Monday, August 3, 2015

Le Taureau and Consistency

I did come home with one bonafide Gloss from Kentucky – the Spanish Fighting Bull Le Taureau:

It’s been two weeks, though, and I still haven’t made a “connection” to him yet. I almost always opt for the Nonhorse choice almost out of habit, because I dig those molds in general. He’s really well done, but I’m still not feeling the love yet.

Other stuff needs to be sold off sooner (bodies, ephemera, some boxed items) so he might have a few more months to settle in with the local crowd before he gets exiled to the sales list.  

One admirable thing about this Special Run is the variability of the paint job; the ones I’ve seen in person and online vary widely, from very light to very dark, lightly striped to heavily so. My guy falls more toward the darker end of the spectrum.

If there’s one legitimate claim to be had about Breyers “not being made the way they used to be” it’s in the realm of variability: there’s just not as much variation as there used to be.

Some of that is attributable to the short and sweet production runs: it’s easier to maintain consistency over a 6 month or one year run, and opposed to one stretching decades.

But a lot of it has to do with improved quality control. Some of you may be snickering in the corner thinking “yeah, right” but hear me out: one part of quality control is in maintaining consistency.

Every model nowadays is “on model”, so to speak. Every once and a while you’ll find an especially nice example of something out there – more shading, cleaner masking, a little lighter or darker – but Breyer models, in general, are almost annoyingly consistent now.

This is a good thing for the average/low information consumer, who wants a model to look like it does in its promo pictures (more or less).

But for some of us fuddy-duddies who were around in the good old days, where – in spite of the picture on the box, you really weren’t sure what you were getting when you opened it – there’s a little bit less mystery and allure.

If you were particularly enamored of one release of a model, like I was with the Dapple Gray Azteca/ Foundation Stallion, those variations gave us the opportunity to buy that same beloved creature multiple times.

If there’s one change that they can make to the Vintage Club releases, it’d be the introduction of more variability within the runs. Not just the Gloss/Matte thing, but almost anything: gray hooves vs. pink hooves; star vs. no star; “Blue” Charcoal vs. “Chocolate”  Charcoal, or different halter or eye colors.

There’s been a little bit of that more recently, with the reintroduction of splash spotting technique and the “Gambler’s Choice” on the Running Stallion. Judging from the generally favorable response, it might be time for Reeves to kick it up a notch.


Christi said...

If they could make one change to the VC models, I really really hope it would be decent eyes, not the crap half-painted freaky things that a couple of mine have (Levi, especially). I've got a bunch of "real" vintage models hanging around, and they all have fully painted eyes. It's annoying.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the 1/2 painted eye thing on the recent decorator running stallions.....from photos on eBay. If they are bad enough to show up in eBay photos, they must be pretty bad in person.

To me, it ruins the looks of the entire model, because the eyes are sort of the soul of the model. The representation of it's personality. I like a kind, soft eye on a horse, even if it's not a real one!

Denise said...

I agree and this has been my #1 complaint with the vintage club models is the "ghost eyes" or half or under-painted gray eyes. My Levi didn't even have his eyes painted, just were the gray paint same as the body. None of my vintage models are like this either. They all have nice big black eyes!