Monday, March 1, 2021

Chanfron, Part 2

I ordered a roll of packing foam to make Skeeter's Pegasus wings, but when it arrived, it wasn't quite right so I set it aside thinking I could use it for something else.

It sat in the mud room for a week or so, and I was getting itchy to work on Skeets' chanfron, but didn't have a piece of foam big enough. Then I remembered the roll I had set aside. Perfect!

I pulled it out, cut off a hunk, and then cut out the pattern. 

Because I'm impatient and I wanted to see if I came even remotely close to getting the pattern to fit her, I headed out to the pen on Monday (Feb 23) with the template tucked into my coat. Even though it was cold and windy, she was pretty happy to be pulled from the pen. She was less happy when I attempted to slip her bridle on. She allowed one ear, and then said nope to the other ear. That's a super rare thing for her, so I took the bridle off and gave her some scratches. When I put it on the second time, she was her normal self. I think she's a bit like me in that she doesn't like to immediately go to work. She wants a little 'settle in' time, which is fair. It was rude of me to pull her from the pen, then just stick the bit in her mouth without so much as a hello scratch.

I let her sniff the template and rubbed her face with it, then slipped it up her face into position. I tried to use painter's tape to attach it to her bridle, but with the wind her forelock kept getting stuck, so I just ran the painter's tape onto her forehead. Silly girl just let me do it, too.

I was worried that it was going to come too low on her brow, but it looks like it's going to clear her eyes nicely. I needed to extend the side pieces another couple of inches so I can attach it to the cheek pieces of the bridle. Otherwise, though, I'm very excited about how close I got to a good fit just from using her bridle and reference pictures.

I decided, after looking at the pictures, that her current bridle is a bit to 'blingy' for her costume. At one point, she had a black bridle that Mom and Bill gave her, but she broke it a couple of years ago. After talking to Mom, I hopped online to see if I could find a cheap black headstall to use for her costume. Chick's Saddlery had a plain black synthetic headstall and reins for a very reasonable price, so I placed an order. 

Yesterday, I made time to sit down and really work on her chanfron. There was a lot of brain twisting to wrap my head around how I was going to make the patterns for the layered pieces of armor, but it finally started coming together in my mind.

Even though I have the giant piece of foam that I made the template from, it's low-density foam and pretty floppy, so I glued two pieces of my 6mm high-density foam together to make a piece big enough for the base of her chanfron.

I drew out each layered piece on a piece of folded-over paper and cut them out to see if what I was envisioning would work.

I extended the side pieces on the base and hope that they'll be long enough to reach the cheek pieces of the bridle. If not, I have materials to make a strap long enough to reach. I screwed up when I glued this, though, and didn't let the glue dry long enough before I stuck the pieces together and they ended up coming apart.

It actually worked out for the better because I realized that one side didn't quite match the other, so it gave me a chance to re-draw my outline and 'fix' the bad side. It also made it easier to cut out each side instead of working with one big piece of foam. When I went to re-glue the pieces together, I (not-so)patiently waited a full ten minutes of dry time before I stuck them together.

While the base piece's glue was curing, I laid out the pattern pieces on a 11"x14" piece of 2mm foam and got to cutting.

I'm pleased with they way it's turning out so far. I'm kind of at a stand-still until her new bridle comes. I need to shape the base piece to her head, but can't do that until I have a bridle to attach it to. Once the base piece is shaped to her face, then I can move forward with priming and painting all the pieces and then I can assemble it. I'm incredibly excited to get this on her for a preview.

There will still be some cutting and fine-tuning that needs to be done once it's assembled, but I think it's going to look awesome.


Allenspark Lodge said...

It's coming along very nicely. I keep thinking those two slats are eye holes, but they are not. Weird seeing it NOT on the horse. It's exciting to watch.
Bionic Cowgirl

Linda said...

You’re doing awesome! Very creative!

Shirley said...

I thought the same thing about eyeholes. But then the horse couldn't see!

GunDiva said...

Even though I'm the one building this silly thing, I still think those are eye holes. It's going to look pretty badass once I get it attached to her bridle and her forelock braided.