Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Had to catch up on my sleep yesterday; more crazy back-to-back shifts. I do kinda actually like the job, but I wish it could go back to being a source of supplementary income, not my primary one. It’s rough on the body, and the soul sometimes.

Lots of news out there in model horse land, though I haven’t had time to digest it all yet. I’ve also noticed an uptick in the cranky quotient this week - not just on the horse boards, but on all of the other places I go on the Internet - and I’ve been minimizing my contact with it accordingly.

What that means is that I’ve been spending more of my rare bits of free time in the physical world. Puttering around the studio, doing a little quilting, catching up on my reading. Made myself a cute little Valentine’s Day box with some MiniWhinnies, for no particular reason:

I’ve also managed to catch up a little on my Salvation Army shopping. No major scores so far, just a few books and crafting items. I did run across one thing that stopped me in my tracks, though: a framed, pre-WWII map of some part of Russia.

Which part of Russia, I don’t know: the entire map was in Cyrillic. The only thing I could read was the printing date (1931); there was also a small vignette of the Revolution in one corner. It had a fascinating, almost-alien quality: I couldn’t read a word of it, and none of the landmarks or physical features were the least bit recognizable. But I couldn’t stop staring at it.

My first thought was that my brother would absolutely love it: he collects maps and atlases, and this was certainly something he had never seen before. It was hand-tinted, and beautifully printed. I didn’t have the cash on me to buy it; it wasn’t your ordinary Salvation Army store find, and the store had priced it accordingly.

I made an appeal to Mom, on the grounds that I thought it would make a most excellent present for my brother, whose birthday is coming up shortly. She took one look at it, noticed a wrinkle in the mounting, and declared it unworthy of her money. The fact that it was rare, possibly unique, and a perfect gift was irrelevant. There was a flaw.

That sort of attitude bothers the heck out of me in the model horse world, too. Wrong shade of bay? Masking a little fuzzy in spots? Solid leg on a tobiano pinto? Unworthy!

I’m not so rigorous or judgmental. I have quite a few horses in my own herd that would barely be body box fodder elsewhere. Like this FAM:

Her name, by the way, is Fragment. She was a body box rescue, and the worst of the lot; everyone else in the box could stand up on their own, at least. I made a few improvements to her condition - cleaned her up, unyellowed her a bit, gave her a replacement leg to stand on. But that’s all I’m going to do; anything more and her authenticity might come into question. And I think she’s lovely enough as she is, like a fragment of an ancient Greek statue.

Doesn’t she looks like she could be In-A-Tiff’s long lost wife? Well, I do have a picture of his spouse (her name was Truanna):

She’s not the same model, obviously: the shading and splattering are different. I’m not sure what my sad little Fragment is, honestly. She could be another Test Color, a Cull, or an Employee Take-Home.

Like the map, she is both fascinating, and indecipherable.

My favorite theory - one with little more evidence than the others - is that maybe she was Salesman’s Sample for the Proud Arabian Mare. The PAM mold may not have been ready for production, so the FAM stood in her stead. It’s plausible: I have a Traditional Man o’ War test color, who was clearly painted as a stand-in for the not-yet-ready-for-prime-time Phar Lap mold.


Stockstill Stables said...

I'm made to wonder how many good models end up in body boxes. I saw one Autumn Shimmer someone BBed and I was awestruck, IMO she was beautiful. Not BB material at all and Id have loved to have her. Most of my models are probably bodybox material but to me each is special and mine. Old friends from the past, rescues and gifts.

ANDREA said...

I have several other less-than-lovely tests. The homely ones deserve a little love, too.

For a brief time in the late 1980s, I did a little customizing, and I was astounded at the models people were sending me to work on - they were in better shape than the models I had on the shelf! Very distressing.

Last year at BreyerFest someone showed me a test color Palomino Running Stallion they pulled out of a body box. He was dinged and yellowed, but I was so jealous!

(I didn't get a chance to do much room hopping last year, mostly because clumsy me injured myself on a flight of stairs while hanging room signs in the hotel.)