Royal Air Force Set 1

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Company: Tru-Color Paint - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tru-Color Paint - Website: Visit Site
Tru-Color RAF Set 1

Tru-Color Paint is a model paint manufacturer based in the US. They have an extensive line of railroad and car paints and they are continuously expanding their military line (aircraft, naval, armor).

This set includes the following colors (all of them already available in their line).

  • TCP-1281: Dark Green
  • TCP-1281: Dark Earth
  • TCP-1284: Dark Sea Grey
  • TCP-1287: Ocean Grey
  • TCP-1288: Sky Type S
  • TCP-1290: Interior Green

The set includes the main colors used by the RAF in the early years of WWII in Europe (Dark Green, Dark Earth, Sky, Interior Green) and some of the colors used in the later years (Dark Green, Ocean Grey, Interior Green). Including Dark Sea Grey is perhaps a bit unusual as that color was rarely used. Personally, I would have replaced it with Medium Sea Grey, which was the most common undersurface color in the later years of WWII.

The first thing you notice about these paints is that the bottles are larger than the standard hobby bottles; they come in 1 oz (and 2 oz are available too but are not part of this set). That means their smallest bottle has about twice (or more) the paint provided compared to most other hobby paint manufactures. Consider that fact when you think on their price of the 6-color set.

The second thing you notice about these paints is that when you open the bottle, they are smelly. Make sure you have proper protection when using them. Now, having said that the paints are smelly -perhaps a drawback- that also means they dry fast -an advantage.

I’ve found the paint is ready to be sprayed out of the bottle (after mixing it with a paint mixer). It has a consistency like partially skim milk. I sprayed the paint at 25 psi (dynamic, not static) and it atomized beautifully. For some reason, some colors were a bit “thinner” than others. For instance, Dark Earth was the “thinnest” and Dark Sea Grey was the “thickest”. Despite that difference all of them spray incredibly well.

All the colors had good density; a couple of light coats, probably about 3-4 inches were all that was needed to get a uniform dense color as shown by the test cards. By the way, the colors shown in the box do not quite match the colors in the test cards. That is obvious for the Interior Grey-Green and less obvious but still noticeable in the Dark Sea Grey and Ocean Grey paints. I suspect the printer made a mistake there. Just be aware that you get a much lighter and greener shade of green that what the box shows.

Speaking of the Ocean Grey paint, I always thought that paint had a slight blue shade to it. It is not the case here. I know that Tru-Color spends a lot of time researching their paint chips and matching their pigments to the original formulations. I was fortunate to meet Scott Cohen on a Zoom call some years back, so I will trust them on the call for the shade.

I should point out that the manufacturer recommended pressure is 28 to 35 psi, but 25 psi did just fine. Although I live in Colorado and altitude might have played a role in getting away with just 25 psi. By the way, the manufacturer recommends to not use their paints when outdoor temperatures are about 95F.

As I mentioned before, the paint dried fast. So fast that I was able to paint the Spitfire (a 3-color scheme!) within a single day. I painted the interior of the model -note the correct shade of grey-green- plus assembled and primed the model before-hand. I used AMMO One Shot as the primer this time. Next morning, around 9:00 AM, I pre-shaded the model with Black (from the Tru-Color line, I just happen to have it) and immediately after I painted the undersides with Sky. After lunch I masked the lower surfaces and painted the Dark Earth upper-surfaces. By 5 pm I masked the Dark Earth, painted the Dark Green and by 6 pm removed all the masks. I had a nice looking Spitfire painted in just one day and when I removed the masking tape there was absolutely no lift of the paint.

On the topic of the paint finish: they dry to a satin finish. If you have good quality aftermarket decals you might not need to apply a gloss coat to the paint job.

In summary: these paints are excellent. With proper ventilation and a respirator, the strong smell of them is no problem. They dry fast and can be masked over within a few hours. They have good color density, and they atomize fantastically. They do not obscure any surface detail and they are ready to spray out of the bottle. To top them off, the adhesion (to a primed surface) is outstanding.

Finally -and this might or might not be a consideration for you- Tru-Color Paint is based in Arizona. That means your business stays in the US economy, supporting jobs in the US, rather than overseas.

Highly recommended.

I would like to thank Tru-Color Paints and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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