Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Man of Irony

My schedule has not been pleasant the past few days; my efforts to remedy it only made it worse, apparently. Sigh. Sometimes winning isn’t even on the table.

I’ll just have to slog through it. I came THISCLOSE to nabbing one of those already-discounted Walmart Special Runs today, because it was definitely a "needs a pony" day, until I remembered I had a still-unopened box from Reeves sitting in the office. That I will open the first thing in the morning, because tired now.

Here’s what might be one of the last NPOD items from this year’s BreyerFest that I will feature here. (I still have a couple other non-NPOD things I want to talk about, but I haven’t had the time to do the necessary background work on ‘em. Don’t worry, they’re worth it.)

Once you see who it is, longtime readers will understand my hesitation in talking about this particular horse:

Yeah, I got a Sample Traditional Totilas. Really. One of the actual, (and somewhat) verifiable early run pieces. Oh, the irony. I even named him "Man of Irony". (I can’t believe that a lot of hobbyists don’t even name their models, by the way. Didn’t realize that naming all my horses was so old school!)

I haven’t had much experience with the Production pieces yet to know if there are any significant differences/deviations on display here, other than the usual lack of VIN Numbers/marks. I can’t imagine that there would be, considering that the paint job is nearly solid black. He’s not quite as inky-black as a vintage 1970s paint job like Midnight Sun or the Black Foundation Stallion, but it’s close enough.

Though to be honest, he doesn’t really need all that shading and stuff to look awesome: we saw that in the resin prototype last year, and the translation to plastic hasn’t dimmed his luster any, in my eyes.

The reality is that most actual real horses don’t have all that much of what we would consider "shading". It’s more of a hobby contrivance/aesthetic choice that’s a consequence of the source material: instead of painting a model to replicate actual physical reality, most of the time we’re trying to replicate the reality we see in photographs.

It’s a contrivance that’s become almost a show ring necessity, though. Unless you provide copious documentation, solidly colored horses with minimal shading - no matter how expertly done - don’t generally get the same attention or placings that an identical but much more dramatically shaded model will. 

I have models with insane amounts of shading that I love. I have models with no shading at all that I love also. It all depends on the quality of the model, the appropriateness of the paint job, and the memories attached to it. 

The pegged foreleg on my Totilas is bent inward slightly (a fixturing issue?) so he’s going to need a little corrective shoeing when I can squeeze some time out of something.

Not this week, that's for sure. 


Anonymous said...

Hope your week gets better :) Recently started collecting again, after several decades. I, also previously named my horses and hadn't gotten around to naming the new ones but I'm going to do it.

Little Black Car said...

I've come to think of the exaggerated shading on models as a sort of scale compromise, contributing to the illusion of size in a very small model. A Stablemate painted in honest, relatively flat, color, would look . . . very flat. Flatter, probably, than a real horse, because the model doesn't have the size needed to create the shadows that give real horses the appearance of highly-shaded color. It's pretty much the same thing that other modelers do with tiny houses, etc., that don't have the scale needed to create the shadows and illusion of color variation that you see on real buildings. We're basically painting on the shadows that a real horse's dimensions would create with light.

So, no, it's not true to life, but it still makes a very small model look more lifelike.

GWR said...

What Little Black Car said. It's an aestheics issue.