Advice Please On Covering This Armature Of Horse

Decorating By lsienna Updated 11 Jan 2013 , 4:29am by ginger6361

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lsienna Posted 24 Jun 2008 , 5:26pm
post #1 of 9

Hi all,

I am experimenting and trying to learn the limits of every material for doing sculpted types of cakes. I recently built this armature (picture below - hopefully its there) few things about the best way to go about this. ANy and all suggestions are welcomed!

I tried covering it first with rice krispies but had difficulty "sculpting the finer details I wanted and the weight of the RK kept drooping off the armature. I tried adding cornsyrup to it but it was just a big sticky mess and it was hard to add small amounts of RK to finely build up the bulk so i scratched that idea.

I am now playing with modeling chocolate (semi-sweet bakers choc.) and it is working great (just like clay) so I have questions regarding the use of this stuff. I heard that using white choc. is more stable than brown choc. Is this true? Also, I want to paint this horse when I am done and will be putting a gumpaste rider on top of it.

Will the mod. choc. remain hard and hold up the form even on a fairly warm day but in the shade?

Does it matter which brand of white chocolate to use. Will run of the mill white choc. be just fine for purposes of experimenting?

Do I use white choc. and paint that? Will the paint be streaky looking (I do not own a airbrush yet) or will it look like a solid color?

Can I paint the current brown modeling batch I used? Or should either the white or brown modeling choc. be covered in fondant?

If I should fondant over the modeling choc. how do I adhere it to the choc. and will it hold up or will it slide down the legs??

Should I use gumpaste instead to build the bulk and paint that?

I have lots to learn still and am getting ready to do an event where I will be donating this thing on top of cake ( I will mount feet on a buried built up piece of wood) and am trying to do all I can now to learn as much as possible. Thank you so much for any help you can pass along!


8 replies
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KHalstead Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 2:21pm
post #2 of 9

well on Ace of Cakes last night I saw that they made a horse with a skeleton much like yours only standing on all fours and they covered it in white modelling chocolate. However if it's going to be outside on a hot day in the shade or not I'd be worried! I might be more inclined to use gumpaste personally. The modelling chocolate can be a little streaky (due to it's oil content) when painting it, gumpaste however can be paintly very cleanly. You might try doing a 50/50 mix of fondant and gumpaste to give yourself a little more modelling time before it starts to dry and crack. good luck can't wait to see the final product!

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ladyonzlake Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 2:45pm
post #3 of 9

I have only sculpted with fondant and I add tylose to it. I am no way a pro at sculpting but my concern with the way this is structured is how it will hold up. The weight of whatever you use will cause it to fall foward. I'm sorry I have no suggestions but I'm curious to see how it turns out.

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buttercream_dreams Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 4:54pm
post #4 of 9

i actuallly dont know anything about what i am talking about here, so if i am making no sense or it doesnt sound right...just ignore me. icon_smile.gif

i thought that white chocolate had a lower melting point then dark/milk, and therefore would melt sooner/faster than the latter?
as well, isnt it always softer when working with than milk/dark?

are you using real chocolate or candy melts? maybe does that make a difference?

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lsienna Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:14pm
post #5 of 9

You know something- I really do not an answer to that either. I heard white chocolate is better to work with than brown (dark or milk) but really don't know if this is true. I know you are supposed to use melts or blocks not chips.
As for the armature, its fine structure wise and can handle quite a bit of weight. The wire used is very very strong.
The main problem is the difficulty with blending the seams of any pieces that are added on when I use the 50/50 or straight fondant with tylose.
Unless I add the perfect amount of bulk to start, I am having to add small pieces here and there to build up the proportions properly.
The modeling chocolate is working perfect but I am not sure how to add gumpaste or fondant details like the bridle, saddle, stirrups mane and tail and have it hold on to the chocolate. Any tips there would be great!
The last resort will be 50/50 bulk, with fondant and tylose over it but then there will be lots o' seams. Again, any suggestions would be great!

Thanks a bunch all,

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TooMuchCake Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 1:35pm
post #6 of 9

Is this a topper? How large is the horse?

There's a carousel horse in my photos made similarly on a wire armature. I first covered the belly of the horse in compacted foil to minimize weight and reduce the amount of $$ going into the figure. Then, I built up the horse with fondant. When the fondant was dry, I painted over it with thinned royal icing. In places where the royal wasn't as smooth as I wanted, I was able to sand it.

That horse was made for a competition, and not for use on a cake.

I would suggest that you also use the foil to build up at least the belly of the horse, because the position it's in could make it unstable with the weight of all that modeling chocolate. Modeling chocolate is a wonderful medium that I like to use and it's good for hiding seams between pieces that are added on.


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lsienna Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 4:30pm
post #7 of 9

Hi Deanna,

Wow, you did such a nice job on your horse! Thank you so much for your tips. The armature I made is very strong as are his legs. I already tested it with substantial weight and its all good.

The aluminum foil tip is a good one though in terms of saving both money as well as weight. The horse stands about 12" high and it will be sitting atop a sheet cake with its feet screwed into a wooden base hiddin in the cake.

Ideally I would like to use mod. choc. as I am after the finer details it can provide me in terms of sculpting. Can I paint on white or brown mod. choc and can I get gumpaste or fondant to stick to it for other features?


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TooMuchCake Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 5:00pm
post #8 of 9

I would think you could add smallish details to the modeling chocolate in other mediums, but when you plan them out, be aware that the choc is oilier and you could possibly need to take extra measures to get the other mediums to stick to it. I guess it would depend on where you put them. On the horse I did, the fondant and gumpaste stuck readily to the royal icing layer so it wasn't an issue for me.

The one place where I used a lot (relatively) of fondant attached to modeling chocolate was on the standing doll cake I did for last Easter. It wasn't the proudest moment I've ever had in my cake decorating career, haha, but the limbs and head are done in the choc and the socks, lace, shoes and hair are fondant added onto that. But as you can see, none of those items have to support their own weight. The closest any of the items comes to supporting its own weight is the bow under her chin, and that's toothpicked into place.

As far as painting on modeling choc, I haven't tried that, but perhaps you could use luster dust or petal dust to make a paint that would work. If you're painting white onto a brown, you could probably use Wilton White White right out of the bottle as a paint.


edited to add that although it doesn't show up very well in the doll cake photos, the knees, elbows and cheeks have a very light dusting of pink petal dust. The lips and eyebrows are done with a non-toxic marker.

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ginger6361 Posted 11 Jan 2013 , 4:29am
post #9 of 9

can we see the finished product? Do you have a tutorial on how the modeling chocolate was put on the horse? Thanks

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