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How to Make Model Horse Props

Updated January 24, 2019

Model horse props are a necessity for live or photo showing of model horses. Props help to create a scene that adds realism to the model horse. Model props are fairly simple to make. This article provides directions to make a diorama base and background fencing which would be suitable for photo showing. Directions for the diorama are adapted from the directions provided on Modelhorseguide.com.

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  1. Purchase a wooden base that is a few inches longer and wider than the model you will be using. The base should be about one-eighth inch thick to thoroughly support the model.

  2. Choose a footing for the diorama. Footings can consist of fine sawdust, sand, or artificial grass, all of which can be found in model stores.

  3. Coat the base in a thick layer of adhesive, using either a model adhesive or a wood glue.

  4. Sprinkle the footing material over the adhesive and let it dry thoroughly.

  5. Glue in small stones or clumps of moss to add variety to the background.

  6. Select the proper height and length of the fence for your model. A fence is typically just below the height of the horse's withers. In traditional wooden fencing, each panel is a few feet longer than the length of the horse's body.

  7. Determine how many rails your fence will have. Most horse fencing has three or four rails.

  8. Using a utility knife, cut a thin wooden dowel to the appropriate length for each fence panel. The wooden dowels will be your lateral fence pieces. Cut three or four wooden dowel pieces for each panel.

  9. Select a thicker wooden dowel to be the vertical fence support. Cut this to the appropriate height given your model's size. You will need one for each end of each fence panel.

  10. Glue the three or four thinner dowel pieces to the two larger dowel pieces, maintaining equal spacing between the thinner pieces. This will make one fencing panel. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

  11. Paint the entire fencing panel to your desired colour (white and brown are popular).

  12. After the paint has dried, roll two cherry-sized balls of clay. Press each end of the fencing panel into one ball of clay to form a base to support the fence. Allow the clay to dry before using the prop.

  13. Tip

    For a prop to be most effective, it should be in the same scale as the model itself. A fence will not look realistic if it is much too small or too large for the model. Take the time to determine the scale of your model before putting lots of time into building props for it. Spending time studying photos of real horse scenery and fencing can help you make your props more realistic.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wooden base
  • Footing material such as sawdust, sand or artificial grass
  • Adhesive
  • Small stones or clumps of moss
  • Thin wooden dowels
  • Thicker wooden dowels
  • Utility knife
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Clay

About the Author

Paige Cerulli

Paige Cerulli has been writing since 2005. She has published articles for "Horse Family Magazine" and "Valley Animals." Cerulli has experience in writing about music and animals. Cerulli graduated from Westfield State College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Music.

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