Monday, May 13, 2013

Shades of White

Okay, so now the scuttlebutt is that the Shetland Ponies I mentioned last post might/will be a Vintage Club release, so the reference to last year’s e-mail photo was probably the correct one.

I am a little ambivalent about the concept only because, duh, there never were any Decorator Pintos. There were rumors of Decorator Pinto Test Colors floating around back in the day, but I found those rumors even less substantial than the Christmas Decorator ones.

(I swear Reeves does these sneaky reveals on the "Kid Tours" just to mess with us, knowing the kids are going to be fixated on the newer molds in more realistic colors.)

I found some charged batteries, so here’s the Calf I mentioned previously, with his Regular Run cohort:

So now you see why I am not so eager to send the little bugger back!

Yes, I know my Regular Run Calf is yellowed, but it looks worse than it actually is because the Oddball is very stark white - not Chalky or Opaque White Plastic, but I could see how some people could mistake it for such.

That sort of thing happens, from time to time: someone at the factory - possibly by accident - came up with the perfect mix of virgin (fresh) plastic, plasticizer, and colorant. I have an Alabaster Western Pony that’s so white it almost glows in the dark. (Discontinued in 1970, if you’re trying to do the math at home.)

It’s been recently reported on Blab that someone found an older Chestnut Belgian that was actually made of a mix of standard white and Chalky white plastic, which only really reveals itself when held up to a strong light. (Ooh, swirly!)

This does not surprise me at all. Breyer was experimenting with whatever plastic they could get their hands on in the early 1970s (the Chalky Era), and it undoubtedly included many different colors of white in addition to all those funky reds, browns, grays, purples and greens.

In the sometime questionable light of a factory, the mixing of these various whites would become an inevitability, if not an economic necessity. 

It’s even happened more recently, with some of the Stablemates molds: at some point, the Glow-in-the-Dark plastic that was used to make the Giveaway Andalusian Keychains was mixed in with the standard white stuff, giving some later releases a faint luminescence.

Other colors sometimes got swirled into the standard white plastic, especially in the Chalky Era, but they generally got painted over - either by a solid dark (or black) paint job, or with a Chalky basecoat first. Reeves does this even today, as many faux finishers have discovered first hand.

And…I just opened up my Yellow Mount that I bought from That Guy, and guess what? Aside from being one of the nicest Yellow Mounts I’ve ever seen, his plastic is also snowball-white.


(His variations are pretty subtle - tan instead of pink shading, more gray on his muzzle - but I bought him mostly because I wanted a nice Yellow Mount at a nice price. Done, and done.)


T. Phillips said...

"Oooh, swirly!" indeed :)

Although the chalky era was certainly the heyday for interesting plastic variations, I imagine it's happened in all eras. I own an old mold FAS in gloss alabaster who is distinctly swirled in two different shades of white plastic, both of which have yellowed but at different rates. I haven't ever seen another like him but they must exist.

PixelPerfectStables said...

Hi Andrea!

I just checked a calf I got recently, and his tail is different from both of the ones you pictured. The black on his tail goes until the hairy tuft on the end, and then is white. His ears are pink like the one on the left. I wonder, is mine an odd variation as well? Looking at the Guide, the tan and brown ones' tails are painted the way my black one is.. I don't know a whole lot about the animals' variations.
Also, I found out that the Belgian's swirls can be somewhat seen though the paint- they aren't super noticeable, like woodgrain, but they can be seen if one is looking. :)

PixelPerfectStables (Blab)