Polly Scale and Floquil Paints

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This interior was brush painted with Poly Scale blue camo and their flat white.

It's on my 48 Ford Custom

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we are all here to help

James aka Joker

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Posted · Report post

I've used Polly Scale's Engine Black for the vinyl roof on my Turbine Car. It's great because it has just the right amount of sheen for vinyl to my eyes, and if you brush it on, leaves little to no brush marks if thinned properly.

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Posted · Report post

Both are excellent paints ... old time railroad paints. The color selection is vast!

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Posted · Report post

it's sad that testors killed the polly scale line :(

Actually, I suspect it was Testors parent company, RPM who ordered the discontinuing of Polyscale. Why? Polyscale, itself an outgrowth of :Poly S, was almost always the stepchild of the hobby paint field. It was Poly S who adapted latex acrylic paint (you know the stuff, probably you've painted the walls inside your house with the stuff--smells a bit like slightly sour cheese?) to scale model paint. Poly S came on the hobby market in the late 1960's, with a broad line of military colors, Allied, Axis, US, even Soviet colors, but the trouble was, modelers used to working in enamels (both flat and gloss) had an awful time learning how to use the stuff. Brushed on, it showed brush marks, by both "thick and thin" areas--not easy to get it to flow out; and when thinned for airbrushing, tended to "bead up" on bare styrene plastic. Still though, Poly S had its diehard fans, but no matter, that line was almost always the "3rd man on a match" with modelers. Enter Floquil.

Floquil originated as a line of Alkyd Enamel paints, formulated for scale modeling, in the late 1940's, aimed exclusively at the model railroad trade, in the day when model railroad locomotives and rolling stock came in kits only. Until the mid-late 1950's, model railroad kits came pretty much only as "multi-media" kits, with parts made from diecast metal, sheet brass, bits of wire, basswood and printed card stock--plastic need not have applied for the job with those adult modelers in that era. Floquil's paint became the gold standard of model railroading because of their accurate colors, the wide range of colors, and the fact that the paint dried literally micro-thin. However, Floquil paints, once styrene plastic locomotive and rolling stock carbodies came onto the market, were a terrible disadvantage, as alkyd enamels are very slow drying, but with the very strong penetrating solvents used (think HOT lacquer thinner type stuff) Floquil was literally impossible to brush on styrene without crazing, and even shooting it on plastic with an airbrush was problematic at best.

Now for the Testors side of things: Nils Testor started his company in the late 1940's, first producing a line of fuel-proof model airplane dope, having a butyl compound added to it which made their dope secure against the methyl alcohol (methanol, which is still used in most paint strippers to this day). Pactra, Testors' principal competitor in the hobby field, virtually owned the market for aircraft dope used on 1:1 light aircraft still using fabric covering (think Piper Aircraft's Cub, Super Cub, Pacer and Tri-Pacer of the 40's and 50's here), and modified their nitrate dope formula with a fuel proofer to stay in the model aircraft market. But, by the late 1970's, the handwriting was on the wall for both companies--Testors dropped their line of butyrate model airplane dope in that time frame, while Pactra AeroGloss dope still is out there in hobby shops, albeit in a very short selection of colors. Pactra brought out their line of 'Namel hobby enamels in the mid-1950's, and very shortly thereafter, Testors introduced PLA Enamels. Both brands were head-head from then on, well into the 1980's, when Pactra, even after introducing their excellent line of acrylic water-borne gloss and flat enamels. By about 1990 or so, Testors bought out Pactra's hobby paint line with the exception of AeroGloss, and folded some of the enamel colors into their line, Took over the Pactra Metalizers and bottled them as Modelmaster Metalizers, and created their Modelmaster Acryl line using the Pactra formula, which was far better than their own Testors Acrylic paint. In this time frame as well, Testors was acquired by the Rockford Illinois company, Rockford Paper Mills which adopted the brand name RPM for their paint lines. (RPM is now the largest producer of consumer paints in the country, with even automobile touchup colors in their basket, most notably Duplicolor). Shortly after acquiring Testors, RPM also bought up Floquil-Polly S, which then brought out Poly-Scale acrylic enamels.

However, Poly-Scale never did achieve much sales success--relatively few hobby shops ever stocked the stuff (strange folks most hobby retailers--many seem to think that one or two paint racks is sufficient for us mere plastic model car builders, huh?). So, I would believe that RPM management saw Poly-Scale to be a drag on profitability, and thus, particularly in the face of rather stiff competition from Tamiya (no thanks to the bureaucratic gnomes of the Kalifornia Air Resources Board with their ever-shifting regulations regarding labeling!), a decision was made to kill off a slow selling brand of paints.

Would that it were otherwise, even though I must confess I never used a single bottle of Poly Scale; but that is more than likely the reason.

Art

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I love the Floquil solvent base primer, goes on very smooth and it keeps every single detail on the parts and body. It also flows very smooth out of the airbrush!! ;)

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