Testors Dullcote – Myths & Legends

The following notes regarding Testors Dullcote were first written for the NGRM online forum which is a member only forum, so I thought I’d also put them on my blog and expand them a bit.

The Myth

They’ve changed the recipe and its not as good now and is different to the one you get in the USA

There is no US and EU version of the recipe. The difference is the labelling. Years ago when there was an EU issue with the makeup leading to a big hiatus in the supply the change to the formulation was to reduce the quantity of solvent and add an inert filler. The EU rules didn’t ban the evil solvent just controlled how much of it there could be in a can. Don’t blame the EU, squirting evil solvents around isn’t good how ever you look at it.

The EU labelled version is only made when its ordered by and EU distributor. In the UK that is Ripmax. Because of its nature they have to order it by the container load to get it shipped in nasty stuff containers. The result is that the supply can be intermittent.

The root of the current drought (summer 2019) actually goes back nearly a year. A batch ordered by Ripmax had the US labels stuck on them and wasn’t shipped and had to be made again.  When it did arrive, the drought had worsened and they sold out in no time flat, faster than they have ever experienced.  Now add into the mix Ripmax moving location and holding reordering of a lot of items until they had completed the move.

Drought Ends?

Possibly temporarily as new stocks are due into the UK at the end of October, but I suspect they may not last long as I tried to increase my order but couldn’t as it was all spoken for.

Having seen the horror story of spray on paint stripper above I thought a few hints and tips for using Dullcote might be appropriate.

  • Warm it thoroughly to at least room temperature (a temp where you are comfortable without your jumper on).
  • Making it a bit warmer helps. I have a paint drying cabinet heated by a 40w light. I put my Dullcote in there and retreat for a brew before using it
  • Shake it until your arm is going to drop off and then shake it some more
  • Make sure the paint on your model is dry and hard.  By that I mean not just dry to touch but properly hardened. That varies with paints. Acrylics a couple of days does it, Humbrol oils a week, Precision Paints (notorious for not hardening) a couple of years might do it.
  • You can speed the hardening with warmth. I have an ex electrical enclosure (a metal box with a hinged lid) with a light in it. It’s only a bit warmer than room temp but it sorts the paint in a few hours

When you spray your model with Dullcote

  • Wait until the other half is out and gone for a few hours. I still get “you’ve been using that stinky spray again” when Annie gets home from work.
  • Never squirt it directly at the model
  • Waft it into the sky so it lands on your model like a light mist and, importantly, is virtually dry on landing.
  • Multiple light wafts rather than drowning it.  Turn the model between wafts to get an even light coverage.
  • With it landing virtually dry you can add the next in a few minutes
  • Stick it in the drying cabinet when you’ve done

Some Safety comments.

  • Do make sure you are working in a well ventilated room.
  • Do wear a mask with a filter

On that last point I would comment that I used to think, `nah, it’s only a little squirt’ and didn’t bother. Then I got more proficient (with practice) with an air brush and despite having an extractor fan filtered painting enclosure was shocked to find I had maroon snot just from spraying one 7mm NG coach FR Maroon. That spraying was a lot more controlled as to where the spray was going than the wafting technique proposed above.

At £3.57 they’re not exactly going to break the bank

Get a Mask

I actually use one of these with replaceable filters.






If you wish to order some its on the Shop here

What will now probably follow is a load of “I don’t do it like that, and it works for me” comments and they’re right.

The above will work and get you good results but there are all sorts of cheats that come with experience. In the rush to get jobs completed I often put it on not fully hardened paint but to do that you really do have to make the first light coats of Dullcote really wafty and light. Once you have a couple of coats on twenty mins in the warming cabinet harden those coats enough that they now form a protective barrier between the paint and any further Dullcote

2 thoughts on “Testors Dullcote – Myths & Legends

  1. Put me in the “I don’t do it like that, and it works for me” camp – I’m not nearly as careful and the stuff still works for me in a way that NO OTHER varnish works. Seriously, this is good stuff. The brushable version is nearly as good too.

    It does stink though.

    • Me to, a lot of the time. However, the internet is full of people saying its rubbish because they’ve used it cold and it left a milky finish, or they squirted it directly at the model and the paint fell off, the product is rubbish and they’ll never use it again.

      The way I described works and then when you have had success you can introduce short cuts.

      Let the bottled stuff stand for a while gives a very good illustration of why you have to shake the living daylights out of it.

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