Monday, August 3, 2009

Intentional, or Accident?

Something short and sweet today – I'm in the middle of an unusually heavy work week, and I'll have to be heading out the door here in a moment.

I haven't been picking up a lot at the flea market lately – there have been good models, and cheap models, but I've had to watch my pennies more closely than usual. I did get a super-nice El Pastor/Paso Fino Desperado yesterday, though. Slightly yellowed, but otherwise dead mint: not something you'd normally see in your average flea market model. He might even be better than my personal Desperado, but I haven't had time to take him off the shelf to compare.

The El Pastor mold has been overshadowed for some of the newer, flashier and manlier Spanish molds, especially the Peruvian Paso and Alborozo. He definitely deserves a little more attention than he's been getting of late: as many of you already know, he has a fascinating and complicated mold history. but that'll have to wait for another day when I'm not so crushed for time.

Instead, let's look at one really interesting El Pastor: it's a 735 Paso Fino in Blue Roan, made from 1998 through 2000.

In case you didn't immediately notice, he's rather different than your standard Blue Roan Paso Fino, who looks more like this. (Actually, there are two rather subtle but distinct variations of the standard paint job too, but I plan on including them in an extensive post about subtle variations in the near future.)

I spotted this oddity on eBay several years ago, still in his original box and everything, so I knew he was authentic. You see mistakes from time to time – socks missing, socks on the wrong legs, the wrong color hooves – but this goes beyond basic painter oopsies: it looks intentional.

It's possible that he's just one of those errors-by-omission: you see those from time to time too. An error-by-omission means that the model missed a stop in the painting process: the eyes aren't painted, the hooves aren't painted, or maybe some handpainted detail like chestnuts or eyewhites were missed.

In most of those cases, though, the mistake is quite obvious: those models look unfinished. My Blue Roan Paso Fino doesn't look unfinished, though that just might be a happy accident of the painting process. Maybe the tan shading on the hooves was undershading that would have been mostly oversprayed when they finally got around to finishing up his legs. (The legs are often – but not always – the last part of the model to be painted.)

Or he could have been intentional: there were reports of other variations of other models from that time period that were subsequently confirmed to be intentional, such as the small batch of 767 Glossy Black Proud Arabian Foals. And we still hear about variations cropping up on more recent models, too, in spite of the fact that Reeves has assumed tighter controls on the painting process. Some of them are accidents, presumably of miscommunication (both language, and distance) or of old-fashioned painter error. We know some of the more plentiful ones (in spite of mild protestations to the contrary) are most definitely of the intentional variety, especially the recent glossy variations. (They see how crazy collectors get when a little bit of gloss is involved.)

I don't know the true origins of my Blue Roan Paso Fino: was he truly a mistake, or was he an intentional one? I haven't seen any others like him, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I just happened to notice him at the right moment. That's how it is with most variations.


:) said...

I know you are planning on a gender oopsie post too (just guessing). Just wondering if you ever heard of a mare Welsh Cob as I bought one in Palomino off eBay a couple years ago and am curious if there are others.

Sara said...

I look forward to your post on subtle variations! It's a favorite collecting pasttime of mine too. I always dive in to Nancy Young's book to see if my oddity is mentioned in her notes. I think it's fascinating and fun! I looked everywhere for those glossy black PAFs! Never did find one. It will be interesting to see if the VIN thing plays out, and we'll be able to "date" our variations in the future.

Anonymous said...

I was at an antique store today and picked one of these guys up for less than $15.00. I have been looking for one since the info about them first surfaced. My patience finally paid off!

Robin B.