Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Experiments vs. Customs

There’s another Test Piece Purchase Raffle up and I think she’s adorable, but you know I have a thing for Roans:

Being an older piece with a less sophisticated paint job and not mint, they really lay on the sales patter:
This lovely test is vintage late 1990’s, and features tape mask sabino markings, fine splatter roaning and a darker shaded head. She has four extensive stockings on her feathered legs, and a pretty blaze face. She is a beloved older sample in our archive room, and it is time for her to find a new loving home so we can make room for new test pieces! There are a few dark marks on her white legs and face, which can be seen when you zoom in on the images. We've decided not to attempt to touch up older test runs as we've found that this can alter their character and uniqueness.
Guys, seriously, you had me at “tape mask”. Behold, one of my own beloved Test Color treasures:

I think they (Marney?) used at least a half roll of masking tape on this boy! That took some serious effort and dedication, for what they knew was going to be a less-than-stellar result.

In all seriousness though, this is what an average Vintage Test Color – and the bulk of my Tests, in particular – look like. The BreyerFest auctions have accustomed many to the notion of a Test Color as a Factory Custom when they are, first and foremost, Factory Experiments. Experiments are not always beautiful, and do not always succeed.

As an historian, I find Experiments much more interesting than Customs. Judging from the commentary I’ve seen, it looks like a lot of hobbyists aren’t feeling the same way towards this little Clydesdale baby, who is pretty nice for a late 1990’s Test.

Based on what’s happened with all of the other previous Test Color Purchase Raffles, however, I don’t see that lack of enthusiasm translating into better odds for someone like me. I want her because I want her, not because of what I could get as a result of her.

But the laws of probability, alas, do not take that into account.

I’ll live. I have plenty of other Vintage Tests to keep me company.


Little Black Car said...

I've been dreaming of acquiring a test run for years but, so far, no dice.

I actually just got in a quibble (not a big one, though) about exactly this, on FB with somebody who complained that the color of the foal was ugly and why couldn't they do something nicer? Lady, it's a TEST RUN, not an artist OOAK.

Anonymous said...

I love this little girl! It slightly irks me sometimes that some parts of the hobby can't appreciate anything other than the most current/"correct"/flavor-of-the-moment molds and colors. But hey, that means more for me.