Timaru Star II Tack Sales Info

Welcome to my Sales Information Page! (formerly Tack Orders)
Current Order of Go depicts scheduling and progress of current tack pieces, constantly changing.
NEWS & PLANS discusses the latest situations and hopes, updated every 2 to 4 months.  Older chapters are moved down to join the RECENT HISTORY.
Contact Info is my shipping address and email.   The TSII in a NUTSHELL is three paragraphs on our history as a whole, where we've been, why we don't take orders anymore and what our visions are for this website.  Our Draft Collar Tutorial compact disc is advertised on this page.
Payment Policies.  TRADES should be obvious: yes, I will trade tack for these!  Repairs & Restorations explains our policies for this important field.
Next is RECENT HISTORY, the accumulating reports dating back to December 2012.
The bottom of this page contains our Notification List and Picture-Borrowing policies.

11 January 2018

Current Order of Go
January 2018.  I have chosen to pursue restoring TSII #378, named Kim's Carousel set.  This will probably take 2 months and means other tack pieces will have to wait.
February 2018.  Balancing NaMoPaiMo and the silver parade set resto.
March  Surely #378 will be done by now.  I would like to work on a Western Saddle and/or some headgear pieces this month.
April  Much the same as March: the oak leaf saddle, a possibility of the Bond pictorial saddle, and braided headgear for the book.

Check back often; about 2 months out is realistic.

STANDING ORDERS: NONE.  The last order of the 2009 TSII Tack Lottery was completed May 18, 2017.  No more Lotteries are planned.  Only two grandfather orders exist, and while artist-initiated orders (trades) will be taken, these should be few.  The goal is to produce pieces for auction and advertise them through FaceBook.


January 11, 2018.  Having cleared out so much dead wood in 2017, what do we start the new year with??  MORE clearing out!!!  Whether it's NaMoPaiMo helping a spirit of finishing off long held projects, my own readiness to do so, or just returning from vacation with fresh discipline, I am ready to tackle one of my last 2 grandfathers.  Restoring TSII #378 has been hanging around for 10 years, so it's time.  Cleaning, silver-braiding, fastening down errant plates and re-prism-taping will hopefully result in a brilliantly shimmering carousel-themed set.  Of course this means other pieces will have to wait.  Hopefully they will use the time to sort themselves out into which ones I want most next.
December 2.  The Snow Shoes are currently up on eBay.  I believe I am doing nearly everything right in advertising, but only time will tell; they could be priced too high, but we shall see.  Regardless, they were a successful experiment and well worth it if only for my Braidwork book.  They also could still lead to a sleigh or other wickerwork vehicle, which of course would also mean harness.
I dream of joining NaMoPaiMo.  The horse, purchased but not arrived, is Gazyr, an Akhal Teke stallion (Trad) sculpted by Russian artist Margarita Malova.  The color would be flame-mane copper liver chestnut.  The fact the original resin has no mane perfectly expresses my ambivalence about the whole project!  I am so averse to crowd-joining, yet from the moment I saw him this horse has spoken to me most powerfully.  It cannot be that I could not acquire the skills, even to giving him a thin mane of Apoxie.  The whole idea is a dream... but that is what this is about, no?
I am feeling more than usually lost about which piece to pursue next.  The year 2017 has been an explosion of new techniques, from Silver Parade set pictorials to wickerwork to rawhide snowshoes; if I follow my heart, it will lead even further afield, to painting.  But I do want to get back to my roots.  Saddles are calling my name and so is harness, though to a lesser extent; and the braidwork book can be tackled a bit at a time.  It is tougher than I thought without orders, but I don't want to go back.
October 20.  Now that the snowshoes are done, the logical next step is to auction them.  That should have been this week but other chores got in the way, so it might well wait until after the 21st.  One happy chore is the processing of the 952 photos taken at Intermediaire/INTERSPORT model horse show on October 15th!  What fun that was!!  Another diversion is working on my own saddle blanket.  Having started it, I find myself not stopping, as it's so easy to put down and take up.  I am trying not to feel guilty about its constant distraction from other, larger tack projects.  Surely I will soon buckle down and start either a Hackamore or a Saddle, bound for the auction block and proving I'm still in the tackmaking game.
August 22.  The Peacock Hackamore sold for what I asked and is going to a good customer.  That said, it was, once again, a case where things did not go as planned.  You may have seen that the Hackamore did not make reserve, something that's happened only once before (March 2009, on Auction Barn).  I contacted the high bidder and made a deal, basically asking for the reserve in time payments; eventually she agreed.  In the interval, another bidder was offering the same amount.  I was then stuck choosing between a bidder who had already won 2 previous TSII auctions and a fresh new one who had misread the auction closing time!  It had been my intention to resolve such conflicts via the mechanism of an auction...  but that didn't happen.
      What did happen was I learned.  I learned, first off, that I'd forgotten my Notification List, a mistake so terrible I worry about memory loss!  Second, I learned I'd better announce auction closing times, in 12-hour time.  Third, I learned that posting 3 blogs at once and then starting the auction that day was probably another mistake.  In this frantically-paced 21st C, where a high premium is placed on speedy transactions, folks still need time.  And fourth, however I felt like hiding it, I learned to publish the reserve asking price a little more obviously.  The auction didn't meet reserve, but, as my husband is fond of pointing out, I still wasn't charging enough.
There will be more auctions for TSII pieces, have no fear.  But the snowshoes, if and when they finally appear, will probably be flat-out sold.  I, too, need time.

Contact Info:

Timaru Star II Model Tack Shop

Susan Bensema Young

210 West Hamilton Avenue #104

State College, PA    16801-5218



The TSII began as a mail-order business in 1979, and continued up through the marriage of its owner in 1988.  In 1990, largely as a result of his advice, we switched to a Lottery approach, putting customers through a random drawing before we accepted their orders.  At first held every year, then every other year, the TSII Lotteries became famous.
In 2010, serious medical problems arose and were dealt with, but they had changed me, slowing down an already very slow production rate.  In 2013 a different way of slowing down occurred when my husand's mother had to be placed in Assisted Living and then in Skilled Nursing 4 months later.  In 2013 I made the difficult decision to stop the Lotteries, finish out the last cycle of winners' orders and then go on with auction pieces, trades and artist-initiated orders.
Having done Lotteries for model tack orders for 23 years has generated a TON of wish orders!  In that time I have evolved towards my favorite subjects: Western Braidwork and Silver Parade.  I am now in a position to make only those pieces I wish to make, on my own schedule, and for whom I desire.  The Timaru Star II blogspot opened in December of 2012; its FaceBook page, April of 2015.  Response to these 3 online venues (there are two FaceBook pages, one for the tack shop (Timaru Star II Model Tack) and one for me (Susan Bensema Young)) has been pleasing, if not addictive!  They have grown to be the main source of information about our pieces.  My vision for this website is for documentation, equivalent to the Scrapbooks, hopefully expanding in future to provide pictures of every piece made (so far as we have pictures).  It's not impossible to think of a model horse tack museum space here, with pages for many other artists I have known and collected over the years.

Meanwhile we have a surprise up our sleeve:  The Draft Collar Tutorial, long promised, is now a reality!  For twenty dollars ppd ($20) you too can have a copy of this disc, with 83 pictures depicting the step-by-step creation of a Scotch Peak model Draft Collar, 15 pictures of its harness put to a variety of vehicles (it was made for the Standing Stone Drafter), and 7 pictures of cards of instructions on switching between a Single and a Pair harness.  This is not covered in the Guide!  The price includes postage.  Just PayPal me.  My PayPal address is my email address, seen above.

TSII TACK PAYMENT POLICIES.  Our policy is that tack purchases via auction wins are to be paid for within ten (10) days.  The 10 days (a week and a half) can be extended if you contact me and explain why you need more than ten days.  If you do not completely pay for your winning bid within the ten days, any amounts paid will be returned and the piece re-auctioned, sold or kept.  If no explanation is forthcoming or is deemed unacceptable, paid amounts will be FORFEIT.
TSII policy on tack orders and trades are that they be completely paid for within 60 days of completion of the piece.  This deadline can sometimes be extended if you contact me and explain why you need more than the standard 60 days (60 days is two months).   If the piece is not completely paid for after a final, mutually-agreed deadline, any amounts paid will be returned and the piece auctioned, sold or kept.  If you vanish, paid amounts will be FORFEIT.
This also applies to horse sales.
PLAN AHEAD: I once had a customer pay for a $450 bridle in installments of $25.  Go ahead, use up my paper:  I'd much rather play bookkeeper than lose a customer. :)  C'mon people: this is model tack, so you're into little details!!

TRADES.  My Willing to Trade For list looks like this.  O.F.s:  Pale Moose.  Not the Ghost, because although I'd love one I don't think I could afford him!  Just the #387 from 1997-98, the lightest made of Breyer's Moose.  I'd also love a good driving Pony resin such as Flint's Fancy Enuf; an Affinity, preferably unfinished; or a really good pony cart.
TACK I've been wanting a cross themed saddle by Darleen Stoddard for at least 10 years.  I would really like to get my hands on a Kathy Maestas Western saddle from the 1970s & 80s.
Paint jobs for my numerous resins.
My personal hobby Holy Grail is a Copenhagen Running Mare.  "wanted since 1975"

REBUILDS, REPAIRS & RESTORATIONS: Conservations and other updates of vintage Timaru Star II tack are accepted on a time available and individual basis.  Contact me for quotes.
      If a TSII piece breaks or is damaged under conditions of normal use, we will replace it or repair it FREE during the first three years of the life of the piece.   After that, repairs will be charged a minimum of $50.00.
    If the piece is broken "only a little", needs cleaning, polishing or minor overhaul, my "three-hour" rule can be invoked.  If the work needed will take only three hours or less, you have a much better chance...!!
      In cases of more thorough overhaul and updating, (such as restoring a silver-tape Parade set or cleaning and re-buckling a harness with gold instead of brass or stainless-steel instead of silver-color hardware), you will need to obtain a quote and an idea of my current schedule.  As a general rule of thumb, updating costs about two-thirds the price a new piece and takes around three months.  The enhanced intensity, strengthening, beauty and UNIQUENESS of a cleaned and updated piece will more than reward you.  Rebuilds teach the artist lessons they would not otherwise learn, and improve future pieces.  It is indeed a lucky piece of tack that falls into my hands twice.
      Note also that often vintage TSII pieces sent in for updating have turned out to be acceptable trades! and you get a brand-new piece of tack, much more detailed than the trade-in, at alarmingly low cost.  This has happened several times.

APPRENTICESHIPS.  If that isn't enough, we've been known to host apprentices.  Show me pictures of your tack, negotiate a fee and time, and come visit: we have guest quarters.  It is possible that I could visit you.  It's been done: ask Heather Downing, Heather Moreton and Mary Lineman.  :)
Don't overlook the secondary market.  It is now over 37 years since I started selling tack... that's a LOT of pieces.  (See the bottom of our Saddles page.)  You never know what will turn up!  In my experience, TSII pieces turn up at auction every few months, with crescendo and diminuendo following the normal model showing year.  Winter is a low, March and April are high, summer and BreyerFest are another high, fall is a drop-off as people go back to school.  As a general rule, the best chance a "man on the street" has of obtaining TSII pieces is on the secondary market, and the chance is raised if the piece is older.

August 15.  Here we are, where I planned to be: auctioning off headgear and trying to decide which piece to do next.  As also planned, it is more difficult to choose without a customer breathing down my neck -- but more fun!  You might think the 2 grandfather orders would have some weight here, but they don't; they're sufficiently large enough to be easily shoved aside, which sounds contradictory but is true.  Easy, smaller pieces get done first.  The choices are also going to depend much more on whim.
That said, I have decided, based on the satisfaction of the Wicker Chair, that I'd like to do more wickerwork.  But not a large piece.  That leaves only snowshoes; and I've been saying I wanted to do snowshoes for at least 10 years.  That's about the right amount of waiting for a wish-order to finally be gotten to around here...!  Note that the goal for the snowshoes is to be sold.  I also have the more personal goal of making a pair of saddle blankets for saddles newly acquired, from artists I respect, Moreton and Geyer.
P.S.  TSII #456 was paid for and well received, and all is well on that front, for which I am very grateful.
July 6 2017.  After more work and psychic effort than even I could have envisioned, TSII #456, Star Wars, has been completed.  It took 9 months and more than 220 hours.  This Parade set was complicated not just by its sheer ambition (13 pictorial panels, some of them requiring new techniques, and complete silver edge braiding)... but by its strangely difficult restrictions.  I do not wish to keep tack projects secret in the future.   While the owner was boundlessly encouraging, I discovered I needed a more steady diet of real and timely attention, which was eventually supplied by several people; you know who you are.  I also had the good luck to benefit from NaMoPaiMo and NaMoTackMo.  Without these blessed groups, I doubt I could have finished -- it was that hard.  As of this writing, the saddle has not yet been paid for.
With the completion of our last and greatest Lottery piece, the world opens out in front of me.  For 20 years I have both feared and wanted this.  Feared, for I doubt my self-discipline: it really helps having a good customer to work with!  Wanted, for I desperately desire the freedom to pick my own projects and truly feel they must be auctioned, not sold.  The Current Order of Go list, and the 3rd paragraph of Feb 27, list my pool of choices at this time.  As ever, great thanks goes out to all my customers, past, present and future.  In what other field would such miniatures as mine be valued so highly, despite their long gestation?!?
A third row to hoe would be the updating of my website.  I really would like to get the contents of our 2 Parade scrapbooks, 2 Western saddle scrapbooks, Harness scrapbook and Peruvian Paso set scrapbook (in that order) up here... Oh, it's just a couple thousand photographs, covering a mere 38 years!!
February 27 2017.  Contrary to previous hopes, TSII #456 Star Wars will not be finished in February; it will be a miracle if it is finished before May.  It's clear to me it is taking as long as it possibly can and will be a true monster to finish.  As of this writing it has been underway since September, yet it is less than a third done, even after 80 hours!  The corona blanket alone has taken more than 30 hours.  I have two deadlines, a soft one in May and a hard one in July.  When I think that I accepted this order in August of 2009, it is a wonder the owner does not call the cops on me!!  All I can do is buckle down, hopefully utilizing the impetus of Jennifer Buxton's excellent NaMoPaiMo.
In some mild defense I would claim that my life is now very busy, but the truth is I know what has stolen much of my time:  FaceBook, blogging and surfing.  I am as busy as I have been for the past 5 years, but FaceBook distraction is growing.  For someone who has deliberately removed TV from their life since 1988, this is embarrassing.
As far as future tack plans go, I have the idea of recreating my favorite Braided Headgear pieces, such as Malaguena's Bridle and Tissarn's Hackamore (not to mention Fancy's Hackamore, already depicted in our blog), and documenting them for the book.  Drawing Plates for my next Braidwork book could be supported by auctioning the pieces as they were finished.  I also have ideas about CollectA tack, pony sleighs, snowshoes and grandfather orders of very long standing, not to mention the ever-present whimsey of headgear pieces.  We'll just have to see.
 It is also always possible that my mother-in-law, in Kansas in Skilled Nursing since the fall of 2013, will be called home to the Lord at any time (she's 97), so we must be prepared for the unexpected.
November 2 2016.  The success of the Ricky's Bridle and Pony Hackamore auctions has been extremely gratifying!  Thank you so much everybody!  At the moment I think I will pursue both eBay and Auction Barn venues; the former for larger pieces such as saddles.  Over the winter I am hoping to finish the huge Star Wars set, slipping in smaller headgear etc pieces as necessary to keep the soul sane.  I truly don't know how long it will take; several months seems logical, based on past performance.  When it is done I currently see three paths to follow, and nothing says I can't follow all three: working on Braidwork book pieces (all headgear); working on certain grandfather orders (saddles); and working on various 'whimsey' projects of one sort or another, ranging from hitched horsehair to pony harness to CollectA scale pieces to whatever catches my eye.  The pattern of having only 1 or 2 days a week to make tack in seems, unfortunately, to have settled in stone.
July 30 2016.  The Round Button Auction Bridle, although successfully sold to a fine tack collector, garnered only two bids.  This was not my intent.  If anyone out there would like to help manage my advertisement campaign, their advice would be welcome!  Meanwhile a seductive idea has taken hold: why not combine working on my next book, which would generate headgear pieces, with selling (auctioning) them??  We have already started with Ricky Rocker's bridle, which I saw in person at the 5K Race and otherwhere, at BFest.  This bridle is elegantly simple with its continuous slit braiding and beautiful braided keepers.  It would be a great starter piece for the book.
May 3.  Now that the Guide is available in pdf, you'd think I would naturally fall back on the last remaining order, the Star Wars set.  Instead my heart wants to do small pieces, such as CollectA scale bridles or harnesses, braided Trad headgear or reins, or single bosals, as a way to pick up steam again after the incredible effort of the Guide pdfs.  I need to recover - and what should happen but a road trip!  Plus, the inspiration for the next book is stronger than it's ever been.  Star Wars is undesigned.  I know from experience that what actually gets done will be the simplest and easiest, so stick with me and we'll just see what happens!
March 28 2016.  What was already slowly progressing now picks up speed as I decide to go flat-out on digitizing the Guide, hoping desperately to finish before we leave for Colorado in early May.  I'd love to be done by my birthday.  No tack will be made this next month, no sales horses advertised; nothing but scanning, PhotoShop and rewriting from now until completion.  The goal is to be able to answer each PayPal order with an email containing a link to a folder.  That folder will have a one-time name.  Its contents will be available for 2 weeks for each order.  The Guide in pdf, with its over 220 pages of drawings and color photos, will be readable on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and notebooks.  (It is not designed for SmartPhones.)  If you want to print out your own copy, you will be able to do so.  It will be SO much more affordable!  Stay tuned as we shove ourselves into 21st Century publishing!
January 28, 2016  Once home from Florida and without much encouragement from the Star Wars customer, I find my highest goal has become working on the Guide.  For 17 years this book sold steadily.  Technology has been changing wildly around my ears and it is time to catch up.  I have reached the stage of needing other fulfillment agents than myself, and the Web appears poised to allow just that.  I apologize to everybody who wanted this book in the interval it was not available.  Climbing this mountain and bridging the gap between books and digital print will take all the integration skill I've got.
In other tack news, I find the burden of this page moving ever more to my 2 FaceBooks and blogspot.  However I'm not ready to lose my own website.  It is my hope that it will become more of a museum and records venue than it currently is; and it still functions for horse sales! of which we have many.
November 29, 2015  This close to finishing the TriColor, things are looking up!  The success of our TWO FaceBook pages is encouraging.  The difference between the two seems to be that tack sales, orders and in-progress pix go on the business page, Timaru Star II Model Tack.  Please 'like' us there and check it first!  Everything else, be it model horse blankets or canoes, goes on the personal page.  For the remaining 3 weeks of this year (before we go offline for vacation), I look forward to working on a few small repair/update jobs, starting again on the Guide pdf-ing (this is not a curse), and, of course, our Christmas letter!  Longer term, I'd like to sell some horses; about 30, half of them new-in-box, must go.  We also want to start up the habit of supporting NAMHSA again!  Which means making tack and selling it and donating a percentage of the proceeds, and not only in July but all year long.  Once the last Lottery Order is done (it's looking like February or March 2016 at this point), I plan to alternate long, grandfather orders and short sales pieces.  Once all the grandfathers are out of the way, which might be much later in the year! we shall really be able to indulge! balancing longs and shorts as ever, and selling at auction.  I have a feeling our FaceBook pages will be the scene of the action.  Stay tuned!
September 22, 2015  If I did nothing else, it would take another 4 or 5 weeks to finish #455, the TriColor.  After it, I confess things look unusually unpredictable.  I need to get going on the Guide; I need to get going on the last Lottery order, which suffers from a great deal of neglect on both customer and tackmaker's parts.  How to balance the grandfathers (I have 3 at minimum: a Peruvian, another Goehring, and a Western) with the stated, and still desired, freedom to follow whimsy, i.e. braidwork pieces, small scale harness or saddles for sale?  Should I build 2 at a time?  That would satisfy the conditions but exhaust the artist if the piece is larger than a hackamore.  You'd think I knew how to manage this artist, but it's a moving target!  And I need some way to handle the desire to write the second book, promised for... hmmm... let's see, about 15 years now??!  Stay tuned, and visit us on FaceBook, under Timaru Star II Model Tack.
July 7, 2015  Everybody should know I gave myself a FaceBook page on my birthday, at the end of April.  It's so clear that my ideas of what it should be, and FaceBook's ideas, were radically different...!  I thought a business page could friend!  I thought the personal page would be restricted to just the very few family members of my life that were not model horse... WRONG...  There's a reason I didn't have a FBook page for years and years: I couldn't figure out how to handle the 200+ people and acquaintances and customers and fans I'd gained over 36 years in the hobby.  Even now I'm not sure.  All I can ask for is more time while I work my way through a thick book on the subject.  If you've asked for friending but not gotten it, that doesn't mean I don't like you...! it just means I'm still trying to find a way to reconcile my ideas with FBook's.  I suspect I'll eventually include everyone.  My goal is to advertise and have more people read this page... or its equivalent... that's all.  Thanks so much for your patience!
April 10, 2015  The great TSII #454, The Gold-Tipped, was completed on March 31st.  It only took 5 months!!  In those 5 months at least 6 trips happened: by numbers, a third of my life was spent on the road.  We finished Rinker, a great joy -- see his blog posts!  Tackwise, Fancy's Hackamore is technically next, battling for supremacy over D.M.'s great TriColor Parade set, fresh from the triumphs of #454.  The saga of Fancy's will be on blog posts.  And: I am a lot closer to having a FaceBook page!
January 11 2014  December and January have (so far) worked out as fantastic.  Much progress is being made, and long-frozen dreams and plans of production are moving once again.  The caregiving front is stable.  My blogging has kept up, and seems to be positioned to take over the website as the "place to go" to find out what's latest at the TSII.
November 5 2013  After the golden halcyon of the fall, the storms roar back.  Mother-in-law needs to be moved yet again (she's 93) as the perfect Assisted Living home we tried so hard to find decides she isn't safe with them.  This time we've got less than a month to move her in, because of the field experiment taking December.  Truly: anything could happen, at any time.  Strangely, perhaps aided by the halcyon, perhaps by the prayers of friends (thank you), I feel that there is life after caregiving.  It is something I am having proven to me.  Tackwise this means that, after taking nearly a year to do the bridle and breastcollar, we may well be looking at next spring for the rest of the Goehring saddle... over 14 months so far... for a piece that normally would've taken maybe 6 weeks.  Small wonder I sneak in other, smaller pieces, or work on my saddle blankets.  Sisyphean.  A good analogy of long-distance caregiving is building a ship in a bottle.  Big ship.  Little bottle.
December 2012:  There are two potential problems developing.  One is the desire to have auction pieces: "spontaneity, greed, exposure, excitement, fulfillment." The other is the drift to a halt in Lottery order completion: "glaciation."  Nine (9) out of 15 orders are still standing even after 3 years.   Much of my tackmaking skill evolved in a world of unlimited time.  That world is no longer mine.
 Although it is a difficult decision, we have chosen to discontinue the TSII Lottery altogether.  Every other major artist in the hobby uses an auction venue.  It would allow more spontaneity for the muse; less time between ideation and completion; and a truer relationship with actual market value.  I've been doing the Lottery for 22 years, long enough to know all its faults intimately.  I'm tired of firing up a cold forge.  I look forward to following the muse a little more closely.  And it's not out of the question that I would need the services of an experienced online auctioneer...!

Our alternate website, Herein Lies a Tail, is the place I have set up for all the stories of the 2010-2011 chapter of my life.  It's "people" as opposed to "model horses."  It is my hope to eventually round this account out with even more detail.  The stories will mainly be of interest to other survivors.

My NOTIFICATION LIST is a personally-kept list of known fans and customers, past Lottery winners, and folk who would like to be notified when an auction or other offering comes up.  Anyone can join this list simply by asking and providing an email address.  If, during an auction notification, your email address bounces, you WILL be removed from this list.  I CANNOT be responsible for email address changes: tell me or be LOST!!  Those who have defaulted on finished TSII orders in the past will not be carried on this list.

Policy on Pictures.  Picture-borrowers are granted permission to copy illustrations ONLY for their own in-home personal non-commercial use.  Re-posting is allowed ONLY with appropriate crediting.  Asking permission is respectfully requested ... act your age.