Joe Ambrose, Horizon Hobby's CEO, Passes Away at 61


On January 7th, Horizon Hobby took to Facebook to announce the unexpected passing of their CEO, Joe Ambrose, at the age of 61. While we didn’t always agree with the actions Horizon took under his leadership, Joe left an indelible imprint on the hobby industry and we send our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the whole of Horizon Hobby for their loss. Obviously, it’s too soon for Horizon to have publicly discussed a candidate for the position of CEO, but we expect that to happen in the near future. In the meantime, according to Horizon’s Facebook post, “[t]he executive leadership of Horizon Hobby will work closely with their board of directors during the transition”.

Check out the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette for a retrospective of Joe’s life and impact.


Carstens Publications Closes Its Doors

Carstens Publications, known for their magazines Flying Models, Railfan & Railroad, and Model Railroad Craftsman, has gone out of business as of August 22nd, 2014, according to a statement posted to their website. Carstens was founded in 1933 and their first product was The Model Craftsman, which eventually became the magazine we know today as Model Railroad Craftsman. Carstens has been a staple in the hobby industry for more than 50 years.

According to the statement on their website, "...the current economic climate has placed us in this position," indicating the magazines were not selling well, or perhaps advertisers were spending their dollars elsewhere. Whatever the case, "discussion is continuing with several parties who expressed desire to take on the continuance of the magazines." So it's possible to see these magazines transistion to a new publisher. No word on the two annual publications, 0n30 Annual and HOn3 Annual.

Testors Drops Pactra, Floquil, and Polyscale

In a surprise annoucment, Testors has revealed that they will be dropping Floquil, Polyscale, Pactra and ColorArtz paint lines. The Floquil and Polyscale paints are very popular among model railroaders, and are the premire train-specific paints on the market. Pactra is a huge loss for the radio control car hobbyists, for many of whom Pactra was the number one choice for polycarbonate body paint (and is the only brand of R/C car paint we've carried regularly for over 20 years).

This is a huge loss to the hobbyist world. If you have any particular feelings about this (and I'm sure many of you do), let Testors know about it at their Facebook Page or email their customer service at

We will continue to carry and sell all of the dropped brands until we cannot order more. What brands we pick up to replace these losses, we do not know yet. If you have a recommendation, please stop by our Facebook page and let us know. Oh, and you can read the press release after the break.

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