  1. My jaw was literally on the floor the entire time I read this post. WOW. That is some serious talent!! No wonder those models go for such high prices. Just phenomenal. Thank you so much for sharing this neat hobby! I’m excited to keep reading about model showing. 🙂

  2. What always amazes me most about model horses is the attention to detail. I mean, to take the time to shade in the muscling is just incredible. I would never have the patience to do that!

  3. OMG! These are all so beautiful. I’ve seen artist resins and customs before but each time I am blown away by the artistry. I would love to have all of them!

  4. Incredible!! Thanks for sharing, these posts are interesting. I’ve always wondered how model horse shows worked.

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