Saturday, September 3, 2016

Gold Valegro and Gold Chestnut

So in honor of his Gold Medal performance in Rio this year, there’s a 3000-piece Special Run Gold Valegro coming our way in December:

I was expecting Reeves to do something, but I thought it’d be something a little more conventional – either issuing him in Gloss, or giving him some fun accessories, like a ribbon, medal and/or a gold painted base. But this is perfectly acceptable, too!

Although some may or will refer to his color as Gold Charm, technically it isn’t: a true Gold Charm paint job will have white points, a bald face, and four stockings. This Valegro does not.

Breyer’s first two attempts at recreating the Gold Charm paint job – the BreyerFest 1991 Raffle Model Man o’ War, and the 1992 Signing Party Secretariat – also did not come with white points and requisite markings.

They both came with the markings and other details of their original respective Chestnut releases. In fact, they looked like Chestnuts where the Chestnut paint was simply swapped out with Metallic Gold.

They were both labeled as Gold Charms, though, and most hobbyists accepted that terminology. The deviation from the standard paint job was written off as either specific to those releases (they were basically designed as commemorative portraits) or coming from a lack of knowledge/experience. The other three Raffle Decorators that year – Wedgewood Blue Sham, Florentine Legionario, Copenhagen San Domingo – were also not terribly faithful reproductions.

Then in 2013 Reeves put some Gold Foals in some of their Stablemates Treasure Hunt Mystery Foal sets:

These, too, looked like Gold-swapped Chestnuts. That I found… interesting. Especially since they masked the stockings, but not the mane and tail: making it look like a “Gold Chestnut” was a conscious choice, not an error.

Now we have this Valegro. He doesn’t have any markings – either Valegro’s original ones, or ones uniquely to this release. Otherwise he does have all the hallmarks of being a “Gold Chestnut” like the three releases mentioned above.

So that’s what I am going to refer to him as (and any future releases using this particular color scheme) until/unless Reeves finds a more formal term for it. (The sales flier refers to this Valegro only as “gold”.)

Another good rationale for creating a distinct term for it is that it will also help distinguish it from Breyer releases that have been painted or plated solid Gold without any other distinguishing features, like the early Costume Contest prize Gold Western Horses, and some Stablemates.


Anonymous said...

I think of any model done in metallic gold as a Gold Charm and I'm guessing Breyer does too, regardless of the color of any points, because actual gold charms on bracelets are all gold colored generally. Point colorings would merely add realism to the horse aspect of the model.

Anonymous said...

I would call him either gold or Gold Charm, sticking to Breyer terminology. Gold Chestnut doesn't make sense in this case since the original Valegro was a dark bay color iirc.