Tru-Color paint was started in 2008 when Rick Galazzo and Scott Cohen, armed with a desire to improve the Accupaint formulas, set about to formulate a new model paint. Both gentlemen have extensive experience formulating commercial paints, so they brought their knowledge and experience to bear in the model world. The goal was to produce a paint that was a solvent-based formula with a quick drying time and a glossy finish. The result of their efforts is Tru-Color paint.
- MSRP: $5.69 / 1 oz., $10.25 / 2 oz.
Eleven years on, and 600 colors later, they are still expanding the line of paints. The initial batches were targeted at model railroad enthusiasts. These paints are airbrush ready and replicate hundreds of colors that have seen the light of day. In addition to the airbrush-ready paints, Tru-Color also offers matte airbrush-ready paints and brush-able matte paints. As the years have passed, the offerings have expanded to include ranges for other genres of models:
- TCP-005 - TCP350: Railroad colors, airbrush ready
- TCP-400 - TCP-499: Railroad colors, airbrush-able, matte
- TCP-500 - TCP-599: Automotive colors, airbrush ready, high gloss
- TCP-700 - TCP-771: Automotive colors, airbrush ready, pearlescent
- TCP-800 - TCP-899: Railroad colors, brush-able, matte
- TCP-1000 - TCP-1199: Naval colors, airbrush ready
- TCP-1200 - TCP-1399: Aircraft colors, airbrush ready
- TCP-1400 - TCP-1599: Land forces colors, airbrush ready
These paints are solvent-based paints, so the usual safety precautions apply when using them. Wear appropriate protection such as respirators, gloves, etc. One of the solvents in the paint is acetone, and it states that on the label. So, stay safe out there.
The colors used in this review are from the Tru-Color Naval Colors line and include Ocean Green, Pale Green, and Haze Green. As stated above, the paints are ready to use for airbrushing. Straight from the bottle to your airbrush. Tru-Color has their own recommended thinner, I suggest you get some if you need to thin the paint for detail applications. Tru-Color advises that thinning with acetone may cause the paint to lose its gloss/semi-gloss finish, and too much acetone will cause the solvent to evaporate to quickly resulting in a rough finish.
The paint sprays well straight from the bottle. Tru-Color recommends spraying the paint at 28 psi. The optimal range is 28 to 35 psi, which is a bit higher than I use. However, for the purposes of this review, I dutifully followed directions (a distinctly odd feeling) and set my airbrush for 30 psi.
The paint sprays beautifully, and dries pretty quickly to a semi-gloss sheen. It was dry to the touch in about 15 minutes. I let it dry about 30 more minutes before I tested a couple of masking tapes. Both Tamiya tape and 3M blue painters tape responded well, without lifting the applied paint. As far as opacity, this paint covers well and a few light passes is all it took to cover the test piece. Since I’m used to using a lower pressure, any problems with the application of the paint seen in the photo(s) are mine and mine alone. It’s a learning curve...
Overall, I like this paint. It applies easily, covers well, and dries quickly. Definitely use these in a well ventilated area. To some modelers, the solvent-based properties are a deal breaker. Your mileage will vary. To my dismay, cleanup with acetone proved to be a mistake. The paint did not dissolve in the acetone, rather turned into a gooey substance that did cling to my Q-Tips. So there’s that. Mr. Color Thinner did clean up the airbrush - is there anything that stuff can’t do? I’m not knocking the paint, it might have been my hardware store brand acetone. There could have been impurities, or other things.
I have several figures in the house all of them are historical i would like to know if i can use your paint for them or not ?
Certainly can. Some paints are more brush frienedly and somemore airbrush friendly and it depends on how you inend to use it. If the colors are right, these will work.