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Collecting Micro Mini Model Horses

Tiny Model Horses to Collect and Enjoy

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Micro Mini pewter model horse by Maggie Bennett, standing next to an American dime for scale

Pewter Arabian micro mini model horse sculpted by Maggie Bennett standing next to an American dime coin for scale.

Photo copyright 2010 Jeanne Grunert, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Micro mini model horses are the ultimate miniatures for horse lovers. Each micro mini stands 1" tall or smaller, and some are only the size of a grain of rice. If you have limited space for your collection, consider these pint-sized realistic equine sculptures as your entry point into the fun world of model horse collecting.

Plastic Micro Minis

Today the best-known plastic micro mini model horses are the Breyer Mini Whinnies. The original molds for these models, however, were made for the Creata toy company. Toy developers and sales reps John Lindsay and Gail Good contacted internationally known equine artist and sculptor Candace Liddy to create the prototypes for their brainchild, a line of tiny plastic horses. Candace sculpted each horse several inches tall, and laser pantographs at the factor "shrunk" each sculpture into the appropriate scale. Creata issued several molds at one time in a variety of colors. The play sets appealed to young girls and sold well. Over a three-year period, many new micro minis were added to the line depicting such breeds as Morgans, Draft horses, Lipizzan and others. Stallions, mares and foals were issued in a variety of realistic colors. While the Creata minis sold well, they were discontinued after three years due to production problems.

The molds were sold to the Breyer model horse company, who reintroduced the micro minis as Mini Whinnies. Breyer's Mini Whinnies come in plastic zippered pouches or play sets. Play sets include props, tiny riders, and more.

Ceramic and China Minis

Hagen Renaker sells a line of miniature horses and farm animals. These micro mini china model horses often sport glossy finishes. Many are attached to paper card stock to make it easy for retailers to display them. Morgans, Arabians, Appaloosas and more are available in a variety of colors and finished. If you find one on the secondary market or listed to auction websites, don't worry if the card is missing. Many collectors use warm water to soak the card off of the models so they can show them. Adults and foals are available.

Pewter Micro Minis

A third category of micro mini model horses are realistic pewter cast micro minis sold by EquinArt Creations and sculpted primarily by Maggie Bennett, although the company added two sculpted by Candace Liddy. Maggie Bennett sculpts each micro mini horses to scale, using no special tools other than her fingers and a few simple clay sculpting implements. Horses all stand less than an inch tall, with foals approximately a quarter of an inch tall. The sculptures are cast at a small factory in Nebraska and sold unpainted. Many hobbyists enjoy painting the pewter micro minis into realistic colors. Pewter may be painted with acrylic or oil paints and finished in a realistic color.

Showing Micro Mini Model Horses

Micro minis may be entered into live or photo shows. Most shows separate classes for models by scale, so minis show against minis and larger models show against larger models, but there are exceptions to the rule. Size doesn't limit a model's potential in the show ring; some custom painted micro minis have gone on to win against big, fancy Artist Resin models.

If taking your micro minis horses to a live show, you may want to bring along a shoebox covered with cloth to raise the model off the table and bring it closer to the judge's eye level. Other showers use plates or solid color place mats to set their tiny entries apart from others in the class.

Appeal of Micro Mini Model Horses

Micro mini models horses are one of the fastest growing segments of the model horse hobby. It's easy to understand their appeal. They're inexpensive, with several Breyer Mini Whinnies in a package retailing for under $5. A customized pewter micro mini may sell for $50 or more, but compared to a Traditional Scale Artist Resin, which may sell for several hundreds of dollars, it's a bargain and enables collectors to own unique and one of a kind horse models. Micro minis take up little space on a shelf or bookcase and win in competitions. They may be tiny, but these little models are mighty and pack a lot of miniature pleasure into a small package.

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