Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Anomalous Chalky Alabaster Running Mare

Since the minor research projects I’ve been working on this week aren’t yet ready for prime time, here’s a picture of an oddity I picked up a little while back in a box lot. A strange chalky Alabaster Running Mare:

Believe it or not, she was in significantly worse condition when I found her; there’s still plenty of room for improvement, but I haven’t had the time to do much else than add her to the herd whitening in the window. She’s presentable enough for our purposes today, though.

Chalky Alabaster Running Mares are part of the “Anomalous” group of Chalkies, ones either not made during the Chalky Era (1973-1975) or of more recent (Reeves) origins. The Alabaster Running Mare was discontinued in 1970, and the mold mark on this old lady is absent her USA mark, which means that my example is not an early 1970s Reissue (aka Post Production Special Run) either.

What’s even weirder about her is that her Chalkiness is uneven; where she’s yellowish in the picture is where the Chalkiness is thinnest – or in the case of the lower part of the left hind leg, nonexistent. It’s not a matter of wear and tear, since the gray shading on the mane, tail, head and hooves is not equally “worn away”. It’s most noticeable in her tail, in fact, which appears to be half Chalky and half not-Chalky underneath the gray paint!

Weird, very weird.

At first I thought maybe the opaque white areas were an unusually smooth and even form of precipitate – typically a crusty layer of powdery residue that can form on the surface over time, usually in areas that were aggressively cleaned (buffed and smoothed down with acetone) at the factory, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Is it milkiness, maybe? The thing about milkiness though, is that it’s translucent, not opaque. And usually sits on top of any other paint, not underneath it.

What it looks like to me is that Breyer might have taken a model that was inconsistently white for whatever reason (due to contaminated regrind or differently-colored acetate batches?) and lightly sprayed it with white paint to smooth the color out. It’s only with the passage of time that the unevenness becomes obvious.

The Alabaster Running Mare is a relatively rare Chalky, and I haven’t seen any others in person to judge if mine falls within the norm, or is even more anomalous than I thought.

(FYI: Yes, her mouth was sawed open by a previous owner.)


Anonymous said...

How cool! I never saw a chalky alabaster model before......not an old one anyway. Very neat, I didn't even know they existed.

Sharon W. said...

Andrea, I have an alabaster G1 Arab Mare who looks very similar to this gal, right down to the odd yellowing in some parts more than others. The weirdest thing about her is that she's made from the new plastic!

Jeannie said...

I have an alabaster running mare that I'm trying to figure out if she's a chalky or not. I'm new to this "chalky" description, doubt I've seen one in person and not seen another alabaster running mare in person to compare. However, she is definitely painted, and the surface feel more like, well, paint than the plasticy feel of a matte finish. Certainly very different from any other alabaster I've handled. The "soles" of her feet are bare in spots, showing white plastic, somewhat unevenly yellowed. Also has just the round logo, no USA mark. Do you think I might be looking at a chalky?