Sunday, April 27, 2014

Old School Tests

Here he is - one of my favorite Test Colors:

He was purchased in a box lot with a No Muscle Woodgrain Clydesdale, and the Suckling Foal from the 1982/3 Sears Wishbook Special Run Bay Pinto Mare and Foal set.

As I mentioned before, the Clydesdale appears to be a standard #980 Clydesdale, but the Foal - also still trapped in storage limbo - has socks on the wrong ("opposite" of the standard) legs. It's an uncommon, but not unknown variation for that release.

The lot was purchased from a lady living in a suburb of Chicago that at one point was also the mailing address for Just About Horses, so I am assuming that this model - and possibly the group - may have come directly from the factory, and not purchased elsewhere.

This Classic Andalusian Stallion is not in the best shape (though better than the condition I received him in) and that also argues in favor of a gift/compensation/employee theory. Stuff you get for free from work is going to be treated a little less gently than something you had to pay cash money for.

He’s fairly typical of the kind and quality of Test Colors I have in my collection, which are mostly odd bits of flotsam and jetsam I’ve accumulated over the years. Some from eBay, some from friends, some from the body boxes at BreyerFest…

(Yes, really. Take a closer look inside those boxes next time, ladies and gents.)

Most of these things would get laughed out of the showring today. Too many hobbyists, I think, now associate Test Colors almost exclusively with items in the BreyerFest Benefit Auction. In reality, most Tests were/are more like the odd cast of characters I’ve assembled. They are not always pretty, or show quality, or even of significant financial value.

I mean, I could get a fairly decent price for this guy because he’s a bit fancy for an "Old School" Test Color, but it’d be nothing like the prices garnered for many of the de facto Factory Customs they sell at auction nowadays.

It is worth noting that many - if not most - of the models in the auctions are Test Colors. But they are also gussied up and given a higher degree of finishing than an average Test Color from the Days of Yore.

He is, as I just noticed, one of five Test Colors I have in some shade of Chocolate Milk Sorrel. This was not intentional, I assure you. When it comes to Tests, I can't afford to be picky - literally! I buy what I find, and what I can afford.

As for how many Test Colors I have in the collection, I genuinely don’t know. I suppose it depends on how you define the term.

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