Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Akhal Teke Buckle Questions

This is supposed to be one of those short posts, suitable for a Works-in-Progress glimpse in the midst of a larger project.  Yeah, we tried this before and it wasn't that short!  Let's see what happens...

I am proud of my design of this smaller ring.  (Alas I don't even know their correct names!  Neck rings?  Neckbands?  Collars??)  It's a diminutive of the first neckband, matching and yet complete in itself.  A lot of experimentation is paying off with the jewels, which still have to be done in layers.  This shot shows the top of the neck (sort of).  Yes, they are adjustable.
 Having got here, however, a problem is revealing itself.

 How to do the buckle and strap?!  It looked like I knew what I was doing.  Heather Moreton's fabulous close-up reference photos showed tongue buckle and strap on the inside, so that's what I made.  But knowing what the full scale guys do is only half the battle.  I still have to adapt, Translate, that for the model scale:  for human fingers working around a 1:9 scale model horse, and for the horse himself.  I prefer at least an inch of strap; and not wanting to scratch the horse, I naturally set the buckle so the tongue was away from the horse. 

And suddenly the strap had no place to go.
Bad enough that I can barely get the tongue in the slits.  Bad enough the strap end is so short on the larger collar.  The smaller collar is driving me nuts.  I can't go on like this.

I can think of 2 solutions.  One is to reverse (or flop) the buckles and have the strap pass to the inside:  to be hidden inside the collar.  Tricky, bothersome, but it could be done, much as breastcollar tug straps are done.  It would mean risking scratching.

Another solution would be to switch to friction buckles.  Easier to fasten and adjust and take on and off, a huge concern with the TSII:  I build for use.  These would have much less risk of scratching.  Great idea!!  Who needs a king??  ---- umm, the nominal king we all worship, devotion to reality!?!!  Friction buckles would 'dumb down' some of the most incredibly-detailed miniature tongue-buckled tack I've ever made.

I always have this problem.
It goes to my core:  Workability, playability, durability, use-ability clashing with detail and authenticity.  So many owners today would never think of taking model tack on and off 20 horses in a day, or hanging the horse by his bridle --- my standard strength test.  Playing with it??  What's that??  Are ye crazy lass??

I guess I am.
The answer lies in finding a happy medium, a 'sweet spot,' a compromise.  If my fingers can fasten this and adjust it reasonably easily that's good enough.  Could the straps be shorter than an inch?  Could there be something over the tongues, a chafe maybe, to protect the plastic throat and mane?  Are friction buckles really so dumb?

I designed the bridle with a drawing.
Wait and see.


  1. Love watching this come to life!

  2. Love hearing about your creative process. It is really interesting to hear about the balance between functionality and realism and how you achieve it.