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The Breyer Big Easy Bash Part 2


I slept like a rock on Friday night.  We were to meet up in the lobby at 7am and the alarm clock going off at 6am was a bit rough.  We were 3 hours jet lagged and completely dismayed to find the Starbucks in the hotel closed.  Wah!  We loaded up on the buses.  The first stop for my group was the Breyer factory and the Sample Room.  I cringed inwardly as we passed through Patterson.   I  grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey and it looked nothing like this.  I hated the thought of hubby thinking that this was what all of New Jersey looked like and I’m sure most of the group thought that this was the norm for New Jersey as well.  So I’ll say it once and only once, New Jersey has pretty parts with suburbs and greenery, honest!

Despite growing up in New Jersey and  collecting Breyers, I never did make it to a factory tour or to the infamous yearly sale where culls were sold off.  I sorely wish that I had attended the sale, even once. Alas that was not meant to be  but I was finally getting to see the factory even if it was a bit later in life than I had anticipated.

The Sample Room was full of goodies.  I spied an entire conga of Fortissimo’s hanging out on the top shelf.  My favorite pieces were some silly unpainted animals.  There was a Breyer buffalo with 2 heads, an elephant with wings and an assortment of other uniquely crafted animals.  It was no easy task herding my group out of the Sample Room when our time was up.

Next we watched a fascinating demonstration about the molding process.  One of the molds demonstrated was the Moody Andalusian and there was even a painted Fandango hanging out to show the finished product  Then we were able to feast our eyes on an assortment of horses being painted.  Lisa Bickford, Tom Bainbridge and Sommer Prosser showed how the horses were airbrushed while at the same time creating lovely one of a kinds.  I found it interesting that only a small assortment of colors were used.  For the most part, horses had 5 or less layers of paint but it was these layers that created such a rainbow of colors.  Sommer tirelessly demonstrated dappling, she is one talented gal =p  My hand wanted to cramp up after watching her for just a couple minutes.  I have a brand new appreciation for the skill and time it takes to create even the simplest dappling job.  I will certainly think twice before complaining about a horse with fishscale dapples! Tom created a lovely dun Adios that I would have loved to take home with me.  He was a simple solid solor without a lot of chrome and no dappling but he didn’t need any as his shading was so spectacular!  I was impressed by how quickly the Breyer paint dries, it bonds with the plastic as soon as it touches it and is instantly dry.  I really wanted some of that paint until I learned just how toxic it was.  At which point I admired the industrial spray booths with their incredible filtration systems.  Those that were more brave than myself even got to try their hand at airbrushing a model.

I watched a number of horses have their seams smoothed and bodies buffed in preparation for paint work. Being a prep artist myself, I was exceptionally interested in how Breyer prepared their horses for paint. I watched a lady with endless patience apply little pieces of masking to create various patterns.  I also spotted an adorable new Icelandic Pony sculpt.

One thing that surprised me was that there were only maybe 6 painting booths.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the factory looked like before the majority of the production was moved to China.  It certainly would have been a sight to see.  All too soon were were clambering back on the bus and headed off to see the Breyer offices and Archive Room!

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