Model Horse FAQ's
Model Horse Collecting


What is a model horse?
A model horse is a scale replica of a horse. They are produced by various manufacturers in different sizes from materials such as plastic, porcelain and resin. The models range from realistic representations of famous horses to fanciful, imaginary steeds.

What is a model horse show?
A "live" model horse show is a competitive event with the same organization of classes and awards as a real horse show. The only difference is that all the entries are model horses and the arenas are table tops.

What is a photo show?
A photo show is also a competitive event in which the entrants send photos of their model horses and judging is based on the models as pictured in the photographs.

What is the difference between a repaint and a remake model horse?
A model that has been painted by its purchaser outside of the factory is considered a repaint. The new paint job can add shading or markings to the model's original color or change the color completely. A remake model not only has been repainted but its basic position altered. This can involve repositioning the original body or removing the head, legs or other body parts and reassembling them into an entirely different pose.

Some frequently used phrases and acronyms in the model horse hobby...

  • Decorator - model horses painted in colors that don't occur naturally in the horse world; non-horse colors such as metallic gold and silver, wood grain, blue, green, and so on.
  • Discontinued - a model horse no longer in production, retired.
  • Glossy - a model horse with a high gloss, shiny finish coat over the paint.
  • HSO - horse shaped object
  • Live show quality (LSQ) - a model horse of particularly high quality used for showing in live model horse shows.
  • Matte - a model horse with a flat finish.
  • North American Model Horse Shows Association (NAMSHA) - an organization which has prepared guidelines for live model shows. Points are awarded at events which conform to their guidelines. NAMSHA sponsors a national competition each year called the North American Nationals or NAN which is held alternately in Kentucky and California.
  • Original finish (OF) - a model that has not been painted or altered in any way.
  • Photo show quality (PSQ) - a model with quality high enough to be used in photo shows.
  • Retired - a model horse no longer in production - discontinued.
  • Special run (SR) - a limited run model ordered by a vendor from the manufacturer and painted to the vendor's specifications. It is usually sold exclusively by this vendor.
  • Test color - a one-of-a-kind model painted by a manufacturer as a means of trying out new ideas for production.
  • Vintage model - a model that has been out of production for some time and is considered a collectible. Age, condition and scarcity are among the factors that determine the value of older models. They can be found in flea markets, garage sales, internet auction sites, or purchased from individual owners.

The legs on plastic models occasionally become bent. Can they be straightened?
Bent legs can be straightened by heating a cup of water to just below the boiling point. Immerse the bent leg in the hot water for about 45 seconds. Remove from the water and gently bend the leg back to the proper position. Allow to cool. Bent legs can also be heated with a hair dryer set or a heat gun and then gently repositioned.

Older white models can become yellowed with age. What can be done to whiten them up again?
To remove yellow from white models, wash the model in a lemon-based dish detergent. Mix 1 cup bleach with 4 gallons of hot water and immerse the model for up to one hour depending on the amount of yellow to be whitened. To spot clean models, use a stronger solution of 2 cups bleach to 4 gallons water. CAUTION: Wear rubber gloves and avoid breathing fumes.

Where can I find a model horse customizer?
A model horse customizer is an artisan who specializes in custom-made model horses. Customizers can be found on the web, in the Hobby Horse News and at live shows. Web pages and books also have information on how to do it yourself!

Matte and Glossy Finishes

Matte finish

Glossy finish

"Leonidas" Limited Edition