Gloss Finish or Not

I have been asked many times about finishes on vent figures. Which is correct? A gloss finish or a matt finish? The answer is a subjective one at best. I have my own opinion and I will share that with you. Frank Marshall used a matt finish on almost all of his figures and I really like that. I do have a couple Marshalls that have a semi gloss but only a couple which shows he certainly did do different finishes. He attended ventriloquist’s shows when they appeared in Chicago just so that he could see the figure on stage. I must assume that since most of his finishes are matt he thought that was best.
A gloss finish will reflect the lights when on stage and therefore wash out the color of the figure. A matt finish absorbs the light so you do not lose any of the color. I also believe that eyes too should not have a gloss finish although most of the figures made in the early days had glass eyes. Those certainly reflected the light. Today most figures are done using great plastic irises that have great color and if they are backed when placed into the eye sphere they do not reflect the light all that much and you don’t lose their color.



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