Saturday, September 30, 2023

Scary Things

I knew I had a rough couple of weeks, but I didn’t realize just how rough until I was at the 7-11 after work on Friday, and the night cashier walked up and asked me:

“Are you okay? You don’t look okay. I’m worried about you.”

Anyone who’s had the privilege working the night shift at a convenience store knows that you sometimes see unspeakable things, so I’m not quite sure how to process the fact that I managed to scare the night cashier at 7-11. Dang.

Onto lighter topics. Let’s talk about a couple of things in the September Newsletter!

I was aware of the existence of “The World of Breyer Horses” promo video, but I can’t recall if I ever got to watch it in full before; it was made during my live show heydays, so when they started showing photos from contemporary live shows, I was momentarily terrified I’d see a picture of myself.

Lucky for all of us, I was not present. 

There are other Breyer videos out there with me in them; at least one of them was shot a few years after this video at a very early BreyerFest, back when the live show was still held in the Covered Arena. 

And Reeves probably has more photos of me on file than my family or workplace does. It (morbidly) amuses me that if anything newsworthy-dreadful actually happens to me, chances are any of the photos you see of me on the news will be from Reeves. I take some consolation in the fact that I will be smiling in most of those.

They failed to mention (on the website, at least) that the narrator of the video was also the model for Bitsy Breyer. From her last name you can kind of figure how she got the job!

A lot of the kids featured in Breyer promotional materials in the 1970s and early 1980s were the children of friends and family, incidentally. This is nothing unique to Breyer; a lot of the family-owned and operated businesses I have either done business with or worked for worked that way. You are not just a member of the family, you are also an employee...

I have no idea who the mystery model is in the Sneak Peek:

Since I am trying to behave, I already told myself that I’m going to avoid entering for most of the Winter Web Specials, unless an Elk, the Deer Family, or one of the Dog molds is involved. If the Christmas Day Surprise is an Emma I’ll probably spring for that one too, of course, because Emma. 

I’ve had a good year, so I think I’m entitled to a break. 

Next time – I finally unwrap my Surrey and Axle!

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Scurrying About

Things are… better. And I’ll leave it at that. And I have to work this Saturday, too, but that’s mostly unrelated. It sets me behind a bit on my crafting, but I can’t argue with the paycheck! 

I am still moderately amused that I was not chosen for a Yellowstone, even from multiple waitlists. It just slays me that their efforts to make some Special Runs “easier” to acquire (i.e. significantly larger piece runs) usually result in making it harder for me. 

Aiming for the big stuff seems to be working out better, at least for now. I’ll pick up a Yellowstone eventually. 

I was thinking about going to BreyerWest next year, but the flights are all significantly more expensive than my Wyoming adventure was, so it might be a no-go. Off to research Derby tickets, I guess!

(Yikes! Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea either.)

Anywho, the rest of my week is full of meetings and appointments, I’ll keep it short again today. Here’s a better picture of my two Scurries, one of whom is actually a variation of a variation, but one that wasn’t necessarily planned for: 

I find it amusing that the two choices I made on my one and only ticket this year were both 50/50 variation splits. Considering that they were among the less popular choices this year, you think they would have included the variants in them to encourage sales, instead of including them in runs that would have sold out regardless, like Peanutine, and (eventually) Speos.

I also wasn’t overly enamored of them using Hamilton as the Surprise model this year – not because they didn’t turn out nice (most of the color options were really well done) but because it now sets an uncomfortable precedent.

Instead of the unpredictability that was part and parcel of the Surprise before, there’s now going to be an expectation that the Surprise must be the Current Hotness, and if you’ve had more than half of a day’s experience in the Model Horse Internet, you know that for the loudest voices among them that nothing else will now suffice. 

And if Reeves accedes to that demand, the Surprise will no longer be all that… surprising. Or for me, all that interesting.

(Still annoyed that we didn’t get an Old Timer this year. I know the reasons why, but I would have paid that premium, dammit.)

Monday, September 25, 2023

Hoping For Better Days

I’ve occasionally made the joke about how any time I’ve done “well” at BreyerFest, I always end up paying for it in the end, regardless. 

I was hoping to avoid that fate this year – or at least, mitigate the damage – but the shoe might be dropping this week, and to be frank I am kinda scared. I can only hope that I am believed and that I come out of the experience relatively unscathed. 

But there is no guarantee, and I did not sleep a wink Saturday night. 

Needless to say, any positive energy you can send my way would be very appreciated. 

I had some shopping to do on Sunday – mostly craft and storage supplies – and while I was out I finally managed to see some of the Tractor Supply Specials. The Stablemates were quite tempting, and the FFA Decorators were much nicer than I expected, but I managed to walk away without pulling out my wallet. 

If any of the Gibsons had been the Chalky variation, I would have bought one, but they were not. 

Since I’m not feeling particularly chatty again today, here’s another BreyerFest purchase:

This Seabiscuit – and another one painted a semi-leopard Appaloosa, in hobby enamels – were the only purchases I made from the Linda Walter estate. By the time I had made it into the room, most of the better Breyer items were already gone, and I didn’t trust myself to bring home any clinkies unbroken. 

But for some reason this little guy (and his partner) really caught my eye. I already have several variations of the original G1 Seabiscuit, but this one was – as you can see – exceptionally well-shaded. So well-shaded, in fact, that for a brief moment I mistook him for the Hagen-Renaker original.

The melancholy part of all this is that the context is missing. Was he just a lucky find on Linda’s part? Did Marney find a particularly nice one at the factory and send it Linda’s way, because of her love and advocacy of Hagen-Renakers in general? Or nothing at all?

I’ll probably never know.

I had another Stablemate in my showstring that I was having some second thoughts about, and I swapped him out for this guy. 

And I believe he was the first model that even placed for me in the show. For a while I was worried that that would be my only placing (and a tenth, at that), but things got better for me.

I can only hope this week ends the same way. 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Lost in Translation

This has been another not-great week, and I will be grateful when it ends. (Without injury, I hope. No guarantee there, unfortunately.) 

I am currently self-medicating with an extremely elaborate quilt piecing project, art restoration videos, and homemade pound cake.

Let’s focus on some positives. First, the pound cake was a new recipe, and freaking delicious. And second, the latest Vintage Club release has been revealed – a Gambler’s Choice Silver, named Thunderbird!

Boy, that guy was a hard secret to keep under wraps. He looks awesome in all four colors; it appears that the Appaloosa is the online crowd’s clear favorite, but I will be happy with whatever one I comes my way. 

(And he’ll definitely cheaper than trying to buy something like a Goldfinch on the secondary!)

I also managed to secure a spare couple of hours of free time earlier this week, and used that opportunity to sort through some e-mails and ephemera, which wasn’t quite as big a mess as I thought it would be. (But yikes, I’ve got some gaps to fill.)  

It also reminded me that I needed to show you guys my other big Ephemera find at BreyerFest this year: 

Breyer got a lot of mail from its fans in the 1970s and early 1980s, to the point where they had to generate in-house materials to deal with it. There was a preprinted postcard that acknowledged your suggestions for future models, that infamous (and somewhat inaccurate) historical list of Breyer releases, and – news to me! – a short history of Breyer (above), and an explainer on how models were made (below):

There’s nothing new or revelatory here, but the wording on the history page is both more clear, and more nuanced than the initial history I heard bandied about it my early days in the hobby. The game of telephone did it no favors! 

The ways information get conveyed, interpreted and distorted haven’t improved much in the decades since, but that’s more of a statement about human nature than of the hobby itself. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The 1994 BreyerFest Benefit Auction

Well, I thought I had a fabulous weekend, but Monday made me pay for it. We’re talking sitcom-level, head-in-my-hands insanity, here. 

And to top it all off, I didn’t get selected for “Pronghorn” Yellowstone: I’m trying to understand how I managed to get not one, but two BreyerFest Variant Runs and a Live Show Prize model, but I still can’t get selected for Web Specials that are now up to (checks e-mail) 750 pieces?


Since I’m in no mood to write today, here’s one of the posts I drafted over the weekend when life was not a snarling mass of chaos, and which I also thought I would not need to deploy until next weekend. So much for best laid plans! 

So here’s a few photos from the 1994 BreyerFest Auction, for your amusement and edification; they were a gift from a friend:

I remember being particularly enamored of both the Brindle Bay Proud Arabian Stallion and the Gloss Black Sham. 

I think the Dark Bay Indian Pony turned up on eBay a couple of years ago at an insanely low Buy It Now price, presumably because the seller probably thought it was the later Saddle Club Belle release. I didn’t save the pictures from that auction so I can’t confirm it, now that I kinda have a picture of the real deal…

I stuck around for some of the auctioneering, but I left part of the way through because I didn’t have the spare money to even buy the Lady Roxana. The only other thing I specifically remember from this auction is the fuss made by someone over the fact that they were auctioning off a Strawberry Roan Pluto that was almost identical to one sold the year before.  

Well, fuss wasn’t quite the word. This person was pissed. It was removed from the auction with the promise of it being destroyed, but I’m not sure that was a sufficiently satisfactory answer. 

Real Test Colors – ones made to test out things for actual production – are rarely unique. Most of the models that appeared at these early Benefit Auctions were actual Tests that were just hanging around the office at the time, and not stuff that was tailored to bidder preferences. 

It swung in the opposite direction for a while, but there seems to be more of a balance today, with some items clearly designed to generate bids, and others that were clearly more experimental. 

Anyway, I now need to take a deep breath and see what the rest of Tuesday has in store for me.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Spark

It’s been how many weeks now and there’s still no official-official announcement of the Best Customs Contest winners on the BreyerFest Blog. Don’t they usually have it up by now? 

Part of the reason I keep putting off my discussion of it is because I wanted to a have an easily accessible set of photos to refer to, rather than talk about it in the abstract, but I guess I’ll just have to jump in and “do it live”, because I am tired of this topic living in my head.

So here we go.

My argument, which should not be controversial at this point, is this: the BreyerFest Best Customs Contest is broken. 

Let us begin with the elephant in the room: the Most Extreme Custom division. 

Customs that completely obliterate the original, rendering it either an armature, or (even worse) merely filler, contain a rather cynical and nihilistic subtext: the model that we used to build this thing has no worth other than as an armature or filler.

Needless to say, I am not a fan of this particular line of thinking. Not only is it antithetical to my conception of customs as a whole, it does not serve the ultimate goal of Breyer promoting it in the first place. 

I think of customizing as a collaborative art form, a conversation between the original sculptor and the customizing artist. The best Customs, in my mind, are the ones that take the base model in unexpected or innovative directions, but still have it retain the essence of the original sculpture. 

That’s what I had hoped this contest would evolve into: why else would Breyer sponsor it, but to ultimate promote their product? 

Imagine if a pie-filling company sponsored a pie baking contest, but the winner of said contest was a cake with a scoop of pie filling in it. Just because it’s a baked good that contains pie filling does not make it a pie. A giant lump of epoxy with a piece of a Breyer in it is not a custom.

The other sections of the contest are also problematic, albeit in slightly different ways. The Fantasy division has basically evolved into a different flavor of the Extreme Custom division; the Performance Excellence division is the Giant Freestyle Diorama Contest, where bigger is apparently always better... 

The Excellence in Finishwork division – the most popular division, in terms of the sheer number of entries – tends to reward certain styles, colors and techniques over others. My problem with this is that technical proficiency doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with artistic merit, and some of them (like the hair-by-hair technique) aren’t even particularly realistic at certain scales.

The Theme division is a mixed bag. I like the concept in theory – I think I was one of the early advocates of it – but the Theme class this year was not… a Customs class. It was a Tackmakers Class. Tackmakers deserve their own yearly contest rather than have one shoehorned into another.

I know there’s been some talk of creating a “Novice” division, or altering the rules to exclude hobbyists and artists who have done work for Breyer either directly, or indirectly. While well-intentioned, I think both ideas are a little off the mark.

For one, both are hard to define and (ultimately) police. 

Take me, for example.

I’ve been doing customs, on and off, since the early 1980s, but I’ve only just recently started taking it seriously again. I did do some customs for money back then, and sold a few others from my personal showstring, too. At least one of them ended up getting either a Best or Reserve Best Overall at a live show, and this little girl did extremely well for me, too, actually beating out pros like Liz Bouras at Model Horse Congress:

(Yes, she started life as a G1 Arabian Mare.)

I also do work for Reeves on occasion, though obviously it doesn’t involve sculpting.

My situation is far from unique. So how would you write the rules and exceptions for those of us that fall in those gray areas? Threading that needle would not only be difficult, but probably pointless: hobbyists would find the loopholes and technicalities pretty quickly.

My solution would be to revamp both the categories and criteria in a way that would be more inclusive of the greater world of customizing, rather than a narrow subset of it. There also needs to be a division – or divisions – outside of Fantasy where a greater emphasis should be on experimentation and creativity than on technical mastery. 

Craftsmanship is not artistry: it is only a component. I’ve seen lots of artwork – not just Customs, but other mediums and hobbies – that in spite of their masterful technique were dry, boring and tedious.

And on the flip side, I’ve also seen artwork that breaks every conventional rule – artistic, anatomical, technical – that spoke to me on a profound level. 

The perfect custom would be a blend of both, but (in my mind) I think way too much emphasis has been placed on the technical aspects in this contest. 

I am not saying that we eliminate craftsmanship as a criteria. What I am saying is that if you want to encourage more people to participate in this contest, focusing on experimentation and creativity is the way to do that. That’s how most people get started at any given artistic enterprise: they have a spark, and they need to express it.

So, how would we go about that?

It’s a math problem, really: it’s just a matter of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. 

Since it really has devolved into an original sculpture class, I’d either get rid of the Extreme Custom division, or change the judging criteria so that there’s slightly less incentive to sculpt ten pounds of epoxy around two legs and a head. 

If they want to have an original sculpture contest, either make it its own contest, or create a division just for that. 

For one, I’d love to see a “Vintage” class: not for Customs made 20 or 30 years ago, but for Customs made from Vintage molds, preferably Hess ones. The model would still have to recognizable as the foundation model; enhancements that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s – like hairing, flocking, glass eyes, horseshoes et al – could be encouraged. 

While there were artists selling their work and doing work for hire back then, a lot of hobbyists did their own customs out of necessity, and a class like this would hearken back to that pioneering, DYI spirit. 

In 2022, the Theme class was devoted to a single mold, the Geronimo: I want to see a class devoted to a specific mold every year. Something vintage, something new, scale doesn’t matter. I think this would be a great way to promote the Freedom/Classic molds, since there’s always a nice assortment available on the web site for people to buy if needed, and it would be a great way to encourage newbie customizers focusing on Stablemates to level up and push their boundaries.

Other division ideas could include Decorative Finishwork (like Excellence in Finishwork, but with unrealistic colors and designs), splitting the Fantasy division into Equids (Pegasi, Unicorns, Seahorses) and Artistic Interpretations (either based on literary, art historical or archaeological inspiration, or something entirely novel), and adding a Freestyle Diorama section (as a subset of Performance Excellence?)

I wouldn’t expand the divisions beyond ten – actually, ten would be a good number, because then the overall quantities of prize models would be at a relative parity with things like the Diorama Contest and even the Open Show. It would also bring the value of the prizes down a notch, and make the contest a little less appealing as a potential financial windfall for the professionals out there. 

Having more divisions, or divisions that focus more on the creative aspects than the technical ones, does not devalue the prizes won in other divisions, any more than it does in live shows. If anything, it may even enhance them: even though I know the prize is the same for every class at a live show, winning a class with a lot of entries means more to me than winning a less populous one. 

This is only a start; I could talk about this all day. As for those of you who think that things cannot change, let us be reminded of what eventually happened to the Child/Youth Show at BreyerFest: changes were eventually made that made the situation less toxic, and brought it more in line with the original intent of the show, which was to foster participation and a love of live showing. 

I know the stated purpose of the Best Customs Contest is “to honor the best in Breyer model horse customizing”, but with just a few tweaks – maybe some of mine, or yours, or someone else’s – we can also do to the Best Customs Contest what was done to the Child/Youth Show.

Instead of making it purely a cash grab for ultra-rare models – which, in turn, creates some rather ugly behaviors – it could also be used as a way to foster participation in and a love for customizing, diffuse some of the toxicity that has built up around the culture of customizing in recent years, and maybe even become the springboard for future Big Name Artists.

In the end, I think that’s really all what many potential (but intimidated) entrants are asking for when it comes to revamping the Best Customs Contest. Great artwork isn’t always about great technique: sometimes it has a spark that transcends it. And almost anybody, regardless of the where they are on the road to being an artist, can possess that spark. 

I’ve rambled enough, I suppose; I’ll be offline the rest of the weekend to watch kaiju films, pull weeds, and play with epoxy. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Opinions on the Matter

The Spooky Stablemates are here:

Two different, yay! And the closest I’ll ever get to owning a real Cornelius. The box looked like an accordion, but as you can see, no harm, no foul…

I am not sure if I’m going to pursue the third member of the set, since I am not actively looking to buy anything right now, other than bodies and sales stock. 

And back to the topic of BreyerFest shopping, I prefer shopping for my common items and collection fillers at BreyerFest, because – I had assumed up until this year – that I’d have a large selection of models to choose from and have the luxury of handpicking. 

Silly me – lesson learned! 

I only vaguely understand the economic dynamics that creates that strange, strange market; it always fascinates me how different it is every time. Last year I sold a ton of Vintage items, but this year it was all higher-end stuff and Web Specials, with a fair smattering of Classics and Stablemates. And the only bodies that remained unsold at the end were the exact same half-dozen bodies that didn’t sell the year before.

(And are therefore probably mine forever, by default.)

In other news, my hunch about the book sale was correct: on my way to work on Monday I stopped at a Salvation Army Store and scored a nice bundle vintage horse and dog books from the 1960s and 1970s. 

I can’t really think of anything else to say today; I’m physically hurting all over (another story) and my mind is a little obsessed on my current custom project that I can’t believe I almost threw in my free bin. I wanted to wait until he was a little further along before I showed you what he looked like, but now is as good a time as ever, I suppose:

I wanted to do an Extreme Custom that still kept the essence of the original sculpture intact, but discard as little of the original as possible. Other than the grinding and carving down, all I’ve tossed so far are the front of the neck, part of the chest, and a bit of the tail; the tail will be reattached once I’ve finished recarving it. The neck’s been shortened slightly and his head’s been narrowed, too.    

The leg was cut off fairly early in the process and I just haven’t gotten around to reattaching it, partly because it was getting in the way of the tail resculpt but also because he stands up just find without it anyway. It can wait. 

I’m pretty pleased with him so far. Another goal of this project – other than the crash course in anatomy and conformation that only a Mesteno Series model can provide – is to put my money where my mouth is. Just because I am primarily an Original Finish collector and advocate doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am talking about when it comes to customizing.

Sunday, September 10, 2023


Had another rough week at work (long story, don’t ask) so I’m focusing on a few things that are making me happy:

That three-legged Merrylegs in the latest batch of bodies to arrive. (Exactly the kind of body I was looking for!)

The ridiculously tasty gourmet ramen I had for lunch yesterday: spending a little extra for the good stuff is really is worth it. No more 35 cent ramen for me!

On the cheaper side, I discovered that those 25 cent packets of wildflower seeds from Dollar Tree are also worth it. Thumbs up, would recommend. 

My Spoooky Stablemates haven’t arrived yet – which I’m totally cool with, I am in no rush there – but the Brighton did:

She might not have the same flash or panache of the other releases in the Stablemates Club this year, but she’s much nicer in person than I expected her to be. She does kind of remind me of my shopping experience at BreyerFest this year, though. 

I thought I’d target a few less-pricey/more common items to fill out some holes in my collection, but I had the hardest time finding anything that wasn’t either (a) extremely recent, or (b) super-popular and/or trendy.

I mean, I get it, I understand that it’s hard packing everything you have for sale in your vehicle, and choices have to be made.  But it does inadvertently invert the market: “common” items become rare, and “rare” items become common. 

You want a previous BreyerFest Raffle Model or an Exclusive Event piece? There’s probably at least six or seven of them in any one of the hotel hallways you’re standing in. But trying to upgrade your Regular Run Running Foals from the 1990s? Good luck with that. 

I get the sense that Brighton – who is pretty but not flashy or groundbreaking, not a Regular Run, but also not really difficult to acquire – will become another one of those pieces that will eventually…vanish.

Which is a shame, really. And gives those of us in the middle or bottom of the market our own unique challenge: what do you do when you collect things other collectors don’t think anyone else wants?

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Latest in Walking Black Angus Bulls

Well, so much for trying to inventory all my bodies. 

First I found the giant hoard of Family Arabian Mare experiments, then the stash of Little Bits/Paddock Pals I planned on making into a carousel at some point. Then there were the Mini Whinnies and Stablemates I keep in my tabouret for potential diorama projects, and not to mention several actual unfinished diorama projects. 

There are seven more-or-less active Traditional or Classics-scale customs (including 3 FAMs and 2 Mestenos). I also (inexplicably) happened to buy another box lot of bodies over the weekend because why the heck not at this point, right?

And then, finally, I got to the actual body box! That’s when I decided to go into my basement and get some sewing done, instead. (I did work a little bit on the Mesteno yesterday, though. Looking good!)

Here’s some Breyer History content, while you’re here. My latest #72 Walking Black Angus Bull, another BreyerFest purchase:

For something that came in solid black for almost two decades, this model came in what seems like a billion different variations. There are three well-known coat versions: “Poodle Cut”, “Semi-Rough Coat” and “Full Rough Coat”. There are at least three different halter colors: Red, Brown, and Gold. (I have one with what appears to be a “Copper” halter, but I don’t know if that was intentional, or just a weird discoloration of the Gold.)

There’s also a multitude of eye detailing: eyeliner, eyepinking, the standard two-stroke eyewhites, and the underpainted eyewhites that were a thing in the later 1960s. He came in Gloss and Matte, and a transitional finish somewhere in-between that most collectors classify as Matte but could honestly go either way.

There’s nothing especially special about this variation of the Bull, except to note (quite obviously) that he’s one of those early transitional Mattes. I’m not quite sure how many of these Bulls I have at this point…

(Runs upstairs to check. Five, not counting the Hereford ones?)

…but I didn’t have this variation. I had a hard time finding good quality vintage pieces at BreyerFest this year, and for some reason this guy struck my fancy. The “Poodle Cut” variations may be the most desirable, but I’ve always fancied the “Full Rough Coat” best: I love how those rows and rows of marcelled curls feel in my hand. 

Considering how popular the Bull molds are – and how overused some of them are getting (mumble mumble BreyerFest SRs on the Spanish Fighting Bull mumble mumble) – I am kind of surprised we haven’t seen much of this guy since he was discontinued in 1977. 

I am assuming that aside from his rough texture and lack of viable color options, him being small, old and a little dated doesn’t help, either. 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Shopping Spree

Sorry, just being busy again – plus I had some work stress I had to deal with, so I’ve been spending my free time working on the garden and chopping another Mesteno to bits. 

(If anyone lives nearby and wants some of my leftover perennials, feel free to stop by and grab a bucket or two. You can’t have the Mesteno, though: he’s actually looking promising!)

The annual book sale that I go to was something of a washout this year; I had high hopes for it, since I missed out last year due to partying my butt off in Chicago at Worldcon. Unfortunately they now start the sale in the afternoon, rather than the morning. Since I work nights, not much was left for me to pick over the following day, other than a few quilting books. 

On the bodies front, things are looking up: I managed to make a few box lots purchases, and another kindly benefactor may be sending some not-so-lovelies my way. 

I purchased two of the Spooky Stablemates: they were still available when I logged in after lunch, and I managed to completely miss the glitches in the beginning. As long as I get two different, I’ll be content. 

I’ve also managed to do a little bit of upgrading, most significantly a near mint and complete Davy Crockett Set:

My previous set was missing most of his accessories; the person I purchased him from back in the 1980s confessed that he used them to complete his Hartland Horse and Rider sets. While I was happy to get the set regardless, I remember how dismissive he was of Breyers in general, and the impression that I was somehow doing him a favor by taking it.

I got that feeling a lot from Hartland collectors I met at flea markets and antique shows back then. It was doubly weird because I never got that vibe from model horse hobbyists that specialized in Hartlands, and at that point I had a pretty decent-sized collection myself, though very little of it was either the Horse and Rider sets, or the Baseball figurines.  

I have downsized the Hartland section of my collection pretty significantly since then – just one shelf of larger horses, a bunch of Tiny Mites and Barkies, and all the glow-in-the-dark religious figurines I love so much – and the local supply seems to be mostly exhausted anyway. Any new pieces I’ve added recently have been in lots of miscellaneous horse type things I’ve bought locally, or on eBay. 

But back to the Davy Crockett. In spite of the fact that they made a ton of these sets – they were made to capitalize on the Disney-generated Davy Crockett fad, in 1955 – they’re remarkably hard to find in mint and complete condition. 

And most importantly: at a price I could afford. This one popped up on eBay at a killer price, and I could not say no.