Saturday, August 22, 2015

Quarter Horse Gelding: First State

I’ve been meaning to get better pictures of this guy on the Internet, and now seems as good a time as any:

This is the earliest version of the Buckskin Quarter Horse Gelding, released ca. 1961; he came out a year or two after the Gloss Bay and Woodgrain versions. This particular example has eyewhites, which are an unusual feature for models in this color, and were the primary reason I bought him. He wasn’t cheap, but he was definitely worth it.

His color and shading are pretty awesome too, which was a bonus.

All that fabulous shading and detail isn’t just painted on, however, it’s molded in: this is the fabled “supermuscled” version of the Quarter Horse Gelding mold. He’s big, he’s beefy, he’s superdefined: he’s the epitome of the “bulldog” type of Quarter Horse that predominated when the mold was first produced.

Here's a shot that shows the muscle detailing on the shoulder and barrel better; there is scarcely a smooth surface anywhere on this guy:

Since the late 1950s, the preferred body type has changed dramatically, and so has the Quarter Horse Gelding mold – at least twice.

I’ll get to that some other time, though, when I have the time to draw up some diagrams that highlight the changes. I still want to do a bit more research on the subject, too: I’m still trying to figure out when the last major change (a belly tuck) was made to the mold.

In art historical terms, what this particular example above represents is a mold in its “first state” or “first impression”, before any significant changes were made.

Almost all Breyer molds have had modifications throughout the years, mostly as a consequence of maintenance. An eartip might get shaved a bit, a small flaw or bump in the mold might be polished out, undercuts or projections eliminated to reduce molding issues.

In other cases, as with the Quarter Horse Gelding, it’s done to update to mold to more current tastes.

The Buckskin version of the Supermuscled QHG is a lot scarcer than the Bay and Woodgrain, since it was introduced later. I’m guessing – based on its scarcity – that the first major mold change (eliminating/smoothing out most of the muscling) occurred not long after.


LostInAn80sFog said...

In all the years I collected right here in the shadow of the Chicago factory, I never once saw a buckskin QHG like yours. He is really spectacular.

bubbasmom said...

Oh, I am an absolute sucker for this mold. And now I have something more to look for in my conga line :D Thanks so much for sharing! Now I've got to go home and look at my woodies, etc. As I remember, they're much smoother than this guy.

ANDREA said...

The three major variations (in general):

Supermuscled: all ripply, all over, especially on the barrel and left side of neck.

Transitional: Most, but not all the muscles softened or smoothed out, especially on the barrel.

Modern: Smoother still, with a tummy tuck most noticeable from the right side.

Anonymous said...

Love this guy, he is gorgeous! Are the eye whites a little more transparent than other models they put eye whites on? I ask because I have one of these guys, and I am pretty sure the eye whites are OF, (they look pretty legit and mine is a supermuscled one so the age would fit). The whites on mine look like yours and look a little different than any of the other vintage OF eye whites on my other models in my opinion. The paint somehow looks a little thinner, less opaque.

Anonymous said...

Does he have a dorsal stripe?