Sunday, March 19, 2023

Risk Assessments

Like everyone else, I’m a little gobsmacked by the final selling price of the Sample Paddy, and making side eye at some of the Samples sitting on my shelf, like my Nosferatu, that sweet BreyerFest Aintree with the handpainted battleship gray hooves, or the one that (I think) would probably bring the biggest bucks right now, the Wedgewood Brighty Nugget:

An extra 2K in the bank account would not be unappreciated! 

But this situation also gives further lie to the currently accepted wisdom that the market is on a bit of a downturn. The people who had the money to spend on thousand-dollar Alborozos still have money to spend… on other things.

There was a little more going on here than just that, obviously. First and foremost is provenance: there is little reason to doubt that a model purchased straight from Reeves is not what it is advertised as. 

Some of the things I’ve seen advertised as Tests or Samples lately – models that are very clearly just minor variations, or very obviously Shrinkies – do make me wonder about my fellow hobbyists. Do the sellers genuinely think their items are what they claim them to be, or are they pushing the truth envelope and gambling on low-information hobbyists to make the call in their favor?

(I’d rather not believe the latter, but I also know better!)

The other big thing going on here is that the Cleveland Bay mold has been having its moment since BreyerFest, when it was revealed to be the Rotating Draft Surprise. And, of course, it was a St. Patrick’s Day themed model whose auction closing date was on St. Patrick’s Day. 

As I mentioned above, I already have a lot of Samples, so this one was no temptation. I even have a Sample Cleveland Bay somewhere (the 2012 BreyerFest SR Tunbridge Wells, if you are curious.) The provenance might be shaky on some of mine, but I’ve also not spent much more than store retail ($35-70) for them either. 

They were within my acceptable level of risk, and I recommend anyone else also aspiring to add a Sample or two to their herds to also assess their risk levels, and plan accordingly. 

It should come as no surprise that the Sample Brighty is on my Collectibility show string short list; the Breed documentation is finished, and I’m hoping to finish the Collectibility part tonight. 

And in closing, it should also come as no surprise that I was not picked for Magpie. I suppose that means I should now order my Vintage Club Secretariat. Will it be a Gold Charm? I wish, but probably not!

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Dealing with a lot of petty annoyances over the past few days. First, there was this:

As for what happened to my beautiful big Chocolate Moose… I bumped him. Nothing dramatic at all, I just happened to brush him as I was putting a binder away and ploop! Off popped the antler. 

He is over 50 years old and a lot of the plasticizers in the plastic that keep it flexible have evaporated over time, so it is not a complete shocker. But it’s still a bummer: I spent forever looking for the perfect Chocolate Moose, and now he’s no longer perfect!

Then I caved and bought one of the Deluxe Grab Bags. Yeah, I know the last round of Grab Bags didn’t go over well, but I just got a nice (and not so little!) profit sharing check and the next thing you know, click-click-click. I’m just hoping that there’s one or two things in there worth the gamble; I’m pretty easy to please, so I’m guessing maybe? 

I’m not feeling lucky, just optimistic. Spring is just around the corner, you know.

I’m not so optimistic about the latest Birds of a Feather release Magpie:

It’s in that beautiful Gloss Midnight Blue-Black color I love so much on my Omega Fahim, but it’s been a while since I’ve been picked for something. But you can’t win if you don’t play, so…

More annoying is the fact that the e-mail for Magpie (and the last several e-mails from Breyer, in fact) have ended up in my Spam folder. While actual Spam… has not. Oh, except for the VIP ticket e-mail that was completely redundant. That’s some messed up spam filter you got going there, Yahoo!

Rolling my eyes at the Cleveland Bay Paddy Sample Breyer put on eBay, too: at the price (over $1000 already, really?), and the preponderance of commenters on Facebook who had no idea that this model was actually released over ten years ago. 

It’s just depressing: I know that history is not everybody’s thing, but when a significant (and/or very vocal) subset of hobbyists can’t be bothered to either read or do 15 seconds of research before commenting, it makes you question your life choices.

And finally, and darn, someone just listed a beautiful old Julie Froelich model on eBay – on a Running Mare, no less! As much as I’d love a vintage Froelich, that’s not going to go cheap. Sigh. 

That’s one thing I do need to add to my BreyerFest shopping list this year: Vintage Custom fixer-uppers. I’ve been enjoying the process so much with that Black Stallion mystery custom that I wouldn’t mind adding one or two more to the craft table. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Miniature Family

The only thing keeping me awake right now is more than the daily recommended allowance of those new Oreo-flavored Oreos. (They’re my new favorite flavor!) 

I woke up last night with a pretty intense sinus headache that had me seriously considering a trip to urgent care; I took some pain meds and managed to get another couple hours of sleep, but I’m still feeling a bit woozy. Though the mini cheesecake I had for lunch probably didn’t help, either…

Even though my weekend was significantly shortened by work and by Daylight Saving Time, I’m pretty close to finalizing my showstring for BVG Live. I dropped a few Collectibility entries and added a few more Stablemates, since working on my Stablemates was supposed to be my big experiment this year anyhow. 

The documentation is also coming along adequately: if I pick at it a little bit every day, all I’ll have to do the night before is toss the totes, binders and toolbox in the car and head out the door in the morning. 

(I decided to not take the night before off, so that’s just about all I’ll be able to do!) 

Since I’ve either given up most of my worst vices – and am working on the others – just about the only thing I could give up for Lent this year was buying stuff on the Internet, aside from the obligated “club” purchases. I’ve missed a couple of pretty sweet Buy It Nows on eBay, but otherwise it hasn’t been too terrible an experience so far: I need to buy less stuff anyway. 

I just opened my Stablemates Nadira and Zaahir, incidentally:

Much nicer than I expected them to be, especially the Foal Zaahir. The original G1 Standing and Lying Down Foals have come in a Gloss Finish before, as the 2017 Charcoal Vintage Club Bonus Stablemates Licorice and Jellybean. But in spite of the multiple releases the Mare has had, this is the first time she’s come in a true Gloss Finish – and it suits her quite well, I think!

I’m not the first one to point out that, of course, Nadira and Zaahir pair up quite nicely with the 2020 Stablemates Club release Sultan, the Gloss Dappled Bay G1 Arabian Stallion. I would have paired them up here for a photograph myself, but I didn’t feel like digging him out again, especially since I didn’t have any plans of going back into the Stablemates storage boxes until next weekend at the earliest. 

I’m sure it was intentional, and most likely a callback to one of the original Christmas Stablemate Special Runs: the “Miniature Family” featured in the 1975 Sears Wishbook, which included the Bay Arabian Stallion, Thoroughbred Mare, and Standing Foal. 

(It also happens to be the toughest of the Wishbook Stablemates releases to find in its original box, which says something!)

Friday, March 10, 2023

The Little Things

It’s been a rough week and Saturday, alas, is not going to be any better. 

On a slightly more positive note, most of my seeds have germinated. Well, except for the ones now stratifying under a two-foot-tall snowbank in front of the house. 

In other good news, I am apparently still enrolled in BreyerFest Live. I had heard about the brouhaha with the full tables and collector’s classes, but since I avoided putting in for either, all that nonsense floated right by me. Thank goodness.

I haven’t had much of a chance to work on the show coming up in (ulp!) three weeks, other than a little more Stablemates sorting. I’m seriously considering this guy, an NPOD find from several years back:

It’s the first, original release of the G2 Thoroughbred in Shaded Gray, sorta

What happened was that several pieces in the 1998 Just About Horses Stablemates Gift Set had production issues – paint problems, masking problems, molding problems, you name it. So some new and improved versions were made as replacement pieces.

And the leftovers from that effort ended up as the Stablemates “starter pack” in early versions of the wooden 5905 Stablemates Display Shelf, because one does not simply make a handful of Stablemates as replacements. 

I can’t remember exactly which BreyerFest I found them in the Breyer Store; I’m not in a mood to go digging through my records right now. I do remember a pile of the boxes on one of the tables; I opened them up, noticed that they were the replacement Stablemates, so I tossed a set in my buy pile because Stablemates, and went on my merry way. 

This was back in the days when Store Specials weren’t a thing yet and there was utterly random stuff put out at utterly random prices. Leftover QVC Specials, stray NIB Regular Runs, leftover bits of Gift Sets (dolls, tack, bags of accessories), sample packaging, whatever. 

Most of the time I had no idea what I was buying, I was just buying things that I wanted without any consideration for what it could be worth. I like it: I want it. 

And when it turned out to be even more than I hoped for? That made it all the better.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Wee Trio (No, Not That One)

Experiencing some scheduling issues again; as a consequence of that, I only got 4.5 hours of sleep last night, and I’m feeling a little loopier than normal.

(Long story short: I’ll be fine tomorrow. No worries!)

I didn’t get quite as much done on my live show documentation as I thought I would over the weekend; I’m still debating over the last handful of cuts. (I’m aiming for half Collectibility and half Stablemates…)

Oddly enough, my main problem wasn’t obsessing over the minutiae of Breyer History, but falling down the rabbit hole of rare or obscure horse breeds and freaking loving it. It’s taken me back to my elementary school days, when little horse nerd me would check out the big encyclopedias of horse breeds over and over and stare at pictures of Frieburgers, Lokais and Vladimir Heavy Drafts.

Anyway, I’m a little short on time (needs sleep, I do), so here’s a small assortment of my favorites that are in the running:

The Flaxen Chestnut G2 Saddlebred is from the 2018 (Series 2) Walmart Horse Crazy Surprise Assortment. Nothing especially remarkable about the release itself, other than the fact that most of them in that particular series had remarkably attractive and well-executed paint jobs: the Saddlebred was the prettiest one of the bunch I eventually found.

(It was the beginning of the Stablemates Chase Era, before we got bored and/or irritated by it, and all my nearest Walmarts were plundered early, and often.)

The Black G1 Arabian Stallion is a rather fetching release of this mold, from the 1991 Sears Wishbook Special Run Stablemates Assortment. My Bay one always does well, and I wanted to add another G1 Arabian to my live show mix: he was the best of the rest, aside from my NIP Dapple Gray (who I only show in Collectibility). 

And finally, that’s the Florida Cracker Horse from the underrated 2007 BreyerFest SR “All-American Trio” Stablemates Set, the one that included a Black Pinto Tennessee Walker and a Chestnut Appaloosa Colorado Rangerbred. All three were super nice, but I just adore the detail they put into the paint job on the Paso Fino mold.

Well, that’s it for today. Off to water some plants and get some serious sleep.  

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Over and Out

Ugh, I am 100 percent over the weather this week. I am absolutely not leaving the house this weekend if I don’t have to.

(I don’t have to.)

The Volunteer application is up, and there’s only a twenty-day window to apply. So, go forth and apply, if you’re so inclined. Thumbs up, would recommend the experience…

Speaking of new experiences, after surviving my brush with death earlier this week, I decided to do this after all:

I went with a half table because of space issues: I still have a lot of sales stuff to bring with me again this year, so I genuinely don’t have the room for a lot of Traditionals anyway. It will also help keep me from blowing up my showstring beyond a manageable amount: I want this to be a fun experience, not a stressful one. (This is also why I chose not to do a Collector’s Class.)

As long as there are no other weather-related catastrophes, I should be able to go through my Stablemates stash for viable candidates for BVG Live over the weekend – and from there, I can figure out who and what to bring to BF Live. 

(I already have the Collectibility stuff for BVG Live kinda-sorta figured out, except for the paperwork. You know that’s my happy place, yo…)

I need to get to bed early today – the chaotic weather and post-apocalyptic driving conditions ate away at my soul this week – but here’s a little model horse content: I finally opened up my Ponies & Palm Trees Strapless Sarong! 

And as I feared, I got a real pretty one with nice dapples and everything. Nuts! I need less stuff, not more. Maybe I’ll show her at BVG Live and see how she does before I make a decision. I’m thinking Hungarian Warmblood, maybe? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Wintry Mix

Well, my greatest accomplishment over the past few days was in not dying – literally! 

I was driving in the sleet and freezing rain to work yesterday, and I thought the road conditions were actually improving as I traveled south. I noticed a backup (about ¼ to ½ mile) on the northbound side of the freeway due to a spinout crash into a (newly installed!) guardrail, so I slowed down a bit more as a precaution.

Some knucklehead in an SUV decided they weren’t having this, and made the choice to pass me in the fast lane. They gunned it; I saw them wobble a bit as they crossed lanes a couple car lengths in front of me… and then proceeded to do a full 360 spin in my lane, and then slid down the (very steep) embankment. 

I swear it looked like a special effect straight out of a Final Destination movie. I held my breath, told myself not to brake, braced for impact and… somehow we missed each other. By how much I’ll never know, unless someone else has dashcam video of it. It was not by much!

Since the cops were not even a half mile up the road attending to the other accident, and it didn’t seem wise to stop, I kept driving. And I actually made it to work on time. 

Though, to be honest, I was pretty useless for the first hour or so: my hands were shaking like crazy and I couldn’t concentrate because holy carp, I came within a couple of seconds of nearly dying…

Anyway, that’s the kind of day I had. How was yours? 

The 2023 Volunteer Model is the Croi Damsha/Connemara – a mold I did have on my list of possible candidates – in Red Bay and Sunburnt Black Snowcap Appaloosa: 

They’re holding back the third color until BreyerFest, presumably to leave us something to speculate about. 

Everyone’s first instinct is to think that the third color Chevaliere will come in will be a Decorator, but I’m more inclined to believe it’s going to be a Dilute or some other base color modifier like Dun, Pearl, Roan or Gray. 

While I wouldn’t rule it out (especially a Translucent release – surely there must be a few leftover bodies from the Christmas Spice Drop release hanging around the warehouse somewhere?), it’s been a while since they’ve done a pure Decorator color for the Volunteer Models.

What’s unusual about Chevaliere isn’t the fact that it’s an Appaloosa – they’ve already done the Connemara mold in Dun Blanket Appaloosa, for the 2018 Collector’s Club Special Run Starlet – but that they went with a Snowcap Appaloosa pattern.

Breyer has done a lot of Appaloosas over the years, but most of them have been fairly conventional: Leopards, Semi-Leopards, and Blanket Appaloosas. Few Spots, Varnish Roans, Snowflake and Snowcap Appaloosa releases are much fewer and further between.

Some of it is a reflection of real-world tastes and biases: many horse people have a surprisingly narrow definition of what an Appaloosa should look like, and it usually involves lots of spots. 

And I know from personal experience that some patterns are simply harder to render than others: I will not regale you with all my failed attempts to paint the Snowflake Appaloosa of my dreams. (Will my Few Spot Standing Stock Horse Foal turn out any better? LOL, probably not!)

I’m not sure when the application for volunteering goes up – presumably pretty darn soon? – and I know they need a bunch of people this year, so I encourage anyone who’s curious about it to give it a shot. Heck, I’d do it just for a tee-shirt and a sandwich, but y’all know I’m a lifer…

And don’t worry if you’re not famous, not an expert at anything, or have even been to BreyerFest before. There’s a place for everybody – even (believe it or not) people who aren’t big on crowds! Everybody can contribute something, even if all it is is a cheerful face and a willingness to be helpful.

That’s it for today; I now need to go to bed and stare into the void for a while. I think I deserve it. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Ahead of Its Time?

I just realized that if I had decided to go to BreyerWest, I would have experienced another weather-related freak out with the ice storm. 

I now feel like I have somehow outwitted the weather gods. 

Whether this ends up being a good (that I dodged a bullet!) or a bad thing (that there will be meteorological retaliation somehow), only time will tell.

I’ve made much hay out of the absence of the Old Timer in this year’s assortment of BreyerFest Special Runs. I’ve made less of a fuss about the Pacer because now that we have the new Standardbred mold Constantia, my expectations for the Pacer’s return have dimmed a little. 

He’s an old Hess mold with a molded-on halter, after all.

With the exceptions of the rarities – the Exclusive Event Praline, the BreyerFest Live Hot to Trot, and Test Colors (BreyerFest or otherwise) – I have just about all of them. I could stand to upgrade a few, and while I have all of the Sulky Set colors and variations, I don’t have a NIB or MIB one per se

(I have pieces of one. It’s… a story.)

I don’t think I have the QVC reissue of Niatross either, but that’s not a consequence of it being particularly hard to find – it isn’t any moreso than the QVC Man o’ War, who turns up a few times a year – it’s just me being easily distracted and/or having bad timing. 

Of all the Pacer releases, none are more notorious than the Riegsecker Pacers from 1984: a set of three in Palomino, Dapple Gray, and Flaxen Red Chestnut. The Palomino and the Dapple Gray draw most of the collector attention: the Palomino is that notorious eye-watering shade of Neon Yellow that was very common in late-era Chicago releases, and the Dapple Gray was also very typical of the times with random, wild and messy dappling.

But the third member of the trio is much more sedate, and as a result doesn’t get quite the same looks:

Other models were decorated with similar Flaxen Red Chestnut paint jobs at the time, but the Pacer feels a little different. While the other two Pacers are very much of their era, the Flaxen Red Chestnut almost seems like a harbinger of the more realistic and less generic colorways Reeves would produce – after several years of mostly unsuccessful experimentation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

None of the three come up for sale very often anymore: they only made a few hundred of each, and hobbyists like me who collect the Pacer tend to keep them. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Goodie Bags

Not dead! Just exhausted and probably a little overscheduled. Throwing an ice storm and a health screening into the mix didn’t help things, either. 

(We didn’t lose power, but I could stand to lose 25 pounds.)

Anyway, since I’m short on time here and I’d like to get in a little extra sleep before the weekend (a full weekend off!) I’ll cover a few quick topics as I prepare something a little more substantial in a day or two.

First, I’ll jump right into it and join the chorus of people excited about the contents of this year’s BreyerFest VIP Swag. A Bento Box and an Insulated Lunch Bag? A Picnic Blanket and a Cooling Towel?

The only problem here, of course, is that I actually want to use all this stuff. Generally, the only swag I use on a regular basis are the tee-shirts, because I can turn them into quilts later. (I also make quilts to display my pins on, but I’m not sure that counts as something I “use”.)

Onto the next one…

I ditched all the reference photos I pulled for the two Diorama Contests. I decided I’d rather focus on my sewing instead, at least until the weather warms up and I can start customizing more. It was a little sad to give up on the Diorama dream so early, but my time is not infinitely expandable, and I really need to kick my multitasking habit.

And finally…

Maybe my confusion stems from the fact that this is the first year I am seriously considering entering the in-person live show, but is there some reason why there are two resin shows for BreyerFest? 

Although much of the antipathy between Breyer collectors and resin aficionados has dissipated, I come from a long line of people who have held grudges forever, so part of me is a little miffed that resin collectors/showers have both an online and in-person option, but Breyer collectors/showers don’t. Breyer Boot Camp is tailored to Novices only, and I am most definitely not a Novice! 

I know they wouldn’t necessarily want to have a photo show with the same number of classes as BreyerFest Live, but maybe a theme or specialty show with a pared down classlist would be more manageable: Mini Only, Custom Only, Specific Breeds Only, Collectibility Only. It could be a different every year, both for the challenge and to cover all the bases over time. And make it open to everybody!

If I don’t enter BreyerFest Live this year for whatever reason (sells out, I have other commitments, or I end up in traction and unable to travel due to my tragic lack of coordination), I’m definitely doing Breakables. I have enough decent chinas to be competitive but also not so many that I’d lose much more than a weekend preparing for it. 

And on that note, guess what I’ll be doing this weekend, probably… 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Riding It Out

I find myself in the midst of a midwinter funk that no amount of seed starting can fix. All I can do is ride it out until it passes, or at least until the end of the week, with BreyerWest and the news it brings. 

I am most curious to see what the Volunteer Special looks like; this year they are implementing a new program that essentially turns it into a Gambler’s Choice model, in three different colorways, that applies to all volunteers at designated Breyer-sponsored events. 

This was something I think they were going to implement earlier – in 2020, the Celtic Fling Volunteer Special Ben Nevis came in two different shades of Chestnut Pinto – but the Pandemic got in the way. 

I’ll be interesting to see how that affects Volunteer applications. While some of us do for the love of the hobby, there are a significant number of hobbyists who do it for the financial boon. 

(I like the heat and I don’t usually mind the humidity, so the whole “compensation for my pain and suffering” isn’t part of the equation for me.)  

While it could be argued that three small (125 piece) runs are going to be “more desirable” than a single 375-piece run, I’d counter that if a model is awesome enough, the quantity is almost irrelevant. But if it brings in more applications and more enthusiasm, so be it.

I don’t have much more to say today; I really need to finish planting the petunias and alpine strawberries. (The strawberry plants were much easier to grow from seed last year than I imagined they would be, but the berries themselves are teeny, and I need at least 50 plants to be able to make anything out of them!) 

I suppose I should leave you with a picture of something: the lovely, lighter variation of the Prince Charming release of Linzer, the mini Brigadeiros from last year’s Best of BreyerFest Set!

The majority of Linzers were much closer to the Traditional Brigadeiros’s Seal Bay color, but a handful of them were this sooty buckskin. While I have largely curbed my Stablemate variation habit (with the recent exception of the Dollar General pieces) this one I simply couldn’t resist, especially since he seemed to be a bit on the scarce side. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

To Buy, Or Not To Buy

Shows you just how distracted I’ve been lately: I just now realized I’ve been calling Zafirah Ziyadah! And here I thought I was doing so well, never having called Totilas Tortillas… 

Here’s today’s conundrum:

On one hand, here is a Glossy Dark Dappled Red Bay on the Fireheart; on the other, there is my commitment to minimize my purchases this year until I legitimately have my inventory under control. 

Right now my “buy-o-meter” is telling me no: most of the recent Collector’s Club Special Runs of this sort have not been all that difficult to obtain after the fact, including Lafayette. If I still need him six months from now, I don’t think I’ll have too much difficulty obtaining one.

Plus the Vintage Club and Stablemates Club releases were just announced: that pretty much blows my model horse budget for the month anyway.

Too many hobbyists, I think, make the assumption that models fall into only two categories: expensive, and worthless. As someone who finds value and worth in every Breyer mold – but is also a cheapskate who has a hard time spending more than $300 on any one model – I am not one of those people, obviously.  

Most models fall in the “mushy middle”, with their prices bobbing up and down according to whims, fads and fashions. Remember when Khemosabi was a thing? When the original NIB AQHA Horse was selling for $250? Or the $400 1984 Just About Horses Saddlebred Weanlings? 

That’s why I don’t take too much stock in that current line of hobby thinking that assumes that because the prices of Alborozos have leveled off, that the market itself has cooled. 

No, it’s just moved on to something else, as it always and eventually does. There are still tons of models out there being advertised at crazy prices, and some of them… are actually selling. 

Off to plant my pepper seeds now...

Monday, February 13, 2023

Happy Places

I ended up sleeping through most of my (actual, full-length) weekend. It wasn’t completely wasted, though: I did get most of my tax paperwork from last year sorted out, about a month earlier than I usually do. And I picked up my newly repaired sewing machine!

(A shout out to Lea Robinson here for making the tax paperwork process super-easy, at least as far as the BreyerFest Sales part goes. If you’re in need of a room-sitter, I highly recommend!)

As far as this week’s big project goes, it’s seed starting time. As I’ve mentioned before, most of the things I intend on growing this year are direct sow, but I do have a couple varieties of peppers and a few perennials I that have to be started early, as well as the usual petunias, snapdragons and coleus. I had pretty good luck stratifying seeds last year, so I have to get that set up, too. 

They released another video of the BreyerFest Special Runs with better (non-distorted) shots. The color on the Barb is beautiful, but I’m still not a fan of the mold. I’m liking the Ziyadah more than I thought I would, but I’m hesitant to put her on my official Buy List. I still own way too much stuff, and it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to sell as much as I want from now until July to make room for her anyway.

Since I had a dentist appointment today and it’s thrown me out of whack (as it usually does), here’s another picture of a not-very-recent but still very pleasing acquisition that puts me in a happier place: the Bay Pinto Thoroughbred Mare and Suckling Foal!

One of the earliest of the “official” Christmas Catalog Special Runs when it first appeared in the 1982 Sears Wishbook, this set was so popular it made a return appearance in the 1983 catalog. A variation of the Foal can sometimes be found with stockings on its opposite legs. (Which I already had, courtesy of a large and very randomly assorted box lot several years back.)

I got this set for Christmas when it first came out, but I was dumb and sold it several years later. Although this set is not minty-mint, I did pick them up in a small box lot a couple months ago: once the other bodies in the lot are sold, the Mare and Foal will essentially be free. My favorite kind of deal!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Taking the Win

Things are pretty quiet here, model-horse wise. I did a very, very preliminary show string for the show in April: the Collectibility section was pretty easy (as I hoped it would be!), but the Stablemates division I wanted to focus on this year? That’s going to be some tough sledding.

And it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can go through my stash and pull out some fresh contenders. My success with the Stablemates has been such a mixed bag lately I’m not even sure what I’m looking for at this point…

To go back to a point I made in my previous post about reading too much into things, I think a lot of hobbyists are reading way too much into those BreyerFest Special Run reveal videos posted on Instagram. They’re a little oddly lit and shot, and what we’re seeing in them is not any more representative of what they’ll actually look like in person than the publicity photos.

Seriously people, nothing has happened to the Brighty mold. It’s perfectly fine.

I don’t think we can accurately assess what the models will look like in person until we see some samples in person, and the first opportunity for that will probably be at BreyerWest, at the end of the month. 

I doubt my opinions or choices will change, though. My choices were based mostly on affection toward the mold, rather than the love of the color. Until we get better (less staged) pictures, all we can do is chillax, and maybe get some crafting done in the meantime. (No painting for me though. Stresses me out too much!)

Now for some actual model horse content:

Here’s a model I acquired last BreyerFest that I only recently unboxed: a Gloss Omega Fahim! I traded my Gloss Jake (the Chestnut Overo Wixom) for him; I’m sure the person on the other side of the trade thought they were getting the better of the deal. 

But (a) both of the models were technically the same price in the beginning, which was free and (b) if both ends of the trade are happy with what they get, so who’s to say one side profited more than the other?

There have been plenty of deals I’ve been a part of where I came out the “winner” financially, but my first and foremost goal when wheeling and dealing is to acquire things that I like and want. Selling is (usually) a secondary goal.

And this model is so gorgeous in person: the gloss really brings out the midnight blue highlights that are almost imperceptible in the Matte version. The Jake was nice – and one of the scarcer Glosses of that particular CCA Sale – but I scarcely glanced at him when I owned him. But the Omega Fahim I could stare at it all day. Feels like a win to me!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Whiter Shades

That was a surprisingly productive weekend, especially considering it was only 24 hours long for me. Finally finished that one stupid quilt project that refused to be finished, started another, cleaned out some old financial paperwork, and did a bit of prep work on my taxes!

I know I told myself not to buy stuff this year, but (alas) I relented again. My rationale this time: it was cheap and something I wanted!

He’s the later black-eyed version with not a lot of shading, but he’s snowy white and in excellent condition, other than a couple of small stains and hoof edge rubs. And I got him for about the current cost of an off-the-shelf Traditional.

I’ll still need to get the original pink-eyed “Albino” version one of these days, but I suspect I’ll have to cough up a little more cash for that one. They command slightly higher prices not just because they’re earlier pieces, but because they tend to look a little bit fancier, with the pink eyes and extra shading.

I’ve noticed that regardless of the variation – black-eye or pink-eye – the White Five-Gaiters don’t seem to yellow as much as other White/Alabaster/Albino models from the same era. 

Even back then Breyer was aware of Cellulose Acetate’s tendency to yellow or mellow over time, especially when they used a lot of regrind (reground, recycled plastic). I wonder if they purposefully used fresh CA whenever they manufactured the Albino Five-Gaiter because the yellowing would be just that much more noticeable? 

Or was it the fact that he wasn’t as popular as his Palomino or Sorrel siblings? The Albino Five-Gaiter was discontinued by the end of 1966, while the Palomino stuck around through 1971, and the Sorrel until 1986. Fewer models = fewer models that will turn yellow.

Or with him being one of the fancier paint jobs of the era, maybe the majority of them lived the decorative life in a window?

There is also the strong possibility that it is all just a coincidence and I am reading way too much into it. That happens a lot in historical research, especially when so much of the evidence is lost and we have to deduce things from what was left behind: in our case, the models themselves.

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Choices

Got my BreyerFest ticket order in. Just one VIP ticket: the Fell Pony Scurry and the Lady Phase and Standing Stock Foal set Surrey and Axle as my SRs, and Via Lattea and the Best of BreyerFest set as my Limiteds. 

It’s nothing I think will sell out or be overly popular – I feel like the only ticket buyer who didn’t pick either a Speos or a Wells – so while it might not have been specifically necessary, having all this stuff prepaid is always a load off my mind. I can just go and enjoy the event. And maybe finally focus on finding those Hess Belgians that kept eluding me last year. 

(The list: Gloss Dapple Gray and/or Dapple Black, a Darker-Than-Average Smoke, and an older Chestnut with painted eye whites!)

I am a little underwhelmed by this year’s Stablemate Buggy, another Appaloosa on the Django mold:

While the mold looks good in any color, the fact that the Standing Friesian mold has now come in three different Appaloosa patterns, but still no variation of Black yet… well, it’s getting a little silly. 

I know they do it because spotted horses sell better than solid ones, but considering how pretty (and well-received!) last year’s Glossy Dappled Black Volunteer Model Zeitgeist turned out, you’d think that would have been an obvious choice for a driving-themed Stablemates Friesian release. 

I’ll still get him, because I am not one to pass up a nice bay roan anything, but this is one of those so obvious exceptions to the rule that it makes me want to throw my hands up in the air and just go “Gah!”

(A lot of things have been making me do that lately, to be honest. I wish there was a polite way to tell people they’re being dumb, because that would come in super handy right now.)

That, and the obvious lack of Old Timer in the lineup. While there is a slim possibility of it being the Surprise – it’s probably one of the few true “vintage” molds that is popular enough to work – they tend to go with more recent molds. 

The only vintage mold used for the BreyerFest Surprises was the very first one back in 2009: the Quarter Horse Gelding. Who I think they went with because they were still uncertain that the idea would even work.

(Laughs hysterically.)

If I get another ticket, I think I’ll shoot for Peanutine and the Surprise. The former because it would be easy to sell if I don’t fall in love with it, and the latter because I like (or love) most of the stronger mold possibilities, such as Smart Chic Olena and Forever Saige. And if it’s not something I love, passing the redemption ticket onto someone who does won’t be a hardship either. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023


First, thanks to everybody who’s helping me out here on the trip planning front. As the timestamps of my blog posts attest, I have a nonstandard work schedule, and I’m not normally awake or available during normal business hours. It tends to make interacting with the rest of the world a little challenging sometimes. 

I have a couple of projects that absolutely have to be done this week, but once that’s over and done with I can get back to planning and scheduling!

She’s yet another shelf hog, but I’m a big fan of Shagya Arabians and of the Yasmin mold, so the BreyerFest Online-Only Traditional Special Run Studebaker is another must-have for me:

Many others online have pointed out her similarity to the BreyerFest 2019 Open Show Grand prize Victory. The major difference between them is pattern: Victory is an Overo and Studebaker is a Tobiano.

Well, that and the price. There’s no way I’m ever going to buy a Victory: even if I had that kind of money to spend, you guys know that’s just not how I roll. 

At the end of the day, all we’re really dealing with here are pieces of plastic in the shape of horses. Yeah, sure, I have a few… thousand of them, but believe it or not, they’re only an incidental part of my retirement planning. 

I’ve said this many times before: collectibles are not a wise investment. Heck, most investments aren’t wise investments, mostly because most people don’t take their time to do their research. 

If I have any financial goal with my horses, it’s to break even. Not taking into consideration all the time I’ve put into the research – most of which I’ve done for the sheer enjoyment of it anyway – I think I might come close to that. 

Which would put me ahead of the game, investment-wise. Most investments don’t make back their money, and I find it a little exasperating that collectors – not just in the model horse hobby, but in general – have that expectation. 

Antiques Roadshow is not reality: 98% of the stuff that gets dragged there is not worth all that much. Or is even all that interesting. (My pet peeve: Victorian Crazy Quilts. Ugh!)

(FWIW: I recently ran the numbers, and I’m in slightly better shape financially than I thought I was. And selling off large swaths of the collection wasn’t even a part of the retirement calculus. So dont be Googling my house and making plans just yet.)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Decision Time

Feeling a little distracted the past few days; I just began planning the OTHER vacation this week in earnest, and the choices are a little overwhelming.

(Anyone know the best way to contact the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center? The tour is a definite “bucket list” to-do!)

And if anyone might be interested in tagging along, now’s definitely the time to speak up. Otherwise, I’ll be hoofing it alone, like I usually do. (Things to consider, if you’re considering: I’m a nonsmoker, a sound sleeper, and I’ll eat almost anything. The only nonnegotiable: I get to choose the music!)

That box of bodies arrived in… a jumble. They were bodies, and I was expecting nothing less, but the one I was going to keep for my personal customizing stash is the only one that’s broken. Only slightly, but enough.

This happens so often to me that I think it must be an immutable law of physics. I’ll still keep it, just because I’m an adventurous and experimental sort and the idea seems worth pursuing. After I finish a few dozen more old projects.

Which is not looking so great, with the current work situation and all. Last weekend’s quilt project is still not done! I have to work today, so this weekend is also not promising...

This year’s Best of BreyerFest Stablemate Set is awesome and the tiny glossy palomino Georg is my favorite, because the only model in that set that I have in its original size is the Opry: 

She is/was one of the best Volunteer Models ever, and there will be no discussion on this matter. I remember so many people being initially disappointed by her – a Vintage mold, in a Vintage color? – but once more people got to see her in person, they fell in love.

In my personal opinion, I think everything should (eventually) come in Gloss Honey Palomino. The matching Clydesdale Stallion and Foal would be a good beginning! (I suppose the original Vintage Club Dandy might do, but I also want something solid. With blue and yellow bobs and ribbons, naturally.)

I am also glad they managed to incorporate the Stablemate Driving Horse into the lineup here, because hello obvious! I love that chunky little mold for some reason; the 2018 One-Day Silver Charm release is probably one of my favorite BreyerFest Stablemates. 

Although I do have a small and cherished collection of Plushies of various sorts and manufactures, I don’t specifically collect BreyerFest Plushies. But with my love of harness racing and Standardbreds, this year’s version Sulky might be something I need:

I have a few days to decide before tickets go on sale. At this point I’m just going to get the one VIP ticket, because that’s all I really need; I’ll worry about what to do with other possible tickets only if/when they happen.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Four Mares

I bought another box lot of bodies, mostly because I was feeling some weird anxiety over the slim pickings now residing in my body box. They were super-duper cheap too, so even with the very modest (mostly single digit) prices I tend to assign to them, I’ll still make a nice little profit at BreyerFest.

As long as I don’t take too many of them for my own personal use. (One, maybe two, tops! I swear!

I still have a ton of stuff (nearly a whole ‘nother bin) I couldn’t bring last year, so now all I’ll “need” to restock for BreyerFest are a few more goodies for my totally decimated Dollar Table. 

I do plan on trying to sell as much as I can before Kentucky (still not sure if the Wyoming excursion is going to be right before, or right after!) but I like having a little bit of something for everyone. 

I put in for the Weather Girl Flamingo but, as I expected, nothing came of it. I have lots of pretty Weather Girls already (my exceptionally nice BreyerFest Jasmine places at every show!), and it would have been nice to add her to the herd, but I’m not going to fret about it. 

Another beautiful girl who’s probably not coming home with me:

But this one is by choice: like a lot of BreyerFest models this year, Othello is another shelf hog. “Tilly” certainly won’t lack for suitors, and at least that clears the mold from Surprise contention. On the other hand, that also means that the Hamilton speculation will get even more out of hand...

Speaking of Saddlebreds, the Crystal is based on the Calliope:

I don’t collect the Crystals – I may have mentioned this before, but I was (literally!) born clumsy, so I try to avoid buying breakable things unless they’re cheap, or already broken. I don’t think I even own a single glass or crystal animal of any kind or brand. I do have a couple of very inexpensive bits of slag glass I have picked up in my travels, though I would hesitate to say that I actually collect it. 

And finally, there’s the latest Test Color, a Bay Pinto Misty:

Oh, you precious creature: the one I want the most, and have the least hope of acquiring. Collectively, vintage Test Color Misties aren’t exceedingly rare, though most of the ones I’ve seen have been solid-colored: Bay, Black, Alabaster, and (my personal favorite!) Dapple Gray. I think there are some Appaloosa-flavored ones out there, too. 

I’ll be working quite a bit of overtime over the next month or so, so if the Universe happens to be listening, I can totally afford it.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Between Love and Like

You’ll have to forgive me for zoning out a bit today. Work was… extremely challenging this week. This has given me the incentive to finish that quilting project I recently restarted; if I’m lucky and the fingertips hold up, it should be done by Monday. Not very well, but done!

They finished up the Ticket Special reveals this week. First up: another gigantic and slightly tippy model in a gorgeous color? Argh!

Seriously though, I do love this color, and want to see it on more models in the future. I’m just not 100 percent sure I want it on a Shannondell.

(Pauses to imagine it on the Stretched Morgan. And now on the Bell-bottomed Shire. And finally on the Running Mare and Foal. Notice a trend here?) 

The Bristol is also lovely, in a color reminiscent of the 2001 Toys R Us Special Run Valiant, on the Five-Gaiter:

While I am a big fan the mold, I’ve become slightly disengaged from it because of my experience with Peregrine (and my lack of Redmond). I might change my mind, depending on what the display samples look like at BreyerWest.

And finally, my second must-have: Scurry, the Fell Pony Emma in Bay Pinto, who is very reminiscent of the Stablemate Emma in the most recent Blind Bag Assortment that has (so far) only been spotted at Tractor Supply:

I should be okay as long as she’s not the Gloss/Matte Split or the Color Split model (because what they did with Marzipan last year is apparently going to be a thing going forward now?) I suspect the Shannondell may be a stronger candidate for that treatment.

So what I’m getting so far consists of all the various Stablemates, the Store Special Via Lattea, the Lady Phase/SSHF set Surrey and Axle, and the Fell Pony Scurry: all things I love, and not just like. 

I’m not sure what I would get with a second ticket if that happens this year; Peanutine is tempting just because I don’t have as many Brighties as you think I might do, but I may just end up using them as pickup slots for people, if need be. I want things I love, not like, and too many things this year fall in that very gray area.

Contrary to Reeves’s semi-vague wording, there are actually quite a few more models to be “revealed”: an Online Only Traditional, the Individual Store Special Stablemates (online, and in-person), another Best of BreyerFest Stablemate Set, and possibly another Traditional Store Special. And of course, various prize and raffle models…

I am a little bummed there has been no Old Timer, and I’m not quite sure where it would fit in to the remaining reveals, unless – and I would not put it past them – they decided to create yet another class/type of Special Run this year to put him into. As one of their most popular Vintage molds, and one that literally has a harness molded onto it, it would seem rather odd not to include him in some way. 

And it would be a little heartbreaking to have it be another extremely limited item like Jake, the 2002 Hat Contest prize model.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Unpopular Opinions

I suspected the speckly blue thing was the Classic Decorator, and I was not wrong!

He’s neat. I really like the Classic Morgan mold, but I haven’t found one in a color I like yet. All the original Silver Bays I found had significant masking issues, the Red Bay was a little bland, the Decorator Tie Dye model is too goofy for me, and I am reluctant to buy the whole Spanish Mustang(!) Family just to get the Solid Black guy. But Delft… is a maybe. I just wish he were a tiny bit fancier?

Then there’s the Traditional Decorator Nemea:

Nemea is an obvious adaptation of the very well-received Decorator Marwari from the 2018 BreyerFest auction. And proof that some Test Colors from the BreyerFest Benefit Auction are actually Test Colors!

As the Akhal-Teke mold is longer than a football field, he’s also not a priority for me. If I do get another example of the mold in the near future, I’m still hoping that it’s a nicely-shaded Adamek; I still haven’t found “the one” just yet.

I suppose I should address the brouhaha in the comments that broke out while I was busy binge watching art restoration videos and hand quilting. Since my fingertips are now a bit sore from that effort, I’ll try to keep things short and simple here.

Last year’s BreyerFest was Reeves’s first attempt at a true “hybrid” event, and… it showed. As I’ve said many times before, Reeves is not a large company, and the people who work their often have to fill multiple roles. 

Did they stretch themselves out a little too thin last year? Perhaps; on the other hand, since it was their first attempt at a true hybrid event, and they didn’t know what was going to work, and what wouldn’t. Like the online-only events, they will undoubtedly take the lessons that they learned from the first, and apply them to the second.

It’s a pretty safe assumption that there will be some changes, but the scope of the changes – and whether or not they actually “work” – well, we’re not going to know until we’re back in the thick of it again in July, right? 

(All I know for sure is that more volunteers will be needed, in-person and [probably] online. So if you’re interested, please apply!)

2020 and 2021 were events held under unique and extraordinary circumstances, and it is very, very unlikely that any future BreyerFests will be able to offer the full gamut of Special Runs and other items available at an in-person BreyerFest to online attendees.  

And as others have pointed out, what’s the point of having an in-person event if there is no stuff exclusive to the in-person event?

BreyerFest was originally designed and intended as a live, in-person event: an in-person experience cannot be fully or adequately reproduced online. Reeves’s attempts to duplicate the in-person experience in 2020 – for example, the whole timed ticket fiasco – often ended up causing more heartache than happiness. 

Personally, I think the way forward for them is simply have them be complementary events that happen to share some of the same models (the Celebration Horse, most of the Store Specials) and activities. And have models and activities unique to each experience. 

They’re apparently trying that with some of the Ticket Specials, restricting some of them to in-person participants only. My guess is that they’re also doing this with models that they foresee as being especially popular: they would rather make sure that they have enough of those models for people who made the physical and financial effort to go to Kentucky. 

I would hope that they do offer a little bit more in the way of compensation for online-only guests. As I suggested before, giving them a gloss option on the Store Specials would definitely help. 

But whatever they do, please remember that there are limits to what they can do as a relatively small company. Just a few years ago, the Online Option didn’t even exist: it’s going to be a while before they find the right balance of offerings. 

And remember that there are some people in the hobby – and life, in general – who will literally never be happy with anything, no matter what you do for them or what you offer them. There is usually something else going on under the surface there that no amount of pretty horses can fill. 

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Full of Surprises

I signed up for BVG Live again this year, and if I can find anyone to take me up on it, I might make a weekend of it. Anyone want to go antiquing and axe throwing with me? 

I’ll probably stick to just two divisions this year: OF Mini and Collectability. I managed to do three last year, but I think it was just a tad too much, and I wanted to focus on Minis this time around anyway.

As for guesses on the BreyerFest “Stagecoach Surprise”, stagecoach horses were just coincidentally one of things we were talking about at our dinner table at Ponies & Palm Trees. 

(We were quite a distance from the Reeves table, so I doubt they heard any of it. The decision on the mold and colors would have been made by then so it would have been moot, regardless.)

Contrary to popular opinion and Hollywood, stagecoach horses tended to be sturdy “Working Western” types – think Quarter Horses, Mustangs, Morgans and some of the less refined Thoroughbred lines – and not Drafts. Occasionally you’d have “fancier” breeds utilized for customers willing to pay extra for the privilege. 

Most stagecoaches traveled at a trot or fast walk, so a lot of the molds hobbyists are suggesting – like Wyatt or Ruffian – would seem a little out of place or character in front of a stagecoach.

So what does that leave as possible candidates? Quite a few molds, actually.

Most likely candidates: Bobby Jo, Geronimo, Smart Chic Olena, Forever Saige, and Desatado.

Less likely candidates: Clock Saddlebred, Brown Sunshine, Ranch Horse, the no-feather version of Gypsy Vanner/Brishen, Idocus and Carrick.

Less likely candidates, but Vintage: San Domingo, Adios, Misty’s Twilight, Indian Pony.

I’m kind of liking the idea of this being a Vintage mold like San Domingo or Adios: they are both modestly popular molds with strong fanbases that still have a number of color options that can be explored. And it would fit in with the Vintage vibe I’m getting from the lineup so far this year.

Personally, I think it’d be something like the SCO, Geronimo, or Saige. I think the Ranch Horse mold would be a perfect fit, but he might not be quite new or popular enough to pull it off. Desatado would also fit the type well, but he seems a little bit too… feisty to be pulling a coach? I’m always up for a new Carrick, but he might be a little too refined.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on the matter, and all the thought I’m going to give to it. I’m not sure if I’m going to take a gamble on the Surprise model this year, with my budget and all.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Old Timey Goodness

As someone who eats candy professionally (yes, really!), I may be legally obligated to buy Peanutine:

I had never heard of “peanutine” before, but I guess it is the peanut brittle variation of Saltine Toffee? Interesting. 

In reality, I’m not too crazy about peanut brittle per se – if you need to know, I am currently obsessed with the maple sugar candy I got for Christmas – and I am trying to behave myself this year, so I’ll take a wait and see approach on him. I mean, he’s cute, and I’m glad it’s not another bull, but I was hoping for something just a tiny bit more “outside the box” for a cart-pulling nonhorse, like a Goat or a Dog mold. 

The next Special Run – the Mare and Foal Set Surrey and Axle – might be my first must-buy of the ticket lineup, but not for the reason you might think:

If you could look at my notes for this year’s Sampler sitting on my desk right now, you’d see that the very first article I planned to write for it was (will be!) about the Standing Stock Horse Foal. 

This sort of thing usually happens after I publish an article, not before. So either Reeves and I are on the same wavelength, or some strange time travel thing just took place that I am only now finding out about.

The poor little guy doesn’t get a lot of love, but from an historical standpoint, he’s way more interesting than most collectors realize. I just wasn’t expecting to see a BreyerFest SR of him like, ever: he’s not exactly the flashiest foal mold on the block. He’s kind of like a blank canvas of a mold: how interesting he is is entirely dependent on how interesting his paint job is. 

Which is this case, is quite.

I certainly won’t turn down a few-spot Lady Phase with the package, either. I’m definitely not understanding all the online Lady Phase hate, though. When did she become “one of the ugly ones”? Heretics!

While you could argue that she’s occasionally been overused, she is never not beautiful. 

The next thing you know, you’ll be telling me that Iced Oatmeal Raisin is not, in fact, the best cookie in the world. 

Anyway, I am glad that my intuition about the turn towards “vintage” has been proven somewhat right. And has piqued my interest. Will the Old Timer be turning up soon? I’d definitely be on board with that…

And then they dropped the next Store Special, which was the Troubadour I was expecting, in a colorway I was also (more or less) expecting:

Lovely, but I’m a little reluctant about him for one simple reason: I don’t have a lot of space to spare right now, and he’s one hecking chonk of a model. And I am still holding out for an affordable Stretched Morgan Special Run, as unlikely as that now seems to be. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Old School

Oops, I bought something! That’s okay, it’s only a Stablemate:

When I went to drop off the sewing machine for service, there happened to be a Dollar General in the same shopping center, and as luck would have it, the one variation I needed to complete my set (for now) was there. So there’s one silver lining to the sewing machine drama!

After epically trying – and failing – to quilt a project on my backup sewing machine, I gave up and decided to focus on repairing that vintage Black Stallion custom that’s been sitting on my craft table for a year and a half. Here’s what I have so far:

I still need to finish the touchups – especially on his left side – and redo the ear I repaired: it’s too big and the style just doesn’t match the rest of the model. The base needs more work, too: I have to build up one side a little to stabilize the model better, fill in a few of the divots, and find a suitable piece of wood to mount it on.

And after all that, I’ll spray him with a matte varnish, regloss his eyes and hooves, and hair him up. I think I’ll give him a slightly fuller tail than he had before, to balance him out visually. The varnishing will have to wait until the weather warms up, though, so he might be on hold after the next round of touchups.

Restoring him has been an interesting challenge. It was tempting to modernize him, but I decided to keep him as original as possible. I stuck to the basic acrylic color palette we were all working with back in the 1980s, as well as the same painting techniques, which were a combination of wet and dry brushwork and “fingerpainting” for blending. 

I did add a little extra shading to his muzzle, though: it was a flat Raw Umber and looked a little odd compared to the rest of him. 

I know some people have attempted to go “old school” with their customs, in an offshoot of the NaMoPaiMo thing, but a lot of those efforts still look too modern for me. Not that the actual vintage product is better or worse, it just looks and feels different.

I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I was doing customs way back then, when all we had to work with was stuff like “Plastic Wood”, that funky green plumber’s epoxy, and whatever selection of acrylic paints and brushes the local department store happened to have in their “art” department. So I know how much struggle went into even the simplest of customs back then.

Even though it might look somewhat primitive in comparison to the work being done today, some of the artwork that was achieved under these circumstances was still pretty remarkable. I think modern customizers could learn a lot by going truly “old school”, with nothing much more than some basic acrylic paints, brushes, mohair and a pre-1985 mold (preferably a Hess!)

I’ll give you all a pass on the modern epoxies. As someone who actually had to work with Plastic Wood back in the day, that’s a step too far back even for me!

I still have no idea who created this fellow. I thought I was just going to fix him up to sell him, but I think he’ll be sticking around a while, especially since I seem to be acquiring quite the vintage custom showstring now.

Friday, January 6, 2023

The First Round

Struggling with the words again, today. I just finished up a big writing project for work which has left me with an overwhelming need to work with my hands, but it looks like the sewing machine is going to be out of commission for a few weeks due to a service backup, too. 

Tax paperwork and inventory it is then, for the month of January…

For obvious reasons, I’d rather not be one of those people, but so far I haven’t been all that into this year’s BreyerFest reveals. Except for the Constantia Via Lattea, of course. And much to my relief, she’s a Limited Edition!

As I’ve explain before, I haven’t had a lot of happy fun time on the Internet lately, so I apparently missed all the brouhaha over Constantia’s Premier Club release paint job. This I do not particularly understand: over-the-top paint jobs on Premier Club releases are just par for the course, right?

I love home improvement-type shows, but I always roll my eyes at the obligatory parts of the show where potential homebuyers complain about the paint or wallpaper. The most superficial, easy-to-fix stuff! If you can’t see the bones because of the paint…

This means all three of last year’s Premier Club releases will have BreyerFest releases this year. That’s not altogether unusual, but it is that they were the first Traditional releases they officially announced. That makes me optimistic that we might see a bit more vintage goodness than average this year?

The other two Premier Club molds aren’t doing much for me, though. In a shocking twist: they’re just not realistic enough for my tastes!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for less realistic/more artistic sculpts: if someone was to randomly send me a von Hamilton in the mail someday, I would not complain at all.

But the Zafirah represents an aspirational body type I simply think shouldn’t be encouraged. The paint job they put on her is lovely, and camouflages some of the issues I have with her, but I don’t know if it’s enough to persuade me to buy her. 

And I feel like I’m the only one in the world right now who is not in love with Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig’s Amazigh Stallion Anamar on any level. 

Well okay, his mane is nice. 

Now I didn’t hate the stenciled dappling on its original Premier Club release; they’ve been experimenting with that concept for years. While they do look a bit odd on Anamar, that’s mostly because of their starkness. With a little tweaking on the technique – using those dapples as base layer, instead of as the finishing touch – they’ll look miles better than the goofy hand-airbrushed star dapples. Probably save on labor costs, too.

But the more realistic color of Speos doesn’t make me want one any more than I did before. He still falls a little too much on the cartoonish side for my tastes. For better or worse, Speos reminds me a little bit of the original chestnut release of Sherman Morgan. Although I have warmed up to Sherman Morgan in more recent years, he’s still not high on my list of favorites.

As for the sneak peek that’s probably Brighty, I am also not overly enthused. At least it’s not going to be another Bull mold? It’s not so much whether or not I’ll like it, but the fact that it will be exceedingly hard to get. 

Even absolutely ordinary, run-of-the-mill Regular Run Brighties are going for $50 to $75 nowadays, which boggles my mind. They don’t strike me as that kind of scarce, but I’ve been out of the Brighty market for a while, so maybe it’s just me. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

New Year, New Problems

Well, I got my new year off to a smashing start – I broke my sewing machine! I swear that whole bobbin mechanism just hates me on a deeply personal level.

(Literally the first time I tried to thread it, the bobbin case catapulted and wedged itself into the innards of the machine. This time I think a broken chunk of needle jammed itself into the bobbin case, which is now immovable and unremovable. Ugh.)

So I decided to repair a couple of vintage customs instead. With any luck, they’ll be done by the time the sewing machine gets back from the service center. The only thing slowing me down there is the fact that the epoxy takes forever to cure in the cold; it’s great if you’re doing something large or complex, but a real pain in the rear when you’re doing simple repair work!

In actual Original Finish Breyer news, they released the photos of the BreyerFest Stablemates, and gosh they’re all so cute!

It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I’d probably go with the little Brishen – it’s hard to go wrong with a Bay Sabino Roan Pinto. But I wouldn’t argue against solid Glossy Dark Bay on anything, and it certainly suits the new Haflinger mold Kit.

That being said, I am trying very hard this year to stick to a strict budget: I have certain savings goals I want to meet by the end of the year, and that means not a lot of extra anything. No NPOD dives, no leftover or warehouse sales, and no swapping around for extra tickets at BreyerFest. And only entering for the Web Specials I absolutely have to have.

I’m not going to pass up any fortuitous finds or extra-cheap box lots, but “new” horses are definitely not a priority for the next 12 months: the only things that will be are trip expenses (BreyerFest, live shows, Wyoming) and obligatory Club purchases. And some health stuff I have to take care of. 

With the sewing machine – and all the new paints I had to buy to repair the customs, because my existing paint was old and kinda gross – I’m probably already a bit over my budget this month, as it is.

I just got a quick scan of some of the new releases for the year earlier today, and (fortunately!) I don’t see anything that jumps out as a “must have”, so that will help. Other than the Christmas Horse Highlander who – for once! – doesn’t look like something that fell into the Christmas Clearance bin at Michael’s. He’s downright classy.

I still have more than enough stuff to sell online or a BreyerFest: a lot of it was stuff I couldn’t fit in the car last year! I’d love to get my hands on more bodies and dollar table items, but I’m not going to worry about it if I don’t.

Well, back to inventorying stuff. My Buy List just keeps getting longer and longer…