Thursday, 28 May 2015

Officially a DECADE in the hobby!

I've always loved horses, and had a multitude of horse toys and models as a child, long before I realised there was a whole hobby dedicated to them!

My favourites growing up were 'My Beautiful Horses' - small, great fun to play with and easily sourced from the corner shop down the road every weekend as they came free with a magazine, as well as in specialised playsets.

Model Horse Mad...

Can you guess I was pleased with this particular christmas gift?

 (Also, check out those seriously stylish PJs! Oh shut up, it was the 90s after all! XD)
I started customising them with the ever trusty tippex and permanent marker...

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...and eventually discovered more 'professional' techniques...

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(those brushstrokes though O_O)

First pastel paintjob...

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I still have all of them, but as I don't have the space in my room to display them all, I'm afraid most are in a box in the loft at the moment.

I can't remember when I graduated from them onto other models, though I vividly remember buying a PAPO TB mare from the shop at Dunham Massey, near my grandparent's down south and at some point in time later on, decided to have a go at etching, with, shall we say, interesting results.

(I'm still not entirely sure what I tried to achieve here - a bad clipping job maybe?)

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I also recall trying to take photo show shots of her with an old film camera but I didn't have a clue how to operate it and they all came out blurred and awful so I don't think any of the photos have survived sadly, though I'll definitely share them if they ever do turn up - if for no other reason than to show just how far I've come! XD

How do I know exactly when I got into the hobby properly though, you may be wondering? Well, the truth is, I don't. I don't remember how or why I found it, but I do know that I joined Fallen Leaves on the 28th of May 2005 and so consider that to be my first proper foray into the hobby community. I may have been on the Utterly Horses forum prior to that but I honestly can't remember and as it no longer exists I can't really check and see! I recall my first post being a question about how to upload images to the forum's photo gallery, and subsequently asking how best to fill the gaps between the legs of one of my models! I was SUCH a noob when I look back on it - I was totally obsessed with acquiring Breyers as they were the most popular models and I couldn't get them where I lived very easily, so they achieved grail status fairly early on.

I do have a rather amusing diary entry from the 7th of April 2005, where I mention my new hobby for the first time and I'd already amassed a small collection by then so I suspect I must have been on UH at that point.

 Rather helpfully for the purposes of this post I'd listed my collection as follows:

2 Breyer Arabs (classics)
2 Schleich ponies
1 Beswick horse
11 assorted ceramics
(read, crappy quality clinkies)
1 Barbie horse
4 Britains models
1 (ex) fuzzy horse
1 fuzzy donkey
1 plastic donkey
1 black resin shetland pony
34 My Beautiful Horses
1 PAPO plastic horse (the TB mare from earlier)
1 Pony in my Pocket  - soon to be a unicorn!!
2 stablemate scale horses
and one small plastic zebra foal.

Just for the lulz I did a quick count of my current collection which now stands at:

56 Julip Originals
4 Julip HOTYs
40+ Schleich/PAPO/Safari etc
8 Magpies
8 Felties
70+ stablemates/minis
3 mini resins
3 Classics
7 Traditionals
1 1/6th scale poseable.

(not including bodies, of which there are many)

With bodies and WIP customs it comes up to a rather scary total!

But at the end of the day, it's not just about the models themselves, it's the people involved that make the hobby such a great place to be in. I owe it an awful lot too, as I was diagnosed with depression in 2005/6, after which I had a good five years where I was in a very dark place for a lot of the time and the hobby was one of the few things that kept me going through some of the hardest days. The friends I've made through it are among my closest and I honestly can't imagine my life without my models either as they've become such a huge part of me over the years, especially my Julips, which I treasure above all else in my herd.

So, to conclude, models are awesome, ponies are the best; here's to the next ten years, and the next, and the next... :D

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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Stornoway, Kelpies and Excessive Precipitation

I rarely get the chance to meet up with other hobbyists so this weekend has been something of an unexpected bonus!

My friend Viki, who some may know as THS on the forums, contacted me a while ago about going to a gig in Glasgow together - I'd never really heard of the band, Stornoway, so was a little hesitant, but she talked me into it eventually and I'm very glad she did as they were brilliant!
 (here's their latest album if anyone needs convincing!)