Friday, March 20, 2015

Tackling Cross Country - The BASEics

Hah. Hah. There are a lot of classes I haven't shown in yet, and one of them happens to be Cross Country. For some reason, most Region 2 over fences classes have one big class for hunter/jumper/cross country, or at the most hunter and jumper/cross country. However, the Big Valley Performance Show I'll be attending on the 29th has a class for each. It's scary having so many options!

I felt throwing a sidesaddle mule into a jumper class was more of a stretch, so last week I started putting together my first ever cross country base. 

It started with some poster board, newspaper, and messy paper mâché, covered by a nice grass mat base.  

I tried using only that SceneARama loose ground cover before, and it was a mess. I learned my lesson and made sure to put regular grass down first!

The water was the biggest challenge. The grass mat ended up bunching around the hot glue it was put down with, and there were little valleys and mountains that caused the fake water to pool unevenly. It took a few coats of clear, blue, clear, and then laying some already dried strips over it to get something mostly flat and covered. 

Next came my favorite part: texture!! Lots of texturing with a popsicle stick and drying later, we have foam and splashes! 

Excuse some of the weird wash out. You can't see the little hoof splashes without flash!

I then sprinkled on some of the loose grass turf to 'shade' the ground some more. With the main base done, it was time to move on to a more traditional are of tack making for me. 
The jump!

Obligatory reference picture

It started as a simple frame.

While it wasn't the most challenging, this step definitely wins the award for longest. 

It came up with Grace that even after I complained about all those shingles from the hunter jump, I decided it would be a good idea to pick another jump requiring the cutting, dying, and gluing of little individual pieces of wood.

It took ages.

Each "log" was sawed, dip dyed, and super glued in place.
To help keep away the madness, I took a break to add some bushes 

You can see the jump filling out, too

What's fun about the bushes is they're hiding the plastic stands for some trees. Haven't decided if I really like them, but the idea is I can remove the jump and have a nice natural trail base, too! 

After the jump was filled out, it got its ground lines, flags, and, of course, flowers! 

They're not glued to the jump yet, so pardon their slight bumpiness!

Can't wait to put this entry all together. Super happy with how it's come out so far!

I'm also considering painting all the sides black, just to make it look more polished. Thoughts?

And that's what I've been spending some time on! There will be lots more props updates soon as I sort through pictures I've been taking while working. Can't wait for this show!


  1. Lovely job on the base, especially the water- that looks great. Don't forget to add a jump number (in the appropriate color for the level) to your cool jump. I'd have to measure but I'd guess that's about a Training level jump (so a white number on a black background).

    1. Thank you so much for reminding me! Totally would have forgotten.

  2. Wow that is awesome! Thank you for posting this, I have been trying to find out how to do dioramas for photo showing but all of the informational articles have been way too complicated for me. Now I feel ready to try doing one! Thank you again!

  3. Fantastic little dio! :D

    I really want to get into the business of selling performance bases and stuff as they're ridiculously fun to make. XD