Monday, June 17, 2013

Muddy Monday: A Thoroughbred's Prerogative To Do Her Own Thing

Maybe I spent too many hours with off-track Thoroughbred school horses, but this piece immediately reminded me of this trait. It is the TB prerogative to select "D. none of the above", when presented with options. 

Nope. Not going to do any of that. It is beneath one. Try asking again later, and with more treats.

Seal brown? What am I looking at?
What are you looking at?

The Hagen-Renaker Miniatures line has a great selection of famous racehorse molds, but none of them were mares. For all of those gents, there is but one unnamed lady Thoroughbred, mold #A-024, in the line. Until the advent of HR's recent gray reissue, she was only issued from Spring 1962 to Spring 1972, in two official underglaze colors: bay and buckskin. Interestingly, the Jockey Club Thoroughbred registry recognizes both as...

"Bay: The entire coat of the horse may vary from a yellow-tan to a bright auburn. The mane, tail and lower portion of the legs are always black, unless white markings are present."

From looking at the HR order forms of those years, there was no color choice on the form. The dealer received whichever color HR packed. I am curious about which color may have been produced during which years, or if mixed color lots shipped together. 

This 1966 HR order form gives no color choice on the Thoroughbred mare and her foal.
It does gives color choices for the mini mini family ("represented" by the mystery mini-mini line drawings).

These descriptive terms cover a range of variation in the two colors, from slip color to overspray color. More variants exist by virtue of the heavy or light application of sprayed underglaze (the overspray color). This site also shows a nice array of this mold's colors.

A bay mare with a buckskin foal, showing contrast of the colourways.
Photos courtesy Nancy Falzone.

Buckskin mare, formerly owned by Cheryl Greene.
Current owner unidentified.

Here is a Thoroughbred mare that did not select either: the black bayckskin. 

That's not official terminology, just a term of endearment. When I opened the packing, I snapped this pic because I found this comical. She looks like a very convincing solid black, at this point. Breyer issued this mold in black-painted plastic from 1975-1988. But, this lady is not plastic!

She has bay (red-brown) shading on the neck and upper shoulder of one side of her body. The browns in her loin/hindquarter are the shadow contours of the mold in colored slip, not sprayed shading. I shot this photo from a low angle, so that you can see there is some tan slip showing on her mandible.

There is more red shading on the other side, as it wanders down the shoulder onto the girth, and some on the hindquarter. 

She has such excessive black overspray. It extends over her whole head and halfway down her neck, and over most of her rear end.

This may have been the decorator's attempt at a "save", because I noticed black runs where the decorator had attempted to paint just the ears and forelock. A decorator aims to complete their quantity goal, so each one should be made to "count" as a good, salable product. Black underglaze, when applied heavily enough, will cover every sin. It's close, but this one was just not heavy enough to conceal the cause for the extreme shading.

This casting has nice mold detail. In my experience, sharply-detailed miniatures are the most prone to catching underglaze airbrush runs. Every little line of forelock, eyebrow ridge, nostril edge stands up like a razor blade, and the sprayed liquid just can't resist pooling and running down those extreme anfractuosities. Her own crispy awesomeness may have contributed to her decoration undoing! 

While this odd coloration may make her less than ideal as a china halter show horse, it certainly adds to her appeal to me. She is so weird

Another interesting point is the fact that her stockings are lower than either the usual bay or buckskin examples of this model. One hind leg is almost bare on the anterior surface. It is almost like they eyeballed this horse from the head down, and said, "Oooooh, that's enough black for this one!"

Moderation in all things, except in treats for your Thoroughbreds.

Thank you to Tiffany Tran for parting with this delightful piece, I treasure it!


Identify Your Breyer. Web site.

Roller, Gayle. Hagen-Renaker: A Charlton Standard Guide. Third Edition. Page 307. The Charlton Press: Palm Harbor, FL, 2003.

The Jockey Club Registry. Web site.

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