One thing I often find at stores is a variety of the plastic animal models manufactured by Schleich. Even though I usually dismiss them for the kind of fun-ducational toys they are, they do have quite a few interesting pieces that could fit rather well in my collection.
After watching The Hobbit movie last year, I began looking for small ponies to display alongside some of the figures I got. Instead I found an Andalusian horse that I thought would do a fairly passable Shadowfax, the horse Gandalf rides in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Atlhoug the horse used in the movie was actually the right race, it was much lighter in color, but in the books it is described to be actually silvery gray, so I settled for the literary version of Shadowfax.
The Schelich Andalusian horse is molded as a single piece of very dense, heavy plastic. The sculpture is very nice and even though I know next to nothing about equines of any kind, I would go as far as saying it is a very good representation of the race.
The paintjob on these Schleich animals is probably their strongest feature. This Andalusian is painted in tones of gray with dark socks, mane and tail, as well as some mottling on the hindquarters. The face of the horse shows some pinkish paint applications around the nostrils and a really nice glossy paint on the eyes.
Even though these toys are generally sold with no protective packaging to speak of, the paint used by Schleich seems quite durable and more than capable of withstanding all but the roughest handling. There is one nit to pick, though, and it is that the underside of the tail did not come fully painted on any of the Andalusian horses they had at the store.
Looking at the online catalog pictures, it is fairly obvious that these should have been painted entirely black, but then again, as they say “product may differ from what is shown online”. One other thing to consider is that these are made strictly at 1:18 scale, which means that the Andalusian I got probably looks a tad small next to most of my Hasbro figures.
Overall, I think the Andalusian horse looks good enough to complement my display shelf, even if though it is essentially a small statue.