Diary of a CM.

More then anything, I love a good tutorial.
More then any other question, I am asked is "How do I do it?"
So I thought, why not put the two together and Blog on :)

First a disclaimer. I have only finished 6 CMs before this one, I do not profess to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I will be guessing, making things up as I go along, and no doubt making lots of mistakes. So this is not really a tutorial, more of a diary of a CM.

I will be starting a thread on Model Horse Blab with this guys progress, because I respect any artist that puts their work out there for critique, and although it is really, really tough thing to do, it is a very important part of the learning process, and I am a firm believer in putting my money where my mouth is :) and I aim to get this pony to Breyerfest, so I really want it to be the best it can be.
I will post a link to the thread once it is up :)

So let's begin!

First a photo for reference. I actually have about 80 photos of this little guy, but this is the pose shot. An important thing to remember is the sculpt is only ever as good as the references. 
Never ever guess, no matter how well you think you know horses. I have 10 of them out in my paddocks, I am with them every day, riding grooming, cleaning up after them, and I can still not stress enough the need for good reference photos!

I have had these photos for around two years, he was one of my bust portraits. I have been patiently waiting for the right mould to come along for CMing.

In this case it is Breyers Heartbreaker.

Nooooooooooooo I hear you shriek, why ruin a perfectly good horse!!
Well this fellow was not perfect, he had an almighty big dent on his top lip, and I am not one for simple patch work/paint jobs :) so off with his head, metaphorically ...

Using the reference pic' as a guide, I then mark the horse with a Sharpie so I know where to make the cuts to move the limbs. Try to make the cuts where the legs would naturally bend at the joints. Knees, pasterns, shoulders, throat latch etc.

I then make the cuts using a hack saw. I used to use the dremel for this, but found I very very easily got carried away the hack saw is also more precise and makes cleaner cuts.
I then use the dremel to remove the lower half of his face, as he is going from Warmblood to Arabian, there will need to be some major face changes.
Try to be as neat as possible, it saves time and headaches later, learnt this one the hard way!

Then I move onto the heat gun, I know a lot of people don't like these things, but I love mine, and have not managed to set fire to a horse yet! Which for me is actually surprising.
Before I got my heat gun, I used boiling water and a hair dryer, just as effective but it just takes toooo long. I like things done now! Just remember though, you are warming, not melting.

This is the result. Looks terrible right :) they always do at this stage. But stay tuned!

Wondering about the dreadful floral pillow under Heartbreaker?
That is a wheat filled heat pack. They were Mothers Day gifts from my youngest sons, who made them at Scouts, so as hideous as they are, I am very sentimentally attached to them :)
They are also extremely useful. They cushion the horse you are working on, the wheat can be manipulated to straighten a horse while you work on it, and once heated, an apoxied horse will cure faster when laid onto it. They also hold ears and eyeballs whilst curing so you don't get flat spots :)


  1. Very cool. I love seeing the whole process of transforming a regular OF into a drastic CM. And I love the picture of Heartbreaker after he was cut and moved. I can already see the potential. It reminds me of my own in-progress Heartbreaker CM. Maybe reading your 'diary' will inspire me to pick mine back up and finally finish him. Can't wait to see more of yours.

  2. I think it's great that you are sharing your process. No matter how experienced the author of a tutorial is, it's still just documentation of "How I Did It," not the best way or the right way or anything, just one version. Tutorials are a great way to learn for readers and the person creating them.

    The foal is looking great! He has great movement and you did a lovely job echoing your reference picture. I look forward to the next steps!

  3. What an excellent idea with the heat packs! :o

  4. Thanks Guys :)

    Bluebird Studio


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