Sunday, January 3, 2021

Soap, Water and Sunlight

You know me, I love a good fixer-upper, and I couldn’t resist this one when I found him on eBay for less than a price of a new Traditional at current retail:

While I am certainly not averse to a challenge, there’s nothing better than finding a rare model for cheap who only needs soap, water and sunlight!

The soap and water part almost done; the hard part now is in finding an open windowsill. Many members of my “dirty pony box lot” are currently occupying most of the available real estate, and they are as yellow – or even more so – than the new kid.

But I hope to sell most of those guys this year, and the Mustang is staying, so I’ll just have to be patient.

The #85 Alabaster or “Albino” Mustang isn’t a particularly rare vintage model: he was made from ca. 1961 through 1966, and that was a respectable run for models made in that era. The hardest part is finding one without significant rubs in his gray body shading and mane and tail.

Because it requires a light and delicate touch, gray shading on white or nearly white models can be quite fragile, especially on Matte-Finished models from the 1970s onward. Typically, the gray shading was one of the last layers of paint added to the model, sometimes on top of the matte clear coat that gave those models their soft, powdery-matte finishes in the first place.

Gloss-finished models, on the other hand, are a bit of crapshoot. Sometimes the gray shading was applied first and then the model was glossed, and sometimes the gray shading was applied over the Gloss. 

The ones with the gray shading under the Gloss, understandably, tend to weather the years better than the ones with the shading over the Gloss. 

My newest addition appears to be the “shaded under” version, but I’m still taking my time cleaning him – partly to be cautious, but also because I’m rather enjoying the process.  

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