Published on
February 2, 2022
Review Author(s)
MSRP
$7.19
Product / Stock #
TCP-1350 1354 - 1357 - 1358 - 1360
Company: Tru-Color Paint - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tru-Color Paint - Website: Visit Site

Tru-Color Paints is an American hobby paint manufacturer formed in 2008 and located in the Phoenix, AZ area. Their lines include realistically scale colored paints for the hobbyist for naval ships, military armor, aircraft, and railroading. They currently produce over 600 colors covering 7 product lines (naval, military vehicles, automotive, aircraft, etc.) and include airbrushable, spray can and brush paintable products. According to their website: "Tru-color paint is a solvent based paint with an acrylic polymer used as the binding agent which adheres very well to plastic or metal models, when those models are properly prepared. The pigments and/or dyes used to produce the correct colors are very finely ground so that they do not clog air-brushes."

The Tru-Color Paint line has a subset of several IJAAF WWII colors that are accurate for any appropriate scale IJAAF aircraft kit. The test subject of my review is a 1/48 Hasegawa KI-61 “Hein”. Colors used from this line were:

  • TCP-1350 - HAIRYOKUSHOKU (GRAY GREEN)
  • TCP-1354 - NOH RYOKU SHOKU (DEEP GREEN)
  • TCP-1357 - KAREKUSA (DRY GRASS)
  • TCP-1358 - CHA KASSHOKU (TEA COLOR)
  • TCP-1360 - TSUCHI IRO (EARTH COLOR)

I began the process by spraying the appropriate interior components with TCP-1360 – Earth Color”. I assembled the model box stock and according to my usual process, and then primed it with Tamiya Gray spray-can primer. I first sprayed the underside with Testor’s Model Master Enamel “Aluminum” to represent the NMF of the lower surfaces. After masking off the lower areas, I applied some Tamiya White primer to the vertical stabilizer and rear fuselage band areas.

Once dry, I applied the vinyl squadron code and plane number masks that were included with the Kagero set and masked off the fuselage band. I sprayed a diluted mixture (60% Mr. Color Thinner to 40% 1354 Deep Green) on the upper surfaces in about 3 thin coats to be sure I had a very thin layer of paint. After this layer “set”, I heavied up the mixture with some more 1354, and added a couple of drops of TCP White to fade out the ailerons, stabilizers and some panels here and there. When these main areas were completely dry (about 3-4 days), I removed the Kagero masks and was very pleased with the results. There was no “creeping” of paint under the mask edges, even on the tiny aircraft numbers on the lower vertical stabilizer.

I masked off the leading edges and painted them with straight TCP 1357 – “Dry Grass”, the wheel wells and gear doors with TCP 1360 “Earth Color”, and the lower surfaces of the ailerons and horizontal stabilizers with TCP 1350 “Gray Green”. It was at this point that I discovered that my masking efforts had pulled off some small spots of the deep green on the fuselage and aluminum on the underside. In the process of masking and repainting some of the underside, I pulled off some small spots on the ailerons. To my surprise, I was able to touch-up those areas with a brush and undiluted paint straight from the bottle for each color, with no noticeable brush marks. The paint settled in and leveled out with no discernable edges.

The paint surface was level and smooth and not truly glossy; but not quite satin either. I elected to apply the Kagero book and kit decals over the raw paint finish without a sealer gloss coating. The hinomarus were first up, but disintegrated when they turned loose from the kit’s decal paper. Another trip to the paint booth to cut circle masks and them spray a base of TCP white and then Tamiya Red for the national markings.

The remaining Kagero decals and most of the kit decals were applied with no major issues, and left to set before applying a final dullcoat of Testor’s Dullcote lacquer.

I found the Tru-Color paints to be easy to use, and very true to what I think to color accuracy should be according to my references. There were absolutely no issues with clogging or any other airbrushing issues while using them. I am looking forward to purchasing some of their automotive color line to try on my next car builds.

Highly recommended for those experienced in using solvent based paints. If you’re not experienced in using these volatile paints, be sure to obtain and use a good respirator mask before trying them. With a little practice, they will provide you with an excellent and accurate finish to your models.

Thanks to the IPMS Reviewer Corps and Tru-Color Paints for the opportunity to review these paints.

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