Part 1: Building the Horse

[kit boxart image]

MSRP: $32.00
Kit Supplied by Dragon Models: www.dragonmodelsusa

Since I am a big fan of building and painting Napoleonic figures I was thrilled to receive this offering from MiniArt for review. Upon opening the box I found two sprues molded in light grey plastic. I also noticed that the parts were very finely molded. In the past other manufacturers tried to pantograph up from a small scale into a 1/16 (120mm) scale with poor results with regard to fine details. Not the case with this kit.

I began with the assembly of the horse. It consisted of two body halves, two head halves, two ears, the hair between the ears, the mane and the tail. In my sample the horse halves were warped and much filling was required to get it to look right. The head was a little better and the rest of the horse parts went together well. The hair between the ears did not extend far enough down the forehead so I used an epoxy putty to make more hair and scribed it to fit properly.

Once the horse was assembled, I mounted it on a block of wood and then primed it with automotive grey primer. This is a lot cheaper than using a modeling primer and does an even better job. This primer showed some spots that needed more filler and after that was done and primed, I was ready to paint.

I painted the whole horse with Vallejo and Andrea acrylics in the color I wished to paint the horse. I let this dry for a day and then I was ready to paint with my oils. I use Windsor and Newton oil paints as they have a finer pigment than many other oils. They are a little more expensive but worth the price.

For the horse I used Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Naples Yellow, Black and Indian Red. I added the Naples Yellow to the base color of Burnt Sienna to bring out the highlights and Burnt Umber was used for the shadow tones in the muscles. I feathered the colors for a smoother transition between the highlights, base color and the shadows. I mixed the black with the Burnt Umber for the nose of the horse.

Overall I was very pleased with the way the horse turned out. I would recommend this piece to experienced builders and I will say I was disappointed with the fit of the horse. I hope that the warped body halves were just a fluke. In my next installment, I'll build the Dragoon and finalize the figure and take pictures of the finished kit.

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Part 2

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