First, this is a very bad picture of where I keep most of my tools. Paints, brushes, solvents, sealants, curlers, several sets of pliers for rehairing, and at the very bottom of the picture, some of the best sculpting compound on the planet.
There is a Doctor Drakken pony who goes along with the rest of the Kim Possible set, but he's one shelf above this photo.
This is Phase One of any mass pony project: a disposable baking pan full of prepped baits. (And also some truly gorgeous yarn, but that's another post for another day.) Why a disposable baking pan? Because they're the best thing in the world when you're dealing with really nasty chemicals, and the first step for these guys was a bath in acetone. I'm a little bit infamous for having zero regard for my own safety, but I am strict about handling acetone with caution. You're not missing something if you're trying to count; there's a head that's not in this picture because it needed some preliminary paintwork and was drying elsewhere. And one of these girls hasn't been totally stripped yet; she was a last-minute addition when a certain someone convinced me that I couldn't not do a Liz Ten pony.
Yep, that Liz Ten. All but one of the ponies in this picture are destined to become characters from the most recent season of Doctor Who. (There's also one more Who pony in progress that you'll see later, one non-Who pony who's at a stall halfway through her painting and wasn't photographing properly, and at least three steampunk ponies in the conceptual stage, but considering my raging crush on everything Steven Moffat has done for the series it's going to be a while before the Who ponies are out of the spotlight.) One of those, ironically the most complicated character, will be a very simple custom. One will be a baby, my first, and God knows I'm not looking forward to fighting with the hair on that tiny head. Said baby and four others will be skin-toned ponies with fully sculpted costumes, two things that I swore I'd never do again. And the final two, the most dangerous predators in the universe, will also be some of the hardest sculpting I've ever done.
Okay, yes, so right now it's just a stripped bait wrapped in a bit of wire mesh and clay. But once the details start filling out, that right there is going to be one of my Weeping Angels. Yes, one of. And the other is going to be vastly more complicated and will involve cutting a pony apart and reassembling it in a more threatening pose. And I haven't even gotten the hang of sculpting hair yet.
And speaking of hair, this may be my favorite part. Sure, putting it in is dreadfully tedious, but picking the colors and seeing them all laid out in their bags like that just makes me giddy with the potential. And I've already got yet another bag on its way to me. Which is a good thing, because I've got one pony who needs her hair before I can get into her sculpting and her full-body repaint, and I have to work on her because right now I can't repaint anyone else for one very awesome reason:
Oh, talk about a shiny new toy that I didn't actually need. This, my friends, is my brand-new Badger 200NH single-action, internal-mix, bottom-fed airbrush. I've been lusting over the smooth, matte paint jobs that other pony artists get out of their airbrushes ever since I started customizing, and finally I decided I had to get in on the game. So someday these new ponies will have awesome base coats, but at the moment...there's a learning curve. There is still much practice to be done with paper and soda cans.
But I'll keep you all posted.