Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Winning and Losing

Here’s a picture of my diorama entry. As you might have guessed by now, it was not a winner:

There’s a moment when I’m turning in an entry or getting ready to enter a contest when I know that I have definitively lost. With my dioramas, it’s become the moment when someone tells me “It’s so pretty, I hope you win.”

I thank them for the compliment, but hope that they don’t see that look behind my eyes that says “There goes another one down the tubes…”

In spite of my inability to crack the diorama formula (I don’t care what anybody says: I don’t think there is one!) at least I enjoyed the process this year. Papier-mache has been a favorite medium of mine since elementary school: I have about a half-dozen other papier-mache sculptures in my bedroom at the moment, and once even built a life-sized sculpture of the Loch Ness Monster for a movie theater promotion.

Other than some fresh paint and a matching Stablemate, I had all of these supplies already on hand, which is either an awesome or terrifying testament to the size and depth of my craft stash.

I was going to go a bit crazier with it – add a couple of sharks, some fancy raised letters, at least one more surfer, maybe a little blood on the trident – but time and ambition ran out. I doubt any of that would have helped, and I still think it turned out pretty amazing.

But the judges did not think so. Sometimes I wonder if the results would have turned out differently if I had gone with my original low-effort plan: “Shake n Bake” a random Classic with a ton of glitter, glue it to a piece of cardboard covered in feathers, and call it a day.

I got the same results in the Costume Contest: nada. The moment I knew I lost there was backstage when the professional samba band that Reeves had hired complimented me on my outfit and asked me where I had gotten my Bahia dress.

Too authentic again, argh!

Then a photographer took my photo, and that’s the moment I knew I was done for, and had to resist the urge to bolt for the door. That one didn’t take too much out of my time or budget either, but still? A bummer.

Moreso if my picture turns up anywhere on the Breyer web site. I know the person who selects the photos for the web site generally doesn’t know the winners from the losers, but the fact that such a high percentage of the pictures they use to advertise the contests show losing entries has to say something about the apparent randomness of the judging process.

I did walk away with this beauty, however:

The Volunteer Model #711468 Caipirinha, named after Brazil’s national cocktail. I totally whiffed on predicting this one – I assumed Gloss, Vintage, Decorator, and he’s Matte, Premier Club mold, and Realistic – but I am not complaining. He’s beautiful!

I had been mulling over picking up a Cortes C as my first Carrick, because I was struck by how great he looks in that color. But Dappled Fleabitten Rose Gray Minimal Pinto? Ooh, boy. A more than acceptable substitute.

I think it’s interesting that the Volunteer Model has evolved from something desirable because of its rarity and exclusivity – the earliest Volunteer Specials had piece runs under 40 – to something desirable because of its detail and quality.

It makes sense on a number of levels. First and in spite of protestations to the contrary on the Internet, Reeves is far better at this painting thing than they were 20 some years ago. And second, now that the piece counts are significantly higher (163 for the Carrick) something else has to be done to make it “special” again, because for some hobbyists nowadays, 163 pieces is too common and possibly not sufficient incentive to volunteer.

Which, frankly, kind of blows my mind, but then again, I’d probably volunteer for a free t-shirt and a sub, so what do I know?

So anyway, in conclusion: I didn’t win anything this year, but I still walked away from BreyerFest with two really spectacular keepers.

So, not bad, BreyerFest. Other than this Diorama Contest thing.

I will conquer you again, I swear it.


Anonymous said...

The volunteer model is stunning!! And that's probably the best angle of the mold I've seen haha

Did you see the Cortes C in person, by the way? Ive been hemming and hawing over him because, as much as I like the real horse, I'm unsure of the mold...

Highadventure said...

I STILL think it is AWESOME, and SHOULD HAVE WON! If you ever decide to rehome this one...