Understanding Terms and Differences in Customs and Original Finish Models

Sometimes the terms we use in this hobby are not uniform from site to site or from artist to consumer. So for my site at least, I will attempt to define what I mean by certain terms I may use when describing this hobby.

Artist Resin - These are unique molds created from an artists sculpture and cast in a resinous plastic. They are not mass produced in a factory and the artist still retains ownership rights to the sculpture. Often they are made in very small batches poured individually from one mold. Once that mold breaks down and can produce no more quality models, the run is considered done and if no more molds are made then it is considered a Limited Edition Run.

This resin material is usually a two part mix and different resin types can give you different finish hardness and texture., but in general they are softer and can be damaged more easily than a OF plastic model.

Factory Resin - This is a very heavy polymer sold through Breyer from their  Gallery section of fine porcelains and resins.

Cellulose Acetate - This is a non-flammable yet thermoplastic polymer that is used as the basis for many plastics used in molding. It can be heated to a high degree to make it malleable so it can then be forced into a mold through the injection process. Once it has cooled down it becomes quite hard and non-malleable. EX. Breyer and Peter Stone models.

Custom Model - This is the process of creating a totally unique model by repainting and/or re-sculpting either an Artist Resin, OF model, or some sculpture of any material. It is uniquely OOAK or One Of A Kind.

Finish - This one word can lead to more confusion than almost any other in our hobby! It can be used to mean that the work on a model is completed; it can mean the texture or smoothness the surface of a model has; it can mean the type of sealant, varnish or clearcoat that was used as the final layers of a custom paint job. Or it can explain the type of model being described, i.e. Artist Resin, Original Finish Breyer, Hagen-Renaker pottery etc. Usually, at least with most artists in this hobby, it refers to the latter AND the final sealing product used.

In reference to whether it is completed with a soft Matte, more natural appearance, a Pearlescent or semi-glossy almost shiny appearance or a hard, High Gloss, that almost looks like a liquid or like a mirrored appearance. These different looks also imply a texture somewhat, because Matte looks soft but has almost a sandy or rougher feeling. Pearlescent looks almost shiny but softer, almost hazier than glossy and High Gloss looks hard as glass and liquid as water all at the same time.

Mold - This is defined as the method used in creating a model at the factory (Injection Mold) and the shape of the container that creates the model. Molds are made from a sculpture and define what the models shape will be. They can be used several times to produce many uniform figurines. It has nothing to do with color or superficial appearance. Most models come out of the mold, plain white in color. EX. Proud Arabian Mare is a mold.

To add some confusion to this, sometimes at the factory, they will create alternate details for a particular mold. Things like manes or tails; ear-sets or even a neck-set can be interchangeable within one mold so that the models produced from that mold may look a bit different from each other but are still considered one mold. EX. Arabian Mare Justadream (head and tail up variation) and Arabian Mare Make A Wish (head down, tail up variation) and Arabian Mare OT Sara Moniet RS (head and tail down variation) are all one mold with three different variations.

Also, sometimes a Master Mold can become damaged at the factory and in repairing it the shape is altered. EX. Sherman Morgan mold. In 1993 the mold was briefly discontinued because of damage to the tail section of the injection mold and was reintroduced in 2000 with a different long flowing tail.

Model - Now take a mold and paint or decoratet the figurine produced from it and all that are painted that same uniform way are known as Models. 

Original Finish (OF) - This refers to any model as it comes from the factory. It has not been stripped, prepped, primed or painted in any way since leaving the factory.

Something to keep in mind -

Customized models are not toys, they are pieces of art. As such they should be handled with more care than regular OF models. The finishes we are able to put on these models are different than what they come from the factory with. The positive trade off is we, artists, can put much more detail, color and shading onto the model than they can achieve at the factory. Although I put on several layers of sealant and clearcoats, they should still be handled with loving care. Treat this piece as you would any other work of art, because many, many hours of work, talent and techniques went in to producing this one of a kind piece of art.

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