Monday, April 27, 2009

Carrot Cake

I got my JAH early last week (yay!) and fell in love with Carrot Cake, the Silver Bay Misty Contest model. My first thought was "Oh great, I have to come up with something REALLY clever for the cake topper contest now." My second thought was of my hand-airbrushed Misty: she’s one test color that’s definitely staying put. Isn’t she lovely?

(Oh, and my third thought was: dang it Breyer, how’d you know it was (a) my birthday this week and (b) that carrot cake is my favorite? Darn you. Darn you all to heck.)

There’s more to my attachment than the fact that she appears to be a preproduction, pre-mask test piece: I found her on eBay last year during a very sad and extremely stressful time in my life. I couldn’t really afford it, but the world was falling apart, and I needed something rare, beautiful and tangible in my life at that very moment. I had to have her: price wasn’t really an object.

(There’s a lot of that kind of thinking, and buying, in the hobby. Deep down, we’re all just lonely little girls who love horses. Neither time nor money seems to change that. Sorry for that maudlin little interlude…)

In Nancy Young’s book there’s a mention, and a photo, of a similar piece: a hand-airbrushed San Domingo. He had been up for auction - and sold for an outrageous price - not long before the Misty turned up. That probably influenced my decision, too. It wasn’t necessarily proof of her authenticity, but it didn’t hurt, either.

You don’t see too many hand-airbrushed, unmasked pintos in the regular run Breyer line. They’re labor-intensive, hard to keep consistent, and easy to screw up. A couple notable exceptions would be the ever-popular chestnut pinto Indian Pony, and early versions of Jasper, the Market Hog. On the early Jaspers, you can even see that they "drew" the outline of his spot first before filling the rest of it in.

In other words, what I’m trying to say is that hand-airbrushing is generally a good indicator of something being either a very early, or very rare. (And occasionally, both.) It’s a good thing to look out for, if you’re looking for something special.

1 comment:

beforetheRfell said...

Since you bring it up here, I have a theory that for many hobbyists, model horses are one of perhaps only a few good existing memories from their childhood, or at least one of the best. They are certainly a great memory for me, personally. It isn't surprising though, that in adulthood, some try to buy all of that back as fast as they can, nor is it surprising how some tend to regress in maturity in regard to overreaction to conflict or challenge in model horse related dealings. This is probably true of other toy based hobbies as well.

On a lighter note regarding interesting Misty models, I've got a "no eyed" Misty that arrived in the first Asian batch of #20. She lacks the ring around the right eye. Now that I am Spring Cleaning, she will likely go to eBay soon along with two Glossy Sari models as I do not really collect that mold. I will forward you a photos when I shoot them.