Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Copperfox Second

If you haven't heard of them yet, Copperfox Model Horses is a relatively new British company that produces high quality model horses that represent British breeds. Founded by Becky Benfield, the owner of Utterly Horses, and initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, they have now been going for a few years, and so far have 4 moulds produced: an Exmoor Pony, a Welsh Cob, a Connemara and an Irish Sport Horse.
I've admired Copperfox models from the start, but never bought one before. For a start, they're about twice the price of a Breyer Traditional regular run. This is due, in part, to the high level of detail put into painting each model. They're also limited to about 250 pieces for each colour, so they're produced in much smaller numbers than Breyers. All of this combined, I didn't want to spend so much money on a model that, because I don't live show, would have it's potential wasted by just being sat on my shelf.
But then, Copperfox released their line of 'Seconds' - models with small flaws in their paintwork or finish that leave them in less than perfect condition, but still great as shelf models or custom projects. Some Seconds can even excel at photo showing, depending on the nature of their individual flaws. And, to top it all off, they're about half the price of a standard Copperfox!
I decided to go for it. I actually generally prefer models with a few small flaws: it makes me less paranoid about handling them. And I wouldn't be wasting the showing potential of a pristine model: if a regular Copperfox is like a show horse, a Second is like a general pony kept for pleasure riding :) That suits me down to the ground, and there was one particular Copperfox that caught my eye from the moment she was released...
Cadno, the seal brown Connemara! Next to chestnuts, I've got a real soft spot for seal brown horses and ponies. I love the soft highlights on the otherwise dark coat, and unlike most other model horse collectors, I'm not drawn to flashy pintos or loud appaloosas. I'd rather have a dark, quiet little wallflower of a pony than a showy, attention grabbing sport horse. If she was a real pony, I think Cadno is the kind of animal I would be drawn to in real life.
 But don't get me wrong: she's anything but boring. Her coat is full of wonderful shading and highlights, her eyes and hooves are gloriously detailed, and her subtle little star and sock add a splash of interest to her features.
 Her eyes, nostrils and hooves have been glossed. I love how detailed her sculpting is: there's just so much life in the model.
 
 
 
  
 Just look at how detailed her hooves are!
 
 
 Being a Second, she does have flaws. They range from very minor, like slight rubs on the tips of her tail, to moderate, like pin point rubs on her belly and flank, and white flecks on her neck, to the most noticeable which is a shiny streak on her barrel.
Although I didn't know exactly what flaws she'd have when I bought her, I did know that she wouldn't be in perfect condition. And that's totally fine: like I said, I prefer slightly flawed models. If anything, the little marks and imperfections are more realistic of a real life pony. And, as you can tell, the marks themselves don't really photograph very clearly anyway, so I don't think they'd be much of an issue if I wanted to photo show her :) 
 
  Since she's a second, Cadno came with writing on her belly saying "CF Second 2017". She also didn't come with a subscription to the Copperfox magazine, Utterly Horses, or a Certificate of Authenticity.
 On her inside thigh is the Copperfox brand mark, with lettering over the top of the Fox logo.
 Just like a Breyer, Copperfox models are made of two halves glued together, and need an air hole to reduce the risk of bloating due to temperature fluctuations. I like the fact that the air hole is  placed in a much more inconspicuous location between the Copperfox's back legs, than the very noticeable air hole on a Breyer's lip or nostril.
 Something I'd read about from other Copperfox owners is that the models have a small blue spot in the centre of their eyes, to add further realism. I wasn't really sure whether I liked this idea, but seeing it in real life for myself, it's actually very subtle. You only really notice it if you're focusing on it, and even then it's not that distracting or out of place.
  The bottoms of her hooves are unpainted, so you can see the base colour. Only her raised hoof has any sculpting detail on the underside: all of the others are flat.
In the shade Cadno can look a little flat and dull, but place her in bright sunlight and her colours reall pop!
  She's practically glowing!
 
 
I've got 4 or 5 models waiting in line to have halters made for them, but I just had to jump the queue and craft a special halter for Cadno.
  I had some silver ribbon that I've been saving for a special horse, and I really liked how it contrasted with her dark coat. 
They're hard to see because they're a bit too small, but the jump rings are silver, and I made the buckle out of a bit of silver jewellery wire bent into shape.
I'm still very much an ameteur tack maker, so it's not perfect. But I'm still very happy with the final outcome, and I think it looks really good on her.
 The leadrope was a piece of twisted cord that was used to attach the cardboard label to a brand new shirt. All I did was tie it onto a ring and lobster clasp. I might see if I can find a silver clasp to replace the gold one, but for now I think it looks fine.
Oh, and I already decided on a name for her before she arrived. Since she's got a dark brown/black coat, I've opted to call her Sable. I think it's a nice, subtle name for a quiet, humble pony. And because of the reasons I stated at the start of this post, her show name is Making Dreams Possible (cheesy, I know XD)

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