Saturday, June 16, 2012

Selective Memories

My mood is unimproved, even though I made myself some truffles today. There are, apparently, some things chocolate cannot fix. (They did come out, mind you. In fact, they’re pretty dang amazing. They just didn’t make my problem go away.)

The only good thing being stuck in a dark place (figuratively) is that it seems to kick my creativity into high gear. So I’m just going to drown myself in my BreyerFest prep, and hope for the best there.

I finally got around to cleaning up a couple of recent flea market finds, too. (How sad is it that it takes me nearly a week to find the time to clean and rinse something? Sigh.) It’s not something that’s usually noteworthy, but I thought they were an excellent study in contrasts - and also a good illustration of why I get really annoyed when hobbyists start carping about how much better models were in "The Good Old Days".

First up is a Bay Fighting Stallion. He’s strictly body box material: he’s pretty rough, and has a broken ear. At one point he did have footpads, too, so he’s fairly old, and his shading is pretty nice. He does, however, have a few problems that would have kept him out of the show ring in spite of these better qualities. Like this very oddly oversprayed mane:

And what I call "mold stick" - a roughly textured surface caused by the model sticking to the mold itself:

I’m not sure what the actual technical term for the problem is, that’s just what I happen to call it when I see it. (BTW, I worked in the offices of a plastics injection molding plant for several years. Very useful in terms of my research, but I didn’t get out into the plant much, though.) Molds are usually sprayed or otherwise coated with a mold release agent to prevent molded pieces from sticking to the mold, but it does need to be reapplied from time to time, and especially after one has been cleaned and/or repaired.

You don’t see the problem much anymore because Reeves is either taking better care of the molds, or they’re doing a better job of cleaning up the molded pieces before they end up in the painting booth.

The second model is the Blue Roan Appaloosa Rearing Stallion, a fairly recent release (ca. 2005):

He’s a fairly typical piece from the run - there’s nothing to really distinguish him from any other. This one’s in pretty good shape, too, and if I didn’t have some serious space issues right now, I’d probably be keeping him.

What blows my mind about him is, as "ordinary" as he is today, a paint job of that complexity would not have been possible thirty years ago. Most customizers back then wouldn’t have been able to reproduce it, either. 

Yet this quantum leap in the quality and complexity of today’s paint jobs - even on ordinary, run-of-the-mill Regular Runs - goes by almost unacknowledged.

I love my vintage pieces, but what we have available to us today - right in front of our faces - deserves a little more respect.


Lynn Isenbarger said...

I went to Laughing Bear Live yesterday - the first live show I have attended in 8 years or so. Maybe it was having hundreds and hundreds of models to look at at one time, but I, too, was struck by the higher quality Breyer is putting out.

I'll always be a vintage girl myself, but gosh some of those newer Breyers are stunning!

Anonymous said...

See, people are noticing the newer paintwork - just depends what you choose to read online. The thing people miss about the "old days" is the variations in paint work. These days you can get something like "Fire" who is seemingly impossible for a factory to mass produce, but they all look the exact same. You don't have color variations, marking variations... go to Blab and look up the QHY thread in the OF forum. Do you honestly think we'll ever seen a single run with that many color shifts ever again?

normally your posts have me nodding my head in agreement, but I think this one is missing the forest for the trees.

Anonymous said...

You briefly mention the newer models and variations here, so I thought this would be a slightly fitting place for this comment. I know in the earlier days that there were some models that breyer had leftovers of, and then just repainted over them. I was etching a britannia strapless (the original weg edition that came in bubble wrap, not the later release that came in a box) and noticed that as I etched her for white markings, she had a LOT of layers of factory paint. Its super smooth, but there are several layers, much more than any of the other mkdern breyers I have etched. I can distinguish the following layers on her from bottom, up: the plastic, pale yellow, chestnut, white primer, semimetallic yellow, then liver chestnut. I got her directly from Breyer, so theres no chance she was tinkered with out of the factory other than with my etching. Its very odd, and needless to say a pain to etch. :-) I was just wondering, does anyone know of any modern factory repaints, and think she might be one? But if she is, it brings to question, what model was she repainted from? As of my knowledge, I dont think there was another strapless released anytime near the other weg models.