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Leave on casting sprues for support?

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A while back I ordered some elves from Thunderbolt Mountain by the legendary Tom Meier of Ral Partha founding.

 

They are beautiful, but I have a question -- advice to ask, really, about the horses.

 

These are definitely elven horses, impossibly elegant, refined, like an Arabian cubed, almost insect-like, like the three-dimensional embodiment of George Stubbs' stunning eighteenth century horse portraits.

 

Which means they are gorgeous, but yikes, their legs are thin.

 

So I have, for example, this model:

 

post-8022-0-46737800-1367525816.jpg

 

Which, by the way, is true 25mm scale, so even smaller than it looks.

 

Now of course it needs a little filing and clean up, but my question is a little more material.

 

I am scared to remove the support sprues under its legs. I have terrible visions of that one rail-thin rear ankle supporting the entire model and succumbing to even gentle in-game handling.

 

I appeal to the combined wisdom and experience of the boards. How would you deal with this?

 

Is it kosher to leave the sprues in? Can they be maybe camouflaged? Painted black and pretending they are not there? Covered with tall grass? Will more experienced modellers mock me for my cowardice?

 

Help?

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The grass idea may be your best bet. That rear leg will NOT be enough to support the whole thing - particularly not if it has a rider. I'd file away the flash on the sprue bits, paint them a dark colour or something that matches your basing, and then try and blend them into some grass.

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First off that horse is in an unnatural pose. Having said that. You will only be ribbed for cowardice if this is a model for display. :poke:

On this model, and for gaming purposes I would remove the sprues in the middle of the figure and disguise the front one with sculpted dust, or Silfor buffalo grass. That way the figure is less likely to get ruined at that rear hoof

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Not totaly unnatural. We used to have an Arabian mare who would dance around a bit, sortta like that. Not a natural posture for any real movement. Of course for that the tail should be up more, and the chin tucked in.

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It's very common for sculptors of running horses to sculpt tufts of grass under one or more of the raised feet for exactly the reason you're talking about. It probably wouldn't be especially difficult to add a bit of epoxy putty to the existing vent sprue to camouflage them. And as others have noted, support is almost certainly necessary for a play figure.

 

That said, one of the display pieces in Bill Horan's Military Modeling Masterclass is of three jumping horses connected to the ground by a single hoof. (Note: Not one hoof per horse, one hoof total.) The second and third horses are connected to the first with a horizontal armature that runs through points where the figures touch. Amazing stuff.

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First off that horse is in an unnatural pose. Having said that. You will only be ribbed for cowardice if this is a model for display. :poke:

On this model, and for gaming purposes I would remove the sprues in the middle of the figure and disguise the front one with sculpted dust, or Silfor buffalo grass. That way the figure is less likely to get ruined at that rear hoof

Not totaly unnatural. We used to have an Arabian mare who would dance around a bit, sortta like that. Not a natural posture for any real movement. Of course for that the tail should be up more, and the chin tucked in.

It looks to me like it's based on Eadweard Muybridge's photographic studies of horses at the full gallop. For example, the fifth image in this sequence looks very similar.

 

As such, it doesn't look that unnatural to my eyes. The two forelegs have been subtly modified from their normal positions: the curled up one should be very tightly curled up, with the hoof almost pointing up at the heart, and the farthest forward leg should be thrust out further, almost horizontally before the lower joint and hoof point in a straight line to the ground. Also, in a full gallop the animal's neck would be at a lower angle, the head held less high. So yes, the tail would be higher and the chin tucked in.

 

I suspect these of being deliberate artistic decisions to make the horse look more upright and relaxed than a real horse could running that fast, thus making it look more fey.

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I just got this crazy idea to give it support. Have it dancing on a bunch of kobolds, driving them into the ground. It's a warhorse right? :devil:

 

That's how one of mine got the name "Smushfoot".

 

And then there was "Neverburn", a replacement horse after I learned the hard way on its predecessor that potion of firebreath + horse = bad news. (Neverburn was killed by cone of cold, so the name did work)

 

And then there was "Chestnut" - a broken down old nag I got when it was the only horse available, who proved to be the best warhorse I ever had. Through the magic of dice rolls, every time I needed Chestnut to be brave and charge into battle I rolled a 1 on my check and she did the job. Until one day, when she got shot in the rump by a goblin arrow. Prior to this, Chestnut had never been hit in combat. I had to make a riding check to stay on, and blew it with a 20. Chestnut tossed me off and ran off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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Not quite never to be seen again buglips. I heard she was working in the far corners of Skyrim with a former adventurer who had to retire and become a guard. He also took an arrow, though not to the rump.

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