Tuesday, April 9, 2013

APH: Back to the Source

Scheduling problems, again. Everything I need to get done this week (work and nonwork) is taking too darn long to do.

Instead of weighing in on the pros and cons of Halo, I will focus on the inspiration for him, the original Appaloosa Performance Horse:

The APH was born out of Breyer’s experimentation in the late 1960s and early 1970s with more realistic paint jobs, per collector request. This experimentation also gave rise to the "Resist" Dapple Grays, more precise masking techniques, and (believe it or not) the now-beloved "Freckle" Red Roans.

Unlike the rest, the Performance Horse’s paint job was uniquely his own: it wasn’t seen on an Regular Run or Special Run release until last year’s Vintage Club Stablemates Eagle - and now, on Halo.

There are a small number of Test Colors with this paint job, most famously the Proud Arabian Stallion that is the grail model of so many. A Classic Quarter Horse Mare showed up on eBay a few years ago, and I know of an Adios in private hands. There may be others, too: it was a complicated paint job for its time, and it undoubtedly took some time to perfect.

(In case you were wondering: I don’t have a photo of that Adios, but he’s just as beautiful as you can imagine. And no, it’s neither mine, nor is it for sale. He just is.)

I know I’ve seen in some parts a bit of eyebrow-raising over the use of the Stretched Morgan mold with this color, since it is obviously not a traditional (or even untraditional) Morgan Horse color.

I tend to look at it from an historical perspective: Breyer was never one to let breed standards get in the way of pairing up molds and colors. Palomino Arabians? Not a problem. Have a Standardbred stand in for a Paint Horse? Also, not a problem.

And any light skimming of the live horse classifieds (and live show documentation) will reveal plenty of seemingly inappropriate or bizarre real-life outcrosses, planned or otherwise. Mostly otherwise, but you know some breeders and their "designer" crosses. (Not saying that I approve, just that they, like the APH Adios, do exist.)

So a wild Appaloosa paint job on a Morgan mold is entirely consistent with the Vintage Club aesthetic, and not a huge hurdle for the live shower to overcome. Though I’d be fine with an APH-colored release on just about anything, really. Belgian, Pacer, Lady Roxana …

While it is often said that a good horse can come in any color, in the model horse world the truism is slightly different: a good color can sell on any horse. Well, almost any: I can’t imagine a huge market for an APH-colored Lady Roxana, other than me. (She’d look fabulous next to my imaginary FAS Yellow Man o' War! And my not-imaginary FAMs. Yes, I have more than one.)

Since work ran rather late today - and I’ll be heading out the door again here in a few minutes - I’ll finish up my thoughts on the Appaloosa Performance Horse mold, and color, next time.


plastiqueponi said...

LOL! the ubiquitous breyer "what were you thinking!!??!" mold choices.

I'm thinking of naming my Halo "Oh crap someone left the gate open!"

Little Black Car said...

I so want a FAS yellow Man O'War.

Actually, a FAS yellow Stretch Morgan wouldn't be turned away, either.

The APH is one of my favorites simply because he looks so friendly. I know, I know; it's just a plastic horse. But he's so cute. And I happen to be a fan of the resist-dapple-roan-whatever-that-is paint job. Personally, I'd like to see it on the Running Mare and Foal. Or the Grazing Mare and Foal.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was give the horse in the top pic. Until this blog we have not be able to find anything on him. By chance can you share any other info about "Halo"? Thank you!