Two more of the My Little Ponies have been finished and added to my collection: Rarity and Pinkie Pie. And before you ask… no, I’m not a Brony, but my kiddos love the show. And to be honest, the show isn’t half bad. Just wish they had a Discord model in this line, he was my favorite character. Anyways, I’m glad to add these to my collection, and I don’t care if it doesn’t seem macho enough. I enjoy all sorts of things, and I enjoyed building these.
Life has been a little crazy lately, and I haven’t been handling the stress and anxiety of what is happening in my country, the USA, very well. Normally, this would be a great time to retreat to my favorite therapeutic hobby, but I have had too many other projects that required my attention. Plus, I have a rather unique Metal Earth project I’m working on (unique for me) that is taking longer than I planned. So I decided to build a couple of my simpler models so that I could rush the review in time to post it. Sorry if it’s not as high quality as my usual reviews.
These models are great. Not too simple as to be boring, but not complex enough to require a lot of extra time to build and write about. There are a few drawbacks, though. They are fingerprint magnets, even moreso than your standard models. Lots of large, flat surfaces without much etching or detailing other than the paint job (and Rarity doesn’t even have that in a lot of places). Also, thanks to the cool dynamic pose with a hoof lifted, they don’t have the best of balance. But other than that, they have a lot of character, and accomplish much without a lot of complex building required.
Of course, you can probably tell from looking that they aren’t beginner models, what with all the curves, both in the hair and for the legs. And I think that is a good thing, personally. Yes, I like to take a break sometimes, and go for less challenging models. But I don’t really want them to be too simple, right? So these are a nice mix. Some easy stuff, some interesting, but nothing too challenging, and I get an end result without spending a whole night (or several nights) on it. That’s what these are for me.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have any tips to share with you, though. The first one is one that applies to all the My Little Pony models, and I probably mentioned it the last time I built a pair (at least I hope I did). Nowhere in the instructions does it tell you to angle the legs outwards from the body, but it’s a must. For one thing, a wider stand helps with the balance, and the bottom of the feet wouldn’t lie flat on the table unless you did. But really, you need to do it right after finishing the legs on either half of the body, at least a little. Because they will get in the way when trying to join the two halves of the body if you don’t angle them out some. So… keep that in mind.
Another general purpose comment I might make about these ponies is on forming up the legs. The legs are each four sided, with one side extending from the “body” of the horse. I call that side the “outside” of the leg. Generally speaking, there are also one or two sides of each leg that are hanging off the side of the outside leg sections. These represent, from my perspective, the “front” and “back” sides of the legs. However, there is usually one or two of the front/back sides that is a completely separate part, and finally there is the separate part that I consider the “inside” side of the leg. Anyways, I said all that to get some terminology out of the way, what I’m trying to get at is a different thing. When I have to create a rectangular(ish) form, and one side of the rectangle has tabs that go through slots on the two sides adjacent to it, I like to fold opposing tabs at the same time.
Wow, that was not simple at all. Let me try again. The instructions sometimes suggest attaching the loose front / back sides of the legs to the outside of the legs in one step, and then attaching the inside of the leg after that. In those situations, I find securing the tabs to be cleaner when I struggle through the balancing act of inserting the front or back side of the leg through the slots of the outside without securing, then line up the inside leg part and seat it’s tabs. Then, I squeeze the tabs closed flat on the inside and outside in pairs. Often the balancing act is unavoidable, even if you fold the tabs over on the outside, then line up the inside, but this way you can avoid over-folding the outside tabs and it giving you a hard time when folding the tabs on the inside part of the leg. Gah. I wish there was an easier way to explain all that, but hopefully some of it made sense.
Of these two ponies, I would say that Pinkie Pie was the easier to build. Now, there are a lot of curves to be shaped in her hair and tail, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t as troublesome as Rarity. For Pinkie Pie’s hair, I advise you to do a bunch of curving and test-fitting before you actually secure any tabs. And know that the folds in the curved parts of the hair (between adjacent curved “bumps”) are really tight folds – there will be some resistance. But don’t over-fold them while test fitting. Oh, and it’s kinda annoying, but they seem to have missed a critical fold at the front of her hair, so try to figure out a way to “mark” that fold point while test fitting.
Rarity has some rather unique features to her hair that add extra challenge. And that’s not mentioning her horn, which is a fairly tight cone-shape. Rarity has several curls built into her hair, and the designers dealt with them in an interesting fashion. It took me a bit off-guard, but the hair on her head has curl loops on either side that are separate parts. The instructions have you attach the two halves of each side together, and then curl the ends, but I did the curling (at least most of it) first. The really odd part is that you attach the parts together with the painted sides facing opposite directions. It feels wrong, but it’s a brilliant solution. Because of the way you curl the bottom segment, the painted side ends up facing out. It’s just weird, at first. Also, the front flap of part 9 is too tall, which is annoying.
But the real madness is in that tail. It’s a mix of free-form curving with defined curving, and looping inside of itself… it’s kinda crazy. The instructions are very brief on forming it, and I kinda disagree with them, so I’ll tell you what I did (and provide a hopefully useful graphic at the end so that it makes sense). First, I started by rounding the long strip down the middle of the tail, aiming to match the shape of the more curled side of the tail, but rather gently outside of the area between the tabs. Second, I folded down that side of the tail (the one with 4 tab slots) and aligned and slotted the tabs from the long strip. Third, I added much more curling to the long end of the thin strip, roughly aiming for the tight curl that is shown. Fourth, I folded down the other side flap of the tail, aligning the tabs, and then securing all the tabs by folding. And I finished off by finessing and fine-tuning that crazy curled up tail hair. It’s all kinda free-form, but it looks great in the end.
As I said before, these two don’t take very long to complete. Rarity clocked in at around an hour and fifteen minutes, and Pinkie Pie was just barely over an hour. You can watch the full builds in immaculate silence in the videos below: