Thursday, December 15, 2016

TBT: My New Kentucky Home

My family put up and decorated our Christmas tree this past week, including the little blue horse shown here:

Three years ago, I wanted to find a new ornament to commemorate my family's first Christmas in Kentucky. I was unable to find one in stores or online that I was satisfied with, so decided to create my own. The city's mascot is a blue horse of the same name, so I painted a LEGO horse that color. Normally, I view altering LEGO bricks in any way as something bordering on blasphemy. This attitude is mostly due to the fact that once a piece is altered, damaged, or lost, I can't use it for its original purpose, and I've rarely had enough spare parts (or the cash to replace them) to justify the sacrifice. However, I have acquired a large number of LEGO horses over a lifetime of collecting LEGO, and never use more than a few of them at the same time, so made an exception to my own rule.

I also sacrificed a few of the oldest bricks I own (which are notably battered and yellowed after nearly 40 years) to build a stand to hold the horse while I painted it. After picking my parts, I used black spray primer, then used acrylic paint to give the horse a nice light blue coat.

The slot in the horse's back is usually filled with a 1x2 plate on top of a 1x2 brick, but I only added the 1x2 brick in order to leave room for a special brick later that would allow me to attach an ornament hook.

I then painted the classic LEGO horse's bridle and eyes back on, and made the mane and tail a darker shade of blue. I wrote "New KY. Home" on one side (a play on the song title "My Old Kentucky Home") and "Lexington 2013" on the other, first in red then again with narrower white lines. 

Once all of that dried, I sprayed it with matte fixative. I then just needed to attach a brick with a hole for attaching the ornament hook, and little Lexington was ready for the tree! 

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