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Model Master Enamels Dying at Hobby Lobby

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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.

 

 

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On the plus side, Tamiya has announced a good start to a lacquer line which is hopefully the same woderful stuff currently in their rattle cans.

 

Dave

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I've been acutely aware of Model Master's slow death for some time now. While I don't 'love' MM's paints (where I did 'love' Floquil's military line), I get them to work very well and get good results from them. Over the past months, I've been assembling the current lineup of every color available from MM. I now lack two that will complete my collection. Before you ask, my reasoning was that I was well over half, so owning the whole range was not that difficult or expensive.

 

It's frustrating seeing this trend. As an enamel and lacquer user (don't even ask me about my Floquil collection!), the choices are getting narrower by the month. I covet the paint I have and wonder aloud what think tank made the decision to fritter-away a popular, widely available, and good selling American brand. RPM/Rustoleum has proven they do not want to support the hobby. As MM was really my only choice after RPM bought and killed Floquil, I presumed MM would continue on strongly. That, alas, was an incorrect presumption.

 

I've got enough paint to finish hundreds of models, so I'm good. It's a cleaner, more environmentally friendly world for the future - at least that's what they're shooting for, I suppose. Now, where's my lacquer thinner?

 

Frank

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I'm pretty much in the same boat Frank in that the majority of my paints are MM, I'm generally happy with them, and I've gotten used to using them. That said, I'm very interested in both the new True Color and Tamiya lines that are touted as "solvent based".

 

I think one advantage to the newer lines is that their colors MAY be a bit more accurate, as the market is much more demanding of that now than in years past when MM was introducing their line. Also, I've used both the Alcald and AK Extreme Metal lines of metallics, both of which are "solvent based" and had much better results than with the older MM Metalizers. In other words, the newer paints seem to be as easy to use (if not easier), dry faster, dry harder, and handle better; which is what I'm looking for out of TC and Tamiya.

 

I will not dump the MM I have, and will only buy the newer lines as needed; but don't have a problem with moving on from a product line whose company isn't interested in my business.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Frank and Gil,

 

As you might expect, I agree with both of you. But there is another wrinkle to this story that's gonna wind up biting all of us in a very sensitive area. Due to the changes in formulation, caused in large part by the EPA, many paints are simply going bad in the bottle before they are ever opened the first time. An employee at my local Hobby Lobby told me point blank that they have paint that goes bad in the bottle before it is ever sold. Believe me, they aren't blowing smoke. I've had precisely that experience with MM paints, including buying three bottles of the same color, adding them to my paint rack and having one go bad before I ever used it.

 

One way or the other, most of our old, familiar paint brands are going to be toast. Either that or changed in formulation to the point that we either can't use them or won't want to. Those of us who prefer solvent based paints...either enamel or lacquer...had better hope that TC, Tamiya and other new lines can tiptoe thru the regulations so that we can continue painting models the way we're used to.

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Ugh. Richard, if what you say is true, it's like watching the old Mission Impossible series when the recording self-destructs in the beginning of each show. While I have quite a few bottles with old dates (I date everything I buy), there is a good number of recent purchases I've made. While I have had one or two bottles dry up on me over time, I will watch the newer bottles closely.

 

The secretary will disavow any of my cuss words.

 

Grrrrr...

Edited by Kranman
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Man, that bites! We are in a golden age of modeling and the paint companies are taking that away from us because they just can't or won't do paint right! I just wish I could find somebody to hit!

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As many of you know Tru-Color Paint has been in the modeling paint business for nearly 15 years, starting out selling model rail road paint. Two years ago we expanded into the model automobile paint line and now in 2017 we have expanded into the military product line. All of the product lines are the most accurate paints on the market. We can attest to that with the fact that we have over 400 colors in the railroad paint product line and that we supply at least 4 manufacturers of railroad locos/freight and passenger cars with the paint they use in production - Bowser Manuf., ScaleTrains.Com, Exact Rail and now USA Trains. At least 3 dozen custom painters use our paint exclusively for their projects from N to G scale. About 400 hobby shops (including many HobbyTown's) across the U.S. carry some portion of our product lines.

 

The same attention to detail on color matching applies to our military paint product lines. We have had help in this field from experts like Ethan Dunsford, Randy Short (of Snyder and Short), Mike Megee, color chips from customers or purchased. For everything modern the Federal Standard 595B/C, RAL and the BS (British Standard) numbers are matched in our modern lab.

 

Hundreds of bottles were sent to IPMS clubs across the U.S. for paint demos and door prizes. Many more were sent to hobby shops for review.

 

Other very important factors to consider - EVERYTHING in the many Tru-Color Paint product lines is manufactured in Phoenix, AZ, USA; AND that we will NEVER discontinue a color, even if it becomes a slow seller. We have the equipment to make varying size batches !

 

Reviews on several forums have praised the ease of Tru-Color Paint's use and accuracy. Come try our paint - you will be glad you did.

 

Martin Cohen, PhD

Tru-Color Paint

P.O. Box 74524

Phoenix, AZ 85087-4524

 

714-488-9779

email: tru.colorpaint1@yahoo.com

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Hello Martin, glad to see your post here. I've already used a little of your paint on an existing project, though I couldn't use it for the entire project. However, I like what I see. As you know, I will be using the Viet Nam colors on three 1/48 F-105s as soon as I can get a backlog out of the way. Am definitely looking forward to using Tru-Color for that project.

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Martin,

 

If this subject has been covered please forgive me. Does Tru Color paints have a known shelf life? After reading about the new Model Master line drying up on the shelf, I am curious.

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We are kind of our own worst enemies when it comes to Testors demise. For the last several years, "serious" modelers scoffed at those who still used Testors paints and cements. Model Masters military line was deemed for rookies and the masters used higher end boutique brands.

 

I've always liked them and thought they were good enough for me. Their downfall was probably so many different shades of military paints that sales stagnated. Years ago, we'd have to mix colors with one another to get the shade we desired, something Tamiya still expects modelers to do and provides mix ratios in their kit instructions.

 

If MM included a pamphlet with mix ratios to attain various shade of military colors from a smaller line of their colors, they'd probably still be going strong.

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Martin,

 

If this subject has been covered please forgive me. Does Tru Color paints have a known shelf life? After reading about the new Model Master line drying up on the shelf, I am curious.

Rusty:

 

Unlike other paints, Tru-Color Paint is a solvent based paint that is single component. That is, it DOES NOT cure so even if some of the solvents should evaporate sitting on your shelf, you can reconstitute the paint using TCP-015, Thinner and spray away. Adding more thinner will not hurt the drying time or intended smooth finish of the paint. We use an acrylic polymer to bind the finely ground pigments we use to the model being painted. This gives the paint a flexibility and why it adheres well to R/C (made of Lexan) and all plastic bodies.

 

So to answer your question - Tru-Color Paint has an infinite shelf life (we have had bottles stored for over 3 years and they still paint fine). Would you be interested in carrying our paint line to go with your ship models ?

 

Martin Cohen, PhD

Tru-Color Paint

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Martin,

 

I have been a longtime user and satisfied customer of Model Master enamels, but I have been troubled by the recent reduction of stock at HL as well as my local hobby shop, not to mention the re-formulation of thier colors reducing shelf life. So I am now actively seeking another brand to be my new "go to" line of paints. I prefer solvent based colors and I think I am going to give Tru Colors a try after reading all the positive things here.

 

I'm not sure if it would be feasible to stock and sell Tru Color paints at Flagship Models, but contact me off board at shipmodeler@sbcglobal.net and we'll talk.

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Robin, I also relied on MM for the majority of my paint needs, along with Pactra 'Namels and Floquil for certain colors. Then RPM bought Pactra and Floquil, eventually killing both brands. But MM was still there, so I really didn't have a problem. Since I build as a business and hobby, I needed a paint that produced the professional result that I required and MM did that. Now, from everything I've seen, read and heard, it appears that Tru-Color will wind up being my go-to brand in the very near future. I prefer solvent based paints, am used to them and have no desire to convert to acrylics.

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