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  1. At long last, some 20 years after I first started this kit, it is now finally finished. My second completion of this year! This is the Testors boxing of the 70's vintage Italeri molds. I replaced the kit single piece vinyl tracks with some Dragon indy link tracks, added a CMK resin transmission, plus some other scratch work on the interior to fill up the open spaces in there. The crew figures are Dragon, Decals from Star Decals "Panzers in Italy" sheet and I painted this with Floquil and Vallejo colors. Stowage came from various items in my spares bins. Thanks for looking! Comments and critiques are welcome.
  2. Out of simple...or maybe morbid...curiosity, I checked the old Testors website and found a full list of testors and model master colors. Huh? So I checked the Rustoleum site. They have...or had...a link at the bottom of their home page that goes to their testors website with all the changes. Today that link is gone. BUT the original old testors.com website still exists. Stranger, when you put testors into the Rustoleum search box, you get a page of listings for testor with the top one being a link to the testors.com website. Yes, that's right...the old testors website that is no longer valid. Given the size of the companies involved...from RPM on down...you'd think they'd be able to keep the various company websites up to date...including killing the testors.com site. Or maybe they just don't care enough to bother. Incidentally, for those who might be interested, Stevens International and Megahobby both list 99% to 99 1/2% of all testors products as out of stock. And adding insult to injury for car modelers, there's an online article in the new FineScale Newsletter that recommends the high gloss lacquer and wet look gloss lacquer spray cans from testors as the preferred clear coats for a high gloss car model finish. Now all you have to do is find the stuff.
  3. I 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?
  4. It 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
  5. It 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.
  6. 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.
  7. In case you've been checking the Testors.com website and wondering why it hasn't been updated for God knows how long, here's why. The current Testors website is located on the Rustoleum website at https://www.rustoleum.ca/product-catalog/consumer-brands/testors/ and if you're still a user of Model Master Enamels, you aren't gonna like what you find. As of this moment, here's the categories that are listed for enamels and the number of colors available: Model Master Enamels Flat colors: 27 Gloss colors: 2 Semi-Gloss: 1 Figure Enamels. Believe it or not, they also lumped naval enamels under the figure enamels heading. Figure colors: 6 Naval colors: 4 International Military Enamels WW-II US & United Kingdom colors: 5 U.S. Military Colors: 7 WW-II Luftwaffe & Panzer colors: 11 WW-II Italian/Japanese/Russian colors: 3 Modern Armor/Gulf War/Russian colors: 2 Auto Enamels Automotive colors: 27 And if that isn't enough, there is one category of paint that is completely missing: Metalizer. Not only is Metalizer gone, so is Metalizer sealer, which is a perfect neutral clear coat that can be brushed over decals without having to spray the entire model. Things don't stop there either. Four days ago, Michael McMurtrey listed 76 acryl colors that were being discontinued. Today, the new testors website listed only 62 colors and some of those were also on the discontinued list. Richard Marmo
  8. I 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.
  9. For 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.
  10. The 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?
  11. If 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
  12. Hi all, The snipe hunt is on again. Building the Trumpeter Sdkfz 7 and need a bottle or two of Model Master enamel FS36076. Testors doesn't list it anymore, though some shops list a spray can. Whether or not they actually have it is another question since it is apparently no longer being made. Anyone know of an enamel replacement for it? Maybe something in the MM line that I happen to have? I do have Schwarzgrau, but I suspect that's too dark. Appreciate any help you can offer. Richard
  13. It'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.
  14. If you haven't been to the Testors website lately, there have been a few more changes. What kits they have left are almost all pre-painted, snap together or activity models. The "activity" models are nothing more than a selection of four models...two 1/72 aircraft and two 1/32 cars. Each are 'press fit' and come in a box that is complete with 3 bottles of acrylic paint and a brush so you won't need anything else. The fifth member of this group is a 'Heroes of the Sky Gift Set'. For $26 you get both aircraft, six bottles of acrylic paint, three paint brushes, decals and a mixing tray. Literally the only kit left that is a true model kit is the 1/32nd Kamen Huskie. How long it'll be there is anyone's guess. I'm just glad I have one that hasn't been built yet. I built a lot of Italeri and Testors models for my magazine articles and books during their glory days. Still remember the hobby show where that spectacular 1/48th SR-71 was announced. Considering they had one of the kits professionally built and displayed in a plexiglas case, it really made an impact. I have two of them that have never been built for lack of space.
  15. I 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.
  16. Hi 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.
  17. Hi all, I was needing some Boyd's Enamels Clear Gloss and made an interesting discovery. Boyd's Enamels has been part of the Testors Enamels line for a long time. Their Gloss White is the best enamel I've ever found. But no more. Go on the Testors website and Boyd's is nowhere to be seen. Looks like another quality paint down the tubes.
  18. Hi all, For those of you who rely on Floquil Dust, you may find the following to be of particular interest. Remember that I called Testors and was told that Dust would remain but be available under the CreateFX line of new paints they are creating. I checked out the descriptions on their website for both Floquil Dust and CreateFX 'Dust' and from what I can determine...they ain't the same. I've reproduced the descriptions below, taken directly from their website, so you can reach your own conclusions. Floquil Dust: Floquil Classic Railroad enamels are authentically matched to real color samples provided by some of the best known and historic railroads in North America. Floquil railroad enamels dry to a permanent durable finish on plastic, resin, wood and metal models and can be applied by brush or airbrush. * Mixture ration = 3 parts paint to 1 part thinner * Compressor regulator setting = 16 - 18 PSI Dust is used to slightly dull a finish when weathering your project. The consistency is much thinner than regular enamel paint, more like a wash. Now for CreateFX. All I can say is read it and weep. CreateFX is a new product line that creates detail while educating, inspiring and driving innovation into schools, clubs, crafts and hobby projects. CreateFX (F) Dust Enamel is fast drying, easy to apply and can be used on many kinds of surfaces like glass, wood, metal, leather, Styrofoam, polystyrene plastic and ABS plastic. It is not recommended for rubber or flexible types of vinyl because it will not dry on these surfaces, it will remain tacky to the touch. It will not adhere to polyethylene or polypropylene. Finely ground pigments mean superb flow and coverage. CreateFX Enamel paints are lead free. * If you are airbrushing, use 79256 Enamel Thinner. Use the following ratio as a starting point. Gloss, 3 parts paint to 2 parts thinner. Flat, 3 parts paint to 1 part thinner. Thin to the consistency of whole milk. * Best conditions for use 70 - 80 degrees F., moderate relative humidity of 60% or less. * Enamels will be dry to the touch in one hour and require 48 hours to completely cure. Adding insult to injury, Mud, Concrete and Rust have been reformulated as a stain. Making things worse...if that's possible...the stains require 24 hours to cure before recoating and when you're finally done staining, you have to seal it with a clear coat. Are we having fun yet?
  19. Thought y'all might like to know that there is a solution to the Floquil problem. True-Color Paint at http://www.trucolorpaint.com carries 256 colors that are direct replacements for Floquil. Better, it's a solvent based paint just like Floquil. Haven't used the stuff, haven't even seen a sample, but from what I learned in a telephone conversation with them is that it comes in 1 and 2 ounce bottles and can even be had in 16 ounce containers. Only difference I've found so far is that some of the names aren't identical. For example, BSNF Heritage Green in Floquil is simply BNSF Green in True-Color. No color chips online yet but they're coming. They even have Dust! You can also have a color chart shipped to you for $13.95. Go check'em out! I can't wait to get my hands on a bottle.
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