Animals

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Horse Stuff: Bits 'n Pieces http://bitsnpiecesonline.com   has western gear.

Anne Gerdes


Sculpting Kitties: Shape the body first, then bake it for about 5 minutes or so, until it becomes hard enough to handle without squishing. Then add the head and other parts, either baking in between or all at once, whichever works best for you.

Pam


Sculpting Cats: Cats are truly one of the hardest animals to sculpt! I use Super Sculpey to make mine. Their faces are especially difficult! You need to think in triangles. Looking at a picture of a cats face, and draw triangles from the point of the ears to the nose. When you see this shape it will help you with your proportions. Do that with other parts of the face as well. As far as the body goes, try to get a picture of a cat's skeleton. They re 'constructed' quite differently from many other animals. When you see how their legs meet the rest of the skeleton, you will understand!

Alice Zinn


Mini dragon: I searched through my old Dolls in Miniature magazines. and found the name of the lady who did my darling baby dragon - she also sculpted and dressed dolls and other animals, like bunnies. This address is from 1995, so good luck:
Marianne Noller
PO Box 489
Nipomo, CA 93444

Paulette in IN


dog hair: you can get faux fur in small pieces at wal mart (the colors where black and white and brown and black and tiger colors), also they have leather pieces... you use the fur and cut to the size you wanted and then trim after you have applied to the animal? just a thought!

Jennifer KY


Ertl animals- We have lots of those around here, basic info- two scales 1/32 ( Big Farm ) and 1/64 ( they make tractors in 1/ 16 scale but haven't seen many animals) They are very realistic.

Teresa from Canada


Stuffed Animal Rugs? I have another idea I would like to bounce off of you...I have seen animal rugs, ranging from $30 to $300. I thought that if I could find a very realistic small stuffed animal (bear, tiger, etc.), I could split the seams, remove the fill and make a rug. Has anyone seen any very realistic stuffed animals? Perhaps at a zoo gift shop?

Kathy from Tustin


Making Hairy Dogs: Human hair is going to be hard to work with, but it can be done. (I wouldn't use it on a mini doll, but I think it will work for an animal.) Cut very short sections of hair. (no longer than 1/2") Start low, on the legs and glue sections of hair around the legs, working your way up, so each layer of hair laps over the bottom layer. I use Elmers glue, after it's set a little to become tacky. When you're finished, you can trim it all over. Don't try to dye the hair on the dog, or you'll wind up with one horrendous mess. Hope that helps. Some other SSers might have even better, easier ideas. The only other one I could think of would be to clip sections of hair extremely short, smear glue all over the dog and roll him in it, like flocking.

Paulette in IN


Furry Animals: I use rabbit fur. You can get coarser or finer fur off of just one skin. Cut snippets of it a little at a time as needed, and lay them on a damp paper towel, keeping the fur as straight as possible. The towel helps to hold the fur until you're ready for it. Start at the tail, or one of the feet because it should be layered according to the "nap" of the fur. Just like putting on shingles - you can't start at the top of the roof. Put tacky glue on the animal and use tweezers to pick up and put the fur in place. Let dry, and then snip off excess. Continue doing this, overlapping each layer, until you've done the whole animal.

Some things to keep in mind:
(1) Be sure you have enough on each layer, because it's very hard to go back and touch up later.
(2) Use glue SPARINGLY. Sorry to shout, but that's important. :) It can also be thinned a little with water.
(3) You can use a soft toothbrush to brush fur (lightly) as you go along. You will then be able to tell whether you've taken (2) to the extreme.
(4) A dust mask is a good idea, because rabbit fur floats everywhere.
(5) No matter how careful you are, there will be fur on your clothes, in your glue, on your tools, and everyplace else within one square mile of where you are working.

This method isn't easy, but it's very realistic. It really depends on what you want. On the other end of the spectrum, Here's an easy way: Coat the animal with glue, drop it in a bag of flocking, shake to coat, remove and blow off excess, let dry.

Cheri Stewart


Horses: Don't forget that D'Leprechaun, Denise Pritchett, makes wonderful horses. Her e-mail is dleprechaun1984@yahoo.com Her phone # is 301-262-2210.

Grace Shaw


Miniature Horses: There's a number of horse artisans on one of my Yahoo! groups: ModelArabians@yahoogroups.com You can also find artisan links on the American Model Arabian Horse Association web site at: http://www.amaha.itgo.com/

JoLynne


Flocking: flocking is my middle name! Perhaps I can help. I never use the adhesive that comes with the flocking as it does NOT as you've seen put on a thick enough coat. Paint the critter the color or colors of the flocking you will be outing on it. Then drill a hole in the bottom of the piece you want to coat and put the flocking in a plastic sandwich baggie. Put a toothpick in the hole on your critter. I use regular Tacky glue (not thin, not designer Tacky) and spread on a layer that has some depth and is as even as possible with a toothpick or brush and lower it into the flocking in the bag. Gently twirl your critter. As you take it out of the bag, tap the toothpick as you would to get ashes off a cigarette to remove excess flocking. This should give you a thicker, but even coating. Let dry and blow additional excess flocking away.

Alice Zinn


Pet shop: I once created a pet store in miniature and here are some of the ideas I came up with that I didn't buy ready made. Magazine and other advertising gives great mini sized labels for bottles, cans, etc., for feed, flea spray or whatever. I make the cans and bottles out of various materials, but Sculpy III is wonderful. After baking the cans and bottles, glue the labels on and they look very convincing. Then I made leashes, chain leads and collars from very fine necklace chains and leather, rawhide treats (from translucent Sculpy III) look so real whether rolls or bone shapes. Boxes can be built and labels attached for bird seed, etc.

I cut pieces of acetate and glued together an aquarium with silicon glue (bathtub type in clear) then filled most of the way with clear resin two part material for "water". Before it was fully set, I added tiny baked Sculpy III aquatic plants and colorful fish. I kept pushing them down with a wire or toothpick until the material was set enough that they wouldn't float up all the way. This was a terrific aquarium. Unfortunately over the years the resin has yellowed some.

Lastly I made small critters like mice or Guinea pigs with Sculpy III and placed them on tiny "shavings" with little feed bowls and bottles in cages I made from scratch. The cages were squared sticks of the right scale of bass wood from the hobby store cut to length and glued to make a rectangle frame with a hinged hatch type top opening with handle. Then the entire cage covered with a very fine window screen (nylon, not metal). Very, very cute. This was all for 1:10 to 1:12 scale.

Pamela in GA


Parrot project: When reading your question I remembered a project by Sue Heaser I once stumbled upon at Polymer Clay Central. It's a Victorian birdcage with a parrot, and has some good explanations on how to sculpt the bird from - guess what? - polymer clay :)
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/pcc/featured/parrot1.html

It doesn't use real feathers, but maybe you could make the body out of an air-drying clay and stick the feathers into it before it dries? Or glue the feathers onto the polymer clay body.

Åsa in Fairfax VA


Pet shop printables, plus huge selection of others:
http://www.geocities.com/boopmini40/ Go to the bottom of the screen and click on My Printables site 1. On the next screen in the left hand column is "pet supplies". This has printables of all sorts of pet supply boxes and bags. The whole site is full of an incredible range of items but does take a bit of effort to get around. Each of the links on the home page has printables, plus each of the listed "My printable site #" at the bottom. I have found that some of the printables needed a little modification to put together but it was simple enough for me to work out.

Wendy in Clinton, NJ


Tiny Glass Animals: I just got an order of tiny glass dachshunds (my *thing* is collecting dachshunds) from "Sputniks". She has lots of tiny glass animals from Russia (many only 1/2" long) and takes credit cards. Her service was prompt and my doxies look just like they were pictured.

There are bears, cats, dogs, piggies, frogs, fish, rabbits, hedgehogs, etc. -- even some vegetables under "misc."

I think some of these could be used to embellish a baby's room lamp, or bookends. http://www.tsarinaonline.com/sputniks.html

Anne Gerdes


Bird Nest: I found an easy way to make a birds nest. 1) get a tuft of Spanish moss two times as big as your nest will be. 2) roll it into a ball in your hand (roll harder for the nest to be tighter). 3) flatten the ball between your palms. 4) dribble glue in the center of the ball. 5) use your pinkie or whatever finger to push a sitting place for the bird in the center. The glue will dry and leave the depressed place permanent.

Rachel B


Miniature Musical Instruments: I have 2 addresses for miniature musical instruments. One is for patterns and the other one is the actual hand-crafted instruments.

The Ken Manning Collection
15486 85th Avenue
Surrey
British Columbia
Canada V3S 6V9
Phone 604 597 2991

SUDLERS
2851-B Redemeyer Road
Ukiah
CA 95482
Phone 707 463 0565

Even if these are not what you want, they may be able to put you on the right track to find it.

Dianne, Tasmania Australia


Animal Trophies: I don't remember who was interested in animal trophies, but Cotton Ridge Designs has them for sale at 50% off right now. They are really beautifully made, and very realistic. There are many other great things at 50% off as well - definitely worth checking out. Here is the URL: http://cottonridge.safeshopper.com/353/cat353.htm?851

Jonathan in Israel


Parrot project: When reading your question I remembered a project by Sue Heaser I once stumbled upon at Polymer Clay Central. It's a Victorian birdcage with a parrot, and has some good explanations on how to sculpt the bird from - guess what? - polymer clay :)
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/pcc/featured/parrot1.html

It doesn't use real feathers, but maybe you could make the body out of an air-drying clay and stick the feathers into it before it dries? Or glue the feathers onto the polymer clay body.

Åsa in Fairfax VA


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