Floquil/Polly Scale Discontinued!!!


I am still trying to pick myself up off the floor...but this is terrible news for us model railroad folks!

I stongly suggest voicing your objections to Kristin Schiro, Testor's Director of Sales & Marketing: kschiro@testors.com

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Dear Valued Partner,

I am writing to inform you about changes that are taking place at the Testor Corporation. For over 80 years, we have provided premium paints and finishing systems to the craft and hobby industry. Today, we announced that we are transforming our business in order to more effectively address the changing needs of our consumers and their interests.

We’ve made the decision to exit the following businesses within the Testor® Brand family - Pactra®, Floquil®, Polyscale®, and ColorArtz®. This will enable the Testor Corporation to return to our foundation of success – providing premium, innovative product that inspires creativity. We will continue to accept orders and ship product for a limited time based on available quantities.

Going forward, the following brands will be critical to our success and development – Testor®, Model Master™, and Aztek®. These brands will be infused with marketing support, innovation and operational efficiencies.

In support of this, we have announced a consolidation of operations at our Rockford facilities. Over the next several months we will provide updates critical to your order and delivery needs as well as product availability. We assure you there will be no disruption to service during this transition.

Our commitment to the Testor brand has never been stronger. By implementing these changes, and the ability to leverage all of Rust-Oleum’s world class services, we are more strongly poised to take your business to the next level through product and merchandising innovations, and increased customer intimacy. Please contact me or your sales manager directly with any questions.

We appreciate your business!

Best Regards,
Kristin J. Schiro
Director of Sales & Marketing

jlrc47's picture

I received this Friday. It

I received it this morning. It does not look good for the immediate future of railroad colors.

Amherst Railway Society
Store Manager


i read the letter from testors i'm in shock, they get rid of those paints i will never buy anything from testors or rustoleum paint again, why buy a company then get rid of something that works. the master series of paints isn't good i wouldn't paint a garbage can with it much less model. change happens but c'mon if they get rid of that paint i hope they go out of buisness. this is coming from somebody that has used floquil/pollyscale paints for many years.                                                   i'm off my soapbox now tahnks, bill james

Changes in the nature of the hobby

I'm afraid that this was not an unanticipated development and likely to be only one in a successive line of discontinuations to come. The hobby itself has been shrinking in numbers for some time now and concurrent with this about a dozen years ago there was a major shift in its very nature, from being a group of hobbyists highly interested in building and painting their own models to one mainly about the purchasing and operating of RTR miniature trains and rollingstock. Suggest to most newer hobbyists that to get some special RR car they might need to paint and decal an undec car and they look at you in horror! The same is true in the areas of superdetailing and scratchbuilding.

The craftsman side of the hobby is slowly dying to judge by what one sees dominant on most other popular forums, with the true craftsmen largely withdrawing to small specialized forums. MRH seems to be the only exception to this in my internet experience both in publication and website.


joef's picture

I don't buy it

The craftsman side of the hobby is slowly dying to judge by what one sees dominant on most other popular forums, with the true craftsmen largely withdrawing to small specialized forums. MRH seems to be the only exception to this in my internet experience both in publication and website.

I don't buy that the craftsman side is dying. From what we can see, RTR allows modelers to build-in-the-large more than before, but this is not killing the need to kitbash or scratchbuild - or heavens, use paints.

For example, because I can buy all this great SP ready-to-run stuff, I will attempt to build a large home layout focusing on the SP. For cars I can't just buy, like watercars, I will now need to kitbash/scratchbuild SIX of these cars.

If it wasn't for my large layout, I might only kitbash/scratchbuild one of these cars.

If RTR is killing the need to build stuff, then let's look at those scales or parts of the hobby where you can't buy much and you have to build more - like S scale. How MANY S scalers are there? How large a market is there for S scale products? NOT MUCH. How many S scale layouts are there in the world - some, but not a large numbers.

Now look at a scale that has LOTS of RTR: HO scale. How many HO products are there? TONS. How many HO layouts are there, more than a few of which are proto-based? A BUNCH. Every last one of those proto modelers can't buy EVERYTHING they need to build their more-than-tiny-scope layout projects. Every last one of those things they can't buy will need to be kitbashed or scratchbuilt and they will need PAINT.

Sorry, I just don't see it. MRH has at least 70,000 readers and 70% of those said in our reader survey they're building layouts. That's a lot of paint needed for stuff on those layouts - weathering, roads, bridges, structures, detail parts, figures ... the list of things that need painted goes on and on and on.

Yes, the hobby is evolving. Is the need for paint dying - hardly.

Joe Fugate
Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Joe Fugate's HO Siskiyou Line

Speaking of S...

Joe, since you specifically singled-out S-scale... I model a PRR branch line in S-scale. Yes, we don't have the numbers of HO, or N, or O, or... (oh well, you get the point!), there are still quite a few nice S-scale layouts (and that's not counting American Flyer layouts, if you are into that sort of thing). There is a list of nice S-scale layouts that you can view on the web on the NASG web site:


Below that section is also a listing of S-scale videos, if you are interested.

Now, to stay on topic, I love Floquil. I airbrush my S-scale scratchbuilt and kit models using it. I tried ScaleCoat and I didn't like the result, although others swear by it. I guess I'll need to try something else. "Tru-Color" has been mentioned as a substitute.

You can see the S-scale models I have painted on my web site:


 - Peter


Change Does NOT Mean For the Worse

JodyG wrote:

"I am still trying to pick myself up off the floor...but this is terrible news for us model railroad folks!"

Are you sure it's terrible news?  Personally I don't think it is.  The Model Master line of paints is simply exceptional in my view and they now outnumber my Floquil purchases  three to one.  As I read it they are putting their focus on what is probably a better product line - Model Master. 

Also, the quality and color selection of their rattle can products is at an all time high and again, they state they are putting more weight behind those as well.

If everybody will just step back, relax, and take a deep breath they'll probably find that two years from now the modeler's paint market will be better not worse.



joef's picture

I agree with Lance

I agree with Lance ... this is more about streamlining their complex, aging paint line to be more lean and competitive than it is about the hobby paint market tanking.

Myself, I stopped using Floquil at least 20 years ago, and I've increasingly been using Badger Model Flex over PollyScale.

So I won't even miss these paints going away at all.

Joe Fugate
Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Joe Fugate's HO Siskiyou Line

Future and opportunity

Although I doubt this is a hoax or an email cutting off a vendor from a product line (it would be nice if that was true), I believe there could be benefits from this... unless they just close the line and let it rot.  This may give other companies to come in and build their brand better for existing paint manufacturers, or a third party who may not be in the industry yet (Micro Mark for instance).  This would give a company a line to build or expand from that would have the passion to keep these brands and additions to the hobby alive.  I do not think the changes in our hobby has had a negative effect as Joe F. was saying, if anything the addition of ready to run has given us the ability to spend more time on other projects.  Remember scratch building and kit bashing was a design of need in an era of limitation.  I see more craftsman kits and mfg now than ever before and weathering is more prominent than ever (possibly due to the internet and sharing of ideas).  The negative aspect that I could think of would be due to fewer hobby shops and the reduction of ancillary sales for paints.  Similar to impulse items at the check out at Walmart, paints may of been picked up at POS vs. specific orders online that you are planning.  We will see how this will play out, wish I had capitol to make an offer (my wife would probably kill me though!)

Possibility of a master paint chart

Joe F.

      I know this would be time consuming, but how about a master paint chart that lists RR's and the associated colors that best match (or possible mixes).  This way it can be a point of reference for people who want to use a specific brand, or if a color is not made by a company.  This could be done by a panel that is credible in the hobby.


Just food for thought.

John Winter's picture

I like floquil.

I tried using water based paint but have not achieved satisfactory results. I guess I will have to learn the tricks of using the water based products...unhappy!

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