Saturday, August 10, 2013

Absolutely Fabulous

It’s going to be another short one today: after the week I had at work, even getting out of bed seemed like a stretch. Just as I was about to surrender to sleep again, Vita jumped in bed and gave me a dirty look: nothing like a guilt trip by a dog with a reputation for being a late riser herself. 

The only advantage to not being home most of the week (besides the alibi) is that I appear to have missed some assorted dramas on the Internet. Good.

Let us instead, in this slightly calmer corner of the model horse universe, focus on my current favorite-horse-ever from this year’s NPOD: an Aintree, a 2012 BreyerFest Tent Special on the Cigar mold.

There were lots of Aintrees available in the sales tent this year - like other Tent Specials I have noted, he was one whose overly high piece count didn’t quite match up with the demand.

Aside from the piece count being a little too high, his paint job was prone to paint flaws. The semi-chalky paint finish Reeves decided to go with, while it added a certain depth to the shading, also tended to drips, runs, and puddling. I’ve been seeing similar problems on the Regular Run Palomino Marwari release, too.

The amount of dappling the paint job required was also, in my opinion, too ambitious for something with a 1400 piece run. Though most of the ones I saw were at least passable, the bad ones were truly unforgettable. So much so that I am beginning to regret not buying an Aintree of that caliber that I found in the tent that morning, as well. (You’d think I’d learn by now not to pass by anything that catches my eye, good or bad...)

As you might have guessed by now, this particular Aintree is not one of the leftovers: he is also a Sample. Or more: aside from his lack of BreyerFest stamps and VIN number, his finish is not semi-chalky. His front hooves are also handpainted dark gray, not airbrushed, and his dappling? Absolutely fabulous. It's some of the nicest dappling I’ve seen on any model, Regular Run, Special Run… or Test Run.

It would not surprise me if he did turn out to be more than just a Sample, but an actual Test or Display piece. Aside from a couple of minor (fixable) flaws, this guy is truly live show quality.

I briefly considered that he might have been the photography piece, the one used on the web site and other promotional materials, but the shading doesn’t quite match up with the one photo off the web site. Just because he doesn’t match up doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not what I think he might be: as I’ve been trying to drum into everyone’s heads for a while now, Samples and Test Colors are not necessarily unique.

Being unique also does not necessarily enhance the value of a Sample or Test, either. The style or quality of the paint job, the popularity or desirability of the mold, the suitability of the color to the mold can (and often do) plays a bigger part in a model’s perceived value, versus quantity made.

Regardless of his technical status, I love him. Not as much as the next model I’ll be showing you, but once you see HIM, you’ll understand why.

(And those of you who know who I'm talking about, already do.)

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