Saturday, December 04, 2021

What's In A Name - Personality Collection Eleven (2018)

Personality Collection Eleven was my second collection and was released in 2018. 

Producing this collection was a little less fraught than the first. Instead of trying to make thirty models in each colour, I scaled it back to ten of each. I switched from enamel to latex paint, which was easier to source, store, mix, spray, and clean. Since the viscose worked out so well with P10, I decided to stick with it and ditch the nylon completely. Lastly, I went with the closed-shell production method which meant the models were all glued together before painting, which made life so much easier. 

 Unlike the previous and subsequent collections, there was no naming theme for this one. 



Rip Rap is a flaxen chestnut Hunter with Bend-Or spots. These dark spots are most commonly found on chestnut horses and can range in size and contrast. It is not yet known exactly what causes these markings. Rip's name comes from the theme song from Come Dine With Me - there's a part where the music makes a kind of "rip rap" sound: do do do rip rap. Listen for it sometime.



Costly Colours is a black dun frame Arabian with frosted black mane and tail. Each model had different markings. Her name was inspired by a card game which played a role in the historical novel, Precious Bane by Mary Webb. I highly recommend giving it a read. 




Finally we have Orion, who was originally envisioned as a buckskin snowflake appaloosa, but I chickened out and went with a rabicano pattern instead. His constellation name would have made more sense if I had stuck with the appaloosa plan.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

What's In A Name - Personality Collection Ten (2017)

 Personality Collection Ten was released in 2017 and was the first collection released by myself as the new owner of Magpie. The colours were fairly simple as I was still coming to grips with the airbrush and enamel paint.

With this first collection, I stuck to the instructions provided in the big Magpie binders written by Emma Kelley, the first owner of Magpie. The models were painted with Humbrol enamels and sprayed in two halves. They were then detailed, haired and finally, assembled - a hair-raising process as any excess glue would take the paint right off. 

Half of the models were haired with nylon wigging (hair sewn into strips and pre-cut to length) and half with viscose, which was much easier to work with and became the standard for later releases.

The models in the P10 collection all had names relating to Angus county.

Ghost of Glamis is named for the spooks of Glamis castle, which is just down the road from Mapie headquarters and features more than a few ghostly inmates. 

Lunan Bey, acutally Lunan Bay - I changed the spelling as a play on the word commonly found in Arabian horse names - is a beautiful spot down on the coast, between Montrose and Arbroath. It features a gorgeous sand beach with cliffs, a small river, lots of tumbled beach stones, and even a crumbling castle tower. 

Kirriemuir Skirlie and Neep are named after some of my favourite Scottish side dishes. Skirlie is a kind of savory toasted oatmeal, like grainy stuffing, and neeps are turnips - I like mine mashed or roasted, though there's a Chinese restaurant in Dundee which has these amazing turnip mouse cubes on their Dim Sum menu. (Can you tell I'm hungry?) And of course, the prefix Kirriemuir comes from the name of the town in which we live.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Announcing Personality Collection Fourteen

Does anyone have any guesses as to the naming theme of this year's Personality Collection? 


 Personality Collection Fourteen goes on sale through our Forum, A Chatter of Magpies, on Sunday, September 26th!

  • Giggleswick, the black roan tobiano at 12, noon
  • Dauntless, the dappled chestnut Arabian at 12:10 pm
  • Mallard, a chestnut dun Fjord on the Welsh Pony mold at 12:20 pm

All times are UK times (Google "what time is it in Scotland).

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

What's In a Name - Personality Collections Ten - Thirteen

With the upcoming release of Personality Collection Fourteen, I thought it would be fun to revisit the previous collections. If you've met me you know that besides making terrible puns and painful dad-jokes, I love a theme. With that in mind, would anyone care to have a guess in the comment section at the themes of Personality Collections 10 - 13?

Personality Collection Ten: Ghost of Glamis, Lunan Bey, Kirriemuir Skirlie & Neep

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Flashback to the Studio - 2017

While waiting until it was time to upload the web files for the Personality Collection Thirteen release, I decided it was probably time to organize and clean out the Magpie files since the last time it was done was, uh, never.

It turns out I've taken a good few studio pictures over the years and I thought it might be fun to select a handful from each year and share them here.

The first year was especially rough. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I was trying to follow the production instructions I found in the Magpie files as closely as possible. That meant I was using enamel paint, which is incredibly sticky and a nightmare to clean up, and was painting the shells before gluing them together, which makes for a whole range of challenges. To paint the models, I would use blue tack on their inner pegs to hold them together (which didn't always hold if the weather stayed warm) and blue tacked them to a plastic plate or acrylic sheet to hold them while I painted, which made it hard to get to the underside.

The models would be haired before gluing - after this year I vowed never to work with nylon hair again. To glue them together one had to be super careful not to let any of the glue touch the paint or the paint would just wipe off. 

Since I didn't know what interest would be or what the painting process would be like, I decided to make thirty of each model. Nothing like starting small. Over the years I've refined my process and scaled back the numbers to something I could manage mentally and physically. 

Personality Collection Ten was released on October 31st, 2017. There were no specials that year as I had spent the entire painting season on the Persies.

The Hunter Master Mold

The Welsh Pony Master Mold

The Foal Master Mold

Donkey Injection Mold

Welsh Rider Injection Mold

The first delivery of boxes

Synthetic hair types tests

Ghost of Glamis getting the first layer

Ghost of Glamis ready for detailing.

Lunan Bey getting their first two colour layers

Lunan Beys ready for detailing

Painting notes for Lunan Bey

Always wear your mask when airbrushing

Pumpkin Pie prototype, Punkin

This is why you wear a mask.
This is what I swept out of my airbrushing box after the painting season.

To protect the models from spray-back in the painting room,
the dry ones would be stored in plastic bags, which made it easier to move them, too.

Luciole, our first donation model getting haired.

Persie 10 prototypes

Persie 10 models, post-hairing,
with Punkin the Pumpkin Pie prototype

A Lunan Bey showing off our wrapping

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Hairing With Mohair - Braided Tail

 Creating a snazzy braided tail is surprisingly easy. You will need the following:

  • A strip of mohair or viscose hair swatch long enough and wide enough for a tail
  • A pipe cleaner close to the colour of the hair
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue 
  • Sewing thread to match the hair
  • Needle
  • Embroidery thread to match the hair
  • A fine-tooth comb or clean, dry toothbrush
  • Clothes pin or other strong clip

Introducing Personality Collection Thirteen!

After a bit of a delay due to the plague, Personality Thirteen is set to be released Sunday, October 18th, 2020. As usual, it consists of three models - Hunter, Arabian, Welsh Pony - in unique colours. Ten of  each model has been produced and is individually numbered and comes with a certificate of registration.