I used to own a custom Horse Gouram bought from the USA from another customiser. But there was a period when i fell into hard times and there was a lot of uncertainties financially so I was forced to sell it to a friend who graciously bought it (one of its legs broke afterward but my friend refused to let me refund the money he gave me back to him as he knew I was in some sort of trouble eventhough I didnt tell him what was wrong with me).
Now that things has settled back to more or less positive tone, I thougth it would be a good omen to have my own Horse Gouram back again by building one myself.
So enough with the s.o.b story and on with the tutorial ;)
First of course you need some materials and the main ones is a Lord of the Rings' horse and a S.I.C Trygouram shell from the Kuuga Decade set. Luckily, I have just managed to buy a LOTR horse recently.
To fit the Trygouram shell onto the horse, you need to cut it up. See how i cut it up from the photo below. HOWEVER, please take note that I made a mistake in one of the cut up potion. That portion holding the wings should NOT be cut off from the main shell. I realised that after I cut them up :/ It took me 2 days to reattach them using metal wire skeletons, super glue and epoxy putty.
I always thought my previous horse gouram which lost the ability to move its front hoofs as the customiser sealed in the activation button on the horse's buttock such a waste. So for my custom, I wanted the mechanism to work even with the gouram shell on it.
First you gotta connect the gouram half cut off head onto the horse. This is achieved by first super glueing the heads onto the horse. Let the glue dry and then support the connection with putty PLUS metal wires. The metal wires prevent the gouram head from moving out of position from the horse while the putty dries.
In order for me to reach the button that is hidden by the gouram shell, I need an access to the button via a hole on the gouram shell. So, I drilled a hole onto the gouram shell that will be right above the button on the horse.
Next, I need a sort of lever or extended button that can be reached from the gouram shell itself. So I drilled a hole on the button on the horse and glued a cut off gundam sprue piece on it:
The sprue stick glued to the button on the horse will stick out of the hole on the gouram shell like so:
Testing the custom made button and yay it works :D
Next Im worried about the horse legs breaking with all the additional weight on it, especially the one on the front. I need some sort of stand to support the horse but i was all out of stands. So I make a custom stand. Cutting off a long piece of gundam sprue and cutting off all its offshoots, I fashion a simple stand like so:
Next I drilled a hole right beneath the horse and connect the custom stand on it like so:
It kinda works. Aside from spoiling the esthetics a little, I think it works ;)
Next. cut a space off from the Gouram shell's back toallow the horse's tail to stick out like so:
Next, I cover that ugly gap resulting from the cut of separating the gouram shell's front head and the body with sculpted veined liked details using epoxy putty. I paint all these details with a metallic silver layer.
I also paint other parts of the armors on the horse with metallic silver.
Next color a brass or gold layer over the silver parts. To weather it, I dry paint some heavily diluted brown color over the gold. Paint all other portions (those with putty or those with overpainted gold) with matt black.
Voila we are done. I did not glue the back portion of the gouram on the horse as I dont see why i should do that. By not glueing it on, it gives me flexibvility of removing the gouram piece from the horse in case i need to store them next time. I did not glue the propulsion beetle legs either so that they can be posed in different ways (see below).
The reason why i reconnect the wing portion back on the gouram's back is obvious in these photos below whereby the wings can now be opened and closed. The propulsion beetle legs are also reconnected to face backwards like some exhausts to fit this "Beetle Battle mode"
Now he is fit to be any rider warrior's horsey. I didnt have a kuuga handy so i used my custom hibki as its riders which fits very well for his Battle Beetle mode.
Or you can have a femalr riding it.
Or a lovely couple ride.
Here you can see the front hoof moving mechanism at work. When the button I made is not being pressed the right leg is touching the ground and the left is in the air.
When the button is pressed, the right leg goes up in the air and the left touch the ground.
Well thats it for now. I still have one more custom i hope to complete before i go for my holiday and start my new job. See you all!