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Toy Soldier Collector The cowgirl May 2013   TSC 52
The cowgirl
May 2013 TSC 52
Giles Brown, of Dorset Soldiers, tells us how he created a cowgirl figure from some figures originally bought as scrap

The origins for my cowgirl figure were in a box of scrap figures bought from a dealer and intended for the melting pot. Someone said 'well you will never make anything of that', referring the back end of a Johilco cowboy horse.

Now, I like a challenge, so I rooted around in the box and found the top half of a Crescent land girl, and could immediately see the possibilities. A plucky rancher's daughter from a typical 1940's film, especially the hair-do!

Unfortunately there was no front half for the horse, so I took the front of a horse from my P range of horse castings. The tail came from list K and the other two horse legs from my spare horse leg box.

I removed some of the metal from the horse front by melting it with a 40 watt soldering iron. I could have used a saw but it was quicker with the iron as I could melt and then fit up to the cowboy horse, and then melt again till I got to the shape I wanted.

I used a 25 watt iron to solder the two halves of the horse together, I then soldered the legs on to the back of the horse. I tack soldered the girl's torso to the cowboy trousers a couple of times till I found the best position for it.

After tack soldering I continued soldering the torso to the legs. The left arm was partially cut and bent in to hold the reigns and then soldered in to place. A hand was formed for the right arm, holes were drilled in both hands and a wire lasso glued in to place. The horse tail was also soldered on at this time.

I used Milliput to tidy up between the horse halves, smooth out around the girl's waist and give her a belt.

All of the work done with the soldering iron could have been done with drilling and pinning but soldering is quicker, neater and more secure in my opinion. I would urge people to try soldering on some scrap metal while they learn the method by trial and error. Once mastered it gives much more flexibility to your mending and converting.

The cowgirl was painted with gloss acrylic paint, as far as it was practical, following the colours on the original castings. I did give her a bow tie, instead of a straight tie, as this was more in keeping with her new role I thought.

Now all I need is a steer for her to rope while a tall, handsome stranger looks on with (concealed) admiration....

1) The back end of the Johilco cowboy horse and top half of the Crescent land girl
2) The girl's torso tack soldered o the cowboy trousers, a process repeated a couple of times until the best position was achieved
3) With lasso and horse tail in place
4) Milliput was used to smooth out the girl's waist and give her a belt
5) The completed cowgirl painted with gloss acrylics, and note the rather fetching bowtie!


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