Sunday, January 15, 2017

Glossy vs Matte

Whenever Breyer announces a new release, one of the most important factors is its finish. Will it be glossy or matte? For some, the finish makes all the difference. Some people only collect glossy models, while others only collect matte. Some collectors would like to see every release come with a shiny coat of gloss; others, not so much. It seems to be another one of those things that comes down to personal preference.

For the record, I'm generally ambivalent about gloss. If something is available in both finishes, I want both - but most of the time the glossy finishes are limited to special runs, Breyerfest tent models and glossy prize models, things that are for the most part difficult to obtain for a reasonable price. Sure, I'd love to get my hands on more glossy prizes, but I don't show, and I'm not willing to pay more than $400 for one. So, most glossies will likely remain out of my reach.

So, I don't get too worked up about gloss - if a particular release has it, cool! If not, it's not a problem.

I do think a glossy finish enhances a model's look most of the time. Giverny, the rainbowy Huck from Breyerfest 2015, is one model I think was greatly improved by the glossy finish. Another would be Aurelius, the chestnut Desatado from 2013. A couple more would be GG Valentine, on Giselle, and the glossy Fall, on Wintersong - while the matte versions of those models are nothing to sneeze at, the glossies are stunning.

But it does seem that a glossy finish can hurt some models, mostly darker ones. I don't have a glossy Cortes C from last year's Breyerfest, but I imagine he's a nightmare to photograph. My glossy Namid (Namib?) tended to disappear in group shots of models (so did the matte one, to be fair), and she was hard to photograph in my light tent. This may be my fault for using a black backdrop - the nitpicky part of my psyche demands all the backgrounds match. I had the same issue with Ganache - beautiful in person, and he looks just like melted chocolate, but so hard to photograph!

So, I don't get too excited about the gloss vs. matte dilemma, except when I'm trying to get all the variations of the surprise models at Breyerfest. That madness is enough to drive anyone insane! I almost hope this year's surprise is on a mold I don't collect, so I don't have to deal with it. But then I wouldn't have the anticipation of opening the bags to see what color I got and...argh!

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