Thursday, January 28, 2021

Diving In

This is the kind of week I want to put in a box, throw the box in a dumpster, and set the dumpster on fire. Not a darn thing is coming easy, not even lunch

(Don’t get me started on lunch! Argh!)

Cosmic payback for my lucky last week? I dunno. 

Anyway, the only good thing to come out of this week so far is the body box lot has already arrived.

Everything is pretty much as I expected; they came relatively cheap because they were painted in a variety of paints – acrylic, enamel, house – by someone with abundance enthusiasm but not a lot of skill. 

Which is good for me, because while stripping off old goopy paint is something most customizers want to avoid, it’s totally my thing. I’m actually looking forward to it, after the drama I had to deal with today. (See lunch, above.)

There’s one model that won’t be stripped because, well, look at him:

He’s not signed, so I have no idea who to attribute this beauty to, but it was obviously someone professional, if only because this guy sports one of the nicest hairing jobs I’ve ever seen on any custom, modern or vintage. It’s just immaculate.

And he’s definitely vintage: he still has his mold marks and his seams are uncleaned. It seems hard to believe now, but prepping as we know it – sanding seams, carving out ears and hooves, fixing seam mismatches, and primer – took a while to become standard practice. 

(His ears are carved out and he does have tri-colored eyes. Go figure!)

As long as there weren’t any missing pieces or serious flaws (gouges, holes, giant plastic goobers) customizers just grabbed their paint and brushes and dived in.  

To be honest, I think that approach still has a lot of merit. Whenever I find myself stuck in a creative rut, it’s often because I’m stuck at the prep stage: maybe I haven’t completely planned every move out to the letter, or I’m finding nitpicky things as an excuse to procrastinate. 

At that point, I’ll often start a small and completely impulsive project instead. Sure, sometimes it ends up in the trash. But sometimes it turns out great. And more often than not, it gets the ball rolling, and the next thing you know, the projects I was dithering on get done, too. 

(Before you guys get any crazy ideas, NaMoPaiMo is not even on my radar, people. Remember the no Facebook thing?)

Incidentally, if anyone can help me identify who did this guy, it’d be much appreciated. The painting style seems very familiar, but researching vintage customs is not my strong suit.


Anonymous said...

Linda Leach Hardy comes to mind for nice vintage hairing jobs but beyond that, I have no clue. He's a lovely fellow!

Anonymous said...

Love him! Looks a lot like a pro artist from back in the day! Unfortunately I don't know who customized him either, but someone should recognize the painting style/hair job. I'm betting it was someone well known to the hobby.

I find the older customs really charming and attractive......wish I could come across some at a bargain price! I would photo show them just for the fun of it. :)

Anonymous said...

Or see if someone here can help ID him

Anonymous said...

Different Anonymous than above :)--

Check out the link here:

The latest issue has a story on Sharon Cook McDonald, who passed away this last September. The article mentions that the "fine, silky hair she haired them with was frequently donated by her Cocker Spaniels" (I would think you would be able to tell if the hairing on this model was not your standard issue mohair!) She also did not sign most of her models. There is a picture of a dappled gray in the article as well for comparison in style.

Good luck, and PLEASE let us know if you find out who painted him! He is beautiful, and lucky you for such a find!

Corky said...

You're not on Facebook? I'd be glad to post this fellow's photo on some of the vintage custom groups there if you'd like; I'm also a VCMEC staffer (and wrote the article about Sherry Cook McDonald referenced above), and people on the VCMEC Facebook group would be able to help as well. Let me know if it's all right and I'll do so!

Corky said...

In other words (ugh, I need coffee, LOL), I'll be glad to post this photo to Facebook's vintage custom model groups, including VCMEC, with your permission, and with luck someone there can help identify who did this horse. Just let me know! Thank you!

timaru star ii said...

He brings to mind early Liz Bouras, early Judy Renee Pope and even early Nancy Strowger, although that would be a long shot. Another long shot would be Wendy Galbreath. I like the Leach Hardy possibility.

Corky said...

I've posted a link to your blog on VCMEC's Facebook page. Hopefully we'll be able to get this guy's artist identified!

Kirsten Wellman said...

I agree that he's in the style of Strowger/Bouras/etc, so certainly inspired by one of those artists at the very least. I would guess he's from the late '70s or early '80s? Definitely a treasure!

Ardith Carlton said...

I came sooo close to bidding on that lot, just to get that vintage custom guy! Was he haired over the top of the original plastic mane and tail, or was the plastic mane and tail removed? That would help identify the artist. (And if the plastic tail was removed, is there a "tailbone" left that the hair's been attached to, or a cork stuffed into a hole in his back end and hair attached, or just hair glued to his rump?) -From another of your fans at VCMEC!

Sandy Tomezik said...

He reminds me of a Liz Bouras horse I usedto own in the late 70s,called The Magicians Nephew.

Corky said...

And we now have a positive identification of this model, verified by his artist, Liz Bouras! This is in fact The Magician's Nephew, done in the late 1970s. Liz saw the photo herself and confirmed his identity.

Sandy Tomezik said...

For some reasson mt name didn't come through. Sandy Tomezik, forner owber of The Magician's Nephew.

ANDREA said...

You guys are good! I was definitely leaning in the direction of Liz Bouras or Judy Renee Pope (I collect JRP, in particular) but when I started researching I fell down a deep dark well of pretty things and got very, very distracted.

He needs a few minor paint touch-ups that I'll eventually get around to doing myself, but he's in otherwise beautiful condition, and not going anywhere.