Ok then, so I'm sure by now (if you're a fan of Breyer model horses) you've probably seen the Classic Haflinger mare mould, otherwise known as 'Gretel'. She's sculpted by Brigitte Eberl (one of Breyer's most popular sculptors), and was revealed at Breyerfest 2011 with her charming colt in a stunning flaxen liver chestnut. Shortly afterwards the mare alone was released as a regular run in standard flaxen chestnut as a purebred Haflinger mare.
Breyer collectors love this model and I've seen her repainted in just about every colour you can think of. While I'm not personally a massive fan of flaxen chestnuts the mould alone has enough character and beauty to earn a spot on my wish list. But there's one very big reason I still haven't got her yet: variation.
You see, this mare comes in a surprising range of colours, from very pale, almost blonde, chestnut to quite a rich, gingery chestnut. I've even seen photos of one that seems to have a body so pale it's the same shade of flaxen as her mane and tail (although there's every chance that could just be a case of poor lighting in the photo). My personal favourite is probably the mid range chestnut, and this is the kind of colour I'd like to get when I buy one.
But that's where my problem lies. Not only are all of the above examples photographs, so they may not reflect the model's true colour 100% accurately, but because of all the variation it's almost impossible to buy one with the exact colour you want unless you go to a shop and see them for yourself in real life. And that, sadly, is where I fall short. There are no shops anywhere close to me here in the UK that sell Breyers. Don't get me wrong, I know there are some. And there are plenty of online shops that sell them. But when the seller uses Breyer's official picture as their photo I have no idea if the model that will arrive is a colour I like or one I don't.
I would love to buy this mare, and I probably will at some point. But unless I can find one with personally taken reference photos I just don't want to take the chance and end up with a model I don't really like. If only I had the experience and confident to repaint her, then it wouldn't matter :)