P-B-L has been around for as long as I can remember.  For years I considered them a Sn3 supplier and importer.  I discovered their paint line called Star Brand and liked it for airbrushing.  Recently, I have puchased a few tools and found them to be good quality at a fair price.

I started to build up a pilot model for a new plastic kit and discovered that Testors liquid cement was doing much.  It appears that they changed the formula to protect us from ourselves.  The kit I am working on shot in ABS which is very widely used in the industry.  At that point I decided that I needed Methyl Ehtyl Ketone (MEK).  It is the forbidden modelers elixir here in the not so golden state of California.   However, I did find that I can buy it from P-B-L in small quantities.   Maybe there is a state called do Jefferson.   There is no substitute for the real stuff.  The parts were going together nicely.

While nosing around at P-B-L online store, I found a neat 4″ file that has a blank edge on one side and teeth on the other.  The file in made by Nicholson and is first rate.   It is very handy for filing down the thickness of plastic parts without damaging an adjoining surface.

P-B-L has a number of useful tools created by modelers for modelers. 

Check their site out.


12 thoughts on “NEW PRODUCTS: PBL Products

  1. Gene, if you are ever in Nevada for any reason, stop in at any Lowe’s and you can buy a 128 ounces (1 gallon) of MEK for $24 and you will have a lifetime supply.

  2. I purchase MEK at hardware stores for about $16 per quart. Much better price than hobby vendors.

    I put enough for a work session in a small bottle. The stuff is amazing in its way to evaporate from all tightly-sealed containers except its original container!

    I build mostly in styrene, and a quart of MEK lasts well over a year.

    Bill Jolitz

  3. Joe F of MRH has been suggesting a replacement for MEK.
    “I have moved to Ethyl Acetate (EA), which is a naturally occurring substance in fruity wines, for instance. EA metabolizes to acetic acid (vinegar) and ethanol (drinking alcohol, like vodka) in our bodies. However, drinking EA straight won’t do your liver any good (but some would argue the same for ethanol).

    Another even safer solvent is N-Buytl Acetate (NBA), which is what gives bananas and delicious apples their fruity taste. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods.

    I have tested both EA and NBA and they are great substitutes for MEK. EA works almost as fast as MEK, and NBA works a bit slower than EA. I prefer EA as a much friendlier replacement for MEK and lacquer thinner.”

    I have not personally tried it yet, but I think I will look for some at the local hardware store next time I visit.

    • While it is good to explore alternatives to MEK, my problem is with injection molded ABS. I am also in a time crunch to complete a new pilot model. Ordinary high impact styrene bonds with Tamiya thin glue or the woke Testors.
      Thank you for suggesting these alternatives

      • Supposedly, the replacements for MEK work just as well as MEK for all plastics. I haven’t tried so can’t say for sure. The only thing that I’ve found MEK doesn’t work good on is bonding dissimilar plastics together. For example, I bonded ABS and styrene and the MEK made a decent bond, but it was easily broken.


      • Gene, I have a quart of MEK on hand. I would be glad to drop it by your house late tomorrow morning if you are still in need of some MEK to finish your pilot model. Let me know.

        Rod Souza

      • Gene, Glad to here you are setup with MEK to finish your project! There always seems to be ways to get around the nanny state. 😉 except for taxes 😦

        Rod Souza

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