Making a Cavalry Horse and Cat

Ever wonder how we make our cats and horses? The videos on these tabs show Rebecca making a Union horse and cavalrycat for “Come On, You Wolverines!” Since the entire process takes about two hours, she recorded the videos in 4x hyperlapse.

When we were growing up, our mom always encouraged us, “If you draw a thousand horses, you’ll get good at it!” Since making our first Civil War cats in 1995, we have made over 1,000 horses, between dioramas, gifts, and CWTH merchandise, so it’s not hard for us to make a ¾” tall horse like it’s nothing! Our horses range from 3” tall (as seen in the videos) to ¾” tall. As with real horses, we measure to the withers, the highest point of the shoulder.

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.

Watch the first video here (please be patient while it loads). Each page has a link to the following video, or you can use the drop-down menu.

Please note: the videos are very tall and may not view correctly. Please click on the small icon of 4 arrows on the lower right corner of the video to enable fullscreen view (see below). This should help you see the entire video. You can exit fullscreen by clicking that icon again when you’re finished.

video tip

Two hours later…
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.

2018-09-29 ready to bake

Ready to be baked!


With the reins and lead rope added, the horse and cat are ready to be installed on the diorama!

2018-09-29 finished