Rio Rondo Enterprises Bijoux Series
Parts 2017


Parts for small-scale models such as:
Paddock Pals/Little Bits – Pebbles – Schleich – CollectA – Safari Ltd
some resins and others

Main Page Slotted Rings Saddle Deco Deco "Rails" Misc Items

June 12, 2019:
We've gotten more pictures showing the new parts in relation to models, as well as added photos of the "Deco Rails". Please check out the links above to additional pages!

Note Added: (June 9, 2017):
The larger of the two scales people are most interested in (brands noted above) is usually claimed to be 1:18 scale. The range actually runs a bit closer to 1:18-1:22, more or less.
"Stablemate" scale ranges from 1:29-1:34. Most of our development will concentrate on the larger of these two scales, because the smaller the item, the more problematic and limited it is to produce.

The reason the scales are actually ranges and may be of some question, is because unlike a car, which has specific measurements, horses come in a variety of heights in life. The only way to make a scale consistent is to determine ONE particular model as "the standard". For example, if you consider generic "Poco Dinko" model to be 15hh, then he would need to be 3.3" tall *at the withers* to represent 1:18 scale for a 15hh horse. It is my understanding that the "CollectA" brand of models is most faithful to scale within its own line across various molds and breeds.

Because horses come in all sizes, and a lot of hardware varies as well, somewhat, from brand to brand, there is a certain amount of "wiggle-room" when it comes to this. So even if a model isn't "perfectly" of a particular scale, or a specific hardware item isn't, the two together may well be "close enough" in terms of real life, to be "within range".

At present, we are gathering up a smattering of molds, and we will be working with two basic aspects:
...regardless of what actual "mathematical" scale they come out to. If we go strictly by scale alone, some parts will not be possible, and may look over- or under-sized. This is likely anyway, but we're going to try to fit the middleground. If there are particular molds that are favorites for showing with tack, please do get in touch to let us know, so we can use them for reference and development.

While we haven't made a lot of progress on these parts, we are starting to get moving on them.

One of the main issues, is that the smaller the scale, the more likely the part will look "fat" and even klunky or out of scale, depending on the part. While it is true there are some things we CAN make, that doesn't mean they'll look good or work as expected or desired.

For the most part, the 1:18 scale (models about twice as large as stablemates) offer a lot of possibilities, far more than sizes closer to Stablemates proper.


Slotted Ring Tests
Bijoux Slotted Rings


You can see the two small sizes of slotted rings we tested. The smaller of the two on the right is the smallest we can go. The images there show the slotted rings from both sides. Technically both sides should be alike, but in actual production, this is rarely so. In the case of these small parts, you can see where turning the parts over can yield what appears to be a "thinner" part even though they will actually measure the same.

The smallest ones actually are somewhat large and clunky for SM scale, but seem tolerable on the larger 1:18 models.

Quite frankly, I have no idea what tackmakers choose to use for straps for halters... although it is possible to skive leather to be thin enough, thread is an option as well as graphic tape and other types of materials, including fine ribbon.

The "slots" can be made narrower... which would make them smaller and a little more "true to form" in their overall look... however, the narrower those slots are made, the more limited the options are for what you can lace through them. This may be an issue for beginner tackmakers or kids, but likely not a roadblock for seasoned artisans.

That said, I would appreciate any feedback you have on this item...whether or not you may be interested and if you do make tack for these small scales, what is the thickness of material you like to use?
sales @ riorondo.com (remove the spaces for proper email address format).

Slotted Ring Tests
Rack Strips


This is a simulated mock-up of the styles we worked on. We actually had a few tests made, and handed a few out as samples... but for some reason, didn't get any actual photos! So, I'm putting up this diagram to illustrate (until I can have a chance to get some photos taken).

These strips are designed to have a repeating pattern on them and would be produced in strips 1-2" long, or so. As small as they are (in actuality they range from about 1/32" to 1/16" wide, or 1.5-3mm) there's no point to have borders or edges to them. As such, they can be cut into the length you need, and affixed to halters, bridles, saddle parts, costumes and wherever else you need a fine strip of bling.

These are roughly similar to the "beaded sections" we did photo last year. Given the sizes and possible uses, they can be used on tack of almost any scale.

If you are interested in these "deco strips" (for lack of a better term) please do let us know at our customary email address.
Small-Scale Bits

Bijoux Deco Bit

Bijoux Salinas Bit


These two bits (there was a third, but we hadn't worked any further on it) came from a second round of testing. Overall, the size is very nice for the 1:18 scale items, but a bit oversized for SM scale.See photos here.

Our assessment of these parts is that the rein and headstall loops can be made a little thinner, so that they don't look so bulky. SM size is possible, by making the loops a little smaller (as well as the holes) and the body of the bit shorter. They still might look a little clunky at that scale, but certainly wouldn't be any worse than shown in the photo.

I should note that the "slot" on the Salinas bit, is not a slot, just an etched groove. It is not possible to get an actual slot in there, as the slot would just be a big open oval, and the bit would have to be made about 50% wider to fit it. (Which would make the bit look entirely wrong).

We have not determined what bits we will go into production with as yet... we are considering a smattering of western styles and a couple english basics. If you are interested in this part, I have a few questions:


Please contact us if you have any suggestions or ideas.
Bijoux Stirrups

Bijoux Large Stirrup

Bijoux Stirrup


These stirrups were part of our original tests last year. We have since had a few come in on later production runs in which the etching quality was better and consistent from end to end.

These stirrups are designed to be bent into a stirrup shape, and a stickpin inserted through the holes at the top to form the bar that the fender straps go around.

Based on these tests, the width of the stirrups will need to be a little wider to assure there's enough room for a suitable hole, and enough material around the hole so that they don't break easily there. We can craft a small selection of styles or designs, as well as plain ones.

Please let us know if these stirrups are parts you would be interested in.
Corner Plates

Bijoux Large Stirrup


These are a more recent incarnation of the original small plates test we did last year. Four sizes are featured and all of them can work in various locations on a 1:18 scale saddle. The two smaller sizes are acceptable for SM scale. Like our full-sized saddle plates, we probably will offer them as a mixed-size set. The only question is, how many of each size in a set?

I anticipate looking at 3 different design motifs. The one shown in the picture is just the one we selected for testing. If this style is one of the 3 you would like to have, when available, please let us know. If you have any suggestions for a style or motif, do get in touch.


Other Items and Ideas
Based on the various tests we've done so far, we're pretty sure we can add a few things to the mix. As far as decorated items go we can do a few solid breastcollar center plates, saddle rigging dees and cinch rings, a deco heel bar buckle or two (conway-style buckles are still up in the air), horn cap, cantle, pommel plates. These items would likely work out for 1:18 scale. Options are quite limited for SM scale though.

We've gotten a number of inquiries over the past year on some items and whether or not they'd ever be produced in small scales and here's a few I remember:
  • 1:18/SM scale arab charms? – not happening
  • Small scale baroque deco? – nope
  • Concho Beads? – they can't go much smaller than they already are and still fit a stick pin, so... no
  • Smaller than SM scale? – no no no


So there you have it, on where things are at with the small items. These things do take quite some time to develop (especially decorated pieces) and there's only so much time available to attend to things. Of course, if you are in the market for these little Bijoux items, please do let me know. If you have any ideas or suggestions for specific things, please get in touch. Customer input does help us design the parts as best we can to suit your needs.

--Carol