Humbrol

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Humbrol
Industry Paints
Founded Kingston-upon-Hull, England, UK
Products Paints, Brushes, Glue, Aerosol Spray Paints
Owner(s) Hornby plc

Humbrol Limited was a British manufacturer of model kits, toys and paints, producing under its own brand and the Airfix, Sky Marks, Young Scientist, 1st Gear, High Speed and W. Britain brands. In 2006, the company entered administration, but later the same year was acquired by Hornby plc, who have since re-launched the brand.

History[edit]

Humbrol was founded in Kingston-upon-Hull as the Humber Oil Company in 1919. During the 1950s and 60s, Gerald Barton turned Humber Oil Company into Humbrol which developed a range of model paints and other modelmaking paraphernalia. In 1976, Humbrol became part of the Hobby Products Group of the international Borden, Inc. group. Five years later, Borden also acquired the French kit manufacturer Heller.

The famous Airfix model company joined the group in 1986, transferring its kit production to the Heller factory in Trun, Orne, France. In 1994, the group was acquired by an Irish investment company, Allen & McGuire, and the business was restructured under the Humbrol name. Heller was sold off in 2005, but continued to manufacture kits for Humbrol.

On 31 August 2006, following the collapse of Heller SA, Humbrol went into administration. It was announced on 10 November 2006 that Hornby Railways would acquire certain assets of Humbrol, comprising Airfix, Humbrol paints and model accessories and the Young Scientist brand for £2.6 million.[1]

Humbrol is possibly best known for the enamel paints manufactured for use with plastic model kits. The archetypal container was a 14 ml tin with the lid coloured to illustrate the paint colour and an embossed reference number. Humbrol did, however, sell 50 and 120ml tins and spray cans in some colours. The 50ml enamel paint tins and spray paints are still available. The tins are called "Humbrol DIY".

Humbrol's (now disused) main factory is located on Hedon Road in Hull. It has recently been subject to attacks of arson and vandalism. The original factory and part of the office blocks burnt down in 1988 in what was one of the largest factory fires in postwar Hull.

Notable people[edit]

The British artist George Shaw uses Humbrol enamel paints to create highly realistic paintings on MDF board. Most famously, he uses as his subject a council estate in Tile Hill, Coventry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home". Hornby. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 

External links[edit]