June 10, 2022

BreyerFest Best Customs Contest 2022


Giuseppe, the donkey nanny
BF Best Customs Contest Entry 2022

The making of Giuseppe (and a dozen friends)...

Started out by chopping apart a Breyer QH Yearling. 

Whittled it down to almost sticks. I had to remove so much plastic to get the chunky QH into a donkey's thinner frame. By chopping down the middle, I was able to make him narrower. By chopping in half the other way, I was able to lengthen the back and change the angle that the hindquarters attach to the body. 

Sculpted the head separate from the body and found I really liked that approach.

Bulking up and setting the head in place. 

Used painters tape and soda glue to make the armature for the mane and tail tuft. 
Very little of the original plastic shows through and none of the original sculpture is left.
It's all been carved or sanded down.

Took pictures at this stage, so I could see if there were areas needing taking. 

Droopy lip and floppy ears.

Pile of sheep. Lots of back and forth on sculpting these.
These are all original sculptures built from wire armatures. 

Countless hours later, the sheep have made it into primer. 
(insert counting sheep joke here, I have no energy left)

The lambs are also all original sculptures. Here they are trying out the fit of their blanket.

And trying it on G.

Broke out the power tools (love me my power tools) and cut a piece of wood down to size. 
Primed it, painted it with latex paint, then painted it with acrylic craft paints (seen here).
The landscaping came later, sorry no pictures. I worked long and late down to the wire!

G with Sheep
the official ruler picture

Offside showing off the other little lambies.

 I made everything except the string cinch.
The halter was my International Tack Month project,
which I both started and completed about a month or two after IMTM. 
The group was super helpful to point me in the right direction so that I could learn
to skive leather, stitch mark it, and make a rolled throatlatch. 

None of the sheep or lambs have names yet. I am open to suggestions!


  1. OMG! This turned out fantastic! I absolutely love how Giuseppe and all his sheepish friends turned out. It's amazing to see just how much work goes into this contest. Good Luck!

  2. I LOVE THIS! Congrats! I would name one sheep "Ethel May". Or "Vera". :)

  3. Wow! Amazing work! As for names, when I was a child there was a ventriloquist/puppeteer on TV named Shari Lewis. She had a sock puppet lamb named Lamb Chop.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shari_Lewis

  4. That was me with the Shari Lewis/Lamb Chop comment. :)

  5. FABULOUS work!!! For lamb names, I’d like Winken, Blinken, and Nod for three of them, and perhaps Cotton, Cloud, and Snow for the others. Sheep could be Flossy, Frost, Polar, etc.

    1. All great names, but I especially love Winken, Blinken and Nod for the sleepy lambs!

  6. Your skill as an equine sculptress is obvious with the conformation of that donkey. I never could have figured out from whence he came. Awesome kid! As to lamb names, there is a famous ragtime composer Joseph Lamb, so maybe one of them could be Joe.

    1. Thanks, Sue! The donkey is my most drastic custom to date. :)

  7. I don't think I have ever wanted a model sheep so much in my whole life! This is an amazing setup!

    1. Thanks so much, Anne! I have never spent so much time thinking about sheep in my whole life! haha