Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening tag:

Create a New Leg

Text and photos by Jennifer Danza

We will be creating a simple two-part mold in order to create a new leg for this Traditional Quarter Horse Yearling.

 

Broken model
Broken Model

 

The first step is to stand the horse on cardboard by making a brace for the broken leg using non-drying clay like Chavant. Place a few wads of clay around the other hooves as well to hold the horse securely in place. Also, be sure to place a cylindrical shape under the hoof you will be casting. This extra wad will serve as a "pour" hole later.

 

Supports and pour hole added
Supports and pour hole added

 

Lesli Kathman of Blackberry Studios http://horsecolor.info introduced me to the use of LEGO® blocks as a mold making material and every time I use these blocks, I have a successful casting session. For this model, the other front leg is similar to the missing leg so I chose that one to cast. Slowly start to build a rectangular shape around the good leg using the LEGO® blocks.

Begin to add the blocks
Begin to add the blocks

 

 

Continue building up the blocks until they reach the area above the break. Then, swab a thin coat of Murphy's Oil soap or Vaseline on the inside of the mold and leg. This will keep the liquid rubber from sticking to the box and leg.

Add Murphy’s Oil
Add Murphy's Oil

 

 

There are many different liquid rubbers on the market. I have used a few and found OOMOO 25 liquid rubber compound by Smooth-On to be extremely easy to use because it's used in a 1:1 ratio and dries within 75 minutes.

SAFETY NOTE: BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR RUBBER GLOVES AT ALL TIMES!

Take two paper cups and pour liquid from the OOMOO 25 Part A in one cup and the same amount of liquid rubber from Part B in the second cup. Then, pour one cup of liquid in the other and stir until it is thoroughly mixed. That should take about a minute.

Slowly pour the mixed rubber into the mold box. Pour from one of the corners.

Pour liquid rubber from corner of mold
Pour liquid rubber from corner of mold

 

Let the mold sit and cure for the recommended times. I normally wait a day.

Mold filled with liquid rubber
Mold filled with liquid rubber

 

 

Break apart the mold box to reveal a block of cured rubber around your horse's leg.

Cured rubber
Cured rubber
Disassemble the blocks
Disassemble the blocks

 

 

Carefully cut the sides of the rubber block with an X-Acto® Knife. Pull the mold apart to reveal a negative impression of a hoof and leg.

Mold cut in half to reveal impression
Mold cut in half to reveal impression

 

Put the two mold pieces back and hold together with a rubber band with the pour hole facing up. If there is a hole on the other end plug it up with some Chavant.

Mold securely closed and ready for resin
Mold securely closed and ready for resin

 

Mix liquid resin according to manufacturer's directions. I prefer a 1:1 ratio liquid resin like the resin sold by Freeman Manufacturing & Supply Company called Hobby Cast 100. It's very easy to use and cures in about 15 minutes.

Cured resin in mold
Cured resin in mold

 

 

After the new resin leg has cured take it out of the mold and attach it to the broken leg using Zap a Gap® glue. Add a bit around the entire leg break. To make this extra glue harden instantly sprinkle on a tiny bit of baking soda.

Glue new resin leg to broken stump using Zap A Gap® Glue
Glue new resin leg to broken stump using Zap A Gap® Glue

 

 

To further strengthen the leg, apply a small amount of Aves Apoxie around the entire breaking point and smooth it out. Let this epoxy dry for 24 hours.

Epoxy area for extra strength
Epoxy area for extra strength

 

 

Prime only the epoxy areas and then touch up the broken spot with paint.

Close up of the new leg
Close up of the new leg

 

 

For this horse, I left the natural color of the resin unpainted where the sock would lie. I felt the natural look of the resin matched the look of the Breyer plastic socks perfectly.

Looking good!
Looking good!

 


HOT LINKS:

Sample pack of liquid rubber: www.smooth-on.com
Liquid resin: www.hobbycast.net (they also sell rubber)
Epoxy: www.avesstudio.com

TIP: Using paper cups will allow you to see through the cups and eyeball your 1:1 measurements.

SUPPLY LIST:

Chavant non drying clay
LEGO blocks
Murphy's Oil Soap or Vaseline
OOMOO 25 Liquid Rubber
Paper drinking cups
Xacto knife
Hobby Cast 100 polyurethane resin (or similar resin brand)
Zap A Gap® Glue (or Crazy Glue)
Aves Apoxie
Acrylic paint

 

To learn more about Jennifer Danza and her artwork, please visit www.jenndanza.com!

--