Saturday, December 8, 2012

Etching my own

Taken on the back deck November 23, 2012.
This will be the story of how I overcame Mudflap envy.  I have just one piece of advice:  Cut your own!!
His name is Rinker, after a type of pleasure boat.

Breyer's Mudflap photographed at NAN 2012 by SBY
In July of this year I came down with a bad case of Mudflap envy.  I knew the model existed because I'd seen it at Didi Hornberger's show the fall before.  Mudflap is one of the 2009 Lone Star Experience releases, a run of 88 head.  As you may know, my favorite model horse color has shifted from charcoal to leopard appaloosa, and here was one of the most beautiful examples Breyer had ever put out, on a mold I only had one other of.  I tried very hard to buy a Mudflap in September.  When the price walked up over $550, I invoked a rarely-used concept, boycott of desire.  At the same time I was inspired by the work of Lindy Pinkham (and others) who etched their own appaloosas.

I had previously etched 4 horses: a Lonesome Glory, a Classic New QH Mare, a Stone Pony, and a Roxy.  (Deep in the past was a bay pinto Standing Stock Foal.)  Once the idea seized hold, I purchased a Smart Chic Olena for a nominal price.  "He was already scratched."  Next, I printed out 4 pictures of Mudflap, all I could find on the Web.  As of this writing I don't have pictures of his off side.  However, I do have a friend nearby who owns this model, and has promised picture-taking privileges.  Thanks Margaret!  This left only the time-management problem.
Taken December 7 2012 by SBY
Of course, this is the hardest part.  Invoking another rarely-used concept from my past, I decided I would work on him only on Thursdays.  So far, it's worked.  During vacation, this will change, I think -- although then he'll have to compete with tack projects.  

I am not aiming for etched perfection, the likes of Billie Campbell or Liz Shaw.  I'm not even aiming for realism.  And, strange to say, I'm not aiming for Mudflap, not anymore.  All  Mudflap's spots are there, but others appeared.  It's too fun to let him dictate himself where the spots will be.  I can always remove some; I can't put them back.  After the first rough X-Acto passes, I use rubbing alcohol to smoothe and clean up the white parts.  This weak acid works wonders, being so much more gentle than acetone.  It's about as weak as vinegar, which will also do the same job.

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