No matter what, when you collect Breyer’s you’re going to encounter a bump or a scratch here and there. Even when you get a model new, the finish can be damaged. A small bump here or there might be okay for some collectors but restoration is an option that you can choose if the damage bothers you, and even you can give restoration a try! If you live show, even the smallest flaw can bump your horse out of the placings, so restoration might be the answer if your favorite model has a bump or two.
If you have any vintage models you’ll know that they often come damaged in some way. Its not easy to keep a Breyer mint after years upon years and many owners. Little bumps, scrapes and scratches happen. Even your newest model from Golden Oak Stables may suffer a little rub if he’s sitting a little too close to the next horse in the stable and they happen to touch.
Damage can range anywhere from a shiny rub or an ear tip rub to broken ears and broken limbs. The most extensive damage can be restored by a professional restoration artist. Just like any other antique or art restorers, these artists take damaged models and repair them to a new or almost new state. Take caution whenever hiring someone you don’t know and look for one with references from many hobbyists. All artists are not created equal!
Small damage, like ear tip rubs and shiny marks, you might be able to fix at home. Acrylic paint is affordable and washes off, which makes it great for trying things out with. If you have a horse with a small rub, mix a little acrylic paint until you have the color as close as possible and apply it to the rub. Remember, many paints dry darker than they are when light, so you may need to play around with it. Take a look at this past tutorial for an in depth look at how its done. If it is noticeable, wash it off with some warm water and give it another shot. Shiny rubs are just light surface rubs and can be buffed out with a soft cloth and a little elbow grease. Sometimes the pressure from a fingernail can take that mark right off! Just move slowly and take your time. Patience is very important when doing any work on your models.
So don’t fret if you’re model’s gotten a bump or two, its certainly repairable if you choose. If not, he’s still a wonderful horse, I don’t know many real life horses that don’t have a bump or scratch giving them a little character!