Saturday, January 31, 2015

Honey vs. Chocolate

I was hoping that they’d bring back that wonderful dark Glossy Bay they put on some of last year’s "Pop the Cork" Surprise Model Nokotas; judging from the prices they were (and are, still) commanding, he was the clear favorite of many. And guess what shows up on the Breyer Blog last week?

A Glossy Bay Ashquar, named Ganache. It’s still too early for me to decide if he’s going to be on my want list, but I’m going to hazard a guess that he’s going to be on the list of many others. 

The popularity of this new "Chocolate" Gloss Bay is somewhat reminiscent of the popularity of the vintage "Honey" Gloss Bays, best typified by the Old Mold and Family Arabians, such as this set I sold recently:

(Yeah, I know, the eyewhites on that FAM were scary! And 100 percent real, from what I could tell; they too, were a part of that ca. 1959-62 collection.)

Contrary to what many hobbyists assume, Gloss "Honey" Bays were not that common a color in the Vintage Glossy Era (pre-1967). Aside from the Old Mold/Family Arabians, the only other Regular Run release that came in that color was the Clydesdale Stallion.

And only for a short time: he was one of the first models to switch over to a Matte Finish from the Gloss, by 1963.

The #36 Racehorse was nominally "Bay", but was in reality Chestnut, and the Western Prancing Horse debuted in a "Bay" ca. 1962 that was identical to the Five-Gaiter’s Matte Sorrel. The Glossy Bay Quarter Horse Geldings tended to be more reddish-brown than true Honey. The Running Mares and Foals were the same color as the Gelding, except Matte, though some veer into Semi-Gloss/High Satin territory. (Inexplicably, they called those two "Chestnut" in the catalogs and pricelists!)

There are so few genuine Gloss Bay Fighting Stallions floating around that I cannot honestly make a judgement call on what their "standard" color is supposed to be. They switched him over to a Matte Finish around the same time as the Clydesdale, leaving that color to the Family Arabians alone through the middle of the 1960s. All the Bays that debuted after 1963 were Matte.

There are a few Test Color/Oddball Glossy Honey Bays roaming the hobby landscape, too, including the famous Gloss Bay Pinto Western Prancing Horses. (Wanna talk about grails? Sigh…) I’ve always suspected that the Shetland Pony was supposed to have come in a Gloss Bay, originally, but so far I’ve seen no physical evidence.

So, just like almost all the old Vintage colors, it’s far more commonly seen in more modern releases. (Woodgrain would be one of those exceptions, though I’m thinking for not much longer.)

When the Weather Girl mold finally makes her comeback, I am so hoping that they release her in all of the original Old Mold colors: Gloss Shaded Alabaster, Gloss Appaloosa, Woodgrain, and especially the Gloss Honey Bay.


Kristian said...

I really like the glossy bay. Depending on what else is offered....he may be at the top of the breyerfest special run list.
Cool history background too! That eye white is really enhanced.

Truson said...

Oooo! Howsa bout a "special" Gambler's Choice VC club Weathergirl! That would be stunning in the vintage colors!