How We Make a Cavalry Horse and Cat

People often wonder how we make our cats and horses. Now you can find out! Making 200 new horses for “Come On, You Wolverines!” takes a long time, but it’s also a great opportunity to shoot a video of how we make a cavalrycat and horse. We’ve uploaded the videos on our new “Making a Cavalry Horse and Cat” pages. Enjoy!

Upon watching the videos, you might conclude that Rebecca is either really good at making horses or she drinks a lot of coffee. Both are true—she does like coffee, and between the two of us, we’ve probably made over 900 horses since 1995. However, we can’t make a horse in half an hour. Actually, Rebecca recorded the videos in 4x hyperlapse, since the entire process takes about two hours.

Our horses range from ¾” to 3” tall. As with real horses, we measure to the withers, the highest point of the shoulder. The one Rebecca is making is 3” tall.

Originally, we made our cats and horses from Plastalina modeling clay, which does not harden. Now we use Sculpey polymer clay, which is bakeable. Specifically, we prefer Sculpey III and we use our toaster oven, which is great for baking small batches. (You’d be amazed at how many cats can fit on a small toaster oven tray!)

In the videos, Rebecca is using Sculpey III for the majority of the colors, beige Super Sculpey for the horse’s “pink” hooves, and white Original Sculpey. We use telephone wire inside the legs to prevent them from drooping in the oven. Silver wire of various gauges serves for bit, girth rings, and saber.

2018-09-29 ready to bake

The horse and cat are ready to be baked. Larger horses like this take 12 minutes in the oven. A ¾” horse would take 8 minutes.

After baking, we still need to add reins (telephone wire or button thread) and a lead rope (string). Once the glue dries, the horse is ready to be installed on the diorama!

 

2018-09-29 finished

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