Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Rest of the APH Story

You know, you can get a lot of work done if you’re pretty much stuck to a chair all day, in front of a computer that doesn’t like playing YouTube videos. My knees look worse, feel better, and bending is still a challenge.

So anyway, back to the Performance Horse stuff. There’s not a lot more that needs to be said, but it still needs to be, nevertheless.

As I casually mentioned before, the earliest releases of the Appaloosa Performance Horse were true Basecoat Chalkies. This makes sense: he was introduced in 1974, right in the middle of the "Chalky Era", roughly 1973-1975. As a new mold in a daring and complicated new paint job, demand and production were both undoubtedly high.

Consequently, of all the documented Chalkies from that time period, the Appaloosa Performance Horse is among the commonest and easiest to find. A nice one will still set you back somewhere in the $25-50 range, but he’s not as pricey as a Misty, or most of the non-Palomino Family Arabians.

It took me a while to finally acquire even an ordinary Appaloosa Performance Horse. It wasn’t for a lack of desire: for some reason, Santa never seemed to see his name on my Christmas List. I suspected that Dad - who took a bit of a personal interest in that particular bit of holiday shopping - was not all that into Appaloosas, instead picking items from where our tastes overlapped: Draft Horses, and Racehorses.

(Draft Horses because his Grandfather had Belgians on his farm, and Racehorses because he idolized Native Dancer, as a kid.)

There is surprisingly little variation seen in the Performance Horse’s paint job, outside of the Chalky/Nonchalky thing: some are a little lighter, and some a little darker, but that’s about it. There are some Performance Horses without the two "topline" spots - the one near the base of the tail, and near the withers. These two spots weren’t masked like the other spots, and had to be added on slightly later in production - and sometimes got missed in the process.

I don’t have one of those variations, yet. He’s been a low-priority want, for a while. It’s one of those things where I keep hoping I’ll find one locally, but most of the APH variations I’ve found recently have been of the Chalky type.

It’s one of those rare instances where finding a Chalky is more annoying than exciting: darn it, have that one already. I never pass them up: they do make a profitable little addition to the sales list, especially nowadays.


Anonymous said...

One of my APH's (the oldest one)has splashy spots, rather than the rounder ones. Is that unusual?

Anonymous said...

Aer those topline spots not masked because of the old style of masks they used (think I've heard it was a metal deal that kind of snapped around a horse, not sure how accurate that is)? Like there was a seam for the masking along the topline so they couldn't have cutouts there?

Would love to see an entry on the old style of masking, if you know the details!

ANDREA said...

Splashy spots are more typical of older Breyers, in general. The polka-dotted look tends to be more of recent thing.

There were different styles of painting masks for different models. Some had simple clip-on/clamp on ones, others came with elaborate clamshell type of frames, etc. I never saw the one for the APH, so I don't know how it was fitted.

Anonymous said...

I had a chalky plastic APH til a car fire all but destroyed him (he half-melted, so I know his plastic was chalk-white.) Luckily, I was able to find another one in the early '90s.