Newcomers to the world of artist resin model horses are sometimes shocked to receive their copy of a "holy grail" resin. The pristine white cast portrayed on the artist or company website isn't in the box. Instead, the cast the collector receives has ugly bits of metal showing on the legs, and sometimes the tail. Is the model defective in some way?
|The Amirah artist resin sculpted by Cathy Bercier Choyce. This is a good example of a resin where wires tend to show in the legs - the Arabian has very thin legs. It's not a flaw or a mistake. It's for durability and support.|
Those ugly bits of metal are actually important support "beams" showing from the infrastructure of the resin casting. If you've ever looked closely at a horse - I mean really closely, not taking the image of the horse for granted - you may notice that horses balance a great deal of body weight over relatively fragile leg bones. Horse models are no different, and artist resin model horses, especially solid casts and larger models in Traditional scale, balance a great deal of resin weight over fragile legs. Tails that extend away from the body or in an artist flourish over the horse's back may also need reinforcement so that they do not break during shipping or handling.
Better quality resins, even rotational-cast resins which are cast on a machine that creates a hollow space within the barrel to lighten the weight of the final model, almost always have wires inserted into the legs to provide extra support for the piece. If wires aren't use, the legs can bend over time. That's what's happening to my beloved Black Horse Ranch Thoroughbred weanling artist resin, produced in 1990 - here he is, and if you look carefully, you can see some ugly bending starting in the legs, especially the front left leg. It's bending inwards more than it should under the weight of the solid piece:
Most prepping artists and model horse collectors simply sand down the areas near the wires. If the area is particularly bumpy, fillers can be used to smooth the area.
Wires showing on raw cast artist resin model horses are normal and pretty typical within the hobby. It's certainly not unusual. If you love artist resin horse models, you'll appreciate the support and longevity they add to your prized work of art.
For more on prepping model horses, Feldman Studios has a good instructional sheet online.