Saturday, August 06, 2011

Horse Bridle and Wear Tests

I've spent the past two weeks letting people examine the horse in person. So far, it's holding up well. No visible signs of damage to the hull, and minimal wear. Only issue so far is a sheared wire attachment support in the neck which was quickly repaired. Survived some handling by some children. Only problems presented so far is the potential for solar radiation discoloring the hide. I'll need a phase-out plan for the horse when it reaches that stage. Until then, I've taken precaution to limit the amount of sunlight exposure on the horse.

One of the current ideas is to add horse armor, or at the minimum, a saddle and stirrups. However, I did end up needing to make a bridle for the horse. After examination of how a bridle was constructed, I had a small problem: my horse has no mouth to put the mouthpiece in. X-acto knife to the rescue!

 First, some reinforcement parts were added to the mouth, which also helped define the mouth region. Afterwards, I added a slot along the mouth line, about 1mm thick, to allow for a paper clip to slide through. The cut surfaces were coated with loc-tite glue to help control material wear and to seal the edges to the effects of water. Of course, this does render my original horse head template semi obsolete as it does not account for a mouth slot.

The bridle was built with the following (use at your own risk):

You'll need some paper clips or wire, and some needle nose pliers to form the mouthpiece. It'll also require an array of belt buckles, last covered in a previous post

Strap width is whatever you find handy. I ended up with 4-5mm thick ribbon to use. The original plan was to use fake leather from salvaged wallets, but the length was too short. I ended up using the same method from Aelia's armor straps and laminating two strips of brown ribbon together using fabric glue. Fabric glue holds fairly well compared to hot glue, and there's low potential of delamination due to high temperature. The result is a low cost and fairly stiff set of straps, adjustable for all your equestrian needs. Some sewing was required to hold the straps in the right directions. I wasn't going to trust glue to do the whole job.

For the low price of $2 for brown ribbon and $4 for glue, it's not a bad result. Especially considering it's adjustable and doesn't look horribly off, and I know very little about the actual construction. Looks acceptable to the untrained eye and that's all that matters for me.

Now with some reins, we can properly ride the horse! The horse has always been meant for Aelia to use. She's gotten few presents the past two years, and now she gets the biggest of them all, despite never having a horse in Valkyrie Profile. I always liked the idea of a mounted lancer, especially after playing Mount and Blade: Warband. Now I can terrorize the countryside and impale at leisure.