Saturday, October 10, 2020

White Shade of White

This year’s Christmas Model Yuletide Greetings is another model whose popularity I am moderately confused by. 

I get that the Shannondell model – independent of anything attached to it – is popular in and of itself. But all the Christmassy gewgaws dripping off of him aren’t doing much for me. As I’ve said before, some of these Breyer Christmas horses kind of remind me of the way Mom decorates for Christmas, and I am not so much unimpressed as I’m kind of over it. And Yuletide Greetings falls into that category. 

A giant, six-foot tall tree made out of pinecones? Completely covering a tree in pink poinsettias? Handmade grapevine wreaths decorated with flowers made out of hand-dyed cornhusks? Seen it. Done it. Yawn.

I do have a pretty nice, saddle-free White Western Pony in my body box right now that I might decorate as my interpretation of a Candy Packer for the holidays. All the supplies have been purchased (they were on sale!), but time? Time is the problem…

Speaking of all-white horses, here’s a pic of an old favorite of mine who didn’t do much at the BreyerFest Photo Show, but her photograph turned out pretty great so I’ll share it with you all:

This is an unpainted Chalky Plastic G1 Saddlebred, purchased from The Bentley Sales Company at Model Horse Congress back in 1985. For 25 cents? Or a dollar? Something ridiculously low, because Stablemates were cheap and collecting unpainted models back then wasn’t that big of a thing yet.

The swirls in the plastic are mold flow lines, caused by the leading edge of the melted plastic already beginning to harden, forming a slight skin. They are fairly common in vintage models, particularly those from the 1970s and 1980s. 

It’s not very apparent in the photograph, but she’s also somewhat yellowed: just because the plastic was opaque white doesn’t mean it doesn’t also yellow. Basecoated Chalkies are less likely to do so, though I’ve seen a few that have mellowed to a very pale ivory with age.

Unpainted Breyers in other colors also exist – most notably, the Pink Proud Arabian Foals – but a lot of the ones I see are actually just stripped Chalkies. The fact that some live shows allow them to show as Original Finish models, alas, only muddies the line between Customs and Original Finish and (to a degree) devalues those truly unpainted rarities that do occasionally resurface. 


Anonymous said...

I adore the Shannondell mold, and actually bought two Christmas horses (variations, you know) and promptly stripped the costumes off. I just love the mold.

And don't get me started on stripped models showing as OF- IMHO, they aren't and never will be. They did NOT come from the factory like THAT.

Carrie said...

I had the opportunity to get a nearly-complete set of G1 SMs from Marney Walerius way back when. I even showed them once as a Collectors Class entry, which didn't place.

Anonymous said...

For me it's the fact that's a more accessible loose mane version of the mold. I didn't get a chance to get Markus, and the price on the secondary market is still a bit spendy for me these days. I agree with the decorations being meh. But in the world of Christmas horses, I am after the horse far more than the decoration.

Anonymous said...

I saw the Shannondell Christmas horse at TSC (my first time seeing the mold in person) and it did absolutely nothing for me. I though I would be excited by the mold, and don't get me wrong, I would still like to get some as bodies, but the model with all the decorations on it just didn't get me excited about the mold at all.

What I did splurge for was the Classic Arabian decorator in the silver dapple blue clear ware. OMG, I had never had a clear ware piece before (except Stablemates) and he was so drool-worthy. I keep thinking he is a giant Jolly Rancher and want to suck on his tail, lol!

I also loved Emerson but couldn't justify buying both at the time I was there. And when I went back of course both Emersons were gone. But if he comes back in stock I WANT one! I suppose Emerson is supposed to be a realistic paint job??? The ones I saw were so metallic purple/blue that I pretty well considered him a decorator. Which is cool with me, I was just surprised he was considered a black/white pinto???