The cheek pieces and bit were up next. These were each cut from two pieces of very thinly skived lace, 1/4″ and 1/8″ for those curious.
My references have this stitched piece on top of the larger one, so I was trying to imitate that:
Two more tiny straps were buckled in place. The loose ends will go around the bit shanks and glued down underneath. On full size bridles, I think that strap is actually part of the cheek piece. I believe it loops behind the noseband, through the bit, keeper and through the buckle.
It’s possible to do this in model scale, but it would result in the flesh side of the leather facing upward, which is what I’m trying to avoid.
Anyway! Here it is minus the bit:
Speaking of the bit, I have had no luck trying to obtain a gold plated stud bit. I figured I would have to use a silver one for the time being, or find a way to customize one. I decided to try the customizing.
To add some more depth, I added a tiny drop of glue to each shank. I did rough up the piece with a pin beforehand, hopefully to help the glue grab on a little better.
When that was completely dry, it was time to add color. I picked up this set of alcohol inks from Joanns, after hearing a lot about them in all those miniature videos I watch. 😛 They have a much better coverage than metallic paint, dry quickly, and seem to cover metal well too. It was worth a try, anyway!
Here it is after a couple coats of the ink, and a coat of varnish. I didn’t cover the back of the pieces- you can’t see them anyway and I didn’t want to risk any weird reactions or transfers to the horse!
Not perfect of course but I am pleased with the result. I have no idea how it will hold up though. I painted a scrap piece of etched metal with the gold and tried to scrape it off, and it held up fairly well so we’ll see!
Here it is all together, held in place with string for now.