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Breaking news ! ... Monokote no longer listed !

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Breaking news ! ... Monokote no longer listed !

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Old 11-18-2017, 10:41 AM
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RACE 66
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Default Breaking news ! ... Monokote no longer listed !

Pretty impressive words in the title isn't it. Now, don't panic.... It's still available.
Here's what I discovered, in which many of you will see for yourself. I just received the Tower Hobbies 2018 catalog. You will notice that it has new graphic changes from the cover and throughout the catalog. In my opinion you will see emphasis on certain model groups and support. It's pretty self evident, marketing and profit as the "bottom line" is a reflection of this nature.

Now, back to my topic, I was cruising the catalog and notice paint availability for r/c cars, I thought, well lets look up Monokote. I got into the paint, adhesive section, and had seen sock covers for irons, 'woodpecker', heat gun and the like. Kept looking for Monokote but to no avail !
So, I went to the internet, and lo and behold there it is in all its glory on Towers site.
It appears that, if you've been living in a cave, that the transition to the internet vs catalog intrusion is making its way to mainline suppliers to the industry. aka, no Monokote in catalog vs availability on the internet.
Many is saying no big deal, it's been transitioning to this for a while. Even in their Dubro section has limited display of products via graphics (costs money to produce) , along with a tagline listed of other products.

Unfortunately, for ME, I have been a customer of Tower for many, many years and it's harder to value their selection of items for MY hobby needs. I am sure others are delighted in their quest for fun from Tower. What I have 'discovered' or could it be 're-discovered' that by going direct to the manufacture of the item(s) of need, I have found out,
expertise in their product knowledge, excellent availability (they know immediately where that product is in house, production schedule if backordered, etc) the ease of purchasing and the 'positive' attitude that the personnel display. Now your thinking what could be the take backs, Well now that you asked, PRICING, yes your paying 'retail' for the product,(ask yourself, how much you save vs buying from manufacture) also, shipping can be a little more than 'normal', whatever normal is. Plus the wait time for shipping would typically be increased.
Myself, I pick and choose where I go on certain items much like many of you. I found that by purchasing the
"nickel and dime" stuff it has been to my advantage to go directly to the manufacture. So, take my opinion and think about what I said and you as the consumer make the final decision. Thanks for reading through on this.

ps: Hopefully I didn't 'miss' the listing in Tower regarding Monokote, I did go through page by page of it. Also, they didn't include a manufactures index where you could reference Monokote either.
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:19 PM
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I recently received my 2018 Tower catalog as well. I was rather underwhelmed.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:00 PM
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For me, Monokote has been dead for sometime now. By far and away, Monokote was my favorite covering for many years (decades) then they changed it! Now sometimes it doesn't shrink .... at all or at any temperature. At other times it won't stick to itself or anything else. Colors are not consistent from one roll to the next, etc. Just too many problems to put up with in my opinion.

Lets face it, these days construction supplies and materials are a secondary market for most vendors. Some years ago, I remember asking a hobby shop owner (a good friend) what part of his shop produced the most revenue. Without hesitation he said the airplane accessories area. I bet the answer would be far different today. So sad.
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Old 11-18-2017, 03:39 PM
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Lets face it, with the decline of builders there will a decline of products and that is already evident. Without the small parts volume there is little use in making many of them any more, it's a sign of the times, fewer kits, fewer parts and fewer supplies and what's left is seeing prices go up on everything. I'm starting a new scratch build right now but it won't be long and I'll be driven out of building because of the costs.

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Old 11-18-2017, 04:17 PM
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I'm pretty much to the point of not building much anymore now. Costs are incredibly hign, especially for paint and covering supplies. Wood is a close second. Unless I just have to have something that can't be had in any form as an ARF, I simply can't justify building. Add to that the lack of some tools and less shop space than I had before retirement, building can sometimes be a frustration rather than enjoyment. But overall I enjoy the building experience and the pride that usually comes with it. You can't put a price on that. At least thats the rational I use to get myself back to the building board.

These days though, tracking down all the necessary parts and pieces can be another matter.

Back to this thread ....... I sure wish I could have my OLD Super Monokote available once again. A close second would be having the old K&B SuperPoxy come back though KlassKote is pretty darn good.
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Old 11-18-2017, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
I'm pretty much to the point of not building much anymore now. Costs are incredibly hign, especially for paint and covering supplies. Wood is a close second. Unless I just have to have something that can't be had in any form as an ARF, I simply can't justify building. Add to that the lack of some tools and less shop space than I had before retirement, building can sometimes be a frustration rather than enjoyment. But overall I enjoy the building experience and the pride that usually comes with it. You can't put a price on that. At least thats the rational I use to get myself back to the building board.

These days though, tracking down all the necessary parts and pieces can be another matter.

Back to this thread ....... I sure wish I could have my OLD Super Monokote available once again. A close second would be having the old K&B SuperPoxy come back though KlassKote is pretty darn good.
Me too, though I have been a 'builder' for many years.

In the UK it's not so much poor supply though good paints are becoming harder to find. The only decent ones available in the UK are Oracover 2 part epoxy paints which are both expensive and often many colors have to be specially ordered from Germany. This usually takes only a few days to arrive but is still a nuisance. But of course demand is low, as you say.
It's the price of everything - an ARTF is much lower cost. The actual price doesn't matter too much to me but 'value' does.

But so many ARTFs are poorly made and poorly finished. (Though Great Planes ones are usually good.) And 'on principle' I don't think we should have to 'improve' an ARTF, no more than we expect to have to 'improve' a new car we buy. On occasions I have been tempted to invoke the UK 'Sale of Goods Act' to recover both my money and the price of my time I have spent to make some of the ARTFs safely flyable. Also many of the 'scale' ones are grossly inaccurate.

Personally I still build most myself despite the higher cost. The only ARTFs I buy are scale (only) planes that I quite like, but don't like enough to build (and perhaps draw up) myself. I don't buy non-scale ARTFs at all as I like designing my own non-scale models, particularly F3A ones..

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Old 11-18-2017, 08:49 PM
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I'm still building, you just can't get good build quality or exactly what you want in an ARF. Right now building a 4*60, with retracts. Sure, I could hack up a 4*54 to do it, but it's not the same. When it comes to covering, I do not like Monojoke. The other day I was covering the top of a Citabria, and the red monojoke would not shrink, and it wrinkled trying to stick it down at the tail where it curves. I discovered Hobby King covering this year, it is my go to stuff from now on, and it is priced very well too. You can order it from the US warehouse in 5 meter rolls, or from china, and what I heard is the china rolls, if you order 15 meters, you get a 15 meter roll.

I covered my Rascal 168 with it, and it worked really nicely around compound curves, and shrinks easily. It works a lot like OraCover/Ultrakote.

With TH I have ordered quite a lot over the years and found their shipping leaves a lot to be desired at times. I ordered something in stock, expecting it in a few days and it took over a week. I could have gone to the LHS and bought it for the same price and just wasted a little gas instead. The kicker is I live in the same state!
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:01 AM
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My Tower catalog went from the mail box to the garbage can. I never opened it to see the contents.

I do my shopping online, and have no need for the catalog.

I wonder if the omission of Monokote is a prelude to it being discontinued. It's availability online may be limited to current stock.

Just guessing, here. Time will provide the answer.
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Old 11-19-2017, 05:03 AM
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Tower Hobbies already has lot of Monokote on clearance. The 6' rolls discounted from $5 to $8 off a roll. The 25' rolls are discounted $23 to $25 off. Top Flite Lustrekote is all but done, White is the only color. Also I was ordering striping tape from Tower and most colors and width's from Great Planes is no longer available.
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Old 11-19-2017, 04:41 PM
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Wow, I'd be very upset if the striping tape went away. I don't use a lot of it but when you need it, you need it. There is really no substitute and most other brands such as CG are long gone.

I sense our hobby is changing quickly. Some days I'm glad I'm as old as I was and enjoyed the good old days of our hobby.
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Old 11-20-2017, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
Wow, I'd be very upset if the striping tape went away. I don't use a lot of it but when you need it, you need it. There is really no substitute and most other brands such as CG are long gone.

I sense our hobby is changing quickly. Some days I'm glad I'm as old as I was and enjoyed the good old days of our hobby.
I use trim tape, purchased from an auto paint store. They have the Monokote colors, plus hundreds more, all at about half the price.

I'm 99% sure that the MK product is the same stuff, repackaged for the hobby market.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:25 AM
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The way I see it, we still have Silkspan, Fiberglass and a couple of other coverings so all is not lost.
I too was not pleased with the latest catalog. They definitely were pushing the off road racing vehicles, quads and ARFs. They had very few kits shown but, surprisingly, had several listed on the bottom of the page when it came to airplanes. I'd be willing to bet they made the changes to the catalog so they had room to push quads since they had several large pictures on several pages while they only had a couple of pages that had RTF boats and only a page or two from each aircraft kit manufacturer. I'll be ordering from Sig or GP next time I want to build a kit plane

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Old 11-20-2017, 06:49 AM
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It's part of the degrading of society. We are losing the skills required to make things. Has anyone noticed that skill level 3 model kits are rare, and hard to find? All those great kits when I was a kid, that had detailed instructions, and details on what the parts are. Now they are part A part B, with a picture of a glue bottle. They dumbed down plastic model kits to the point I don't want to look at them anymore. I did find a rare kit of a Monogram Rocket, the Jupitor I think, that has the working launch pad and rocket. Now those were when kits were great.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I use trim tape, purchased from an auto paint store. They have the Monokote colors, plus hundreds more, all at about half the price.

I'm 99% sure that the MK product is the same stuff, repackaged for the hobby market.
Yes I have used the automotive trim tapes (was a body man several decades ago) but even in that market, local vendors no longer stock much of anything as they say the demand just isn't there for the modern cars. Very few cars use any form of pin striping these days. And I really liked the Great Planes trim tapes! I frequent these stores on occasion as I still use automotive paints (base coat - clear coat) but even these have got so horribly expensive lately. KlassKote has pretty much become my standard for color coats but I still use automotive clear coats when that is called for. KlassKote is less than half the cost of equivalent automotive paints for the same amount of coverage.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:02 AM
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The problem I have with KlassKote is the cure time and smell. Using a good 2 part clear from Napa over Latex has been one of the things I started doing vs using Dope. I had some left over from doing a topper and used it to top coat a Corsair, and it looks great. When I do my B-25, it will be very impressive.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:15 AM
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I like KlassKote but have had a few problems with it. It is quite intolerant to low temperatures but if you apply in 70 or higher temps, the cure time is quite acceptable. I especially like the dense pigment which is better than many automotive paints for coverage. As for odor, all solvent based paints stink. I no longer have an indoor area to paint so I set up a large tent outside and try to do several paint projects at one time. Most of the odor is gone when the parts come into the house. Dope is a distant memory as the wife can pick up on that odor if I crack a can lid open. Of course its OK for her to do her nails when her paints smell pretty much the same but thats a story for a different place.

I have done a few test panels with latex paints but I clearly don't know all the in's and out's of its use quite yet. I am refurbishing a Ziroli Skyraider and would like to use a low cost paint such as latex on it. It had Perfect paint on it before. I need to spend some time reading more about latex.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Truckracer View Post
Yes I have used the automotive trim tapes (was a body man several decades ago) but even in that market, local vendors no longer stock much of anything as they say the demand just isn't there for the modern cars. Very few cars use any form of pin striping these days. And I really liked the Great Planes trim tapes! I frequent these stores on occasion as I still use automotive paints (base coat - clear coat) but even these have got so horribly expensive lately. KlassKote has pretty much become my standard for color coats but I still use automotive clear coats when that is called for. KlassKote is less than half the cost of equivalent automotive paints for the same amount of coverage.

I'm surprised that you have a limited selection. Des Moines is 200 times the size of my town, and I can find most any color, and width, of tape that I desire.

I haven't looked, but there may be a good selection of auto trim tapes available online.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:28 AM
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I ask and was told per Top Flite, Monokote has not been discontinued. Also does not know why it is not listed in the latest Tower catalog. Maybe you guys should send out a email or two and ask questions of Tower and/or Top Flite. Maybe the reply I got could be a snow job. What do you guys think?
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Old 11-23-2017, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by roncoleman View Post
I ask and was told per Top Flite, Monokote has not been discontinued. Also does not know why it is not listed in the latest Tower catalog. Maybe you guys should send out a email or two and ask questions of Tower and/or Top Flite. Maybe the reply I got could be a snow job. What do you guys think?
They are owned by the same company. Neither may have an understanding of what upper management has in mind.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:51 AM
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If they are anything like the company I work for, only they are smaller, then what one department does, won't be known by others. Retail online sales, warehousing and marketing are separate departments that normally don't communicate with each other. the online department will have their list of all items sold, produce their web page to reflect all items, while Marketing targets certain groups with the latest and greatest. They take a gamble on products in the catalogs in the hopes that what is presented will be sellers. There is only so much they can fit in the catalog to make it viable for mailing. If they put everything in and make it like a phone book, the cost to ship outweighs any benefit they would obtain through catalog sales. Warehousing though, that is the fine line department. They have a lot of research to do in order to stock the best sellers and not stock items that rarely sell, after all, that is money sitting on a shelf collecting dust, taking up space that more profitable items can occupy.

Supply and demand. Get it right and you have a good profit margin, get it wrong and you can lock the doors.
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