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About Humbrol

About Hornby America

Hornby America is a fully owned subsidiary of Hornby Plc., a publicly traded company incorporated and operating in the United Kingdom.  The Hornby Group is principally engaged in the development, design, sourcing and distribution of quality toy and hobby products.

Hornby America is committed to providing strong technical and product support to our network of dedicated retailers across the United States and encourage consumers to visit their local hobby store.  In addition, Hornby America supports the brands we carry by offering timely technical assisitance via a toll-free telephone line or email.

Established in 1999, Hornby America operates a corporate business office and distribution facility located in Fife, WA, 28 miles south of Seattle and minutes away from the Port of Tacoma.  From this location, Hornby America is a full service distributor that imports and distributes slot cars, model railroads, plastic model kits, die-cast collectibles, paints and accessories.

Slot Cars
Exclusive North American importer and distributor of Scalextric slot car sets, cars and accessories as well as the highly acclaimed Slot.It range of slot cars, performance spares and accessories.

Model Railroads
Exclusive North American importer and distributor of American outline Rivarossi HO scale locomotives and rolling stock. 

Plastic Models
Full service distributor of the Airfix plastic model range that includes individual kits in several scales, gift sets, diaramas and specialty items.  Hornby America is committed to carrying the entire range available for North America.

Paints and Accessories
Hornby America carries the full range of the highly acclaimed line of Humbrol acrylic and enamel paints, in addition to the quality Humbrol accessories such as brushes and tools that modelers around the world demand.

Die Cast Collectibles
The exclusive importer and full service distributor for the Corgi Classics line.  Corgi is a premier line of die cast products that feature aircraft, trucks, emergency vehicles and buses. In addition, Corgi has a souvenier die-cast range that for 2012 honors Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee and the Official Product of London 2012, inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic games.


About Humbrol

For almost one hundred years Humbrol has been producing superior quality paints.  During that time Humbrol has become perhaps the best-known name in the modelling field and has established a world-wide reputation for excellence.  Founded in 1919 as the Humber Oil Company, Humbrol initially supplied bicycle oil for Hull's growing army of cyclists.  In 1935, however, the company was asked to produce paints for renovating cycles, and came up with Art Enamel.  At first only black was available, but demand for other colours rapidly followed, and two years later a range of twelve colours was launched. These came in 'tinlets' sufficient to repaint a complete cycle frame and mudguards - and all for just sixpence!  That emphasis on value was to become a central feature of Humbrol’s operations, and remains so to this day.

Humbrol About Us - The Humber Oil Factory

The Humber Oil Company Ltd

Sixty Minute Success

In the early 1950s the introduction of the plastic kit ushered in a new era in modelling - and Humbrol responded with One Hour Humbrol Plastic Enamel Paint in some fifty shades, and the 'Paint Locker' display cabinet that swiftly became a vital feature of any modelling shop.

New Products for New Trends

The increasing popularity of DIY provided a further challenge, and in 1965 Humbrol launched a range of paints and adhesives created specifically for this market.  These were followed, in the seventies, by the introduction of artist’s brushes, and modelling craft tools.  Additionally, the number of shades in the standard colour range tinlets rose to 80, and has subsequently risen to its present total of 171.

An Internationally Acclaimed Brand

Humbrol’s range of colours now exceeds 170 colours, and each year millions of tinlets are exported to over 56 countries around the world.   From being a modest supplier of cycle oil, Humbrol has become recognised worldwide and is one of the largest and most progressive brands in the fields of modelling, hobbies and crafts.

The Modeller’s First Choice

The name Humbrol has become synonymous with quality, and there can hardly be another name more familiar and popular among the model-making fraternity.

A Comprehensive Range of Compatible Products

Humbrol's fame was founded on paint, but today the range includes a wide variety of other products such as application products, glues & adhesives, modelling tools and craft products.

Humbrol Today

Humbrol About Us - Union Flag Humbrol LogoSince Humbrol was founded in 1919 the brand has been under several owners. In 1976 Humbrol became part of the Hobby Products Group of the International Borden Inc group and then later in 1986 the Airfix brand also joined the group. In 1994, the group was acquired by an Irish Investment Company, Allen & Maguire.

In November 2006 the Humbrol and Airfix brands were acquired by Hornby Hobbies Ltd where they sit alongside some of Britain’s best-loved toy and hobby brands – Hornby model railways, Scalextric slot racing and Corgi die-cast models.

Humbrol has traditionally supported the iconic model brand Airfix, and a number of products have already been introduced to strengthen this strategy.  However under Hornby’s ownership it has broadened its target market with a diverse product range giving a new, wider focus towards model railways and war gaming.  Re-branding its products also enables Humbrol to focus on the fast growing hobby and craft market, with new ranges already in development.

In 2012 Humbrol moved over 60% of its manufacturing back to the UK from China to improve supply, and ensure high quality standards continue to be met.  Humbrol’s well-established and most popular range of enamel paint as well as their new acrylic sprays are now produced in London and Manchester. Humbrol produces over 460 different products and accessories and are sold in all major and independent craft and model retailers.

Humbrol About Us - Range

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