A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

March 11, 2020

Crisis Mode?

Global virus, maybe, but that is not what this post is about. Last year Rustoleum, Testor's parent company, announced it was getting out of the model paint business.  This was alarming to me since I used Testor's Dullcote as my go-to matt finish.  I especially liked applying it with my airbrush diluted with lacquer thinner as you can precisely control the application.  I tried various other makers of acrylic matt finishes, but none were as flat as Testors Dullcote. So, I went around and did what every good crisis-induced panic-stricken person would do, I stocked up on toilet paper.... no wait wrong crisis,  I stocked up on Testor's dullcote.

Then, one of my friends, Mark Franke, suggested I try Winsor Newton Galeria Matt Varnish. He said the armor modeling community swears by it. I was skeptical as I tried Vallejo and a few other acrylic matt varnishes and was never happy with the flat finish. Undeterred, he went and bought me a bottle to try.  It sat around for a few weeks, before I decided to give it a try.

Holy cow, he and they were right. This is the best flat finish I have tried. Plus, it is water soluble so you can thin with water.  So I airbrush with 50-50 water dilution. Plus, it is not as toxic as Testor's Dullcote since no lacquer thinner is needed.

So no worries. My supply of Testor's Dullcote will be set aside.

Now, to hunker down in my man cave and build models while this global pandemic blows over.  Stay safe everybody.


  1. Thank you, Bernie (& Mark) for saving me valuable time and effort and cash. I too have been on the hunt for a water soluble varnish and had just begun at the lower-price end of the spectrum and was having dismal failures. One supposed 'ultra-flat' was more akin to a semi-gloss, and had to be thinned 10 to 1 water to varnish to get it through the airbrush. When the time comes I will pursue this Galeria option.

  2. But what will some of us do who rely on rattle cans of Dullcote because we don't have airbrushes?

  3. Winsor without a D ;-) But, yes, also from the UK.
    Thanks for the recommendation. Will look into it. Should be much more easily obtainable over here in Sweden than some of the other stuff that you US guys use.

  4. Bummer, I was just starting to like the Testors Model Master line of acrylic model paints after we lost Floquil. Wonder if Rustoleum is planing to sell the Testor product line or just close it out ?