Monday, September 20, 2010

Melanges and Marmalades

I’m so conflicted about Melange. I don’t really have the money or the space for her, but I don’t know if I’ll have the luxury of leftovers in the NPOD next year, judging by the full-on freak outs occurring online over the late-as-usual JAHs.

Unfortunately, I have a lot of debt to pay off over the next few months - mainly stemming from that emergency dental appointment - and most of my spare change has to go towards that, plain and simple. My recent sales listings have been helping a little bit but not enough to justify Melange.

The fact that customizers are confessing a willingness to pay almost double RR price to use Melange purely as a body - regardless of the quality of the model they receive - is also weighing heavily in my mind. I’m sorry, but that’s just flat out nuts. That, and the hobbyists who are trying to sell the ones they haven’t even mailed away for yet, are almost motivation enough to throw my order in the mail. (And shout "No Melange for you!" as I do it. No harm done - the mail ladies already know I’m a little daft.)

The flea market was rather quiet today: not a lot of vendors - or merchandise. Even though the weather was as perfect as a September morning could be, it had rained almost perpetually for the three days previous. The sky was blue and almost cloudless, but apparently not cloudless enough for a lot of people. (Pansies!)

One thing there was a lot of were kittens there - the real-life puffballs, not the plastic kind. Oh, I was tempted: Vita was raised with cats and would probably be fine with one in the house, but I’m not authorized to bring home anything that eats, so there they had to stay. I did spend an inordinate amount of time admiring the fiesty little monsters, who were the spitting image of our favorite "creepy meow," the #336 "Calico" Kitten:

While this particular Kitten was referred to as a "Calico" in the Breyer catalogs throughout its entire run (1966 through 1973) it’s not actually a Calico, it’s a Tabby. To be more precise, it’s a Red Mackerel Tabby. "Mackerel" Tabbies have stripes, as opposed to "Classic" Tabbies, which have swirls and splotches. If you need visuals, there’s an excellent chart on top of this page:

(It’s also a useful link to help you impress, annoy or disturb your friends with your knowledge of cat color genetics.)

So the Kitten is painted in a real cat color, more or less. They just gave it the wrong name. (Something they did with the horses, too. "Bay" Racehorse, anyone?) It’d be several years before they’d release an actual "Calico" Kitten - the 2000 BreyerFest SR Patches. And to give props where it’s due, they did a pretty good job on her, too.

Back to the Kitten above: I found him at the very same flea market, years and years ago. He was an upgrade: my first "Calico" Kitten only had a handful of stripes, while this has more than your average zebra. Since these stripes had to be hand-airbrushed, fewer stripes tend to be closer to the norm on this release. I don’t know how to explain mine. In my imagination, I see a couple of bored painters having a stripe-painting contest, but it’s probably something more boring than that.

No comments: