Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ambolena Arrives

Only in the kingdom of model horses can you have a stallion who produces a filly without any input from a mare.   The mare exists -- in my mind's eye at least -- but like the filly, she may have to wait a year or more for her debut.  It's NaMoPaiMo time, and visions that have simmered for a very long time on the back burner are finally heating up.  I warn you that this post grew with the telling!  and has a rant at the end.  I love stretching out...  :)

Readers may recall my first view of Brasenose:  He was seen on MH$P in October of 2017, and he had company.
photo by M. Malova
Who could forget the most adorable stretching filly?   My husband calls her ScreetchHalt.  (!)  I said at the end of NaMoPaiMo 2018 that I'd think about a wife and daughter for my completed Brasenose.  In the year that followed, four things happened.  The first was a glimpse of Gazyr's manufacturer's-suggested wife, whose name is Bahkrom.  It was clear to me she was another Gazyr, not unlike the Hartland POA's being another mold version of Breyer's Yearling.
Gazyr, Bahkrom, Magnolia.  photo by M. Malova
I played with the idea of Brasenose's family.  A palomino or perlino, a buckskin or a bay, were all good colors for Akhal Tekes.  I thought buckskins and perlinos were a little harder for me than his liver chestnut, but I wanted a wee challenge.  I liked the unusual poses of these horses.

The second happening was suddenly seeing Orion, Margarita's new grazing Arabian, late in 2018.  This sculpture was based on a photograph of a real horse.  I was astonished, sat up and took notice, and started falling in love!
photo by M. Malova
Here was an appropriate mold for my family!  Still a grazer, but so much more interesting and realistic.
photo by M. Malova
photo by Margarita Malova
Yes, Orion was a stallion, and yes, he was an Arabian (not an Akhal Teke), but this is cloud-cuckoo-land, where dreams come true, --- and the two breeds are close cousins if not siblings.  Filly without a mare?!  Mare instead of a stallion!  If I wanted him to be a mare nothing would be easier.  In my herd the rule emerged in the 70s:  Gender is determined by personality, not body.  (This policy was born in an era of way too many Original Finish stallions for the available mares and a total reluctance to actually change the OF-ness.)  If you can adapt the horse to your ideas so much the better.  It is a huge relief that Orion was a resincast, and not an untouchable OF.  (Untouchable?!  why don't you act your age and stop bothering assigning families to them?!... doesn't realism rule?!?... well... I did mention cloud-cuckoos...)

Stepping down from that soapbox, let's get back to regular programming with some reminders of Brasenose:

The third thing that happened was a slow-growing realization that my inner muse was very clear about seeing the mare as a perlino and the filly as a buckskin... and not at all clear about seeing the mare as a buckskin and the filly as a perlino!  A great deal of fuss is spent, in the course of NMPM, trying to get hold of what the Muse is saying.  And here was mine being plain and simple.  It was a relief really.

The fourth happening was my purchasing Magnolia and Orion both at the same time, in late November, and paying postage for one box.  With memories of Brasenose I was an easy mark.  I left on my annual Christmas vacation after assuring her I could wait.

Upon return, problems started mounting up.  Orion was not a star customer; something to do with the molding didn't work right, was broken and could not be fixed easily.  I found out Russians celebrate Christmas January 7 (!) and holidays impact workers, hoh hah.  NMPM was approaching and I knew my first week of February would be spent in Tucson (just like last year), where prepping is impracticable.  Sad to say, I was getting antsy.  I had been told Magnolia was already cast.  With this knowledge I finally figured out how to solve for all the pieces:  Get my filly in time to prep her yet give Margarita time to fix the mold.  All I had to do was pay to ship two boxes instead of one.
So that's what I did.
Readers know how much fun it is to track a package.
Ambolena entered the US on the 15th, was delivered to my horse business mailbox the very next day, and was picked up on the 17th (Thursday).
Oh, Margarita, you make me ashamed of my shipping habits.  I am not so generous.  Look at what all came with my filly.  Thank you for such sweetness.

 The 17th was the date of my posting my entry for National Model Painting Month.  As usual I felt I had barely squeaked in, when in fact there was plenty of time.
Once again (this is who I am!) my husband took my official NMPM 'nudie selfie.'  In fact he took 13, not counting the rejects.  At the risk of appearing vain, here are the two best runners-up.
You may consider me pleased.
Ambolena was named after ragtime, and I can play her strain; but this post has gone on long enough.
 NaMoPaiMo's main sticking-point with me, as ever, is time management.  I shall have all I can do to finish her.

The fire and passion that was Brasenose's is, this time, going into a book and its plates (drafting drawings).  I will say right here & now that I've never been so challenged as I have been by the inking of the plates!!  Those Rapidographs (technical pens)!!  They would drive a saint crazy --- and I ain't no saint.  Two weeks now and all I've managed to ink is a couple of plates, and even those need more fiddling with.  I've bought two new pens ($36 ea.), 2 new bottles of ink (one turned out useless), carried out ink tests and cleaned and dried (thoroughly -- a 20-minute process) every pen multiple times (I'm not counting!!!).  I've tried over and over again to sense just what is going on, honing in with the sensitivity of a model tackmaker --  and still they don't work right.  They skip.  They scratch.  They work perfectly and then I change something and they dry up.  I've passed from sorrow through hilarity to stubbornness. When they are right they are so right... yet there are so many miles to go.

It's really turning into a contest between my ancient powers of tenacity ... and the incredible difficulty of working with those pens.  How much longer will I hold out?  Will I learn to use them?  (I did in the past!)  Will Ambolena get ink blots?!  Saints forbid!!  Stay tuned!  and thanks for reading.