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Travis T

Testors bottle paint issues

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Nope. Testor Corporation is a subsidiary of RPM Corporation, Inc. It has been since, as previously mentioned, 1984. RPM also purchased Floquil, Polly-S/Polly Scale and Pactra. The only paint line owned by hobbico is Revell germany's Revell Color/Aqua Color.

That's wierd... Hobbico would probably not have shut down Floquil and Polly S. Apparently, RPM is only interested in Model Master and Testors brands... It's a shame because I've used one of the new acrylics that is supposed to replace Polly S Engine Black, and it's not as good as Polly S. I'm still looking for another alternative, and I'm waiting on an order from the US-based website of Humbrol. I ordered 10 of their acrylics and I'm hoping that they will be better than Micro-Mark's Polly S replacements...

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Well, Testors Model Master paints (enamel and Acryl) were reformulated late in the last century :) . The enamels are now "Lead Free" and environmentally friendly. Isn't that special? That means they ain't what they used to be. The enamels are thinner in viscosity and don't cover as well when hand brushed. 

They still smell horrid, too!

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 I ordered 10 of their acrylics and I'm hoping that they will be better than Micro-Mark's Polly S replacements...

Tempera paints are a better choice than Micro-Mark. The Humbrol acrylics are just as good as the enamels. You're going to like working with them.

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I would not recommend Tempera paints for painting plastic models.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera - they are quite different than the standard water-solvent-based acrylic hobby paints.  From what I know, Micro-Mark paints are just custom color mixes of Vallejo acrylic paints which are very highly regarded in the military model circles.

Edited by peteski

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Well I picked up a bottle of Model Master gloss black this weekend and it did indeed work much better than the regular Testors paint. I am going to investigate some of the other brands though. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions!

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I would not recommend Tempera paints for painting plastic models. 

I was being sarcastic. I'm one of those rivet counting military modelers who uses Vallejo paints; although, only for figures and interior painting. They don't have the bite/permanence on styrene, like MM Acryl, Revell Aqua Color, Humbrol Acrylic, Gunze Aqueous and other acrylic types. Micro-Mark acrylic paints suffer from the same issues. Polly-S and Pollyscale were the best acrylic paints  They didn't scratch or peel off styrene, primed or otherwise.

Testor's decision to discontinue the Floquil/Pollyscale and Pactra paint lines was planned when RPM acquired those companies. It's known as killing off the competition. This is a letter Testor Corp./RPM sent out to its "partners":

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Dear Valued Partner,

I am writing to inform you about changes that are taking place at the Testor Corporation. For over 80 years, we have provided premium paints and finishing systems to the craft and hobby industry. Today, we announced that we are transforming our business in order to more effectively address the changingneeds of our consumers and their interests.

Weve made the decision to exit the following businesses within the Testor® Brand family – Pactra®, Floquil®, Polyscale®, and ColorArtz®. This will enable the Testor Corporation to return to our foundation of success providing premium, innovative product that inspires creativity. We will continue to accept orders and ship product for a limited time based on available quantities.

Going forward, the following brands will be critical to our success and development Testor®, Model Master, and Aztek®. These brands will be infused with marketing support, innovation and operational efficiencies.

In support of this, we have announced a consolidation of operations at our Rockford facilities. Over the next several months we will provide updates critical to your order and delivery needs as well as product availability. We assure you there will be no disruption to service during this transition. Our commitment to the Testor brand has never been stronger. By implementing these changes, and the ability to leverage all of Rust-Oleums world class services, we are more strongly poised to take your business to the next level through product and merchandising innovations, and increased customer
intimacy. Please contact me or your sales manager directly with any questions.

We appreciate your business!

Yeah, Testor gave us the business. A model train enthusiast can no longer find colors anywhere equal to Floquil enamels. Military modelers miss the variety Pollyscale military colors offered. R/C fans bemoan the loss of all those great Lexan compatible Pactra colors. The only thing Testor wanted to do was push its own house brand without offering the consumer the choice of using anything else and not bothering to add comparable replacements. 

Edited by SfanGoch

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Joe, I guess I'm still a newbie around here so I don't know when you are serious. :unsure:

I'm not sure if I agree with the "killing competition" of Testors since RPM has owned all the paint lines you mentioned for quite some time before discontinuing them.  I also play with model trains :) and Used Floquil and Polly S and later PollyScale paints. I'm also bemoaning their discontinuation.  Like you, I much prefer all the old-school organic solvent based smelly paints to any of the new water-based paints (for the reasons you mentioned).

So, if RPM already owned all those paint brands, they weren't much of a competition.  I suspect they discontinued those paints because of the ever stricter EPA controls for organic solvent based paints.  Plus they probably wanted to reduce the range of their hobby paint line.  Plus I also suspect that the sales were way down (too many paint brands and shrinking numbers of modelers).

We still have couple good lines of paints left: TruColor and Scalecoat. Well, Weaver (producer of Scalecoat) recently closed their doors, but the line was picked up by another company, so it seems that it will still be available.

 

 

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My apologies, Peteski. I should have wrote that RPM gave us the business. Testors Corp. acquired Floquil Polly-S and Pactra prior to itself being acquired by RPM in 1984. The decision to drop the other lines was made by the RPM corporate braintrust. These lines were seen as not profitable enough to justify continued production. Hobby paints and products constitute, at most, 1 percent of RPM's total sales. Its major business is in industrial coatings and sealants. 

That there were too many paints in the combined lines is a fact. But, each line catered to a different segment of customer. The elimination of the three previously mentioned brands left the model ship builder and train enthusiast without any options. Floquil produced excellent Marine and Railroad Colors lines. Testors (RPM) never bothered to incorporate the Marine Colors into its MM line. Many of the Marine Colors have no MM equivalent and that placed the wooden ship modeler between a rock and a hard place to try finding a substitute. Ditto with the train guys. Your comment about the shrinking number of modelers isn't entirely accurate. Ever check out the number of items being produced for model railroading? That's a dumb question, of course you know :) . It's insane; but, that area of interest is more popular than ever. There are more brick and mortar shops exclusively dedicated to model trains than there are for plastic kits. And, they're raking in the mazuma, too. 

Floquil reformulated (removing Xylol from the formula) its paints to be plastic compatible in the early '80s. That made them dilutable with regular thinner, as opposed to using Dio-Sol.

I'm partial to N Scale myself, going all the way back to my first Aurora Postage Stamp Train set I got for Christmas in 1967. :)

Edited by SfanGoch

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Tempera paints are a better choice than Micro-Mark. The Humbrol acrylics are just as good as the enamels. You're going to like working with them.

Well, that may be the case but Micro-Mark makes Polly-S color replacements, which was the biggest factor in my interest in them.

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I would not recommend Tempera paints for painting plastic models.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempera - they are quite different than the standard water-solvent-based acrylic hobby paints.  From what I know, Micro-Mark paints are just custom color mixes of Vallejo acrylic paints which are very highly regarded in the military model circles.

They are manufactured for Micro-Mark by Vallejo, but the formulas are supposed to be color-matches to the defunct Polly-S colors. I found the "Engine Black" to be the right color, but not as good coverage and not as flat as Polly-S. However, some of the general Polly-S colors are available in the Model Master line. I was happy and surprised to find that their Engine Black is everything the Polly-S paint was!

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My apologies, Peteski. I should have wrote that RPM gave us the business. Testors Corp. acquired Floquil Polly-S and Pactra prior to itself being acquired by RPM in 1984. The decision to drop the other lines was made by the RPM corporate braintrust. These lines were seen as not profitable enough to justify continued production. Hobby paints and products constitute, at most, 1 percent of RPM's total sales. Its major business is in industrial coatings and sealants. 

That there were too many paints in the combined lines is a fact. But, each line catered to a different segment of customer. The elimination of the three previously mentioned brands left the model ship builder and train enthusiast without any options. Floquil produced excellent Marine and Railroad Colors lines. Testors (RPM) never bothered to incorporate the Marine Colors into its MM line. Many of the Marine Colors have no MM equivalent and that placed the wooden ship modeler between a rock and a hard place to try finding a substitute. Ditto with the train guys. Your comment about the shrinking number of modelers isn't entirely accurate. Ever check out the number of items being produced for model railroading? That's a dumb question, of course you know :) . It's insane; but, that area of interest is more popular than ever. There are more brick and mortar shops exclusively dedicated to model trains than there are for plastic kits. And, they're raking in the mazuma, too. 

Floquil reformulated (removing Xylol from the formula) its paints to be plastic compatible in the early '80s. That made them dilutable with regular thinner, as opposed to using Dio-Sol.

I'm partial to N Scale myself, going all the way back to my first Aurora Postage Stamp Train set I got for Christmas in 1967. :)

No apology needed Joe - I just wanted to make the RPM story a bit more accurate.  I'm also into N scale and I frequent a forum which is N-scale-biased: The Railwire . As far as the shrinking number of modelers goes, I am the one who should have been more accurate this time. What is shrinking is the number of craftsman-type of modelers who actually use paints and detail parts to detail their models or who scratchbuild their models.  Those are the modelers who miss those discontinued paints.  Sure, we have lots of new model RR models, but they are detailed and painted for specific railroad to the n-th degree. There are also lots of structures which are already built, painted and with details added a the factory (like the Woodland Scenics ones).  One thing is that all those exquisite models are rather expensive. But any schmuck can plop them on their layout without much work involved. 

Same goes for automotive modeling - there are now lots of pre-built pre-decorated models available from many manufacturers. Many "modelers" just buy and collect those models - no painting or assembly required.

 

I have a small stash of Floquil paints - hopefully they won't go bad on me. :D

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My apologies, Peteski. I should have wrote that RPM gave us the business. Testors Corp. acquired Floquil Polly-S and Pactra prior to itself being acquired by RPM in 1984. The decision to drop the other lines was made by the RPM corporate braintrust. These lines were seen as not profitable enough to justify continued production. Hobby paints and products constitute, at most, 1 percent of RPM's total sales. Its major business is in industrial coatings and sealants. 

You know, the above timeline kept bugging me. No that it makes any difference in the paint availability but it still bugged me.  Then I dug up couple of Floquil model RR paint bottles.  The one on the left is from the late 80s (it is the REV.1 plastic compatible formula) and the one on the right is from early 2000s.

DSCN8072.thumb.JPG.44bbbc9636d4f8e704ba1

 

As you can see, both labels have the RPM logo and both still use the Floquil/Polly S Color Corp. name, and the NY address.   This seems to indicate that Testors never actually acquired Floquil/Polly S Color Corp. It was RPM that already owned Floquil/Polly S Color Corp. back in the 80s, through 2000s, and all the way until it was discontinued.  Floquil was not part of Testors at the time.  Testors and Floquil seemed to be parallel product lines and separate companies owned by RPM all the way until demise of Floquil

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No problem Joe - I just wanted to set the timeline straight.  Looks like Art Anderson came through again with a nice writeup.  Hopefully he will be attending the Classic Plastic show this weekend - he always has all sorts of goodies to show off to us mere mortals.

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