Tru-Color Weathering Pigments

Published: November 27th, 2018     
Product Image
Weathering Paints
Reviewed by: 
Phillip Cavender, IPMS# 50085
Company: Tru-Color Paint
Price: $5.69
Product / Stock #: TCP406

Introduction

These Matte acrylic solvent-based sprayable paints are designed to be sprayed right from the bottle without the need for thinning. When researching the chemistry of Tru-Color Paints, I found on their website the following description:

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.

These paints have a small amount of acetone as the solvent, but Tru-Color does not recommend thinning with acetone as additional acetone may interfere with the drying process thus leading to a rough finish. If needed, they can be diluted with Tru-Color's Thinner (TCP-015), or if a retarder is desired use TCP-310 Retarder. Tru-Color recommends spraying at a PSI of 28. Optimum pressure recommended is between 28-35 PSI. Preparation is the same with any other paints. For priming Tru-Color suggests "a primer MAY be applied, if desired". However, they do recommend a primer used for metal products. Clean up is recommended using acetone.

At the date of this review there are thirty-two different matte sprayable colors provided. The website lists the descriptions (400-Matte Rail Brown) to the latest (432-Matte Concrete).

Tru-Color Paints provided to IPMS/USA the following Matte Sprayable Color Weathering Paints to review. Each was provided in 1 fluid ounce bottles.

  • TCP-406 Dark Rust, release date January 2019
  • TCP-408 Aged Rust, release date December 2017
  • TCP-415 Lt. Tan Stucco, release date June 2018
  • TCP-416 Dk. Tan Stucco, release date December 2018
  • TCP-423 Rose Stucco, release date May 2018
  • TCP-432 Concrete, release date not listed

Airbrush Painting

Upon opening the twist lid bottle, I noticed a faint acetone smell with paint appearance having a 2% milk consistency. The container, although an opaque plastic, did not appear to have any paint globs or pigment masses in the bottom even before the bottle was shaken. As these paints have a small amount of acetone as the solvent, which inherently is flammable at air mixtures as low as 2.5% by volume, I did not want to take the chance of spray booth fire. I turned off the vent and used only the booth to spray in. A respirator was used.

Using white plastic spoons and following Tr-Color's recommendation on preparation and not applying a primer coat, I sprayed a thin first coat of TCP-406 Dark Rust. I noticed they sprayed exceptionally well at 28 PSI using an Iwata Revolution airbrush with a 0.5mm needle. Clean up was a breeze using acetone I purchased for this review at the local big box store. I did not notice any appreciable lasting lingering odor from the spray.

The next paint to use was TCP-408 Aged Rust. This as before sprayed great. However, this time I thought I would deviate from Tru-Color's recommendation on clean up and use my "home brew" consisting of Windex, distilled water, 91% alcohol and a few drops of glycerin. Now I see why acetone should be used. My clean up formula yielded big globs of paint in the paint cup. With a little acetone to the remedy, the problem was rectified.

The rest of the paints were then applied as before with the same astounding results. Wondering how well they dried, I gingerly touched the surface after a couple of minutes. Indeed, the paint was dry, assuming due to the solvent used in the manufacturing process. I left the paints to cure over night before a second coat was applied.

For the second coat I used a Badger Krome airbrush with a 0.22mm needle. Tru-Color states the pigments are. "very finely ground". Again, even with the small size of the needle, the paints applied great without any clogging of the tip. Clean up was also a breeze using acetone. Coverage with the second coat was excellent with no need for a third coat. For an additional test, I applied a heavy first coat of the TCP-406 Dark Rust to see if I could achieve full and complete coverage without the need for second coat. Indeed, full coverage was obtained. The Matte appearance was still maintained even with a heavy coat of paint.

In addition to spraying the paints on plastic spoons, I sprayed coats of TCP-415 Lt. Tan Stucco, TCP-416 Dk. Tan Stucco, TCP-423 Rose Stucco and TCP-432 Concrete on walls I had previously constructed for this test using Pegasus Grey Stones. Coverage was excellent without the need for primer.

Another rather interesting test I performed was to add 10 drops of paint to the airbrush paint cup. Let sit for 5 minutes while I cleaned the dropper I had used to transfer the paint. Then I sprayed a coat and saw no difference in regards to premature paint drying or needle clogging as I have noticed with the use of water-based acrylics if allowed to sit before spraying.

Hand Brush Painting

Hand brushing gave the same results as with Tamiya or Vallejo Model Color. Thin coats must be applied and built up over time. I used a Panther exhaust for this test. After applying two thin coats and letting dry overnight, I brushed on rust pigments using mineral spirits.

In Conclusion

Since I have always used acrylics for airbrushing and always hearing the excellent results achieved with the Floquil line of railroad paints, I jumped at the chance to try a few Tru-Color Paints. Past discussions on Tru-Color Paints indicated they were comparable to Floquil in ease of application of color.

These solvent based paints were much easier to spray, I thought, as acrylics are. I didn't have the constant problem of paint drying on the needle tip. One suggestion I would recommend is to use disposable pipettes for the exchange of paint to the airbrush cup. If using glass droppers expect an exorbitant amount of time to clean up which in the end doesn't justify the additional effort. Alternatively, disposable pipettes are available through on-line retailers starting at less than 2 cents each.

Additionally, I will be trying other colors in the Tru-Color range for the use of painting armour.

I highly recommend these paints.

Pros

  • Spray amazingly well without needle clogging.
  • No thinning necessary.
  • Easy clean up with acetone.
  • Matte finishes are velvety and smooth just what one would expect with a flat finish.
  • Large paint selections available.

Cons

  • Solvent based so safety precautions should be observed.

About Tru-Colors

The following is from Tru-Color's website:

Tru-Color Paint was formed by Rick Galazzo and Scott Cohen in 2008 in Phoenix, AZ. Both principals have extensive experience with formulating paint on the commercial scale and decided to branch out on their own in the model paint business. With the need for a superb solvent based paint, they reformulated the old Accupaint formulation to flow better and give a more glossy appearance after drying. There are currently over 600 colors in the product lines with many more to be released each month over the next 18 months. There are 7 separate product lines offered by Tru-Color Paint. For the model railroad enthusiast, we have standard air brush ready paints in the TCP-005 to TCP-350 series; Flat, Brushable paints in the TCP-800 to TCP-899 series, Matte, Sprayable paints in the TCP-400 to 499 series. For the model automobile hobbyist, we have the High Gloss "Factory Fresh" paint in the TCP-500 to TCP-599 series and the Metallic - Pearlescent line in the TCP-700 to TCP-771 series". In the Military Model category, we have added 3 series of paints - Naval Ship colors are assigned to the TCP-1000 to TCP-1199 series of paints; Air Craft colors are assigned to series TCP-1200 to TCP-1399 series and lastly all Land Force colors (armor, soft skins, uniforms, apc's, etc.) are assigned to the TCP-1400 to TCP-1599 series of colors. An extensive product line has already been released in all 3 military categories for U.S. Forces. It was only natural to add other items to the product line to aid the modeler produce the best possible model they could. Thus, masking paper that gives a very sharp demarcation line when cut with a sharp hobby knife is available in 3 and 10 packs.

Thanks to IPMS/USA and Tru-Color Paints for allowing me to review these weathering paints.

  • TCP 406
    TCP 406
  • TCP 408
    TCP 408
  • TCP 415
    TCP 415
  • TCP 416
    TCP 416
  • TCP 423
    TCP 423
  • TCP 432
    TCP 432
  • Directions
    Directions
  • Dark Rust & Light Rust
    Dark Rust & Light Rust
  • Light Tan Stucco & Dark Tan Stucco
    Light Tan Stucco & Dark Tan Stucco
  • Rose Stucco & Concrete
    Rose Stucco & Concrete
  • Light Tan Stucco, TCP 415
    Light Tan Stucco, TCP 415
  • Concrete, TCP 432
    Concrete, TCP 432
  • Dark Tan Stucco, TCP 416
    Dark Tan Stucco, TCP 416
  • Exhaust
    Exhaust

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