Saturday, August 9, 2014

More About Texture

You could say that I’ve developed a bit of a texture problem, myself. Though mine is more an issue of surface flaws, rather than paint. Trying to get six weeks of weeding and pruning done in six days? Not a good idea, especially with allergies.

Most of the examples brought up in the comments relate to issues of surface texture or finishing, rather than paint texture. The Lying Down Foal’s pimples, for instance, were the result of a flaw inherent to the mold, and existed regardless of the quality of the paint job. Other molds - like the Proud Arabian Stallion, Sherman Morgan, John Henry and the Trakehner - have had some of their earlier surface roughness buffed out of them.

Then there’s the issue of mold stick. The surface of a mold is a lot like the surface of household cookware: until it is properly cured - either through extended use, or the application of nonstick compounds - stuff will stick to it. This may result in a rough surface texture to the molded piece - sometimes subtle, sometimes not. Mold stick was a much bigger issue in the 1970s and 1980s than it is today: back then, it wasn’t uncommon to find pieces that looked like someone had pulled a melted pot scrubber off sections of it. When I see mold stick on newer pieces, it’s more a matter of a very slight roughness where a roughness normally isn’t. You might not even see it, except in raking light.

As I mentioned before, paint texture issues have been around as long as there have been Breyers - not just the runs, drips and unevenness that I mentioned previously, but all manners of oddness. That’s why I tend to be hesitant in immediately ruling something inauthentic. I can’t say that I’ve seen everything, but I’ve seen enough to make me pause a bit before passing judgment on a questionable model. 

For instance, I can remember back in my Model Horse Congress days (the mid-1980s) that Marney offered some of us a Test Color model whose paint job was tacky - as in sticky, not in poor taste. (I think he was a solid Chestnut Buckshot?) I took the opportunity to touch him, and she wasn’t kidding: he felt like he was covered in spray adhesive.

She said it’d harden up eventually, but I was a little hesitant: properly formulated Breyer paint dries very quickly. We’re talking seconds or minutes, not days or weeks. I passed him up because I feared there’d be another condition issue with it down the road, not to mention short-term problems with dust.

(Note: this was a few years before the Shrinking and Oozing were even on our radar.)

I’ve also run across a few models that - at first glance - looked like they were touched up after they left the factory. Paint that should have been smooth and airbrushed on appeared to have been applied thickly, with a paintbrush. Closer examination revealed that they were 100 percent factory authentic.

Generally I’ve handled these on a case-by-case basis, because most of the time that’s what they turn out to be: atypical bits of factory weirdness. This is why authenticating models in person is preferable to photographs-only. Just because it looks fake doesn’t necessarily mean it is fake. 

Most Test Colors and Samples that I own, or have owned in the past rarely had any textural issues beyond the ones related to the surface itself. This fine-grit-sandpaper feel is a relatively new development, and most likely related to the shipment of production overseas.

Not every newer Sample has it, but enough of them do that I’ll now have to incorporate it into the "authentication matrix" in my head.

No comments: