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December 24, 2017:
We've done a few more tests since the previous update (see below), with a few additional or altered items.
It's probably worth noting here that as we finalize various designs and specs, some of the items currently in-stock may change sometime next year, to reflect the finalized versions. Some of the changes won't be very noticeable, but some could change a lot (such as the "Atwood" bit below....)
Here, I've done a little work on an alternate "Atwood" theme bit to go with the other items. This one is a bit fragile, but I like the overall look, and will "beef it up" a bit.
Here are the final tests on the "plain" buckles. They have a bit different dimensions than the original tests. The one on the left will fit .6" material-- which would be a "scant" 1/16 or slightly less than that. The middle buckles fit .05" material, and the smallest ones .032" (such as 1/16" split).
Here's the concept tests for some really tiny deco buckles, to go with the main design themes. The larger ones are .05" and the smaller are .032 (inner widths). While they may technically be considered "bijoux" type scale, such small, fine buckles can also be used for some larger scale items where a very small buckle might be desired.
A couple of keepers and tips are also shown.
Want to see some of these parts in action?
Carrie Sloan Meyer was kind enough to use a number of the test parts on a set displayed on a Stone "Pebbles" body.
Here you can see a good size comparison between a Traditional-Scale model (1:9) and a Pebbles, or what we call "Bijoux" scale (1:18).
Close-up picture showing the corner plates in use, and the cantle plates. Looks like we may need to do a little adjustment of the curvature on the cantle plates.
This picture shows the full saddle, including the stirrup.
Overhead View, showing the 3-piece cantle set arrangement.
The bridle here features one of the bits, one of the little deco buckles, and an earpiece. You can also see the shape of the stirrup (once it has been formed into shape) better.
Nice closeup of the bridle details.
December 10, 2017:
At long last, we have a good selection of "Bijoux" (small-scale) items in stock. The best place to see what is available now, is to check out the page:
Bijoux Hardware Page
You gotta admit, those look darling!
Between the first tests of a few items, and now, a number of things were fixed, that were fails or nearly fails originally. Most notably, the stirrups were "beefed up" a bit so that the pinholes would not be so fragile. Check this out:
SM-scale stirrup bent to shape, fastened with a stick pin, and 3/32" Lace attached.
English Stirrup TestHere's some photos of the recent english stirrup test (Bijoux/1:10 scale).
This is assembled by gluing the "tread plate" to the ends of the upper portion. Super-glue was used.
Stirrup shown on 1/16" strap.
You can see a little glue on the underside. We learned it seems best if you wait 24 hours before messing with it (just to be sure!)
That's a standard popsickle stick-- for scale reference.
This is how the came on the tests. This being the most cost effective way... although I'm not fond of the "tab" to be removed from the inside curve, it's not that much of an issue if you have a small round needle file.
Shows the scale in reference to a standard penny.
They really look cute. We're not sure we can get them down to proper SM scale though, although we could make some a little bit smaller. More tests are needed, but this version seems pretty decent. These can also be made in gold color.
Tiny Dee RingsWe tested some tiny dees. I knew we could do the dees, but could they be decorated to fit the other themes? Well, there's a little bit of room for decoration.
The approximate sizes are marked. 1/8 would seem to be a useful size for little cinches/riggings, as well as 3/32 on the smaller ones. The smallest size is approximate, and may actually be more like 3/64 in this test.
I did alter the shape to be a little square on the ends, which will better accommodate straps to nest a little lower in the ring.
After reviewing this test, we're considering 2 sizes below the 1/16. These can be used for riggings and cinches as noted, as well as saddle dees, breastcollars, and even heel-bar buckles.
Dees like this are not really scale-specific, so they can easily be used for trad items where you want super-fine hardware. If you need "Plain" rings, just turn them over....
Tiny BucklesGary worked on getting these as small as reasonably possible. I worked on seeing if they could be decorated. Yes, they can be decorated (some) but that's one of many revisions in progress at this time.
The largest buckles in the pic are 1/16". The smallest is somewhere around 1/32" (width of the strap). You'll need extreme skiving skills to get leather to work with these buckles, but you are already skilled, right?
To a large degree, buckles are not necessarily "scale-specific", and some of these finer buckles can certainly find a place where extra-fine hardware is needed on larger scales.
This test concentrates on decorative buckles. I'd say it's about 50% fail... primarily in terms of the decoration. The photos actually show a lot more than you can see with the naked eye, but I'd like what's there to be a little more distinctive. Tips and keeper-covers were included, of 3 designs, but beyond the shape, it's not easy to ascertain the different designs in this test.
I do think this can be fixed.
The question is, who out there is insane enough attempt to use the tips and keeper-covers?
The size on these buckles would be somewhere between 1/16 and 1/32.
Gary had some space, and cobbled up some of these strips. He figured someone could make a mini halter out of the parts. The tiny hooks are about the same size as those found on our large-size "DB3xx" buckle sheets.
Breastcollar CentersIn the interest of filling out the deco options to go with the western bits and plates, we worked on some centerplates.
On the top row, we have a number of rings. They are of a size to use as a breastcollar center ring. The one on the upper left, is based on the "Riley" bit design, and thus called a "Riley Ring". (It also made its way into a decorated tiny western snaffle, as shown on the main Bijoux page.)
On the bottom row, are some centers with loops, a triangular plate and a sample of the little "Half Cheek Snaffle" bit shanks.
A closer sample of one of the center plates.
One Ear PlatesOne Ear plates are a conspicuously missing part in our line-up, for all scales. This is particularly egregious, since one and two-ear styled bridles are everywhere in the show ring. Well, we've been working on that issue.
These might not look like much (and they are really small... about .03 of an inch wide... but they really do work. We have yet to get photos of one "in action" on a small-scale model... but we didn't waste the opportunity to also try it out for trad scale. You can see the pictures here:
Trad One-Ear Info
As with the other small items, not all of the deco came out as intended, so that is being worked on at this time. The buckles shown in the pic, are the largest of the three "bijoux" buckles noted above.
Cantle & Gullet PlatesSome people have wanted a cantle plate that covers the entire cantle. This is hard to do when people might be using all kinds of trees and patterns, and more than likely a cantle won't fit some or even a lot of them properly. There's also an issue with gullet plates. Well, I think we've got a few things ironed out on this.
Here's a set of Gullet plates, based on a test for Trad scale we did last year. It seems the top plate with the cutout for the horn may work, and probably is more likely if it is split in two (and perhaps use a concho, or crystal over the gap.) That would allow it to be adjusted for length, angle and so forth.
Probably at Bijoux and SM scales, the lower plate (intended for the underside of the gullet area) will be difficult to deal with, and I don't think it would be worth the hassle to produce.
Using that idea, this is the cantle plate set we came up with, based on the same idea. With this configuration, it's possible vary the length just by putting the side pieces (wings) closer together and spanning the gap with the center plate. The "wings" can also be angled as needed to adapt for varying curvatures. It may not be perfect in all cases, but it should get close to fitting the bill.
The only remaining questions are whether or not the existing tests are a good length that will work, the curvature is adequate, and the width is ok. Probably the set will only contain one center element.
And, here's another one. (The third one of the set was sent out for testing, but we hope to get a few more in shortly).
We tested the decorative "rails" again (intended to be used for halters, bridles, etc.) and as with the one-ear plates and some items, we need to work on the deco to make sure it stands out enough. Those designs are being finalized and we should have something to show for it soon.
Most of our work over the next 2-3 months will revolve around refining what we've done. What we have available to purchase now may change, as we replace old tooling with new. There likely will be some subtle changes to some dimensions, as well as decoration. Once we go into full production (April or May 2018), the revised parts will replace the original offerings and there may be changes to product specs and pricing if necessary.
We will be "filling out" the english bits, to include a couple of driving bits and a kimberwicke. Work will begin shortly to see about getting smaller versions of the bits that we can that will be more suitable to the SM scale. I'm thinking that we're not going to be able to produce all of them in the smaller size, but we'll do the ones that we can.
As always, we do rely on customer input, so let us know what you think.
Don't forget to take a look at what's going on with some new Traditional-Scale ideas!
Trad Scale Items