Without a doubt my favorite 1:6th Horse is the Marx Horse. I am not alone in this opinion, I know that CK2, Fubar IV and Okimbored would all agree with me. For the money, Thunderbolt has the best detail and the size seems to be just about perfect for most 1:6th figures. In comparison the DID horse looks like a Chia Pet and the Dragon horse looks like a very large draft animal.
There was more than one version of the Marx horse, but a couple stand out in my mind; the tradition Thunderbolt (seen above) and what I call “the bobble-head horse” (seen below). This was actually a pretty cool design for the time as it allowed some interesting poses of the head. I have only been able to get my hands on one of these so far.
As I began to do Civil War and Western figures, I began to realize that I would need some saddles and tack for my herd. Best of the West saddles wouldn’t cut it for Civil War and besides there weren’t enough of them to go around anyway. I began to do a little searching online and found a place that made a large variety of custom saddles;
As you can see from the picture above, there is no doubt that Ben does some beautiful work, but he also charges a fairly hefty price and I knew I would never be able to afford the quantity of saddles that I required if I had to buy custom pieces.
I determined that I could probably make a pattern based on Ben’s confederate saddle design shown above and make my own custom saddles. Actually, what I initially drew out was pretty close to the pattern I actually used to make my saddles. I found some suitable leather and picked up some leather glue at Tandy Leather and began the process of putting together my first saddle. It was time consuming, but actually much easier than I thought it would be. Once I knew that it would work, I began to pass out the pattern to others with a similar interest.
Fubar IV especially got into saddle making and quickly began to experiment with the basic pattern, changing it just slightly to make an all leather McClellan saddle. Yes, I know, a McClellan isn’t all leather, but you can fake a McClellan without actually having to have a saddle tree.
Take a look at what Fubar has done and I would think you would agree that it looks pretty good.
Here is another saddle that Fubar IV put together based on the original pattern, It looks real sharp. He found a way of stamping out the little brass fitting in the back of the seat and I have got to tell you, they add tremendously to the saddle. I have them on all my saddles now and it really makes them look sharp.
Below is an instruction sheet that I put together to send with the pattern when people asked for it. It is not to scale, but it gives you a really good idea of the various parts and the steps required. Anyone who is interested can get more info from me through this website.
As we perfected the design, we began to make additions such as rifle scabbards and working saddle bags, etc. Rio Rondo sells two or three different 1:6th bits, but I just copied one of their designs and made my own bits out of styrene and brass. You have to be careful with them, but they look about as good as theirs and the don’t cost anything. I told you all before that I am cheap.
Well, that is it for Horses and Saddles at this time. Hope it has provided some useful information for someone. Until next time, have a good one!