Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Few Flakes

One of the items I picked up this past Sunday was a passable Black Bucking Bronco. He was nothing special - a later piece with some paint skips and flaws. He was cheap, he needed rescuing, and I harbor a strong fondness for the mold, simple as that. (So strong a fondness that once upon a time, when the prospect was presented to me, I asked for a test color Wedgewood Blue Bucking Bronco. I didn’t get it, though: it’s another one of My Long Stories.)

As I was cleaning him up, some of his paint flaked off. Since he was already in not-collectible shape, it wasn’t a big deal. Some black paint jobs from the 1970s have a tendency to do that; I tend to chalk it up as either the consequence of poor prepping and cleaning, or the heavy-handed application of the paint, both common occurrences back then. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a bad batch of paint, too.

He is genuinely OF - fake black paint jobs used to be as common as fake gloss jobs are now, but there was nothing here to indicate anything amiss. No weirdness going on over or under the paint. Just bad paint, period.

I’ve seen enough model horses in my time that I hesitate to dismiss anything except the most obvious of fakes, as fakes, especially if the only evidence I have is a low resolution JPEG on the Internet. I’ve seen genuine OF models with flaked paint, handpainted details, acetone touchups, bad trim jobs, smudges, drips and fingerprints - all the usual giveaways of fakeness. My SR Solid Black Mustang has a gigantic drip, and I bought him straight off the Bentley Sales Discontinued List!

(He was one of the last ones they had, so I couldn’t get a replacement. I prefer to think of it as a beauty mark.)

Then there’s this little beauty on eBay. Warning: I’d put down any drink you have in hand before clicking on the link:

I’d so bid on him if I wasn’t totally broke, or knew others would be totally gunning for him. The story that he came from the factory that way? In light of what I’ve seen, totally possible. (And in the likely event it isn't true - look at him, man! His paint finish is near mint!)

It wasn’t the runs, drips and errors seen on some of the models involved in the (still ongoing) Gloss Nokota business that made them dubious in my eyes. I’ve seen those kinds of flaws on genuine OF models, and it’s not the "tell" everyone thinks it is. I’ve gotten a lot of good models by taking long second looks.

A greater indicator of fakeness is the behavior of the seller involved. If it looks like, walks like, and smells like a con job, it’s a con job. After all that’s happened, the minor involved in that deal still has Internet access and is still attempting to wheel and deal. Whether the models involved are real or were somehow legitimately obtained is irrelevant.

The fact that some hobbyists are still debating whether or not she’s even worth dealing with is the strangest, saddest part. Is the prospect of a Gloss that no one else has or has even heard of so tempting that some hobbyists are willing to throw common sense out the window?

If any good comes out of all of this, it’ll be to cool off the overheated Gloss market, and maybe - just maybe - have Reeves reconsider the whole Glossy Prize Model idea in the first place. While it’s mostly hobbyists to blame in this whole mess, Reeves really ought to be stepping up to the plate - to make their Glosses a little less easy to fake, at the very least. (A decal, signature or numbering?)

1 comment:

Rio said...

I agree.

A simple signature underneath the gloss isn't going to cost much to do and could probably help tell the fakes from the real.

You get the story "it was accidentally rubbed off" blah, blah, blah, and you'd be able to tell.

Never had a bucking Bronco but I do like the look of it.