Tuesday 4 January 2022

Finished Julip Stableblock!

 As promised, this post will be pretty word-light and picture heavy!

I set up my new stables on my desk, along with the custom Magpie one I did last year. The gigantic bricks look almost comical next to the new ones, and I really wish I'd made them smaller at the time!

Part of me does wish I'd given the new stables similar doors as I absolutely loved how they turned out, but they weren't part of my design, so I'm happy to just have them on the single stable.

It makes an ideal home for a donkey, at least that's what Womble here says.

Sullivan the Connemara mare was happy to model one box...

...while thoroughbred gelding Harper claimed the other.

 My delightfully chonky newbie, Talisker the Clydesdale got a quick photoshoot here too. He's too tall to fit inside the stable doors properly, so he just has to stand outside and look handsome instead.
(and before you ask, no he's not roan, he's based off a reference of a really heavily marked and fully clipped out sabino)


I've accumulated a lot of accessories in this scale over the years, some bought, mostly homemade, and of course the Julip animals, of which I have quite a few. The chickens in particular are ridiculously addictive!

Marmaduke the chonky stable cat doesn't have much going on upstairs, but he knows a good sitting bucket when he sees one.

(as a note, the shavings bags and feed sacks are of my own design and can be printed out for free here!)

Here's the drainage grate and the bottom of the drainpipe - adding in that little bit of gloss nail polish really worked wonders on it, don't you think?
I did have plans to make a tap and a hosepipe next to it, but I couldn't decide which side to put it on and by the time I'd reached the stage where I'd come to add one in, my stress levels were already through the roof so I decided against it. Perhaps I'll add one in in the future.

I made this little grooming kit box years ago out of styrene, along with most of the brushes, which for the most part are made from wood and felt scraps. The gloves were simply hands I ripped off a Doctor Who figure and I don't know why they'd be paired up with a grooming kit tbh, but I thought they looked nice as an assortment. The bucket is a Julip one I weathered with a bit of acrylic paint, and while you can't see it here, I also put in a layer of clear plastic to look like it had water in it.

I don't have nearly enough Julip cats, but this one is my favourite I think, just look at that face, she's so sweet! T.T

Funnily enough I ended up being gifted a sitting one in almost the exact same colour, so I added on the white tail tip to the walking one so they'd look like the same cat in different positions.

I made the mounting block from styrene years ago and keep meaning to repaint it as it's far too clean! The jump blocks in the background are 'My Beautiful Horses' ones from the '90s and the cones and jump stands are by Magpie Models, as is the wooden saddle rack on the left.

I wasn't able to photograph it properly due to inadequate lighting, but I set up my little rabbit hutch next to the donkey stable to fill up the space.

It's just painted balsa wood with a felt roof and is quite fragile, but I like using it in photos. The 'metal' feeders were a secret santa gift from my friend George from a few years ago - they're just painted card but they look just like manky old galvanised metal! The chickens and rabbits are Julip ones, and at thirteen bunnies currently, they're obviously a breeding colony!

(also, if you didn't know, you can custom order Julip animals just like the horses, so they're ideal for pet portraits!)


I took some photos without the horses, though now I wish I'd taken the animals away too to keep it as realistic as possible, but never mind.

I didn't crop this one as I wanted to get more of the roof in the shot, but obviously that exposes my cunning use of large calendar pictures to create the background! At some point I want to get some of my own photos printed out in large format for this very purpose, but that's not really a priority and this will do for now.

The concrete slabs that make up the stableyard I'm afraid are a total cheat. I just saved an image off the excellent Textures.com and recoloured it to be a more uniform grey, then printed it out a few times on white card. It isn't ideal, but it worked in a pinch.

One of the things I was most pleased with about this whole thing was the roof windows. While you can't see them from the front, they allow for some really fantastic lighting effects. The only light source I have over my desk is a big anglepoise style one (which has limited reach, hence why the donkey stable end is a lot darker than the rest in the wide shots!)

To light the interiors, I used a palm sized rectangular LED light (bought as part of a 'selfie' phone tripod) and just lay it on top of the roof, pointing down. It had several different brightness and temperature settings, which came in very handy.


 The best effects came from when that was the only light source and I switched the overhead light off. Immediately the atmosphere changed, and I could almost feel the chill of a winter evening just before everyone leaves the yard for the night.

The pitch of the roof created a lot of nice shadows which helped highlight all the muck and grime on the walls, and my beloved windows looked amazing when backlit. I'm so pleased with them.

A Playmobil crow surveys all from his perch atop the roof...

One of the benefits of a completely modular stable like this is that you can remove one wall and the building remains upright, which is ideal for photoshoots because instead of only having one viewpoint...

...you can have several!

I spent hours photographing from the inside of the stable, the lighting was so much fun to play around with!

In the picture below you can see both the tieup ring and haynet I installed, and, regrettably, right next to it, also the side wall bowing outwards and exposing the bamboo peg. I didn't notice it until now! 

I made the haynets years ago out of embroidery thread, and I colour coded them to the stables in case I missed the sharpie marks again. This is the right hand block as it has a reddish pink net, and the left one has a blue one.

Don't tell the others, but Harper is by far my favourite Julip - just look at that face! <3

This angle was by far my favourite to shoot. As you can see here, the only light source I'm using is my big desk light.

The roof, despite my best efforts, wasn't without its flaws, and there were a few gaps where light showed through. Eventually I just covered them up with some scraps of fabric on the outside.

Much better!

Here's a few minus horse so you can get a feel for the whole space. I know in reality the roof would probably need some kind of horizontal beams level with the front of the stable for stability, but Julips aren't beholden to the laws of physics, so neither are their stables!

While Julips make up the majority of my 1/12th scale collection, they aren't the only part, so I couldn't resist bringing out a few others to play with too.

First up was the lovely Flora, my delightfully squishy needle felted Clydesdale by my incredibly talented friend Tomás of Needle Neddies. Seriously, everyone needs a Neddie, they're amazing.

She's really a little too big for the stable, but she looked so cute in there with her cosy winter rug on, how could I say no?


I had a bit of fun and made a teeny tiny stopmotion with her - I definitely want to do more in the future as she's incredibly poseable.


Jackson the donkey also wanted to try it out, and big thanks to both Tom and Curtis for convincing me he needed a rug - he looks adorable in it!


I also brought out Primrose, the resin pony mare I painted for NaMoPaiMo a couple of years ago. Her pose is usually really awkward to photograph as she looks like she's in mid-graze, but it actually worked out perfectly in this context.

Finally, my beloved Seònaid; my 2021 NaMoPaiMo pony and currently the best custom I've ever done. She fitted into this stable like she was made for it.

By this point I was apparently more interested in giving her a photoshoot than the stable!

I still can't quite believe I painted her sometimes. <3

Before I packed everything away, I did a little decorating for Christmas. I wasn't feeling particularly festive after everything, but it was fun.

Tamarind, my beloved! <3

I couldn't make new stables without letting him try one out, could I?

He's the OG Julip of my collection, and although he's definitely showing his age a bit these days, I've missed playing with him.

This won't be the last you'll see of these stables, but it might be a while before I'm ready to set them up again. I can't stress enough how proud I am of them, but at the same time, they caused me a lot of stress and I need a break from them so I can appreciate them fully when I'm not dwelling on all the 'what ifs'

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