Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening tag:

Model Mishaps: How to Repair a Broken Leg

Text and photos by Jennifer Danza

So you finally got the Breyer® model you had been longing for, but it took an unforeseen leap off that upper display shelf and broke a leg. Since then it has remained in the closet, awaiting help. If only you knew what to do!

A broken model horse
A broken model horse

 

 

 

Don't worry because it can be fixed with some patience and a few simple tools. Repairing your Breyer models-even the fancy SRs-can be easy. Soon they'll be back in the herd and might be able to return to the show ring too!

Attaching Limbs


Begin by drilling a hole into both ends of the broken limb with a Dremel using a #105 drill bit. This bit is small, but will create a big enough hole so that the next step, inserting a cut paper clip, can be completed without any problems. 

Drill holes in both broken areas
Drill holes in both broken areas

 

The paper clip should be cut and inserted into the holes between both broken parts.

Insert paper clip wire
Insert paper clip wire

 

This clip serves as a "bone" to help support the leg better. To secure the paper clip permanently, squeeze a small drop of Zap A Gap® glue into one of the holes. Add a sprinkle of ordinary household baking soda to the glued area around the paper clip and let it dry.

Add glue and baking soda to secure wire
Add glue and baking soda to secure wire

 

The baking soda should cause the glue to solidify immediately and create a concrete-like bond. Apply only glue to the other portion of the broken limb, and attach both pieces together making sure to hold them in place until they adhere firmly. 

Hold leg firmly until both parts adhere
Hold leg firmly until both parts adhere

 

Secure Bond

Once the two pieces are together, with the "bone" inside to help support the area, the next steps help to make the repair permanent. Unfortunately, these final steps make the horse look worse before it looks better, so be prepared for a frightful sight. In the end it will be worth all the effort.

When dealing with bad breaks and chipping, nothing seems to compare to Zap A Gap® glue. Begin to secure the bond by running a bit of the glue around the entire crack line. Before the glue dries, sprinkle a light dusting of baking soda around the entire crack, and run your finger around the edge of it for an even, smooth covering.

After this has dried, use 500 grade sandpaper to lightly smooth away any bumpy areas. You may end up removing a bit of the factory paint, but don't worry because we will be repainting this area later. The key is to make the area smooth.

Sand down excess glue and baking soda build up until smooth
Sand down excess glue and baking soda build up until smooth


Epoxy for a Permanent Bond

Once the area is smooth, mix together equal parts of Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Apply a very thin layer to the crack and smooth out the area. This layer of epoxy will give the broken area extra amount of security and bond. Let the epoxy to dry over night. 

Add a thin layer of epoxy
Add a thin layer of epoxy

 

When the epoxy is 100% dry, sand it down with 100 grade sandpaper at first, then a 500 grade sandpaper to sand down any lumps or imperfections in the epoxy. The area should be completely smooth.

 

Painting the Damaged Area

Now, all that repair work needs some major cosmetic clean-up. Begin by applying some thin layers of sandable gesso to the repaired area.

Apply gesso to the repaired area
Apply gesso to the repaired area

 

Any imperfections in the repair work will be visible at this stage, so re-sand if necessary. Slowly being to build up the color on the leg. This particular horse had a metallic sheen, so I had to pull out my metallic powders and add them to the paint so the leg would look uniform with the rest of the body. 

Paint your base color
Paint your base color

 

Once the basic body color is achieved you can continue with acrylics, or you may want to switch to a different medium, like pastels, to help add shading. It is really your preference.

Try to match your Breyer color on a palette before painting
Try to match your Breyer color on a palette before painting

 

After the color has been properly built, give the horse a final coat of fixative spray. Because this model was glossy, I wrapped her in some toilet paper so I could spray just the fixed leg. I sprayed a very glossy finish on her repaired leg until the area looked seamless.

If you are unsure about your repairing abilities try fixing an older piece first.

The repaired horse, ready for the show ring once again!
The repaired horse, ready for the show ring once again!

 

QUICK TIP: Having trouble finding epoxy? Go to www.avesstudio.com and get some non toxic epoxy that works well!

 

Supplies needed:


Dremel
#105 or similar bit
Unbent paper clip
Zap A Gap ® glue
Household baking soda
100 grade sandpaper
500 (fine) grade sand paper
Apoxie Sculpt 2-part epoxy
White sandable gesso
Acrylic (or pastel) paints
Fixative (such as Krylon)
Paint brushes

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

 

--