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  1. #1

    Floquil vs Polly-S research question for those with knowledge

    Hey guys. I recently acquired a CT Malone helmet and have pestered Lee many times on FB regarding the paints. Fast forward a few weeks, and my collected stockpile of enamel paints is nearing completion (I don't want to begin painting until I have every color that I need present). There are a few from the Rogue Studios ESB list that seem to be elusive. My take on it is that a handful of colors (in contrast to Lee specifically mentioning to me that ALL of the paints used on the ESB hero helmet (and most paints used on the armor) were the Floquil enamel type, in his opinion) were actually the later developed Polly-S acrylic. My reason for thinking this is not due to the inability to locate the enamel version of certain colors, but more about not once finding even one single mention anywhere that Floquil made those colors until they first (and only) did so with the acrylic Polly-S line. Maybe some of you experienced painters here know the truth. Colors I am referencing here are:

    PRR Maroon - was the enamel version called a different name?
    ATSF Catwhisker Yellow - definitely only Polly-S?
    Yellow Zinc Chromate - never made by Floquil OR Polly-S?

    Anyone with accurate info on this Floquil, please chime in.


  2. #2
    While I can't speak for Lee, I view his paint list as a best available option for the colors at the time he made the list (which have all since been discontinued). So when he suggested POG for the dome it wasn't because that's what they used when they painted the actual prop (in either Floquil or Polly Scale). It was because that was the best off the shelf color you could get for the dome back in 2004 (or whenever he made the list).

    All the original props were painted with Floquil enamels that were available in the late 1970s. Some of those original colors were discontinued soon after the production of the movies, and while some other colors were still available for a long time after their formulas were changed for either better compatibility for plastics or due to the elimination of lead in paints.

    PRR Maroon - was the enamel version called a different name? I don't think this was ever a Floquil color. The original was discontinued at least by the early 1980s.
    ATSF Catwhisker Yellow - definitely only Polly-S? My best guess for this ROTJ color is Antique White.
    Yellow Zinc Chromate - never made by Floquil OR Polly-S? Floquil never made this color, and Polly only made it in a limited box set that came out long after the props were painted. I really don't have a clue which yellow they used. I think the topical application plus all the black misting really changes the look of it.

    I don't know if you're looking to do a pure Floquil enamel paint job or not. It is a noble quest, and one that I can appreciate. But my recommendation is if you can't find or don't know the enamel color used, try out some of the custom Humbrol mixes that many painters are using. You'll get a much closer color match and save yourself a lot of time and money!

    Good Luck!

    - Ryan

    "The Pyramids were built by Sears!"

  3. #3
    Thank you, Ryan. I appreciate your response. It settles a lot of things for me.

    I had heard once that someone had a photo of them (the people that painted the real helmet) and you could see the paint bottles. Were they the square bottled ones or are those from even before the late 70's? I read one of their bigger shake ups was due to the square bottled ones actually being lacquer-based and they were asked by the government to change chemicals to enamel for environmental purposes. Is that what you are talking about regarding the lead? Does lacquer have lead in it? Regardless, it seems like Floquil itself has a pretty interesting history... if such a photo exists, it would be awesome to see.

    If it is true that they used only Floquils then that is my aim also, at this point. I'm sure it will require a little custom mixing on most colors to an extent anyway. I guess even a photo isn't going to nail down the real real colors due to lighting and film characteristics.

    I'm planning on painting this helmet myself. It's a little intimidating because I've never been a great painter, but this seems to be a bit more in technical territory than a lot of painting is, if that makes any sense. Still I did have an airbrush briefly when I was in high school in the 90's, and I was pretty shitty with it. But I really wasn't trying a more technical approach. That and I probably understand a whole lot more now, but I am completely out of practice. And also, I don't want to sound like I'm saying it isn't art or an art either, because it is. Anyway thanks for the information and advice.
    Last edited by mugatu; 02-24-2018 at 09:55 PM.

  4. #4
    The photo your referring to is from a series of polaroids that were taken at Daydream Productions. They were the company that was subcontracted to paint the three extra suits for promotional tours before ESB. The only props of importance that came out of Daydream were the ROTJ and PP2 helmet(which is the base for your casting). While the colors used on those helmets were different, they were still Floquil colors.


    You can see in the photo 4 round bottles and 1 square bottle. I have no clue what bottle is what color in that pic. Floquil paints are oil based, not lacquer based. The exact solvent formula is a mystery though. The removal of lead from paints was a nationwide effort for health safety. If you've ever rented a house/apt built before 1978 you should have received a notice about the dangers of lead paint. The square bottles would be the ones that would have lead in them. Floquil did another formulation change of their own in the early 1980's to make their solvent more compatible with plastic models. Floquils were first used on mostly metal train cars, but with the rise of plastic plane models the solvents had to change. At first Floquil sold a clear Barrier that had to be used on plastic models before painting. But with the decline in metal models and the predominance of plastic, they changed the solvent to be plastic friendly.

    Which helmet version do you plan on painting?

    "The Pyramids were built by Sears!"

  5. #5
    I was going to make some minor repairs to the cast in repairs after Don Post had it, and go ESB with it, but I'm not so certain now. Perhaps going straight up PP2 with it would be the way to go. I don't have an ESB helmet (this is actually the only helmet I have period), which was sort of why I planned on going that way, plus I have the earless CT Malone, not that that really would make a difference because I'd need to replace the ears no matter which way I went. I've been lucky enough to amass a somewhat large collection of Floquil Enamels, mostly round bottles, but a few squares, and of all gens. Some appear super old. I was able to get a couple of bottles of the barrier you mentioned. I noticed when they changed bottle shape/formula/labels, they also changed the reference number for the color ever so slightly. Most of these are strictly railroad colors that probably have no Star Wars usage:

    ❌* German Uniform Field Gray (or "Fieldgraü") - 505298
    ✅1 * Panzer Olive Green (or "Panzer Olivgrün") - 505113
    ✅2 * Caboose - 110088/F110088
    ✅5 * Reefer Yellow - RR31/110031/F110031
    ✅3 * Reefer Gray - 110012/F110012
    ✅6 * Rust - R73/110073/F110073
    ✅6 * Bright Silver - F110101
    ✅1 * German Green (or "Grün") (RLM73) - 505316
    ✅2 * Concrete - 110082
    ✅2 * Earth - 110081/F110081
    ✅2 * Weathered Black - RR17/110017
    ❌* SP Lark Light Gray - RR131/110131
    ✅1 * SP Lark Dark Gray - 110132
    ❌* PRR Maroon - 414161

    Other Colors Inventory

    ✅2 * Aged Concrete - 110016
    ✅1 * Antique Bronze - RR100
    ✅1 * ATSF Blue - 110177
    ❌* ATSF Catwhisker Yellow - F414146
    ✅1 * ATSF Mineral Brown - 110179
    ✅1 * ATSF Red - 110176
    ✅1 * ATSF Yellow - 110178
    ✅4 * Boxcar Red - F110074/110074
    ✅1 * Burlington North Green - 110035
    ✅1 * Coach Green - F110048
    ✅1 * Copper? - 110105
    ✅1 * CSX Black - F110354
    ✅1 * Dark Blue - R50
    ✅1 * Dark Green - 110040
    ✅3 * Depot Buff - R87/F110087
    ✅1 * Dust - R6
    ✅1 * D&RGW Orange - R172
    ✅1 * Engine Black - R10
    ✅1 * Foundation - R84
    ✅1 * Graphite - RR110
    ✅1 * Grime - 110086
    ✅2 * Grimy Black - 110013
    ✅1 * Guilford Gray - 110185
    ✅1 * Gun Metal - 110108
    ✅1 * Hunter Green - 110182
    ✅1 * Light Blue - 110051
    ✅1 * Maroon - RR64
    ✅1 * Mud - 110083
    ✅1 * Old Silver - RR100
    ✅3 * Oxide Red - 110186
    ✅2 * PRR Brunswick Green - F110034
    ✅1 * Pullman Green - R45
    ✅7 * Rail Brown - R7/F110007/110007
    ✅1 * Reefer Orange - 110030
    ✅1 * Reefer White - F110011
    ✅1 * Road Tie Brown - F110014
    ✅1 * Rock Island Maroon - 110160
    ✅1 * Roof Brown - 410070
    ✅1 * Socony Red - 110187
    ✅4 * SP Lettering Gray - 110130/F110130
    ✅1 * Tuscan - 110025
    ✅1 * Tuscan Red - F110184
    ✅2 * UP (Union Pacific) Armor Yellow - RR166/F110166
    ✅1 * US Medium Green - 505082
    ✅1 * Weyerhauser Green - 110036
    ❌* Wisconsin Central Maroon - RR282/F110282
    ❌* Yellow Zinc Chromate -
    ✅2 * Zinc Chromate Primer - 110601


    ✅1 * Dio-Sol - 110001
    ✅3 * Glaze - RR5/R5/110005
    ✅2 * Retarder - 110002/F110002
    ✅1 * Thinner & Brush Cleaner - 110001
    ✅2 * Barrier - 110019
    ✅1 * Barrier Thinner - 110018
    ✅1 * Hi-Gloss - RR3
    ✅1 * Flat Finish - R15


    ✅3 * Driftwood - 110720
    ✅3 * Oak - 110723
    ✅1 * Rosewood - S121
    ✅1 * Al-Pro-Cote - S3

    I bought a collection from the son of an old RR guy. Most of these are NOS but about 10-15 have been used a little bit. Of course, now I think I should get the acrylic versions of the Rogue Studios list and mix these enamels based off of those colors.

    And THANK YOU SO MUCH for the photo. That is awesome!
    Last edited by mugatu; 02-25-2018 at 03:51 PM.

  6. #6
    That's a pretty nice collection! You don't need to worry about getting that German Uniform Gray as it's pretty much just gray. I'd rather use the Testor's POG than the Polly POG, but that's just my preference. And you will need Brunswick Green as that's the correct color for the upper cheeks.

    "The Pyramids were built by Sears!"

  7. #7
    Thanks for the tips, Ryan. I've read some guys prefer the Weathered Black and some the Brunswick Green. Man, in that photo, it's odd that they attached all of the range finders already before painting.

  8. #8
    Ryan is the floquil KING; to him you should listen. I also prefer the testors Pog to the Pollyscale Pog but I think it might go well with a few drops of white. I'm pretty sure someone has stated Lee did this with his MR paintups(?). I also acquired the Floquil Military line Pog. It's a later colour and not worth pursuing for the main green as it is actually a genuinely Olive colour.

  9. #9
    Congrats on the CTM. Makes sense now.



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