Introduction: Modding My Little Ponies for Fun and Profit

Picture of Modding My Little Ponies for Fun and Profit

There is a lot of fun and some money to me made my modding stuff, shoes, books, computers, anything and, weirdly, there is a lot going on in the modding scene for MLP's (My Little Ponies for the normal people).

There are two kinds of Modding which I like to call Styling and Sculpting.

Styling is taking a pony, re hairing it, re dying it and repainting the symbol to create essentially, a new kind of MLP (see image below from Minty's Custom Persuasion)

Sculpting is taking a pony, removing all the hair, and then using it to create an entirely new kind of thing, sometimes a parody (Iron Man, Jack Sparrow and many of the X Men are common features of the sculpting world) and sometimes something of your own imagining.

In this tutorial I shall be making an inbetween sort of pony, who still looks like a horse, but with many sculpting elements, a First Nations Warrior.

Step 1: Choosing and Preparing Your Pony

Picture of Choosing and Preparing Your Pony

Generally, second hand or slightly damaged ponies are used for modding. Less damaged ones go for sculpting, but the damage can be as heavy as you like for sculpting, depending on how much you are changing the shape of the pony. Avoid using orginal 80's ponies as they are now rare and can go to collectors for a lot of money. Ponies can be bought new for cheap, or off ebay, which is where mine came from.

Hair: hair can simply be sheared off at the roots, though if using a new style "i turn my head" pony I like to take of the head and pull all the hair out. This is not nessesary and for this pony I didn't do it as the head was very well stuck on and I didn't feel much like slicing it off just for the sake of some roots.

This is all you really need to do, but as you can see, I also removed the markings with acetone (nail varnish remover) in order to start with a clean slate. I will also be re painting the eyes for this pony.

Step 2: Body Paint

Picture of Body Paint

This pony has been made up in layers, and so before setting about sculpting I painted the main body of the horse with model paints. Don't use acrylics, they are too thick and go on in big ridges. I use a water based model paint that comes in matt or shiny finishes.

Step 3: References and Tattoos

Picture of References and Tattoos

I gave my little guy his tattoos at this stage as it would have been harder after the sculpt. Before you go ahead and start painting and sculpting go and get some reference images for whatever it is you're doing (so if you're making a comic book character have pictures of them so that you get the colours and the shapes bang on)
I got images of the Haida Salmon and Raven characters for the tattoos. Paint with very small brushes, and if you can't get any small enough don't feel afraid to trim them down. I used a long bristled brush which I cut most of the bristles off (good for smooth lines) and a short bristled model brush.

Step 4: Eyes

Picture of Eyes

I'm not an expert on eye painting, and there are plenty of different tutorials, although most of them are rather cutesy. I used a bit of Lady Minty's advice, although I didn't do it the way she does.

First paint the whole eye with glossy white. Do this several times leaving a brilliant and smooth coat of paint. Wait for this to filly dry and then sketch out the shape of the iris.

Paint the iris and leave to dry.

Then add the black outlines and eyelashes if you want them. Use paint for this. Don't cheat with markers as the ink eventually fades into the plastic and goes blurry. I tried to cheat, and messed up a couple of Sharpies into the bargain. It's just not worth it.

Then add the light point in the pupil and you're away.

Now try and make the other eye match.

Step 5: Sculpting

Picture of Sculpting

Sculpting can be a tricky business. You're sculpting will only be as good as the time you put in to finishing it. I've found one of the best materials is Milliput (a two part epoxy putty, you can find it in your local art shop, builders merchants, hardware store). It comes in a bunch of colours and is mostly used for repairing ceramics. I used the standard yellow-grey type, and since you paint it it doesn't really matter what colour you use. (lucky americans can use Apoxy Clay which comes in larger amounts and is cheaper).
Milliput is better than fimo or super sculpey because you don't have to cook it to harden it off. You simply mix the two components together and then you have about two hours working time until it start going hard. Leave pieces for 4-8 hours or overnight for them to go rock hard. Milliput also sets underwater and you really should use water with your tools to help smooth and shape it.

I started on the mane, laying strands over the hair stubble and made the feathers with my tool (I have old ceramic tools, but shaped ice cream sticks work well). I let all that dry and then did the tomahawk straps and tail. The little tomahawk I made separate and left on a sheet of paper in a puddle of water to set.

Step 6: Painting

Picture of Painting

I painted the mane and tail in glossy black, did the feathers in grey, made a brown leathery colour for the harness and finished the tomahawk in metallic copper. The painting took a long time, and there is always clean up to do as it becomes very hard to get under the strands of hair without getting black on the body.

All you have to do then is give him a name and take pretty pictures. Well done, you are now the proud owner of a My Little Native American Warrior Pony.


cootkitten (author)2015-02-07

awesome instructable!

LadyZoolander (author)2015-01-11

"Not an expert in eye painting"? The eyes look amazing!

pixel portrayal (author)2014-04-29

In the process of making one right now thanks to this instructable. I'll post pics when I'm done.

Okay all done! Made this for a friend who is in the Air-force.
Only real problem I ran into was the enamel taking a very long time to dry. But a coat of matte sealant made all tackiness go away almost immediately. :)

Thanks so much for your tutorial!

Delete_ (author)2014-01-17

I made this from pinkie pie, her name is Watermelon Crush

Master97865 (author)2012-10-06

wow, gorgeous. what i would do is, leave the hair alone but put in curlers, a braid or whatever to it then dip it in boiled water, take out the braid or curlers and tah-dah! wavy or curled hair! then dye it, color the body and such, and that way the hair will be flowing and free, not stiff. good ible! you should post more photos of your mod ponies.

deebo83 (author)2012-08-30

This is awesome! You're great!

Evelyn424 (author)2012-05-27

i made one a few days ago before i saw this sadly
i used a sharpie on it and didn't cut off hair

pinky252525 (author)2011-02-09

I liked the second one just that the hair is CRAZY!

Neon Panda (author)2010-11-24

This sounds awsome. I so gunna try this- But do it in a harajuku style. :D
Great tut thanks. =^.^=

sashadistan (author)Neon Panda2010-11-24

Sounds cool. Please post pictures,and you're welcome

CalindaB (author)2010-06-16

Acrylic paint can be thinned with water.

sashadistan (author)CalindaB2010-06-16

Whilst this is true, model paints are designed for tiny fiddly bits and are far superior for painting on vinyl. I have found that acrylic paints (being a type of plastic) do notflex very well and areprone to chipping.

The Ideanator (author)2009-09-12

Pretty snazzy. I bet furries everywhere would jump on this(not hating on em, I'm friends with a few).

Well that is who I mostly end up doing commissions for. Thanks very much.

I looked over at your FA site, you're fantastic with the creamics and tribal-esque stuff, me like!

Well I am a ceramicist by trade. Although I haven't put up any new work on FA in a while. I have a show this weekend so everything is stress. Thanks very much.

lol. I hope your show goes well(and sell lots of stuff so you can have more time&money; to make cool I'bles!).

ImagineIntentions (author)2009-06-09

Either way, there both really great! I just wish I could do something like this but its waaaayyyyy out of league :)

I have repainted a barbie doll (I gave her new hair as well). Like a lot of things, it is only hard until you try. So, go find a my little pony, rip out it's mane and tail, remove it's paint and have a go - it is fun, and you can see how you improve between makeovers.

Kidz_Creator (author)2009-07-13

Wow...Now to go steal some my little ponies from my sister... XP ((not really...)) now...where can i find one...

sashadistan (author)Kidz_Creator2009-07-14

ebay is an excellent source of ponies. No, don't steal them from your sister, in a few years she'll grow up and be big enough to hit you and it'll hurt (I know this). Asda is also good.

Kidz_Creator (author)sashadistan2009-07-14

The sad thing is she IS old enough to hit me ((older actually than me!)) AND she STILL has some!?!?!?!!!

sashadistan (author)Kidz_Creator2009-07-14

oh dear...

Demon5magic (author)2009-06-10

Dude, this is so awesome! I'm gonna try and make a punk-rocker one for my dad for fathers day.

sashadistan (author)Demon5magic2009-06-10

That's the most epic present I've ever heard of - post pics!

Demon5magic (author)sashadistan2009-06-10

Alright, and do you know of anywhere else that I can learn more about this and this kind of thing?

sashadistan (author)Demon5magic2009-06-15

Search the web for Custom MLP's and have a browse on the google machine. You'll find other examples.

Demon5magic (author)sashadistan2009-07-07

Thanks man. Hey, I wanted to let you know I did finish the pony, but I can't find my camera at the moment so I can't take pics. I'll post up pictures when I find the camera.

Demon5magic (author)Demon5magic2009-07-12

alright, I found my camera, here are some pics. I think I used the wrong kind of paint because it's peeling off at the nose, and it didn't dry at all. And I couldn't find Milliput, but I did find something similar that worked fine. Overall it looks pretty bad, but it was fun and I guess it was ok for my first time. I gave it green hair, a red guitar, a silver body, tattoos on each leg that say "Rock" and "roll" and some weird red stuff all over his legs....I messed up on painting and didn't have time to paint over it...

sashadistan (author)Demon5magic2009-07-12

sounds awesome. I can't see the pics though, where did you post them? What kind of paint did you use btw?

Demon5magic (author)sashadistan2009-07-13

I used Testors water based enamel paints. Now let's see if I can get the pictures up now....

Demon5magic (author)Demon5magic2009-07-13

and here's another one (You can see my crappy hair painting and the paint coming off...)

sashadistan (author)Demon5magic2009-07-14

I like his big eyeliner. Very cool. Hey i'm glad the instructable was put to good use and that your father's day was awesome.

sashadistan (author)Demon5magic2009-07-13

Dude. He's a rockin' first pony, you should be proud. Next time try specific water based model paints (Warhammer stuff works great). Acrylics also work, but I feel they leave too many brush marks for my liking. I think he's a great punk rocker pony...but where is his tail?

Demon5magic (author)sashadistan2009-07-13

Thanks for the tip man. To be honest, I got lazy and I didn't have the time to do anything with the tail (I was leaving town to visit some friends the next day) So I just pulled it out and plugged the little hole with some of the epoxy putty. And, thank you, my dad loves it, this was an epic fathers day. Also, thank you for such an awesome instructible, I will for sure be keeping my eye out for old my little pony's whenever i'm at goodwill from now on.

Demon5magic (author)Demon5magic2009-07-12

oh, man, my comp won't let me upload the might take a little while...

Hannah Belle Lectre (author)2009-06-14

So awesome. I want to make a 70's punk pony.

bobhill125 (author)2009-06-10

im making one emo

sashadistan (author)bobhill1252009-06-10

Oh, that could be fun, let me know how it goes.

Yerboogieman (author)2009-06-09

The my little pony glue factory.

FooL111394 (author)Yerboogieman2009-06-10


SinAmos (author)2009-06-09

This is totally up my alley. Good work, but get out of my alley.;)

sashadistan (author)SinAmos2009-06-09

Fight you for it? ;)

beyondimagination (author)2009-06-09

Where do you sell them?

sorry, should have said that I mostly work on commission. This little chap is for sale though.

I work entirely on a commision basis but yes I do sell them. please beep for more info if you want. Also, thanks.

Galforg (author)2009-06-09

I think your pony is a pretty cool guy! Eh has tribal roots and doesn't afraid of anything!

sashadistan (author)Galforg2009-06-09

ha! So you going to post an image of your pony? Oh's not done yet.

ImagineIntentions (author)2009-06-09

Ok wow, I just checked out your website and all I can say is WOW, I can't believe how gorgeous your ponies are. Keep up the fabolous work, its awesome!

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