Frustrated by a lack of accurate British breeds represented in model form, she sought to address that through a completely new range of models. Funds for some of it were raised through a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, raising £31,106 in a month! I contributed to it, firstly because I wanted to support such an interesting and potentially amazing new venture, and secondly...because I got horses out of it. :P Controversy erupted after the Kickstarter was completed, when Breyer contacted Becky and offered an ultimatum: either halt production on Copperfox, or Breyer would pull the plug on supplying Utterly Horses with their models. It can't have been an easy decision to make, as Breyers account for a significant proportion of UH's sales, but she made the brave choice to carry on with Copperfox and give up the Breyer contract. I can see why Breyer would feel threatened by a little competition, but for a company with only three moulds to be such an issue seems a bit OTT, especially when you look at how well established Breyer is in the hobby. Oh well, Becky definitely has the determination to make it work!
I went for the 'Blanfords Fox Package' which entitled me to two models hot off the production line. I chose the bay Welsh Cob sculpted by Kelly Sealy and the bay Exmoor, by Harriet Knibbs. 'Founding Foxes' (aka Kickstarter supporters) also had the choice of an exclusive colour - dappled buckskin - but I decided against it as the bays were far more appealing to me. I'm rather glad I did now, as the dapples turned out rather...interesting on the buckskins I've seen so far on facebook.
The Supporter's Pack I received with the models was really nice - a handwritten letter of thanks from Becky, certificates for each of my horses, a lovely little Copperfox pin badge, (which is now stuck to the wall of my desk so I can see it when I work) a copy of The Model Horse Magazine, some typed out tutorials including a saddle making guide, complete with pattern, and a few other bits and pieces. (my favourite being a pastelling tutorial with a 'copper' coloured pastel included. XD)
They have done an exceptional job so far, and although there are issues with the factory's ability to paint dapples and a little bit of QC when it comes to rough seams and things, for a fledgling company's first release I honestly couldn't be happier with my models and I can't wait to see what comes next for Copperfox. All through the production of these, Becky was very good at keeping everyone updated with progress, and when one factory couldn't manage to paint them to her standard, she immediately switched to another, so I get the feeling she'll be striving for even more realism in the future.
Anyway, what's a post like this without pictures? I braved the high temperatures (well, for Scotland anyway. :P) and soggy front lawn to take these...
Presenting the first of my Copperfoxes...
EA Fantastic Mr Copperfox
He's an incredibly dynamic sculpture and if he didn't keep falling over on the grass (it's on a slight slope and that didn't help him balance with that peg-leg!) I'd have taken even more photos. XD
On that note, he comes with two pegs - a metal one and a clear acrylic one which he has in now. He cannot stand without the peg, though I suppose you could make him a base if you reeeeally don't like pegs. Personally I like them so it doesn't bother me, and he's quite stable on a shelf. They're a lot heavier and more solid than Breyers - Becky mentioned on Facebook that it was a deliberate choice as she wanted them to feel like quality, which they really do.
Paint-wise, I'd have liked to have seen a little more shading on the face and for his mane to be hand painted to avoid over/undersprayed areas. His socks were a little streaky in places but only if you really looked for it. He did have a couple of rough seams on his chest and under his jaw, but you don't see them from the side so it isn't really an issue for me as I don't get to live shows and much prefer photo shows anyway!
Both horses have really nicely painted chestnuts and eyes (although I'd have preferred a darker iris colour personally but that's if I was being really picky) and my mum, who is totally not horsey at all had a good long look at the chestnuts before I told her that they were supposed to be there. XD
Ok, next up we have...
EA Kick Start 'Er
I don't think the mould makes a particularly good Exmoor so I'll be showing mine as a cob cross to account for the massive head and neck. XD
I've seen rather a lot of negativity associated with this mould which is a real shame as she's actually really lovely in person. Ok, perhaps not perfect in terms of anatomy or conformation, but she reminds me of several ponies I've known at riding schools over the years - not made for the show ring, but brilliant fun to learn on. I wanted both horses to have names appropriate to their origins, and her one is obviously a play on 'Kickstarter' but also a nod to that kind of stubborn schoolie who'd really rather not move at all during a lesson, or spends most of a hack with her head down, munching at the grass while the poor kid on board flaps away uselessly with their legs in a vain attempt to get her moving. :P
While I think the cob is my favourite sculpture of the two, there's just something really nice about this pony. I keep picking her up - there's something very tactile about the sculpture - and she really appeals to me despite the flaws.
She didn't turn out as mealy a bay as I expected which is a little disappointing but at the same time, it's a nice shade of bay anyway, even though it's actually a bit more yellow toned than these photos suggest.
How could you not like this face?!
She has no mould flaws at all that I can find, and aside from a tiny bit of mane overspray and some on her feet (which does bug me a bit, it has to be said) she's pretty much perfect.
Flash brings out her 'true' colours, though it's really more like a cross between the photos above, shot in full sun, and these ones, in daylight, shot inside.
Here's some terrible phone photos of size comparisons with some similarly sized Breyers.
She's a bit bigger than the Breyer Haflinger in all ways, but they're close enough in size to match nicely.
The cob is a bit bigger, but not by a huge amount which I think surprised some people who were expecting him to be significantly larger. He's scaled to about 14hh I think, and the pony to 13hh.
He's a good size match with Flash, and with colour too!
He looks absolutely tiny next to Salinero though. XD
No flash in natural light.
I don't really have space for more Trads, but these two are really small so I think I can see myself gathering a few more in future...