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Spring, 2021

May 4, 2021

Gold Items are Back in Stock

We've got a fresh load of Gold etched parts in stock and ready to ship now. There are a few parts we didn't get this round, and some are in short supply... although we do have most of the primary things like slotted rings and buckles available now.

Iberico G913g is Available Again
Some of our recent plans on updated tooling didn't come to fruition over the past several months, so we had to resort to some older works to get some things in stock this time around. These sheets have some of each of the 3 sizes of Iberico buckles, plus the matching keepers.

HD818g Bijoux Blanket Buckles in Gold
As with the Iberico buckles, we had to run some silver tooling in gold to get enough various parts, and we ended up with some "extras" we don't normally produce. So, for the time being, we have a limited supply of HD818g Blanket Buckles in gold color. I can't say how long they'll last, or if we'll be making them again (it depends on the demand, and circumstances). So if this is an item you'd really like a lot of to be available as a regular thing, please let us know.

We also have a few of the HD841 (Deluxe Large/Draft Blanket Buckle sets) In gold. We get a few of these along with other regular items, and usually they're snapped up pretty quick.

There is a possibility to get HD825 (Trad 1/4" Blanket Buckles) and HD838 (Draft 3/8 Blanket Buckles) produced in gold, at least for a limited run, but we'd need to know there was enough interest in it. Keep in mind also that items in gold will cost more than their silver counterparts. But, if we can get enough advance sales for either of those, we can do it on the next gold run.

New Stirrups Coming Soon

Gary's been working on some new printed stirrups, and we should have some new Trad-Sized Oxbow stirrups available soon. These are a flat style, and can be painted to simulate wood (like our other stirrups) or spray painted silver color to simulate metal versions.

Gary's got a few other things up his sleeve in this vein, but... one can only go so fast!

March 27, 2021

New Sheepskin Skiver is in Stock!

We have new Sheepskin Skiver in stock and ready to ship now.

Please note that this new skiver is not exactly the same as what we had previously, however it is a very nice leather and I'm sure you will find many good uses for it.

The primary differences is that this leather is not as thin as previous skiver, and has a much softer "hand". It also has a bit of "drape" to it, and has a luxurious feel similar to chamois (but is not as "flimsy" as chamois). At the same time, this new skiver is rather stretchy, and is easily formed and shaped.

This skiver takes dye very well, and it also accepts stamping and carving/tooling. Granted, it is still quite thin for carving, but it holds nice, crisp detail. This leather can also be skived or sanded to make it thinner.

Saddle Kits

We will be able to have some Saddle Kits available for a short time, until the current stock is out. This is now due to a dearth of appropriate leather lace. As that issue shakes out in the next few weeks, we should be able to have Saddle Kits available almost all the time after that. (At least until the next global whatever.)

Bridle & Halter Kits

While we can still produce some, the colors and styles are limited based on what lace we have remaining at this time. Once we have replenished our Leather Lace stocks, the kits will be available again in the usual color range.

Accessories Kits

As with the other above kits, Accessories Kits are currently out of stock in Traditional size, primarily due to lack of leather lace. This will be rectified as soon as it becomes possible.

Leather Lace

Covid and other issues disrupted the production and supply of lace over recent months, and we have word that things are ramping back up to speed at this time. While we have lace ordered, we have no word as yet when it will arrive. I presume (perhaps erroneously) that we should have most of our lace restocked in the next 4-6 weeks.

Gold Etchings

We should have our next production run for Gold etchings started by the end of next week. I expect we should have most items we've been out of in approximately 6-8 weeks.

Pewter Castings

We have been discontinuing a portion of our former offerings in cast pewter over the past months. Many items rarely sold, and some molds are wearing out. Due to a lack of time and expertise in-house to replace the molds, those items are going the way of the dinosaur. Going forward long-term, the items we retain will be those there is a demand for (stirrups, primarily) and a few other select parts.

Gary Update

Gary is mostly healed up now, but there have been a variety of issues that still remain to be sorted out. Overall, he's doing well, and currently working on getting some custom footwear made.

I wish to thank everyone for your continued patronage and support over the recent months. Your understanding throughout all the slow-downs and delays is very much appreciated!

Early Winter, 2021

January 27, 2021

Quick News & Notes:

Shipping & Handling Rate Changes

Rates will be changing for most all locations and shipment options.

Current Shipping Rates

Rio Rondo Newslist

In December, we found out that Google mail (and a few other european email providers) have seen fit to block our newslists posts. If you have subscribed to our News list (for email postings) and used a email address (or some firms in europe) you will not receive our posts.

Right now, there is not a lot of activity going on there, because I can't keep up with things as they are, and everything keeps changing on a daily basis. Nevertheless, if you are able to log-in to the newslist, you can view the archives online. Alternatively, you can subscribe to the newslist with another email address/service (if you have one.)

The only "cure" for this, is to move the news list to some commercial firm that Google has "blessed", such as MailChimp, and to be honest, there is no time to attend to that presently. I wish things were different, but here we are.

Gary's Situation

Due to the newslist only getting to some people, I did request that people share the info on the newslist on Facebook and other online hangouts for hobbyists.

The short version is that ultimately Gary had to have half of one foot amputated, and is currently recovering in fine shape. He is still off one foot for another 3 weeks, then who knows what therapies after that. However, he should be able to be reasonably ambulatory in the long run (March or so). Meanwhile, he's doing a lot of sit-down jobs and we've rearranged parts of the office and shop to accommodate him.

Due to this, we have not been able to produce some things. However, as Gary has recovered, we were able to look at the pewter casting again and got some SP24 stirrups made. As weather and time permits, we'll be working on getting other items back in stock. With luck, that should be over the next 3-4 weeks.


Events of the past year are catching up to the supply chains on many items. We do have various leathers either in process or in transit, and will be restocking most of them in the next 1-2 weeks. This will include tooling leathers.

Skiver ... well, we're still working on it. One more tannery test run is in process, and we're awaiting the results. Keep your fingers crossed. There's not much we can do but wait and see how it works out.

Leather Lace ... there's been significant disruptions in the supply chain on leather lace, (Kangaroo in particular) and it will take some time before that shakes out. (April, perhaps, they tell us). Nothing to do but wait on that, or find something else (which also takes time).

Silver- Color Etchings!

Among the better news, we are awaiting arrival of the etchings now... more than a week later than we anticipated (and about 2 months later than normal). But! We are on the home stretch.

Most silver-color etchings should be back in stock by Feb 3, barring any other unforeseen circumstances. (There has already been a weather delay in the shipping, so who knows?)

Gold Etchings
In order to maximize the parts people want most in gold, retooling is required, and there has just been no time for that between all the other unexpected happenings. We will get on that as we are able to.

Saddle Kits

Not much to be done when we're out of 3 of the leathers necessary to construct them. We should be able to make a very few shortly, cobbled from what remains on hand, but after that, we're not sure how things will go until some issues shake out (skiver, leather lace). If we do get a small number made, we will be limiting them to 1 per customer for the time being.

Some of the other kits are going to be on hiatus as well due to the lace issue, until that gets resolved.

Notes in General

This has been a heck of a go these last few months, but we're still working towards things lining out a bit and getting back on a more predictable track in the coming months.

I wish to thank all of our customers for being patient, and continuing to support what we're doing here for the model horse hobby (and others!)

Summer, 2020

August 16, 2020

The most exciting things in quite some time . . .

All New Western Show Halter Sets


Oh yes, at long last, these actually are in-stock and available right this minute! This is one project that has been on the back burner for a number of years, and it really feels good to actually have them in my hot little hands.

There are 10 Trad designs, and two Classics. The number of parts range from 21 to 25 per sheet, depending on the design.

These are all new designs, compared to the HP6xx halter plate sets (now referred to as Halter Plate Combo Sets). The pieces have also been more accurately sized (such as the buckle keepers, tips) and there are more parts per halter. There are enough parts to make a fully adjustable Show Halter, but you can make your halter any way you prefer.

One note about these new sheets:
the keepers and strap tips do not have "wings". While I loved the original idea, for the most part, they break more than they don't, leaving you with just a "top" to glue on. But, a good quality super glue (or fingernail deco glue) will work quite well for that. But never fear, you can make metal keepers to glue those tops onto easily with this new Metal Keeper Tutorial. The top frames on the new sheets will provide just what you need to make them. There's also a new Leather Keeper Tutorial, if that is your preference.

While we do have a good supply of all the designs today... as with many things, I can't guarantee we'll be have the design you want at all times. We'll see which styles are the most popular, and look into changing up the tooling at a later date.

One of the next projects we'll be undertaking is to work on the rumored etched "one ear plates".... and a few other things.

Glue Dots® brand Removable Glue Squares, 3/16" size.

I've been using these for awhile now to attach bits and things to models to take pictures on the website... and I can say I very much prefer using these to Tacky Wax. Granted, the wax is tried and true, but what also is tried and true is the nuisance of removing the wax bits from your models....or having a bit just slump off when it's too warm.

These dots come in a dispenser roll/pack of 450, they are easy to apply to a bit, and they stick well, even in warm temperatures. They are thinner than most glue dots as well... maybe twice the thickness of an etched bit. I've left them on painted models (sealed with clearcoat) for up to a year, with no ill effects on the paint job. (Honestly, I really can't say what they'll do with un-coated acrylic... so that may be the only rub if they don't work there.) They also are a bit trickier to get to stick to the flesh side of leather, compared to a smear of wax, but it can be done.

You can use them to fasten bits, have dolls hold the reins, tack down stray strap ends or bridle parts that don't want to hug the model nicely... the uses are endless.

The best part is that they're easy to arrange so that you can't see anything under the bit!

One downside of these glue squares is that they are really tricky to get them into a smaller amount (by pinching or cutting) so they'll work with very fine items or small-scale models like Bijoux/Curio/Stablemate etc. Sadly, they don't make them smaller (if they did, we'd carry those too!).

Gary's favorite use is to stick one on the back end of a pair of tweezers, and stick your finger on it a couple times. It gets slightly less tacky that way, but is perfect to stick the butt-end of the tweezers onto some tiny object to pick it up. (Especially useful if your fingers are too fumbly to get the tiny items). Try sticking a glue square on the end of a toothpick and marvel at what a great "picker upper" tool it becomes (and doesn't leave any wax on anything).

Although... sometimes I've smashed a glue square down on the back of a bit so well it doesn't all want to come off. A swipe or two of paint thinner/turpentine/mineral spirits on a cotton swab will remove it from metal items. What's not to like?

New Veg-Tan Tooling Goat Leather

This is a new leather we're testing out. The price is economical, and this leather is similar to our Tooling Cow in terms of overall thickness and body. It does have a fine, tight surface grain, although the surface may be a little less than perfect color-wise.

This leather seems to dye well, based on our tests, and the somewhat uneven coloration only seems to be an issue if you intend to leave the leather "natural" colored.

More Goat Leather

We also got some goat leather that is about half the thickness of the above. Unfortunately, with all the other stuff going on at the moment, we have not had a chance to deal with it. Lets just say, it's about 2x the thickness of skiver, but half of our thin tooling leathers... and it seems to me this may be a lot of fun for making small-scale saddles, or other leather projects such as saddle bags, and possibly english saddles or harness items.

Give us a shout if you have an interest right away... otherwise this will eventually make it to the leather section.

Jump Cups - JC138

Gary's been at it again, and came up with some resin Jump Cups. We just haven't had a chance to get them photoed and onto the website as yet. Price is $4.50/pr and they fit 3/8" square wooden dowels. These are set up to be outfitted with a pin connected to a chain (so its not lost) like our previous pewter ones, but the loop to connect it is on the bottom, so the pin can be used from either side without disconnecting the chain.

They come in grey color, and can be painted however you like. Gary's got a few more things up his sleeve... and hopefully we'll be able to get to that soon.

Other Things

We have discontinued a number of parts that just aren't selling anymore... primarily cast-pewter halter/bridle/breastcollar plates, and corner plates. A number of other pewter items will go the way of the dinosaur by the end of the year... but not everything. For the most part, there just is no time or energy to either update/retool things, or make new molds where they are warranted.

Spring, 2020

May 6, 2020

Gold Etched Items are In Stock

Most Gold Etched items are now back in stock, but supplies may be limited (as ever) on some of them.

April 9, 2020

Leather Lace Updates

We've added a new color for the moment "Brandy" and have done a little rearranging with the natural lace.

Flat Lace Swatches

Getting natural lace to be what we'd like is a struggle, and we're at the mercy of our supplier, who is at the mercy of the tannery. Sometimes, we get what we get, or not at all, unfortunately.

At the present time (April 9) we have a brand new stock of very light "natural" colored lace, in 4 of the 5 sizes. Some of it has a finish on it, most of it does not. Please note this lace will "suntan", so you will need to keep it in a bag in a dark place to keep it nice and light (until you dye it or put a finish on it).

The previous batch of natural lace was a dark color, with.... interesting.... color variations in it, and came with a surface finish. We have changed the name of this particular variant to "Dun" color (comes complete with primitive markings). It more or less is a dark "rawhide" type color.

The price has been lowered on this lace, and there are quantity discounts at 25 yards for the 1/16 and 1/8" sizes, and discounts starting at 5 yards on the 3/16".

Going forward, we have no idea what color or condition the "natural" lace we get will be, and will assign it as either "natural" or "dun" as need be. In all truth, we don't want to get any more "dun" color, but sometimes we get what there is, or none at all.

Meanwhile, for the time being, the "Dun" lace is on sale, and you may find it useful for stable halters, blanket straps and other projects where the lace doesn't need to be a particular color or match something else specifically.

Brandy Colored Lace

In the course of trying to restock the brown lace (which wasn't available at the time, but has since re-appeared) we picked up some "Brandy" brown color instead. This is a lovely dark reddish-brown color, it's very pretty and has a nice feel to it. Right now, we have this color in 1/16, 3/32 and 1/8 sizes. If there is interest or demand, we may add 3/16 and 1/4.

March 16, 2020

New Main Email Address for Rio Rondo

Due to many issues regarding spammers spoofing our email address, the main contact email for Rio Rondo has changed to:

something like an address

While we'll still keep the old "sales" email address, if you are a regular customer, you could put this one into your approved senders list or white-list.

In other news . . .

Subscribe to our Email News List

There's been a number of news bits and announcements of late, which will continue for awhile, so if you want to find out the latest things we're up to, be sure to subscribe, if you haven't already.

This is a private emailing list, announce-only (not a discussion board) so it won't clog up your email too much, and we don't sell or share email addresses.

Early Spring, 2020

February 27, 2020

Harness Hames Are No Longer Available

Unfortunately, the last of the molds have given out at this time. These have been problematic for us to produce for quite awhile, and things have pretty much come to the "end of life" at this point.

After reviewing sales, and costs to re-tool, along with the attendant production problems under the best of circumstances, we just can't justify replacing or updating them at this juncture.

In other news . . .

Updated Saddle Trees

We've updated the western saddle trees we offer... to be a bit nicer, and more symmetrical. Take a peek here. Prices remain the same.

New! White Japanese Plonge

Super soft, drapey and flexible, this leather can be used for costuming, tack items, doll clothing and more.

New! Coral Suede

Beautiful coral color for tack items and color accents.

Tooling Leather

Obtaining super clean quality tooling leather has gotten more difficult, and as a result, there's been a price increase on the standard LT2 pieces.

Sheepskin Skiver

As of this time, there is no news or information about getting the skiver back in stock.

Mohair/Hairing Fibers are being discontinued.

After much thought and deliberation, we will be phasing out the remaining mohair stocks. Once upon a time, we had a giant selection of colors... and dyed a bunch right here. But, the results weren't always satisfactory, and it was very labor intensive for the price. Although, sometimes you do things as a labor of love, because you think it should be available.

I believe there are a lot more options these days, thanks to eBay, Amazon and Etsy... and a few model horse hobby suppliers, so I am going to wave the mohair ventures a fond farewell.

Fall 2019

September 14, 2019

Running out of Sheepskin Skiver

As of this date, we are very low on our remaining stock of skiver. We are working to secure a new supply at this time, but it is unknown how long that will take.

When our stocks are depleted, we will not have any skiver available until we can procure more.

A Few New Items

We've added two new tools to our lineup... although we have not been able to get them onto the website or catalog as yet. I'm referring you to the pricelist page, because these items are available for order there!

TL843 Bead Pick/Awl... shaped like a pencil, this very thin (and sharp!) tool can be used to pick up beads as well as poke fine holes through leather, or make little "stitch marks" on your projects.

TL162 Pounce Wheel ... a rolling wheel on a handle with 24 teeth per inch, that you can use to make "stitch marks" along the edges of your tack items.

HS13s Tiny 3/32" studs! 4 prong... flat top with rounded edges (somewhere between flat and domed looking).

Bijoux-Size Deco One-Ear Pieces -- Small one-ear parts to match some of the other deco rails for small-scale bridles. Comes in sets of 4. Available in Rope, Reno, Decatur, Atwood and Riley styles.

New Azure Blue Suede -- A new suede color that is a deep azure sky blue color.

All of the above items can be found on our New Products Pricelist Page until we can get them into their customary places on the website!

August 1, 2018

New Prepping Tutorial

This is actually one of the most important pieces of information you will need if you are prepping models.

It has recently come to light that removing the silicone-based mold release from resin-cast models requires the right approach. We conducted a series of tests to find out what does and doesn't work, and found an easy solution.

The trouble is, a lot of older information... doesn't actually work very well. If you are downloading our Prepping Brochure (BR08) please be sure to snag this one as well. (The two will be consolidated together as soon as I can get to it.)

New Pricelists Section

The Price & Availability Lists have been revamped and we also have included pages that feature just the new product, price changes as well as specials.

We'll be working on tweaking these up a bit in the future, and adding to the specials offerings

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Rio Rondo Email News FAQ Sheet – helpful tips, and links to sign up, change your options and unsubscribe.

Price & Availability Lists

Check these pages to do quick price checks, availability checks, new items, price changes etc.

Order Resin Models

Resin-Cast models by Carol Williams.

Specials & Close-Outs

Every now and then we clean out the shop, and come up with all kinds of extra parts, goodies, odd lots, factory seconds or special items we've got only in a limited quantity. First come, first serve!

Reference Section

Rio Rondo Contact Info

Mailing address, phone numbers, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of commonly asked questions and answers about Rio Rondo and its products.

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Painted Resins
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