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"Availability of Dullcote" Topic

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Grelber30 May 2020 7:51 p.m. PST

Today, two of my local hobby/game stores were ope, though only to limited numbers of customers at one time, and you had to wear masks (YAY!!). I bought a can of Dullcote, and the guy at the store told me that Testors had decided to discontinue the ModelMaster line of paints, including Dullcote. The idea is that they will concentrate on spray paints for craft purposes instead of modelers. Has anybody else heard this? Any idea if it is true, partially true, or just a rumor?


Wargamer Blue30 May 2020 9:11 p.m. PST


Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 2:19 a.m. PST

Did you contact Testors…instead of flailing around asking anyone here?

I just sent them an email question

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 5:09 a.m. PST

If you can't find Dullcote (or even if you can), you might want to consider this:

I have been using clear flat spray on figures since Dullcote first came out. I have been painting wargame figures since at least the early 60s. The cans kept getting smaller and the price higher.

Then some years ago I started having trouble with it not always drying flat. People attributed that to temperature (too high or too low), too much humidity, too thick of a coat, too soon after my gloss clear coat, too soon after my paint job, and to a change in formula due to meeting EU standards.

Other people said it always worked for them.

I tried a number of others, just about every other clear flat spray with only mixed results.

Then I tried Winsor & Newton Professional Matt Spray Varnish. I started using it a bit over a year ago.

Here are the results after spraying 100s of figures and lots of vehicles, buildings, earthworks and other terrain pieces.

Temperature in the 40s F – dried flat.
Temperature in the low 90sF – dried flat.
Humidity 92 per cent – dried flat.
Thick coat – dried flat.
Thin coat – dried flat.
Sprayed clear gloss (Krylon or Rustoleum) at 1:30 pm and W/N Matt at 4:00 pm, same day, – dried flat.

It has never, ever failed me.

My experience with clear sprays made in the US is that "matt" or "matte" usually means semi-gloss or satin. W/N is made in Britain and matt means perfectly flat.

The price from Dick Blick is very good. It has always been discounted. Currently their discounted price is $9.56 USD for 400 ml (13.53 ounces according to Siri). That is less than 71 cents an ounce.

The cheapest I saw Dullcote was 3 ounces for $4.77 USD. That is over $1.59 USD per ounce!!

Here is a link to the product at Dick Blick:


Don't be put off by the warning that the paint has to dry for at least 6-12 months before applying the product to the paint. That may be for artists oils which take an extremely long time to thoroughly dry unless a drier is added. I do it within hours of my gloss coat which I put on the day after I finish my painting.

I sent Winsor & Newton an email asking about shelf life as I intended to buy six cans at a time. The response indicated that the question was interpreted to mean a can that had been started. The answer was that there was no known shelf life limitation. What I bought in April of 2018 is still fine.

If you try it, I hope your results are as good as mine.


jdpintex31 May 2020 7:06 a.m. PST

Another big fan of W&N

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 7:46 a.m. PST

I've used Dullcote successfully for years and years. In fact I have an unused can sitting right next to two cans of Windsor & Newton Professional Matt Spray Varnish.

Windsor & Newton wins the comparison test hands down.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 8:13 a.m. PST

Wow, no more Testor's Model Master paints?

That is even more horrible news………..

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 8:29 a.m. PST

I will have a look at W&N……there's an art supply store in Ottawa who carries all their product.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 8:36 a.m. PST

I hadn't heard about this, but it looks likely that rumors of the end of Model Master may be true this time:

This page opines that Dullcote should still be available though: link

Looks like I'll have to finish all my WWII plane painting projects really quickly, before the market runs out of matching spray and brush paints in historically accurate colors. frown

- Ix

PS: The Model Master section of the Testors web site is still up, and I've been using it to find paints to order as recently as a week ago. If they're discontinuing the line, they're taking their sweet time about it.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut31 May 2020 8:58 a.m. PST

The Model Master dullcote is a different product than the everyday dullcote. I hope the everyday stuff stays in production, I've been using it for over 40 years.

Hlaven31 May 2020 9:03 a.m. PST

Krylon matte finish. 11 oz can at Ace Hardware for about $5.00 USD

Tried others like Rustloeum 2x matte. It really was Satin finish. Twice the price too. The Krylon matte is good for me.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP31 May 2020 11:37 a.m. PST

I'll miss Testor's model paints, but only out of nostalgia.

Thanks for the tip on Windsor & Newton. It'll be my next can of flat varnish.

pmwalt31 May 2020 4:12 p.m. PST

Rustoleum is the parent company and they decided to get out of the hobby line of paints… very sad news. It's all over the IPMS forums.

504trooper31 May 2020 5:53 p.m. PST

I use Krylon Matte finish as well, never had any problems.

Syrinx031 May 2020 8:12 p.m. PST

Winsor & Newton Professional Matt Spray Varnish replaced Dullcote for me a few years back as well. Very reliable.

Hopefully the paint line stays around long enough for everyone to stock up on colors for their current projects.

Schogun01 Jun 2020 4:48 a.m. PST

From Rustoleum:

"With a long history of producing quality hobby kits and supplies, we are evolving our strategy to focus more keenly on Testors, our flagship brand. To that end, we are discontinuing our PACTRA, AZTEK, and Model Master brands as demand for these products continues to decline. We will continue to support the hobby market with a robust line of aerosols, brush paints, tools and accessories always looking for opportunities to innovate in these categories."

Testor's 1260 Dullcote should still be available then.

Fat Wally01 Jun 2020 6:24 a.m. PST

Started using W&N three years ago as an alternative to Testors. Has never let me down once. No comparison. W&N every time.

Personal logo Wolfshanza Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2020 9:50 p.m. PST

Went to Windsor Newton about a year ago. Works like a charm. Had been having issues with dullcote (which I used to swear by). Get it from Blick at their sale price, really makes a difference. Mostly use craft paints anymore.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2020 6:01 a.m. PST

I did my own search this morning. Most of the threads on other sites date from 2017 to 2018. It appears it was only the Model Master Military colors that were discontinued back then and not all hobby paints. My local shop still has the MM military rack, however, it is badly picked over. Other lines are well stocked and I have never had any issue picking up dullcote.

Also, thanks for all the other suggestions.

Doc Martens from Canada02 Jun 2020 8:19 a.m. PST

So they discontinued the non-acrylic paints?

They have (had) some nice colours in the range but having to clean up and thin with thinner when everyone else is water probably was the factor.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2020 12:20 p.m. PST

They have (had) some nice colours in the range but having to clean up and thin with thinner when everyone else is water probably was the factor.
I'm not sure this is true anymore. The smelly chemicals were one of the reasons I abandoned them 30 years ago, but now I've started to migrate back to paints that need chemical thinning, and so has the market. The AKI and Gunze/Mr. Color paints are hugely popular in the modeling space, and I have yet to find any that can be thinned or cleaned up with water. I also recently discovered (only 30 years late…) that Tamiya brush paints are best thinned with alcohol or acrylic "flow improver", so even that old stalwart water-cleanup paint isn't strictly a water-based paint. The current era of volunteer how-to videos to cover every subject imaginable has made the arcane lore of painting techniques and chemical thinning and extension much easier to learn.

The main thing I will miss from the demise of Model Master is the nice selection of WWII military colors that flow and cover well. That selection was already shrinking, and took the biggest hit decades ago with the loss of Polly S. The retirement of the last few basic MM colors in perfectly matched spray and bottle paints may finally drive me to get an airbrush. <sigh> There is no shortage of airbrushable historical military colors. AKI has done a fantastic job building a line of FS, RLM, ANA and other military spec colors, and the only reason I don't use them is that they don't work very well as brush paints. Gunze is not far behind, and Tamiya does reasonably well for the IJN, IJA, USN, USAAF and RAF.

- Ix

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP04 Jun 2020 6:12 a.m. PST

so….received an answer back from the manufacturer….similar to what has been told here:

"Hi David,
Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support.
We are sorry to confirm that we have discontinued some of our product lines like the Model Masters, Aztek and Pactra as demand for these products has continuously declined. Our apologies for the inconvenience but wanted to point out that we are still supporting our Testors brands.
We hope this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.


BrianH30 Sep 2020 7:00 a.m. PST

Hobby House here in Ottawa say they can no longer get Model Master or Testors products. They were investigating if they could get Testors Dullcote from another supplier but were not optimistic. They will also not be able to get Humbrol anymore due to a belling issues. They are expanding their Vallejo line, including spray varnishes to compensate.

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