Thursday, December 6, 2007

some days are productive

Some days are more obviously productive than others. Despite being sick (coughed all night instead of sleeping, ugh) today was a productive one. I finished one sculpture and started a new one.

The finished sculpture: Eduardo, a SM scale PRE stallion.

He's on his way to be cast now. He'll be a limited edition--a one to two mold run of 65-140 pieces or so. Price will be $50 ppd anywhere in the world. Quite a deal, I think.

The new sculpture: a traditional scale standing Arabian. I know, just what we need, another standing Arab, right? Well, he/she/it is going to be a bit different, if my plans work out. Not a standard resin release, in other words (although he may be that as well)--I'm hoping to do him in bronze, CMed on commission as portraits of real Arabians. We'll see how this works out. I've put perhaps 3.5 hours in on him so far, so he's not far along at all. Just armature and the beginning stages of sculpting.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Micro Minis!

Got a pile of new micros coming out! I just got the first pewters from the caster yesterday and I'm very happy with them. I couldn't resist painting one, in fact. It's been a really long time since I actually painted a micro mini! He's the walking Mustang to a liver chestnut appaloosa--pictures when he's finished. In the mean time, here are the new micros!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mmm, turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mmm, deep fried turkey. And we wonder why it's so hard to lose weight...

Sunday, November 18, 2007


On the CM Draft: I put him in a precarious place. He took a nose dive and at first I thought there was very little damage. When I looked closer I realized he had significant damage. I have pulled his eBay auction. I am repairing the damage, and I'm going to do some more improvements while I'm at it, so he'll be better than ever! Then he'll be up for sale again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On eBay

The CM PS Drafter is up on eBay:

I've been working on SM-scale sculptures lately: a trotting PRE stallion and a trotting Saddlebred mare. Also on MMs, a whole batch. They should be done really soon (like tomorrow for the micros, I hope). Pictures soon.

Oh, and I still have Bartimaeus resins for sale! I'm generally shipping them out the same day as I receive payment, so if you want one now's a good time to order. Email me at if you want one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'm bad at going to bed on time.

Why is it that even when I'm tired I don't feel like going to bed?

Spent today doing advertising-related stuff and learning how to update my website (no, it's not up yet), and a little bit of actual finishwork. Not really all that productive of a day, I'm afraid, although I did learn some stuff.

It was windy and wet so I haven't been able to get final pictures of the CM PS drafter yet--maybe tomorrow (today!). I realized that the other drafter I'm working on won't be haired unless I change my plan for her a lot--she has feather on her legs that I wasn't planning to grind off and I don't like the combination of sculpted hair and real hair. But maybe the CM Breyer Cleveland Bay I have here will get hair once I'm further along on him (very minor CM, just correcting a few things).

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Haired Custom

Never really haired a custom before. Haven't even done hardly any customs, to tell the truth. I've found I really like doing them. I probably spent way too much time on this one, but I'm But quite happy with him! I'm still finishing up his hair, making sure no glue is showing and such. I really like hairing, it's fun, more realistic than sculpted, and easier for me to do (I have such a hard time sculpting manes and tails). This guy (he needs a name!) even has leather on the underside of his tail bone, which is sort-of-poseable (I wouldn't move it too much, but it is!). He'll be on eBay soon--once I've 100% finished him! Hope he sells well so I can justify doing more CMs. It took forever to do all the tiny hair detail in his complex overo markings. I need a better way to get nice solid white than dozens and dozens of layers, but I'm not sure that such a thing exists.

I have another CM started--a Stone trotting draft to a galloping mare. I think I'll hair her too!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Abel is done!

Abel is, I think, done. I wanted to paint him but it looks like that's not going to happen: I had some finish issues (since sorted out; I was trying to dull cote him while the under layers were still damp, although they LOOKED dry). So he's half-finished to a rather nice bay, and I don't think I'm going to finish it. I like painting the original sculptures because it means giving the horse a very thorough going-over, insuring that I spot any issues that might otherwise have been missed, and I did find some. Most notably, his eyes were not entirely symmetrical--a longstanding problem that I tend to have. I've fixed it now (by resculpting his left eye) and I'm happy with it now.

On the opposite side of the issue, I don't like painting OSs because I worry that layers and layers of fixative may obscure some of the finest details. While this might not be an issue in the resin edition (you can see through transparent layers of finish, for one!), for the original I want to preserve as much detail as possible. So I think I'll just have to wait and paint one of the first production castings!

Incidentally, this means that I will be ready to take orders for Abel resins. He'll be $250 + $15 postage to the USA, or $30 postage outside the USA. It will be at least a few weeks before resins are ready to ship, possibly longer. He's going to be an open edition, which basically means that I will continue selling him until a) there seems to be no further interest or b) I get tired of him. You can email me at for more information on how to order. I won't be accepting time payments on Abel.

On an unrelated note: I took yesterday off and drove all the way down Skyline Drive in Virginia. It was a gorgeous day, just on the edge of warm enough for comfortable top-down driving, and sunny. It made me realize that I really do like driving as much as I think I do, although 7-8 hours is about as long as I can go before I start getting tired. I've done as much as 11 in a day (alone), but that's really too much. I also hiked a shortish trail down to a waterfall, and found that I'm in pretty terrible shape--getting back up was a challenge. Who knew a 440-ft elevation drop would be so hard to climb back up!

Friday, October 5, 2007


I will be out of town starting today through Sunday, Oct. 14. I'll try and check email sometime in there but no promises. I'm going to Lexington, KY for horsie fun!

On the model horse side:

Abel is basically done. I'm painting him before sending him off to be cast.

I'm working on a big pile of micro minis (15 of them, although not all will be finished, ever). A nice variety, so keep an eye out for them, they'll be coming fairly soon.

I've still got Bartimaeus resins on hand, so if anyone orders while I'm gone I will ship them out when I return. They're $40 each ppd within the USA or $50 each outside the USA--just send the money via PayPal to, labeled Bartimaeus. You can see pictures at

I'm working on a CM Salinero to an Andalusian. I think he's cool! Pictures when I get back.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Feeling sick

I've been feeling somewhat ill for the past week, so I haven't managed to get as much done as I would have liked. It's hard to think artistically with a sore throat and a drippy nose! I have managed a little bit though.

I've especially been working on Abel, trying to get him finished up. I've been working on adding his fine veining, using Sarah M-B's "messo". It's a mixture of modeling paste and gesso. I couldn't find my gesso, so I'm using white acrylic paint instead. I always find that gesso goes grainy on me in any case--maybe my bottle is bad or something. I struggled with this at first, until I discovered that the way to get smooth veins is to load up one side of the paintbrush (wiping the other side clean) and roll the messo off while pulling the paintbrush along. It takes some practice but works pretty well eventually. My first veins came out too big, so after they dried I sanded them off and tried again. In this picture I've slightly hit the veins with sandpaper, so they show up white against the red/brown primer. They were just a bit too big. I'll see when I put on another coat of primer if they're in scale now. I don't want to end up looking like he has worms or snakes under his skin! I'm using photos I have taken of some of the horses I know for reference--one of them has some very prominent veins/capillaries.

I've done a tiny bit of micro mini work, working on the mare
and fixing her shoulder and jaw. She needs some serious hoof and leg work (one of her hooves is missing entirely, although you can't see in this photo!), but I haven't felt up to mixing up some epoxy and doing it. I have to plan to sit down and work for at least an hour straight, and I just haven't managed that this week. It's easier to work on something like the veining, which can be set down at any time with just as much warning as it takes to rinse a brush.

This is my "studio" area as is it now. It's gotten a lot more crowded because my bed was moved in here and I got a table instead of a desk. The table is great-it's a peanut-shaped table from Ikea, with these really neat turn-out trays I put on the legs. I keep tools that I'm using in there so they're close at hand.
As you can see I work messy.

You can also see some of the aquariums in the background there. I have seven in here, ranging from 2.5 gallons to 55 gallons. Nice to look at when I should be working! The 55 gallon is right behind me when I'm taking the picture.

This is a small section of the 55 gallon aquarium. All my tanks are planted with live plants. The fish like 'em and so do I!

I had my last day working at the barn at school this week. They won't let me come and ride or work anymore since I'm no longer a student, having graduated this year. I'm really going to miss getting to work with horses twice a week, but it's really expensive to ride anywhere in this area that I've found.

Look at that ear flopping around! This is Hershey, a TB who I've grown very fond of in the last few months, as he was on stall rest and loved having plenty of time spent with him.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Micro Mini Update

I've nearly finished a couple, and more are getting there! (like the three beasties above!)

You can kind of see my odd sculpting method when working in this small scale. I start by making an armature, and then sculpt in sections. I generally start with one or both front legs (including shoulders), then both back legs (and hindquarters), then head, then neck and body, then mane and tail. If I have a bit of extra Apoxie left from another horse, I might add it on to a belly if the material has set up too much to be easily detailed. Once all this has been done I go back around the horse, refining and fixing errors.

Hopefully it's not too obvious from the photos (since my goal is to make horses that look good, regardless of scale), but these are all micro mini scale. That is, they stand about 1 1/4 inches tall. The foal is 1" tall and the jumper will end up under 2" tall, including his/her base (haven't decided on gender for that one yet!). It does mean that they generally look much better in person than in these huge photos.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I've been productive!

I've been working on micro minis lately. I hadn't done any for many months, due to school. But I finally have gotten back into them, and I think I had forgotten how much I enjoy the little guys.

So here they are: mostly unfinished, still plenty of work to do on almost all of them. Right now there are, clockwise from lower left:
walking Mustang stallion, extended trot WB (standing up, just a skeleton right now), cantering QH (also jst a skeleton), jumping horse (likewise), standing mare, standing foal, prancing Spanish horse, and galloping Arabian stallion.
The Mustang is the only one that's pretty close to being finished; all the rest need varying degrees of work. The Arabian balances on his hind legs and tail, and is turning slightly.

I work in a combination of Green Stuff (GS) and Apoxie Sculpt on the little guys. It's a good combination, and works well for what I like to do. I can't work very effectively when it's too hot in the house, as it is right now, because it tends to set up too fast.

I've also been working on a few other projects, including a Shah Azim painted black for a customer. No pictures just yet, though.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Work, moving...

I am finally all moved out of my old apartment, yay! I'm not really properly moved into the new place yet--everything is here but it's in boxes, some of it's in the garage, etc.

I managed to get some work done on both Khayne and Abel yesterday. I'm trying on Abel to smooth out his mane and tail a little bit. After talking with Caroline Boydston at Breyerfest and thinking about both the painting process and how hair really flows, I realized that maybe I somewhat smoother, softer style is better for hair. I've always struggled with hair; it's just been one of those things that's hard for me to get right. I tend to make it too rough, which isn't really attractive and is hard to paint. Caroline does wonderful work, including detailing in the hair by hand in the finishwork, and I think the results from that type of treatment are far more realistic than trying to sculpt in the hair detail.

As a sculptor it's hard to let go of trying to fully detail out the hair, since there's no guarantee that the finishwork artist will do a good job. But I think I'm going to see how it goes with making it a bit softer.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Well, I'm moving. Gotta be out of this apartment by August 6 at noon, but my roommate is moving out tomorrow so there's no point in me staying here much past that. My parents are only a little over half an hour away so it's not far, but I have a ton of stuff and a bunch of aquariums.

I spent the last two days setting up a 55 gallon aquarium, which I'm excited about. It's not my favorite size tank (too deep and narrow for plants, really), but it's what I've got. I built a light stand, which holds two shoplights for a total of 4 fluorescent bulbs running the length of the tank. It should be enough for plants with moderate light requirements--it doesn't look as bright as my smaller tanks, so I'm trying to include more low-light plants. Right now it has a bunch of Java fern, some Java moss, a sword, some H.C. (I hope it spreads!), an anubias (I've been wanting one forever and finally found one I could afford), and some interesting rotala which looks nothing like the rotala in my other tanks. Current livestock is one male red cherry shrimp (he hitchhiked on the wood and plants from another of my tanks). I plan to stock it with threadfin rainbowfish (I. werneri; I already have a dozen but I'll probably pick up some more eventually), shrimp, and some hybrid Endler's livebearers I got this week (they're absolutely stunning, sold as Tiger Endlers but I think of them as Flame Endlers; they're fancy guppy/Endler hybrids so I need to be sure to keep them separated from my pure strain of Endlers).

This all means there has been no model horse work and probably won't be for another week or so.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ok, I couldn't resist. Found the camera (couldn't leave it lost!) and took a few pictures. The costume is by Heather Downing and it's not in any way her fault that I have probably put it on wrong. The bridle is a bit too big for Abel (it fits Zim) and I think it's adjustable but I'm a bit afraid to mess with it, so it's not really on him properly. And since I cut out his eye to straighten it at Breyerfest and haven't had a chance to resculpt around it, there's a nice join between his eye and his face. Ah well.

I guess I can show off Khayne now too! She's Abel's companion (I know, I know...), a Morab mare. Still quite rough as I started her on Thursday night at the Artisans' Gallery, although I cheated and used Abel as a base (since I had the clay sculpture left after casting him), so work on her has gone quite quickly to this point. Still plenty left to do but I'm happy with how she's coming so far. I think she's going to get an entirely different tail but I'm not sure yet. This is an awful picture, complete with distortion since her head is turned slightly away from the camera.

Ok, enough for now, right?

My first blog post ever!

Well, everyone else seems to be doing it so I guess I'll join in on the blogging too. I'm Maggie Bennett and I sculpt horses--mostly of the model variety, but I've done some others too.

I just got back from Breyerfest Monday morning and haven't managed to do anything resembling work yet. Khayne (galloping Morab mare) made it back safely with me, which I was a bit worried about. She seems to be developing some cracks in her barrel which are probably from where I cut her apart (back when she was Abel) to add some length--that's been a weak point ever since.

I started moving stuff into my "new" place (read: my parents' basement; yeah, I feel like a bit of a loser but it's what really makes sense right now and I think it's going to be a quite nice place once we get everything set up). Moved most of my resins back in and some clothing; several more trips to go. So work is probably going to be pretty much at a standstill until I'm all moved.

I dressed Abel up in his costume last night and I think he looks so incredibly cool in it. I'd take a picture but what with the whole moving thing I have no idea where my camera currently is. I am a long way away from being organized at all.

More posts to follow as events warrant!