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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

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Guest PetrolGator

Let us hope that it won't happen anytime soon.

 

The only consolation is that I know of one company that's about to release a whole line of acrylic modeling paints.

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The demise of Testors was predicted back in the 90s when they bought Floquil just so they could squash their competition.

Floquil had a superior enamel product in many ways, and they alienated people with the move.
First, they alienated the aircraft guys, then the ship guys then the RR guys.
In the middle of that, they did away with Poly Scale to promote their Acryl line.
I was upset when they bought out Pactra before that, they had some great model paint and great colors Testors did not offer. Now they have killed the R/C and fuel-proof lines.

All the while, Gunze, Tamiya and Humbrol increased their visibility in the states, and no have dedicated customers who wouldn't use Testors if were free.

The "if you can't beat them, buy them to kill them" business model rarely works out well for the business practicing it.... all too often they reap what they have sown

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Richard:

 

Testors is last o the list of paints I buy - only if I have too. Gunze Acrylics, Xtracolor, Tamiya all paint way better than the new formula. Testors. I end up throwing most away as it seems to gel. lately, I have been spraying Tamiya Acrylic thinned with lacquer thinner. Works great.

 

Dave

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What hurts me is I like Model Master to begin with. Worse, I've used it for several decades and have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1500 bottles of it. Then there's the fact that I don't like acrylics and most acrylics (AFAIK) aren't marketed color matched to Fed Standard numbers. Considering what the EPA has done to Krylon, I also have to wonder when the feds will get around to killing off Dupli-Color Gray Lacquer Primer, which I need if I'm going to have to use acrylics.

 

James, the original Floquil was a mild acrylic lacquer, though most modelers never knew it. Testors changed it to an enamel. Poly Scale originally existed under another name...which I can't remember...and that was one acrylic paint that I would use. When it comes to Acryl, I don't care for the stuff. Pactra had a terrific line of enamels and I have several very old bottles of it that are still perfectly good.

 

Dave, I know what you're saying about MM tending to gel. Blame for that probably goes to the EPA, since they're trying to get rid of anything with a VOC. Still.... I have a lot of MM that I acquired back 10 or 15 years ago that are still perfectly good. Then again, I've bought 3 bottles of a given color that are only three months old...and two of'em go bad before you ever open the bottle!

 

Does all of this mean we need to worry about the continued existence of lacquer thinner?

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I'm with you Dave. With my "discovery" of Vallejo and Lifecolor paints, I have no use for Testors.

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Have been a MM and Floquil enamel fan for a long time, minor foibles as noted above. Think I'll just play with the deck chairs as the boat goes under and solve the inevitable problem when I have to.

 

Philosophically speaking, I smell the generational shift in Testors 'management' cadre similar to that which has trashed so many other enterprises. 'Smartest-man-in-the-Room', my Aunt Sally...

Edited by VonL

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Bob,

 

Considering the amount of MM, Floquil and Pactra I have on hand, I don't have much choice. I'll change when I'm forced to, but right now I'm staying with what works for me. My bigger problem is magazine articles and modelbuilding guides that I produce and am planning. Do I stay with the paints I like, change to acrylics or a combination?

 

Richard

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Interestingly enough, MM just released a line of WW2 era acrylic paints for USN warships. They have yet to release 20-B deck blue but seem to be supplying hobby stores with some regularity. I'm hoping, even if the website turns into Michael's (ugh), we keep our paint. I don't have another source for properly chipped naval paints.

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...I don't have another source for properly chipped naval paints.

 

What's your opinion of the WEM stuff?

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WEM Colour Coats is fantastic, shipping it is a problem as it has to go surface mail thanks to new rules by the Royal Post

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Polly Scale was called Polly S. It was made in Amsterdam, New York-about 15 minutes from where I live now. I used it and mostly liked it but it was hard to mask as it adhered poorly to the underlying surface. When they changed the name, they changed the formula. It adhered better, but I did not like using it as much and switched to MM enamel. I use it almost exclusively. If you want a more user-friendly site to purchase it, go to Hobbylinc. (Not Hobby Link Japan!) Nick Filippone

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I basically agree with Nick and Richard. I use MM Enamels almost exclusively. Probably using lacquer thinner for thinning helps them stick. I first uses acrylics when Polly S came out. I got big fish-eyes on some models when I didn't clean the model completely. Count me an enamel fan and hop that Testors at least has someone who still cares.

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"When it comes to finding a specific color paint, you will have trouble."

 

I ran into the same thing. Totally frustrated me. I like Model Master paints. I hope they stay around for a long while.

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Pactra (killed by Testors), Floquil (killed by Testors), Humbrol, Gunze were/are are go to paints. Never liked Testors.

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