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Model Master Paints-What Year Did They Start?

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  • Member since
    June 2022
Model Master Paints-What Year Did They Start?
Posted by Southpawslingshot on Saturday, June 18, 2022 5:47 AM

I know Model Master Paints were discontinued back in 2020-21'. But does anyone know when Testors started that line of paint? I am just curious when MM began and for the life of me I can't seem to find the answer anywhere. 

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 8:38 AM

I don't specificaly about the MM brand, but I believe Testors started the enamel line in the late forties.  By the time I started modeling, 1947, they were a major supplier of model airplane dope for flying models.  Pactra was another popular brand of dope.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 9:27 AM

Not sure exactly when they started, but I remember when they first came out, and that was some time in the early to mid 80s.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Saturday, June 18, 2022 9:28 AM

I vaguely recall the line coming out in the latter half of the 70's. But that's just a guestimate on my part. That's when I first remember seeing them at one of the local hobby shops.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, June 18, 2022 10:20 AM

They were there when I started up in the early 80's I really appreciated all the FS colors and the international colors them and Tamiya were my go to paints.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, June 18, 2022 11:21 AM

Hi;

       If I am correct it was the latter part of the 70s . I had just started using Humbrol pretty heavy and my LHS suggested I try these. I stayed with them till they went away. The Humbrol I stopped when they started to be hard to get and were dropping a lot of colors. Now I am drifting through the various Acrylics with a switchback to Testors in the little square overpriced bottles!

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:36 AM

I saw MM go on the shelves in 1981 along with their new line of plastic models.  I first used MM paints that summer with a Testors 1/35 Jeep, 1/72 Corsair, and their 1/72 B-25 "Doolittle" Mitchell I got that summer during a big marketing campaign they were doing. Like Monogram, they came with an instruction booklet on dry-brushing and mixing their new paints with their "begginers" airbrush kit, which I also got.  I might say Testors and my LHS launched me into a new rhelm of model building that summer.  

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:10 PM

In the 80s, Patra had a line of military paints in the bigger round bottles that I think were the nexus of the Model Masters line when Testors took them over. It was a hostile takeover. This quote is from 2014:

Costas K

PACTRA was founded by Alfred L. Davenport Jr. a Honored WWII U.S. Naval officer (1921-2010).

I had the privilege to know this fine and exceptional gentlemen.  He was very dedicated to the hobby. PACTRA produced the finest paints, as well as the best BALSA I ever took to my hands.

In 1972 I first took in my hands the PACTRA International range of colors. I was amazed of the fine spray lines and full and smooth coverage I could get with these super colors.

Then all stopped around the late 80’s or early 90’s if I remember well.

I remember Alfred L. Davenport Jr. telling me, that one morning, all of a sudden, he was informed that TESTORS acquired the majority of the shares of PACTRA and we has dismissed from president. His words were, that he lost all the efforts of his life, he lost his company, in one night.

TESTORS then bough, Floquil, Polly-S and became the monopole of US made hobby paints.

Now they damped all these fine products, as they succeeded the final goal. Kick the competition out of the market. Not that good for all of us, the dedicated modelers.

 

Actually these brands produced paints for the real enthusiasts. This is a small market share for a big company like TESTORS. It is peanuts for them. On the contrary if these brands were still in small “hands”, they could still be in the market and make all of us, the models specialists, happy

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 11:37 PM

That story sounds like what I thought had happened to the other US brands. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    June 2022
Posted by Southpawslingshot on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 6:22 AM

Rob Gronovius

In the 80s, Patra had a line of military paints in the bigger round bottles that I think were the nexus of the Model Masters line when Testors took them over. It was a hostile takeover. This quote is from 2014:

 

 
Costas K

PACTRA was founded by Alfred L. Davenport Jr. a Honored WWII U.S. Naval officer (1921-2010).

I had the privilege to know this fine and exceptional gentlemen.  He was very dedicated to the hobby. PACTRA produced the finest paints, as well as the best BALSA I ever took to my hands.

In 1972 I first took in my hands the PACTRA International range of colors. I was amazed of the fine spray lines and full and smooth coverage I could get with these super colors.

Then all stopped around the late 80’s or early 90’s if I remember well.

I remember Alfred L. Davenport Jr. telling me, that one morning, all of a sudden, he was informed that TESTORS acquired the majority of the shares of PACTRA and we has dismissed from president. His words were, that he lost all the efforts of his life, he lost his company, in one night.

TESTORS then bough, Floquil, Polly-S and became the monopole of US made hobby paints.

Now they damped all these fine products, as they succeeded the final goal. Kick the competition out of the market. Not that good for all of us, the dedicated modelers.

 

Actually these brands produced paints for the real enthusiasts. This is a small market share for a big company like TESTORS. It is peanuts for them. On the contrary if these brands were still in small “hands”, they could still be in the market and make all of us, the models specialists, happy

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:38 PM

I used to use mostly Polly-S/Polly Scale acrylics till Testors bought them out and shut them down. Then used Testors since that's what the local hobby shop had in stock. Now the guy running the local hobby store is retiring so I guess it won't matter that I have to mail order everything...

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:48 PM

Southpawslingshot

 It appears to me the real issue with Testors began when RPM bought them in 1984. From that point going forward RPM decided to start buying up the competition and over time just decided to eliminate those lines eventually as they did back in 20'. Publicly their position was that those lines "dwindled" was the term they used at that time. The truth was they just didn't support those lines and helped facilitate the closing of those lines. If RPM would have done just the opposite and supported those lines-Pactra, Model Master, Floquil, etc. they could be still a strong force in the hobby. But that is the issue with conglomerates.  They are focused on the bottom line and streamlining. 

If hypothetically I was a businessman in the financial position to make a run at buying Testors from RPM I would. Once bought I would bring back those very lines that so many modelers used and enjoyed. Bring back, improve the quality, expand the colors, etc. I had someone in the hobby say to me that in order for Testors to even have a chance in the market again they would have to "reinvent" themselves. I say re-establish. I think it could be done. Surround yourself with the right people, go back to what was successful, improve it, etc. Would it be a battle? Yes, absolutely. It would be a challenge. But it would be one that would be fun to take on to see if you could do it. But you would have to buy it out from RPM first. Their the problem. 

I think the actual demise of Model Masters began when "serious" modelers started using Mig and AK brands and other cottage industry paints. For a while, using Testors anything was more of a tsk tsk finger wag, along with not using the better photo etch company, certain brands of aluminum barrels and real metal tracks.

There was a large period of time when it seemed like elitists ruled the forums. Casual builders who built OOB or used lesser aftermarket items or finishing techniques were marginalized.

We are often our own enemies.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:05 PM

Switching all of their paints over to the "Acryl" line probably didn't help either.  You almost had to have masochistic tendancies to want to use the stuff with all of its issues.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

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