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Testors...And Confusion From Rustoleum
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingI just got off a phone call to Rustoleum. Believe it or not, they are now claiming...at least the lady I spoke with...that Rustoleum has not dropped Testors or Model Master! When you find the Testors link on their website, which is at the very bottom of their home page in fine print, the link takes you to the familiar testors.com website, showing all of the usual line of paint...including the entire range of enamels, acrylics and metalizers. According to the lady, she states that all of the colors are available, except for a few colors that were discontinued due to lack of demand. If that isn't enough, the reason all of the colors...including the ones that were discontinued...is because a quantity of them are still in the warehouse since all of the paint is manufactured to have a five year shelf life. When I told her that I have personally had unopened bottles that were less than a year old go bad, she repeated her mantra...sounding like a robot voice...that the paint has a shelf life of five years but that they paint I referred to may have been kept in storage for an extended time before it was put out for sale. More interesting is that the direct link to the Rustoleum version of the Testors website...corrected to show the available products after announcement Rustoleums (actually RPM) purchase of Testors is no longer accessible. That link gets a 404 page. Considering that Model Master is no longer available in the local shops and the online shops show most or all of the Model Master line as out of stock or simply not listed, you have to wonder why the canned statement from Rustoleum?
Model Master: Going...going...gone.
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingIt has been reported that the entire Testors lines...incuding Model Master...has been unceremoniously dropped. While I don't doubt this...Model Master has been dying drop by drop for some time...getting confirming information from multiple sources is something else again. As of a month or so ago, Rustoleum stated to me in a phone call that the latest updates as to which colors...if any... would not be produced had not yet been determined, but that Model Master was still being produced. They did advise me that one of their warehouses was temporarily closed due to Covid-19, which is why some colors were not available or backordered. Today I called my local Hobby Town and all they knew was that some of the colors had been discontinued. No knowledge at all re: the complete demize of Testors. At the same time, I checked the website of Stevens International...one of the largest hobby wholesalers in the U.S. and the one many Hobby Town shops order from...and Model Master is no longer on their paint list. Additionally, Testor products of any kind take up a grand total of 1 2/3 pages. In order to be fair, I also checked the website of Megahobby...self-promoted as having the largest selection of hobby products on the web....and they list all of the colors from Model Master. That included Acryl, Metalizer, Automotive, Spray cans, etc. 95% of everything listed is out of stock. I know, I know. Most of you have already converted to acrylics like Vallejo and Ammo MIG and don't really care about the death of Testors/Model Master. Why does it matter to me? First of all, I'm trying to finish a vignette for a commissioned magazine article and I need the four skin tone enamel colors to complete it. I'm not really in the mood to change horses in midstream, especially since I've never used acrylics and don't have the time right now to learn. Particularly since I have a deadline, even though it is fairly loose. Second, it will impact my Modelbuilding Guide E-books, essentially bringing them to a screaming halt until I can adjust to the loss of Model Master. Finally, I have a call in to Rustoleum to try to get a definitive answer from the horse's mouth. I'll let you know when I hear from them. BREAKING NEWS I just spoke with a lady from Rustoleum. This is straight from the horse's mouth: "The Model Master...both acrylic and enamel...line, as well as Aztek, have been discontinued effective immediately due to declining demand." Incidentally, if you think you're all right for a while because you have a stash of Model Master, maybe not. Over the last couple or three years, chemical composition has changed to the point that paint that I bought two years ago has gone bad in the bottle before I ever opened it. This doesn't happen to every color, but it might be a good idea to check your paint stock. Now if I can find a flesh tone paint that'll let me finish my vignette! 5
The Latest On Testors...Straight From Rustoleum
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingIt is now 10:41 a.m., October 28, 2019. I just got off the phone with Rustoleum and here is what I learned: 1. The Bulletin about Testors going away is fake and they are still trying to track down who posted it. Rustoleum didn't say so, but I would suggest the idiot is in a world of hurt whenever he or they are caught. 2. It is TRUE that international distribution will end EXCEPT for Canada. Again, Testors products will continue to be distributed in the U.S. AND CANADA. 3. It is TRUE that Aztek Airbrushes are gone. 4. It is TRUE that Metalizer products are gone. 5. The ONLY link for current Testors products is https://www.rustoleum.ca/product-catalog/consumer-brands/testors/ 6. The familiar testors.com websie does NOT show the correct current product line. 7. The Testors link at the bottom of the Rustoleum home page is NOT currently correct. At this time, it takes you to the old testors.com home page. 8. Having been made aware of the link/website problems, Rustoleum will be working to correct them. 9, Rustoleum stated during our telcon that Model Master is not going away any time soon, but colors that do not sell will not be continued. What that means for anyone's favorite color I can't say since I have no idea what their criteria for sales volume is.
Today I stumbled across a post on the Oldie & Goldie Scale Models Facebook Group. Someone had posted an alleged Product Bulletin that was addressed to all Testors Distributors. Subject was the end of an era. If you want to look at the Bulletin yourself, go to Facebook and search for Oldie And Goldie Scale Models. Some are claiming that it is fake news and others don't know. BUT at least one person stated that what they did know...from a separate source...was that Rustoleum was definitely dropping Aztek Airbrushes along with the International and Military colors. Since the above info was impossible to verify, I went to Rustoleum's Testors website to see what, if anything, had changed. Here's what I've discovered: 1. Aztek Airbrushes are no longer listed. 2. There are 20 One Coat Lacquer Spray colors (19 colors and Spray Wet Look Clear 3. Dullcote & Glosscote are still available in both spray and bottle. 4. The entire Metalizer line is gone, including Metalizer Sealer and Thinner. 5. Acryl acrylic is still available as follows....but the number of colors is diminishing: Flat: 34 colors + clear flat Gloss: 18 colors + clear gloss Semi-Gloss: 10 colors 6. Model Master enamels are still available...kinda, sorta...as shown below: Auto enamels: Gloss: 29 colors Military enamels: Flat: 27 colors Gloss: 2 colors Semi-Gloss: 1 color Figure enamels: Flat: 5 colors Semi-Gloss: 3 colors Stain: 2 shades International Military: WW-II US & United Kingdom: Flat: 4 colors Gloss: 1 color US Military: Flat: 2 colors Gloss: 2 colors Semi-Gloss: 3 colors WW-II German Luftwaffe - RLM & Panzer : Flat: 2 colors Semi-Gloss: 8 colors WW-II Italian/Japanese/Russian: Flat: 2 colors Semi-Gloss; 1 color Modern Armor Gulf War/Nato/Russia: Flat: 1 color Semi-Gloss: 1 color Since I started writing this post, all comments relative to the presumed Product Bulletin have been removed. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulletin image disappears before long, especially if it is fictitious. Still, the list I have provided is taken direct from the Rustoleum/Testors website...essentially straight from the horse's mouth. I'll try to contact Rustoleum the first of next week to see if I can get any updated information.
Latest on Model Master at Hobby Lobby...and an Insult
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingI was in Hobby Lobby yesterday (Dec 6) looking for two spray cans of paint from Testors/Model Master to finish a car model for a client. Flat Black Enamel and Gloss Black Lacquer. The open Testors paint rack is now limited to a single rack that is 90% 1/4 oz square bottles. What Model Master bottles that exist are ordinary colors similar to the square bottles. No FS colors exist, not even flat black. The spray cans? They are all locked behind sliding glass doors. Upon finding someone to unlock and open the doors, I started to reach for the desired cans and was prevented from doing so. The employee actually required me to point out the can I wanted, then he picked it up and handed it to me!? Granted, they had a sign stating that they could not sell spray paint to anyone under 18, but being born in 1942, I think I do look a tad older than 18. As it turned out, they only had one color...Flat Black...which then forced me to drive another ten miles to a Hobby Town where I found the Black Lacquer. BTW, Hobby Town carries everything Testor/Model Master still makes, so the Hobby Lobby situation has to be a corporate decision. Was I overreacting to feel insulted/offended by the employee's behavior? I don't think so, but then you be the judge.
Model Master Enamels Dying at Hobby Lobby
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingFor those of you following the slow death of enamel paints...particularly Model Master...here's my latest observation. Went to Hobby Lobby today for some small diameter brass tubing....for some strange reason they had what I needed...and I strolled past the Testors paint rack. That's right, rack...not racks. There were no Model Master enamels at all, just Acryl and two rows of the old square enamels that used to sell decades ago for ten cents and now carry a $1.79 price tag. At the same time, Hobby Town carries multiple racks and has everything Testors sells. This had me curious, so I checked the Testors website and here's what they list as available in Model Master enamels: American FS Enamel Paints 46 colors Metalizer Lacquer Paints 13 colors (still) Figure Enamel Paints 8 colors U.S. Military Enamel Paints 13 colors U.S. & United Kingdom Enamel Paints 7 colors WW-II German Luftwaffe Enamel Paints 12 colors WW-II German Panzer Enamel Paints 11 colors WW-II Italian Enamel Paints 3 colors WW-II Japanese Enamel Paints 4 colors WW-II Russian Enamel Paints 4 colors Modern Russian Enamel Paints 1 color Modern Armor Enamel Paints 2 colors Modern NATO Enamel Paints 3 colors Naval Enamel Paints 11 colors As if we didn't already know where things are going, on the Testors home page, just above the 'Explore Modelers' button that is near the bottom of the page, is a pale green hot link announcement for a new product...."Guide To Acrylic Painting...In A Post-Floquil World" e-book by Joe Fugate. The link will open a 43 page PDF document that discusses techniques as they apply to water-based and water-thinnable acrylic paints. You can save the e-book to your hard drive or print a hard copy. Keep in mind that the book is geared to model railroaders, but it can still be useful for anyone who is determined to switch to acrylics...or is being forced as enamels slowly vanish.
Model Master Label Changes...And It Ain't Pretty
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingThe next time you need to buy a bottle of Model Master or Testors paint, you may want to take an Optivisor or jeweler's Loupe with you so you can not only read the label but find the color name at the same time. Here's why: They are in the process of changing labels so that the front is nothing more than a warning about the dangers of the product. The color name is on the back in a very small font. Here's the old, familiar 1/4 oz bottle. The red band at the top says "Enamel/Email/Esmalte" (by the way, Email is Enamel in Spanish). Below the band is "Warning! Flammable. See sides." in English, French and Spanish. Below that is a fire emblem inside an octagon with "Danger Peligro" below that. They do manage to tell you the bottle contains 1/4 fl.oz or 7.4 mL. The Model Master Enamel and Metalizer labels follow a slightly different but similar path. The front of the label, where we used to find the actual name of the paint now warns you about how dangerous the product is. The name? It's on the back in small print, just above the bar code. When you look on the Testors website, you find that even Acryl is getting basically the same treatment, though it isn't considered flammable. What's the bottom line? Unless you know where to look, you have to select your color from the color chip and name on the paint rack...and that's assuming the employees put the right color in the right place to begin with. Makes you wonder what the next change from Testors will be, doesn't it?
Testors - R.I.P.
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingIf you haven't been to the Testors website lately, you might want to take a look. It has been totally redesigned and not in a way most of us will find beneficial. For starters, it is now targeted towards crafting and crafters. Model Master, Testors and Aztek products are still there, but there are no longer kits of any kind. When it comes to finding a specific color paint, you will have trouble. Instead of a page with the familiar round color chips and FS numbers and/or paint names, we now have color groups. Browns, Blacks, Yellows, Grays and so on. Put the cursor on one of the color chips and you get a larger chip at the top with the paint's name and FS number. Another change is that you can no longer search for an FS number. Now you must search by the color name...Flat Black as an example...a fact that introduces you to the true nightmare. At least as far as I've been able to discover so far. Type Flat Black into the search box and you get four pages of products containing either or both of the two words. This includes all of the Rustoleum paints that you find at Home Depot or Lowe's. Try putting quotations around "Flat Black" and this cuts your choices to three pages. Model Master Flat Black? Then you're down to 'only' one page containing any or all of those four words. The Testors site is rapidly turning into a community site where you're encouraged to upload images of your latest craft project. Incidentally, take a look at the Fast And Furious Ferrari model car project that uses one photo and six steps to show you how to do it. While you're on the site, take a look at 34 other projects, including the only other model project...another car. What's interesting about that one is that the six step instructions are identical to the Ferrari. Only the photo and title...Want To Race?...have changed. It's obvious that Rustoleum has relegated the serious modeler to the back of the class, all of which makes me wonder when the Model Master line will vanish. Richard Marmo
Model Master Paint Becoming A Snipe Hunt
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingIt's been an interesting afternoon. Here's what happened: Needed 1 or 2 bottles each of MM Flat Gull Gray, Flat Insignia Yellow and Steel for airbrush use on a client's model. Someone in the Ft. Worth - Arlington area should have it, right? Wrong. Hobby Lobby carries a fair amount of Acryl, very limited selection of MM enamel. Yellow and Steel they have...but Gull Gray is only carried in a spray can. However, Dark Gull Gray is available in a bottle. Roy's Hobby Shop doesn't carry MM line. Two railroad shops don't carry MM line. Hobbytown in south Arlington doesn't carry Yellow at all and only stocks Gull Gray in spray cans. Asked why and the guy on the phone said the store doesn't make that decision. Didn't ask about Steel because I was so disgusted by that time that I hung up. Internet time. Sprue Brothers had all three. $3.39 each. Total for 5 bottles? $16.45. Shipping was $10.01. Grand total? $26.46 for 2 1/2 ounces of paint...and at least 80% of that weight is the glass bottles. Incidentally, I can't be in a hurry for the paint, either. Solvent based paint can't be shipped by air, which lets out USPS Priority. It can't be shipped out of the U.S.either...or to Hawaii or Alaska. It's reaching the point that politics and EPA regulations are controlling what you can use to build a model! O.K., I'm stepping down from my soapbox. Your turn.
Model Master enamels getting harder to find
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingI was in my local Hobby Lobby and discovered an unpleasant change. They now have two large racks of Testors paint. However, the only Model Master paint in the 1/2 ounce bottle is Model Master Acryl and they carry the entire line. At the same time, they carry the complete line of the old Testors 1/4 ounch square bottles of enamel paint. But the majority of both racks are taken up with $6.49 spray cans of automotive lacquer colors and a limited ranges of Model Master enamel FS colors. The Model Master 1/2 ounch FS line of enamels is nowhere to be seen. If you, like a substantial number of us, prefer an airbrush and enamel paint, you will now have to track down a less conveniently located brick and mortar hobby shop that carries Model Master enamel or order by mail. Buy online and you will have to be in the continental U.S. because solvent based paints can no longer be shipped by air (anywhere, for obvious reasons) or by ground outside the contiguous USA. Finally, and to make matters worse, enamel paint today has a limited shelf life. I have Model Master paint on the shelf that I've had for 20 and 30 years. It's still perfectly good. The latest MM formula that I've bought in the last couple of years? If I'm lucky, it will last two or three years. If I'm not...and I buy more than a couple of bottles...it'll be bad in the bottle before I ever open it. While I'm in Fort Worth, Texas, it'd be interesting ...and possibly informative...to know what's happening in other parts of the U.S. where MM paint availability is concerned.
Is Model Master paint getting scarce?
ipmsusa2 posted a topic in General ModelingHi all, I don't know if this is a sign of things to come, but I was in my local Hobby Lobby in pursuit of Model Master colors I was running low on. In particular, FS36440 Light Gull Grey. Hobby Lobby has always carried pretty much the full line of Model Master...until now. All I found were two partial rows of MM paint, including a dozen or so FS colors and the rest basic colors. What did they have more of? the little 1/4 oz Testors paint bottles and Acryl acrylics. Out of curiosity, I also checked the Testors website. While I haven't checked the listed colors against my own stock, it seems that they don't have as many colors as they did. One thing that did stick out like a sore thumb is that RLM Grau in the WW-II German list is nowhere to be seen. Anyone else have observations regarding Model Master? We've already lost Floquil and PolyScale and now I'm wondering if MM is going to vanish with a whimper and not a bang.