Tag Archives: miniature saddlery

For Queer Wrath Month, a custom steed for my trans action figures!

Purple Queer Wrath Month Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 My custom trans action figure Cherie and her girlfriend Edwina needed a fierce steed for LGTBTQ+ Wrath Month!

I saw this He-Man Masters of the Universe Panthor figure on sale this spring. I knew she was perfect for my traditional Pride Month mixed media project.

Or for Gay Wrath Month!

In Germany and much of Europe Pride Month is actually July, but there’s no reason we can’t combine Pride and Wrath!

Purple Queer Wrath Month Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022After all, combining Pride and Wrath is where it all began.

It’s Christopher Street Day weekend in Berlin, and the streets and clubs are full of people.

Purple Queer Wrath Month Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022I can’t go out and join them. So this is the parade in our house!

Although disability access for CSD Berlin and disabled pride contingents are increasing! And lots of orgs had beautiful graphics showing wheelchair users this year ūüôā

Masters of the Universe Panthor Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 faceupCustomizing the Battle Tiger was fairly easy.

I wiped down her face with alcohol to remove mold release and hand oils. I sculpted new, larger ears with my beloved Apoxie-Sculpt. The ears cured overnight, then I painted her face with artists’ acrylic to emphasize her features.

A few dark washes followed by different hues of drybrushing really made the sculpt shine. Extra pink to add dimension to her tongue, red inside nostrils, and painting white what Jorts the Cat calls the “secret teeth” helped too. I painted the Black Trans Pride flag colors on the tiger’s tail.

Purple Queer Wrath Month Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 I also added highlights and lowlights to her ruff and shoulders, to integrate the head sculpt paint job with her body.

Finally I varnished the paint job with DecoArt DuraClear gloss acrylic polyurethane and added a dome of clear gloss over her eyes, tongue and inner nostrils with UV resin. Just like I did with my Snow Queen’s reindeer! Purple Queer Wrath Month Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 boopI would note that the gloss polyurethane is a little shinier than the toy’s finish, but Mod Podge matte would have been a little duller.

It shows up more in photos than IRL. Kinda have to choose your poison with these materials.

MOTU Battle Tiger miniature fantasy saddle custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022The embellished saddle and saddle blanket were the real work.

I had to carve out the saddle’s sides first, because Cherie doesn’t have sideways legs articulation and she’s wearing a skirt. I did that with an old pair of cuticle nippers, a great tool for cutting toy plastic, then filed.

I smoothed the cut areas with Apoxie Sculpt. Once it cured, I sprayed the whole saddle down with alcohol to degrease, then wiped it down and painted the areas I planned to duochrome black.

MOTU Origins Panthor Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 saddle After that I applied the UV resin nail base, a clear base that hardens to tacky under the LED nail lamp.

I rubbed the duochrome powder on with a brush, which was pretty and messy. It clings neatly to the base, and brushing away the excess powder to see a shining surface is not unlike working with gold or silver leaf. After burnishing the powder, I painted on a layer of gloss top coat and cured it under the UV LED lamp. Amazing results! Soooo shiny!

Masters of the Universe Battle Tiger custom for trans action figures by Suzanne Forbes July 22 2022 saddleOnce the duochrome effects were done, I added gradient pearls and DMC crystals in AB Jet and AB Siam.

The saddle’s seat had to be raised for Cherie, so I used two layers of double thickness felt, beveled into shape. I covered it with one of the very, very last scraps of my beloved changeant blue-purple velvet bought at that great art supply store on Haight St. in 1999.

Then iridescent vinyl knee pads and pommel and cantle effects. Plus lots of miniature picot trim from The Dolls House Draper! For the saddle blanket, I pulled out every random scrap of purple ribbon I’d ever saved, and was thrilled at how I managed to get the colors to work together with the Black Trans Pride flag on the tiger’s tail.

MOTU Origins Panthor before Queer As Fuck customization

So much work, and I’m so proud of the results!

Incredible gratitude to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to continue making Queer As Fuck art as a  disabled artist.

Previous Trans Pride and CSD Berlin toy art projects:

GodXXX Noirphiles Trans Magic Barbie for Dollicious Life Mochallenge!

Trans pride and power: action figures and stuffed trans mermaid doll!

Christopher Street Day in Berlin: miniature rainbow ice cream party collab with Littlest Sweet Shop!

Trans Dino-Witch, a vision of protection and safety for trans folx.

Bug bricolage roundup for June!

grasshopper bricolage carriage and shadow box by Suzanne Forbes May 2017I’ve been working on several bug bricolage projects this month. Here are two finished ones!

grasshopper bricolage carriage harness Suzanne Forbes May 2017The copper paperart cricket seen here was a birthday gift in my forties from the incredible artist and sculptor Aimee Baldwin. I made him this carriage to ride in out of a gilt carriage I got on eBay. Then I made a harness for a metal grasshopper I ordered from some online discounter.

I had this vision before we left the US of an insect-based version of the classic¬†Golden Jubilee or coronation coach models. In my mind’s eye I saw it in our new home, one of the lamps that guided me through the terrors and trials of the move.Pall Mall GOldsmiths State Coach model

I don’t know why it felt so important to me to make this weird thing; I never do.

grasshopper bricolage carriage left side Suzanne Forbes May 2017 I had a lot of miniature horse saddlery supplies and thin metallic leather left over from my Snow Queen project.

I had little buckles, silver leather straps and silver cord. It could not go to waste! I covered the side panels of the coach, which were white, with a variety of fine silver leathers and cording trim. Silver rhinestuds added detail. I used antique silver color filigree jewelry findings to tip the ends of the carriage shafts so they fit the grasshopper better. (They still look a little dark, Imma brush them with silver paint to blend them in better just took my silver Sharpie and fixed ’em.)

grasshopper bricolage carriage left side Suzanne Forbes May 2017 I made a little silver leather seat pillow with cord trim and scrapbooking brads for the upholstery button-tufting, and filled it with microbeads which work better than any fluffy filling on dollhouse or mini scale.

I made the harness out of silver leather straps. Some of them were silver on the tops but white on the sides, so I colored the sides with a fine-point silver Sharpie. It worked great!

When you have all your tools readily to hand it’s so easy to take care of the details!grasshopper bricolage carriage med

The new jewel bug shadowbox is lined with green dragonfly brocade scraps left over from a corset made years ago by Mina LaFleur.

Like my incredible dressmaker and costumier Monique Motil, Mina always thoughtfully returns all scraps of fabric from a project.jewelled insect shadowbox by Suzanne Forbes June 2017 You never know what you might use it for!

I buy the jewelled insect brooches on eBay using a simple system: they have to have free shipping and I will bid up to $2.00. If the bidding goes over $2, too bad. So it takes a while to accumulate a batch for a shadow box but after all it’s not like I’m in a hurry.

I’m working on slowly increasing the pink accents in the Gothic Rococo salon, so I searched specifically for pink bug brooches this time.

jewelled insect shadowbox by Suzanne Forbes June 2017

If the bug brooch arrives with any colors that don’t coordinate well, I tint the enamel or rhinestones with a colored Sharpie. Since they’re going to be in a box, it won’t rub off. I turned white areas pink and yellows to pale green for this one.

To attach the backing fabric to the board in the shadowbox I use UHU “Extra Allekleber”, my Germany dupe for my beloved Quik Grip (formerly Quik Grab). It’s an excellent adhesive for fabric to fabric or fabric to anything; it really lets you stretch and shape your fabric to a surface.

The brocade was wrinkled from years of storage but I didn’t bother to press it, just stretched it taut with my UHU. To attach the bugs to the backing board I always use a glue gun. I make little balls of tin foil and attach them to the backs of the bug pins to keep them level. They hide neatly behind wings and keep the brooches stable.

Then I glue on the bugs and there it is, a new vegan jewelled insect shadow box!