|Scalecoat from the 1970s|
The Iron Horse introduced "Iron Horse Paint" in June, 1967 according to their ad in Model Railroader that month. It needed no primer and would not chip or scratch. The original formula was tough; an enamel that was to be baked at about 200 degrees. In fact, I've baked the paint at over 300 degrees and I regularly solder to brass models that I've already painted - out of necessity - with no real damage to the surrounding pant. The formula included both Xylene and Toluene therefore it was not meant for plastic models. However in 1967 model railroad world, plastic models needing paint were not so common. The primary purpose of the paint was to cover model locomotives of zamac and brass and other models made of wood..
The ad announced 15 colors (including 3 "Locomotive" colors); Locomotive Black, Oxide
& Oil, and Black, White, Tuscan
Green, M &
W Gray and Roof
Brown. A 2oz bottle sold for a Dollar and you could get a bottle of thinner of the same size for 4 bits.
In less than 6 months the name of the paint was changed to Scalecoat
and the company was rename Scalecoat Model Railroad Paint (SMRP). The first ad
had invited dealer inquiries and apparently M.K. Walthers took the Que.
The Nov. MR announced their exclusive distributorship of the product. From
then on the paint
was always distributed by Walthers.
The list of colors began to expand after Walthers took distributorship. In 1968 SMRP added 3 colors per the Oct ad; Santa Fe Blue, Union
Pacific Yellow, Sliver. In April '68 they added the "Glacier Park" Green for Great Northern and included it as one of the 5 locomotive colors - along with Southern Green.
The line then looked like this; Locomotive Black, Oxide
& Oil, Southern
Northern Green, and Black, White, Tuscan
Red, Box Car Red, Reefer
Olive, M &
W Gray, Roof
Brown, Santa Fe Blue, Union
Pacific Yellow, Silver. They offered a new 8oz size of Thinner. Up to this point only a standard 2oz bottle was available.
When Quality Craft Models (QCM) obtained SMRP sometime between Nov. 1969 and April 1970 the paint line consisted of 20 colors. This included 5 locomotive colors; Locomotive Black, Oxide Red, Graphite & Oil, Southern Green, G.N. Green and Black, White, Tuscan Red, Caboose Red, Box Car Red, Reefer Yellow, Reefer Orange, Pullman Green, Coach Olive, M & W Gray, Roof Brown, Santa Fe Blue, Union Pacific Yellow, Silver, Santa Fe Red.
April 1970 MR was the first advertised notice that I've been able to find where
Scalecoat had been obtained by QCM. Quality Craft Models immediately
issued a color chart and instruction card for using the paint.
Craft Models was established in
May or June 1965. Their business was finely milled
basswood craftsman kits in . Their ad in June 1966 MR
announced the company's first anniversary with a big sale. At that
point their address was a
P.O. box in Villa Vista, Pennsylvania. Quality
Craft Models often advertised Scalecoat Paint as a Subdivision of QCM in their ads but when
Scalecoat published an ad (about every other month) they rarely made
mention of QCM. Both were owned by the Weavers from 156 Wheatley
Northampton, PA and they would own Scalecoat for the next 45 years.
By the end of 1970 QCM added 12 new colors plus a sanding sealer.
After all, their business was primarily wooden kits. Presumably
they also offered the thinner for the Sanding Sealer at that time..
This was the line up; Locomotive Black, Oxide Red, Graphite & Oil, Black, White, Tuscan Red, Caboose Red, Box Car Red, Reefer Yellow, Reefer Orange, Pullman Green, Coach Olive, Southern Green, M & W Gray, Roof Brown, Santa Fe Blue, Union Pacific Yellow, Sliver, Great Northern Green, Santa Fe Red, Illinois Central Orange, SP Dark Gray, SP Scarlet, SP Daylight Orange, SP Daylight Red, UP Harbor Mist Gray, UP Dark Gray, PC Green, CNW Yellow, CNW Green, Baltimore & Ohio Royal Blue, Burlington Northern Green.
|Toluene was part of the formula|
It appears Toluol (Toluene) was part of the reducer formula through most of the '70s. The bottle on the right - visible in the top photo was not yet part of the product line in 1970.
Undoubtedly, government regulations were part of the reason it was finally omitted but even though the paint continued to be advertised for brass and wood only the removal of Toluene helped make it more usable on plastics. Of course baking as part of the process was not comparable with plastic models.
After 1970 ads for Scalecoat became more infrequent Next time we will attempt to determine when the colors began to be number and when other auxiliary product were introduced..