Thursday, June 30, 2022

Variations of Variations

I was super excited to do a Buy It Now about a week ago on what looked like a most excellent upgrade of my Five-Gaiter Sorrel Family Arabian Mare. Someone had drilled holes in the corners of my original Mare’s mouth to accommodate tack, and while she’s otherwise in pretty darn nice shape, one that was not holey was definitely high on my want list.

Not only was the one I just scored hole-free, she also had eyewhites. She was a little yellowed and dirty, but those are easy-peasy fixes.

There was only one problem with this attempt to upgrade. Can you spot it?

Variations, argh! 

The lighter mare is definitely the odd one: most Sorrel Family Arabians, including the Stallion and Foal that I have, more closely resemble the darker one. 

In fact, I don’t think I’ve even seen any other Sorrel Family Arabians that are as light as my first Mare. Then again, not a lot of these come up for sale, so that could simply be a sampling error on my part.  

So it appears I now own two Sorrel Family Arabian Mares. For the time being, anyway. 

Incidentally, my Foal is darn near perfect (she came with a drop dead gorgeous Five-Gaiter with eyewhites in similar condition), but my Stallion is a little bit rough, and slightly bloated. It goes without saying that I’d like to upgrade him, but like the new Mare, it’s going to have to be another chance encounter. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The List of Worries

I had been hearing stories, but this one takes the cake: the Special Runs chosen for me involved my first choice, and my last choice? That is… some messed up selection process you’ve got going on this year, Reeves:

I have a hard time believing everything else I selected before Marzipan was sold out during my theoretical time slot before they got to me. That would have included, by the way: the Surprise, Landler, Brahms, Rapunzel, and Elbe and Spree.

(I already had the Bears and Franz coming via the VIP, so I can’t even remember if I had them on my All-Access selection list at all.)

While I think the Marzipan is a leading contender for the Gloss/Matte split, it’s still not enough for me to actually want him, and my luck is not so good with the Gloss/Matte split models anyway.

So yeah, I’ll need to trade that one for literally… anything else. Even one of those Rando/Choose Your Own Adventure tickets they’re sending out to folks who didn’t get a chance to make tiered selections, or who only made limited selections that were sold out prior to their position in line. Otherwise I may end up giving it away, especially if space is already tight in the car. 

Ugh, another thing to worry about. This whole week, I swear

To show you how it’s been going so far: I was researching cargo van rentals yesterday. The vehicle is fine, but the service I wanted to get done before the trip (regularly scheduled maintenance type stuff) may not be possible until after the trip, and if I can’t find another place to do it, I’m renting a van.

Not necessarily because of the space, but because – believe it or not – it’s probably my cheapest rental option. I hope it won’t come to that, because I have enough to deal with between now and then, and I do not want to add “driving a rental van through Ohio” to my list of worries.

But anyway, enough about my woes. I have about six pages of the Sampler written, and I’m hoping for another two or three by tomorrow. I’m aiming to have it mostly written and illustrated by the end of the three-day weekend, and save next week for formatting, proofreading and printing. 

Barring another day like today, which was rough. (Much cussing was involved, as was the occasional “Serenity Now!”)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Raffles and Sales Lists

I did not think it would take as long as it did, but I think I finally have the sales list sorted out. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had to seriously compose one, and I had no idea I was that out of practice. 

It also didn’t help that there were a few pieces from one of the small collections I bought a while back that needed some serious cleaning up. And there’s just something so relaxing about cleaning horses, you know…

(Are there YouTube videos of people cleaning model horses? If not, there should be…)

Other than a potential upgrade I bought yesterday (because the opportunity presented itself), I don’t think there will be any significant additions to it between now and then. The only question is going to be just how many of the boxed models I’ll be able to get in the car on top of the bins and miscellaneous stuff I have to bring (there are so many bodies!) 

I also feel like I may have made some wrong decisions on what to sell. I’ve never had to intentionally leave stuff home before, and it just feels wrong. But I’m not renting a truck, and I’m not shipping a darn thing, and that’s that. 

I was also unsure about pricing, but I decided to go with the same pricing scheme I’ve always gone with: cheap! I do have a few nice vintage items, variations, and I might bring a CCA Gloss or two if they fit, but most of my stuff is well below the 50 dollar threshold, and the majority is under 25. 

If people think they can resell my stuff at BreyerFest, they’re welcome to try. (I have seen… attempts, before.) I’ll take my cut and move along.

Anyway, today’s the first day I’ve had a chance to skim the program, and I finally got a good look at the Raffle Models:

Not crazy about the names for obvious reasons (ugh, such a cliché). I’m still a little cool to the new Zafirah mold – I’m sure I’ll like her better in person because that’s usually how things work with Breyer photos. But I also tend to be a bit old school when it comes to my Arabians, so her attenuated look is a little concerning. 

But her paint job looks lovely and I do like Dapple Gray Pintos in general, and I am definitely not turning her down if my number gets drawn. 

I like the Troubadour mold better, obviously, though the paint job is a little… goofy? Silver Dapple Morgans tend to be a little more conservatively marked than other breeds that carry the gene, which is kind of why it took a while for it to be identified in the first place. 

That one will hurt a little more when I will inevitably will not get drawn for it, though it would be fitting since the one time I was drawn for a raffle was for another goofily dappled Morgan: Showboat! 

I don’t think it will happen because I unintentionally manifested a Holographic Silver Uffington on this blog last year, and I am pretty sure the Universe is not going to be as accommodating this time around.   

By the way, I did make an attempt to watch a movie last night: I fell asleep about two-thirds of the way in. Maybe next weekend, if I’m not completely exhausted by all the BreyerFest prep by then... 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Not Dead, Just Tired

After finishing up all my other obligations, I am now able to work on my BreyerFest stuff free and clear, but I felt I was entitled to a day off before that madness begins. 

I am hoping to have the Sampler at least half written by the end of this weekend, which will also be punctuated by periodic episodes of garden weeding and watering, as necessary. And if there is time, I might even watch a movie or two!

(Spoiler Alert: there will not be time for movies.)

My VIP ticket packet came earlier this week:

Nice! I know some people are trying to figure out stuff according to the numbers on the tickets, but I am not going to bother trying. I figure the system is probably about as complicated as the one that fulfills the orders at the warehouse, and we also know those are not necessarily done in chronological order…

There was some freaking out a few days ago about a rumor that Stein was a VIP sell out, but I am ignoring that as the usual social media noise. People in the hobby – well, in most hobbies in general – are so eager to find any confirmation of their worst fears that they’ll seize on any bit of information, no matter how dubious.

I have no doubt there will be few, if any, leftovers of him available at the end of the event, but I also don’t think everyone who bought a VIP pack designated him as one of their selections. I didn’t! Some All-Access ticket buyers will get them. Maybe not a lot, but some!

I am kind of curious to see what I’ll be getting on the AA ticket I get with my volunteer ticket. As long as I don’t end up with duplicates of what I preordered on my VIP ticket (Franz, and the Gummi Bears) I think I’ll be good.

(I know, I know, I probably didn’t need to buy the VIP ticket, except that the convenience of it all was a big draw.)

I did mark Stein as my first choice on the AA ticket, so If I get Stein, that’s awesome. But if I don’t, I’m also not blowing a hole in my BreyerFest budget to get one. That money is earmarked for something Vintage: the Dapple Gray Belgian, the Albino Five-Gaiter, or a Matte Black Poodle are all pretty high on my search list this year. 

While we’re in the neighborhood of the topic, I will have some exciting news soon about some of my volunteer duties at BreyerFest this year! (I am not trying to be coy: I do not want to spill the beans until all the details and scheduling are completely hammered out.)

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Chalky Western Prancing Horse

In addition to all the other things I have going on right now, I was also “gently” reminded that I needed to finish dusting, so I had to spent a good portion of my weekend doing just that. That set my self-imposed deadline for the latest writing project back a day, but at least I won’t have to hear complaints about the dust for another six months or so…

I’d also like to know how I ended up with three Test Color Shetland Ponies. I don’t dislike her, but she’s also not someone anywhere near my “Top Ten”, so me ending up with that many Tests on her is kinda weird. 

In my defense, I didn’t spend all that much on all three of them combined, and I do not pass by cheap Test Colors, no matter the mold or color. (Dear Universe: A Test Color Trakehner would be a very nice change of pace. I will also accept a Morganglanz.)

It occurred to me that while you know may quite a bit about the fact that a Chalky Man o’ War was my first Breyer model, you don’t know much about the second and third models.

I didn’t get them until the Christmas of that same year: they were a #46 Pacer and a #110 Smoke Western Prancing Horse. The Pacer himself is unremarkable: he’s just the standard release in Liver Chestnut, with a few minor marks because Pacers are notoriously tipsy.  

The Smoke Western Prancing Horse, on the other hand, is also a Chalky:

Since I never had to search for another, it took me a while to realize just how scarce Chalky Smoke Western Prancers were. I’ve tried getting the Palomino, and even scored a few, but the ones I found were not in the best condition, even for Chalkies, and then the market went boom and I’ve pretty much had to give up finding inexpensive, misidentified Chalkies since then. 

The scarcity of the Smoke is probably related to the fact that the Western Prancer was not a high-volume seller at the time, generally. While the Palomino did remain in production through 1985, the Smoke was gone by the end of 1976. 

This also explains why some Chalkies are easier to find than others. Newer molds and colors introduced during the Chalky Era (1973-1975) – like Brighty, El Pastor, and the Appaloosa Performance Horse – were better sellers than models like the Smoke Western Prancing Horse, something that had been around for over a decade and was near the end of its production run.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Being Chill

Oof, rough couple of days here: work’s been crazy, and it’s been hotter than the surface of the sun outside. I crashed and burned yesterday out of sheer exhaustion. Alas, it’s pretty much the only day I’ll allow myself the luxury: I just finished one big writing project and I have another one due next week. And after that, I’ll finally be able to get around to BreyerFest prep. 

(And that’s why the Diorama Contest thingy went where all my other Diorama Contest thingies have gone the past three years: back into the craft closet.)

But you know what? I am feeling pretty calm about all of it. Maybe because I haven’t the luxury of being able to worry. 

The same goes for the ever-changing particulars of BreyerFest this year that everyone seems to be fussing about.  

The Special Runs don’t really matter, nor is the distribution plan. The theme doesn’t matter (well, a little: not looking forward to drunken spouses in lederhosen). Other things that don’t matter – to me, anyway: the price of gas, the price of food at the KHP, the heat, the humidity, the flippers, people who try to strongarm you into selling something at half-price on a Thursday, and the crankypants know-it-alls who lecture you about things you’re the expert on. 

All that does matter to me is being in the place appointed for us with the people we haven’t seen in three years. There will be lots ugly-crying, people.

I’ve saved my pennies, I’ve had all my shots, all I have to do now is get all my paperwork done and figure out exactly how much sales stuff I’ll be able to squeeze into my car, because I have to save some space for my volunteer displays, too.

(More on that later!)

On the plus side of that conundrum, however, is if anyone needs a place to sell and couldn’t get room at the Swap Meet, I might have space available for the cost of room-sitting. (Excellent location! Lots of foot traffic! Free candy!) You’d also have to bring your own shelves…

I need to sleep a little, so I will now close with a pretty pony: since I didn’t participate in the latest round of Collector’s Club Appreciation Glossiness, here’s a photo of the last CCA Gloss I did get who I finally unboxed for the last live show – the Black Pinto Smarty Jones!

He did place – I think he got a fifth in his class? And I was good with that: black horses tend to be pretty hit and miss when it comes to showing, and that’s largely dependent on the amount of shading and the quality of the mold involved. I calculated that the combination of him being a Chase Piece, and Glossy, and a Smarty Jones would earn at least a lower placing, and I was correct.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Gris Gris

I passed on the Collector’s Club Appreciation. I considered finishing my order around lunchtime on Friday, but I couldn’t remember my Paypal password and I didn’t feel like manually entering all my data, so I took that as a sign to just let it all go. 

Plus I have a couple of other CCA Glosses I suppose I could trade with, if the need arises. 

In less good model horse news: I have to wave goodbye to my potential Diorama Contest entry. Too many other deadlines for more important things are looming, and I am rather fond of the concept of sleep. 

I don’t feel too bad about abandoning it, since I hardly had a chance to work on it anyway. But that early pre-entry photo deadline was my downfall. I mean, I understand why they did it – it wasn’t entirely about having the photos of all the entries available online, incidentally – but if this is going to be a thing moving forward, the dream of even completing an entry anymore is likely now gone. This time of the year is just so busy for me, so pushing another deadline up three weeks does not work with my schedule, at all.

Which is a huge bummer!

Since I’ll be heading back into lurk mode again shortly, here’s a picture of a not-so-recent acquisition I hadn’t gotten around to unpacking until this weekend, literally: the 2014 Exclusive Event Morganglanz Gris Gris!

He wasn’t that expensive, mercifully, because he’s a Morganglanz: the mold is almost the definition of unloved. I don’t think there’s even been an BreyerFest Auction Test piece of this fellow since… wow, 1996? Really? Poor guy!

Even when he was something new in the 1980s, he didn’t exactly catch the hobby world on fire. While we appreciated that he was doing a (more or less) correct trot, and thus made excellent performance and customizing fodder, that’s about all he had going for him. 

He had a brief renaissance in the early 1990s as a generic, all-purpose sport horse, until prettier molds overtook him. The Gris Gris was preceded by a UK Special Run of Locarno 62 in a nice dark bay in 2008-2009, and followed by the BreyerFest Open Show Reserve Grand Prize Brigadeiros in 2016. 

These last three official production runs of Morganglanz are the only ones actively being sought by… some of us, at least. I haven’t seen a Brigadeiros for sale in forever (they only made 10, so not a surprise). The piece run of Locarno 62 was substantially larger, but since most were sold overseas, he doesn’t turn up stateside much. 

Gris Gris show up occasionally, but most of the ones I’ve seen for sale since the market lost its mind have also been priced way out of proportion to reality. 

(Checks MH$P out of curiosity. Someone is asking $8,000 for a Blue Banner? Oh, lordy….)

This one was in a price range I was comfortable with, and since I’ve made some pretty good deals in recent years, I decided to splurge a little. 

And you know what? He’s so gorgeous in person! I am so glad he is here. Now to find a place for him on my very crowded shelves. 

Now let us end with some good gardening news: while the sunflowers are a lost cause, some of the milkweeds I started last year have finally returned, and there may be beans after all. (It will be dependent on how persistent the deer are.) 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

There Is Always Hope, I Guess

At first I was going to opt out of the Collector’s Club Appreciation Event because I have enough inventory issues of my own, thank you very much, but I found some Stablemate-y things I didn’t already have, so the order is now just sitting there, waiting for me to push the darn button.

(LOL they just sent me a “don’t forget your order!” notice.)

I kind of wanted an Adamek, but I’d rather handpick one than depend on the luck of the draw. There’s just something about that shade of Red Bay that I find really appealing, but I want to make sure when I get one, he’s absolutely “the guy.” If they have a bunch of them in the NPOD this year, I am definitely spending some time sorting through them. 

I’ve been looking a lot at the Classic Standing Morgan Fairfax in that regard, too – the current release is also in a nice Red Bay, but none of the ones I’ve seen in person have told me that they want to come home with me. I was kind of hoping he’d be my first on that mold, since all the original Silver Bays I found here had masking issues, and the Black one in the current Spanish Mustang Family does nothing for me, which is weird because you know rarely pass a Black Morgan by!

Anyway, that’s where I am at right now. Other than having kind of dark fantasies about what I want to do to the chipmunks in my garden. (Why do I even bother planting beans or sunflowers anymore? How does anyone grow these things where chipmunks even exist?)

In other news, they made the Exclusive Event news officially public, though they’re still being coy about when the entry window and drawing will be. I’m not trying to get my hopes up. Like the Web Specials nowadays, a lot of hobbyists will enter strictly for the financial windfall the models bring, and they tend to outnumber the folks who want to go because they want to attend the actual event. 

(Barbecue and Polo Ponies? Dang it Reeves, stop teasing me like that!)

The models are a nice bonus, no doubt, but most of the models from the recent events haven’t quite caught my attention as much as the Event Models like Phantom Face, Redmond (sigh), and Bondi. The Event Models used to be at least… kind of attainable before the market went insane? Heck, I remember getting to handpick a Like Thunder in the NPOD because everyone else was looking for something “better”! 

(Okay, I also wouldn’t turn down a Sonorah, either. Darn elusive Cremellos…)

I’ll still try to bank a couple of days of personal time from work just in case lightning strikes and I actually get picked. 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Matte Black Dapple

I spent most of yesterday working in my garden: the weather was pleasant and cooperative, and I really needed to work with my hands. All it needs now is weeding and watering: I’m hoping that Mother Nature takes care of the latter over the next few weeks because I don’t have a whole lot of time to spare. 

(My schedule changed again this week, and while it’s not a huge change, it’s still a little bit disorienting.)

I know he is old news by now, but I’m still a little bummed I didn’t get picked for the Matte Ulysses Test Color. It’s not that I wanted him more than any other of the Test Color Drawings to date, I just thought I’d have a better shot at him than with other molds, colors, and mold/color combos.

In this instance I definitely saw more grumbling about the price than usual: does the mere absence of a Gloss Finish justify a $1000 price tag?

Remember the prices of the Vintage Club Matte Claude variations were bringing a few years ago? Those make the Matte Ulysses seem like a deal in comparison. 

(I just want to “win” one of these things someday. I am not going to be picky!)

I find it fascinating that there’s such a disparity between the interest in Matte variations of Glossy releases versus Gloss variations of Matte releases. It’s been so ingrained in us that Glossy = More Valuable/Valued that it sometimes blinds us to the reality that this is not always going to be the case.

It’s also interesting that they considered releasing him in a Matte Finish at all. Other than other Test Colors (like that dreamy Black Roan Appaloosa Saddlebred Weanling from last year) I don’t think Matte Black Dapple has even been a thing. Heck, other than the Warehouse Find Dapple Gray Stock Horse Mare, even Matte Resist Dapple Grays haven’t been much of a thing, lately.

Anyway, I have to skedaddle – I have to type up some stuff for work tomorrow, in addition to having to get up earlier, too.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Brown Beauties

I made more progress on my project than I thought I would, but I’m still not going on that cross-state road trip. I just can’t spare the seven hours of driving (round trip) that it would take out of my weekend. That’s time better spend doing a lot of more important things, like thinning my overgrown bed of irises or cleaning the office. 

(Anyone need some free irises? Seems like a shame to throw all those rhizomes in the burn pile!)

It doesn’t sound like I would have gotten any bargains at the event anyway. Theoretically I could imagine scoring some undervalued or misidentified variations like I legendarily do at BreyerFest. Recent experience has taught me that my poker face isn’t as good as I think it is though, so I’ll just have to let the notion go. 

I have nothing else particularly interesting or important to say today: I have to save that energy for the paying gigs. I did recently unbox a few things – technically for the live show a couple weeks back, but I had been meaning to set them free eventually anyway: 

Ah, the joy of simple, solid colors! I really do think the Sable Island Pony release features the Croi Damsha’s best color to date, though her Sooty Palomino BreyerFest 2015 release Chanel is a very, very close second. 

And the color on the 2003 Walmart Man o’ War is just luscious: I believe he’s the only one of the three shown here that actually placed. It’s one of those rare colors that makes just about any mold look its best, you know? More of that, please!