A New Bravo - A Christmas Story

Like so many things in life, this project started with a small event. On Nov. 21st, 2006, I received an email from someone who didn't sign their name and had an apparent problem with the english language.

The email was: "I love the noble nights and I want to collect it all! But you cant find the nights hoers on bay do you have any you are willing to part with I am looking for all types of the nobles horses! and does Brandon the blue have a horse?".

Now, I get these kind of emails all the time and actually enjoy responding to them. So I fired off a reply telling the sender all about the horses and that I had a few for sale on my site.

Well, after several emails back and forth I got this one:
"The truth is Mr. Stewart, I'm a 12 year old in Kentucky and I came upon my first noble in my grand parents attic about five years ago. It was my uncles as a kid and I called him and a month later when he was there, he took the noble to his house in his attic and won't even let his children play with it. I'm never over there. He lives over 100 miles away and ever since I've been trying to find a knight. I got the knight, loved it and then couldn't stop until I found the horse. I wondered, could you maybe even be able to lower your price a little bit on your noble horses? If you can't that's OK. I just can't afford a 50-60 dollars price, the only money I get is for mowing and now that the grass is frozen, I'm stuck till March and don't get much Christmas money. Thank you so much. "

Hear those heart strings tuggin??

What could I do!? Off to the batcave! When I walked into my work room I saw an old, badly spray painted, scratched up, thunderbolt in the corner.... Hmmm I could send him this one. But what about armor? I rummaged around but couldn't find a set without many broken tabs - Just what a 12 year old needs, another broken toy on Christmas morning...

So a plan was hatched and off to the craft store I went and began this project!

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Horse Prep

I sanded and scraped good ole Thunderbolt to get all the drips, runs and errors off of his body. Then using 'Make it Suede', I spray painted him in a nice reddish hue that matches the real Bravo pretty nicely.

I then painted his mane, tail, blaze and socks a cappachino color. His hoofs a dark grey and his eyes using white, brown and black. I then topcoated him in 3 coats of acryllic top coat and set him up to dry.

Now for the armor. As you might suspect I buy a lot of Marx figures and pick through the collection selling off the good pieces. The broken, worn out accessories and body parts end up in my 'customizing bin'.

Using suede leather lacing from the craft store and those little, tinie, tiny brass rivets I started in on a pile of gold knight horse armor

Some challenges came up, especially when I found out that I couldn't rivet all the leather in place - else you'd never get it on the horse! Doh! Luckily I had some brass colored tiny buckles in my parts bin. So I had to make buckle enclosures for several parts.

Like most things, I forgot all about one thing until after I thought I was done. I was getting ready to take pictures of this creation when I thought "There's something missing".... OMG! Stirrups! I don't have any stirrups!

Back to the parts bin! What can I use for stirrups? I had one vintage one that I thought that I could cast in resin, but that would delay the project for days and I really wanted to get this sent to him soon. And then, bingo! Stirrups! Direct from the huge Dragon horse (Blitz) these gun-metal grey stirrups would be perfect to fit over the knight's sabots! 10 minutes later - I'm back in the photo booth and Bravo is finished!

Now to carefully box him up and send him off to hopefully the next generation of Johnny West toy lovers! I'll mark the package secret santa and "Do NOT Open before Christmas".

And just in case you were wondering, I did speak to his mother who is an elementary school teacher in their town. So everything is on the level!

Thanks for the read and if you have any comments on my figure, please let me know.