Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Schleich Dressage Horse Set

Not a 2015 model, not even a current model, but the Schleich Dressage Horse Set is new to me so I wanted to give an in depth feature of it as I did with my other models. In particular, I wanted to talk about the colouring of the horse.

This set came to me second hand so it is not perfect. However, I was able to clean it up quite a bit, so it's not as bad as it was before.
 I believe this set came out around 2009. It features a removable base, removable rider and dressage warmblood with moulded on tack.
The horse itself is performing quite an advanced dressage manoeuvre which i believe is called a 'Half Pass', where the horse moves in a diagonal motion across the show ring, crossing the far side legs across the body in the direction the horse is travelling.
With the exception of freestyle, which is set to music, I'm not normally very interested in dressage. It's just not really my thing. What drew me to this set in particular is, surprise surprise, the chestnut horse. At first I dismissed it as unrealistic: why does the horse have a flaxen mane but it's tail is the same colour as it's body?
 To be honest I thought it was weird, just another semi-realistic model horse, and ignored it. But years later I discovered that , although uncommon, it actually is possible for a chestnut horse to have a blonde mane but not a blonde tail, as shown in the 2nd photo down on this site. How cool is that?
 As far as I can tell, this unique colouring doesn't have a specific name, like a Gulastra Plume, or at least if it does I can't find out what it is. I've never seen another original finish model horse with it (probably because, like me, most people would assume it's unrealistic). The uniqueness of the model's colour lifts this set from just an interesting dressage model to a unique and really quite lovely model in it's own right. I'd have liked it if the braids in the mane were painted a little better, but that's a minor thing.

 The whole set is really nicely painted, even with the odd mishaps. The rider's face is a little odd: her eyebrows seem a little fierce and judging from the colour of them, she's not a natural blonde. Her bottom lip is painted a blue-ish shade which is probably meant to look natural but to me looks like she has a bruised lip. But I love the detailing on her jacket and the little golden tie pin is a brilliant little extra.
 The horse is, naturally, the star of the set. She has a lovely ombre tail, gorgeously shaded colouring and finely detailed moulded on tack. Sadly my camera isn't good enough to photograph them, but her hooves are exquisitely painted. The only white marking on her (aside from rubs) is a lovely star and connected stripe on her face, which like the mane adds character and interest to an otherwise plain colour.

 Though glued in, the reins and stirrup leathers were obviously moulded separately and then added to the model later. I love all the intricate little metal details on the bridle.
 The Schleich 'S' logo is a bit misplaced here. The rider grips the model a little too tighter with her heels, so removing her from the horse tends to cause rubs on the mare's flanks, which you can also see here. 
 The mane has white detailing to simulate braids.
 As you've probably guessed by now, the horse is a mare. The awkward position of the back legs make sculpting mare anatomy a little difficult, but you can just about make out two little bumps to simulate the udders that all newer Schleich mares are sculpted with.
The mare can stand without the base, although she's incredibly tippy (likely accounting for the rubs on her rump) and as you can tell she tends to incorrectly rest on her foreleg when free standing.
 The base is a simple strip of beige-coloured plastic with a clean plastic stand to support the horse. I think the footing is meant to simulate an arena, but the detailing looks more like straw than sand to me.
Overall I'm delighted with this set. Of course it has its flaws, but what model doesn't? I might try to patch up some of the rubs at some point, but I'm not very confident in my restoration abilities. Oh, and since I mentioned how much I love finding out what other people named their models, I've called the rider Althea Goodyear, and the mare is named Serenity. If you'd like me to (or like me not to) tell you what I've named my models in future posts, please let me know :)

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