Re: Tru Color was ] Vallejo box car red from micro-Mark

Schuyler Larrabee

I have NEVER understood what was so bloody wonderful about Accupaint and now Tru-Color.  It never worked for me.  I paint a lot of brass, and when I painted a couple of things with the Accupaint primer for brass, it was so thick that I thought I was going to lose the louvers on a brass model diesel.  It DID thin out some after a couple of days but OTOH, I did obscure some detail, or make grab irons visibly larger in diameter.  Who wants that?


I will say that George Bishops decals simply NAILED the paint schemes he did them for.  I have a lot of those still, and found that to apply them over Scalecoat I had to apply a clearcoat.  There’s nothing quite as “exciting” as realizing that as you’re adjusting the exact location of a large decal, you are also adjusting the location of a substantial sheet of paint!  The clearcoat solves that issue.


Accupaint is actually a variety of ink.  I presume that Tru-Color is as well.




From: <> On Behalf Of Daniel A. Mitchell
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 5:54 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tru Color was ] Vallejo box car red from micro-Mark


Like many I’m experimenting with Tru-Color paints. I’ve had some rude experiences, and also gotten some nice results. FWIW, here are my experiences so far …


1) The volatiles escape from the Tru-Color bottles. I do NOT think this is due to poor caps or seals, but actual escape through the walls of the bottles. Same problem with the old Accupaint. BAD!


2) Fortunately the paint can be reconstituted by just adding their thinner (NOT cheap). Some suggest that all the new bottles SHOULD be full, and that low paint levels indicate loss of thinner. This may well be true … see “1” above. They need different bottles!!


3) However, even a full bottle is nowhere near being sprayable with conventional equipment. I use Paashe “H” and “VL” brushes, usually with the #3 needle. To spray Tru-Color I need to thin the paint at least 1:1 or sometimes 2:1 with thinner. Even then it tends to dry in the airbrush tip and gum up the spray at best or even clog the gun.


4) It does not stick hardly at all to metal, and poorly to most resin (seems “OK” on styrene). Use of a primer is necessary. NOT Tru-color primer! … it seems to be  just their own paint in light gray color. It does NOT stick either. Floquil primer works well for this, *IF* you still have any. I have heard, and am about to start trying, Tamiya primers (gray or red, acrylic) in spray cans. These get VERY good reviews. Generally I’m cautious about applying different paints over one another, but this combination seems to work for other experienced modelers. I’ll find out.


5) I once painted a nice HO passenger car in classic pullman-green … Floquil primer followed by Tru-color paint. I ovesprayed it with Testor’s Glosscoat, let it dry, and applied decals. I let it dry well (a few days). It looked good. Then had to do just little masking and applied the tape, sprayed the paint, and then attempted to remove the tape. DISASTER! The Glosscoat peeled off like a huge sheet of cellophane, naturally taking most of the decals with it. The Glosscoat had NOT adhered to the Tru-color at all. I have NEVER had this happen previously with Glosscoat applied over ANY other paints. I fear (but have not experienced) similar issues with Dullcoat. I wonder, and am experimenting, with Dullcoat and other overcoats.


6) I have tried the Tru-color “flat” paints. They are less glossy than regular Tru-color, but hardly “flat” at all. This is not particularly serious as normally a dull overcoat solves this problem, EXCEPT see “5" above.


7) I clean-up equipment with cheap commercial lacquer thinner, but thin paint ONLY with the manufacturer’s recommended thinner.


Dan Mitchell





On Jul 31, 2020, at 4:55 PM, Bruce Smith <smithbf@...> wrote:


Actually, the "partial" bottle problem was a part I already knew about. As Andy Carlson pointed out, the bottles don't do a perfect job of sealing and can evaporate volatiles. That was one of the cautions I did find on line when searching for information about these paints.


Claus, your 1/2 bottle has the correct amount of "paint", just not the correct amount of thinner. That's why it paints like mud!


As for the flat finish, it may also reflect a loss of volatiles. 


My bottle was full to the shoulders, so I did not add any thinner to bring it up. There was some chatter on line about the air-brush ready paints (not the 800 series, like Claus' but 019, like mine) might not be air-brush ready and that certainly seems to be true, at least for some. I'm thinking I may need to thin it 1:2 paint to thinner or more to really get any "action".


And yeah, the whole "I have to have another chemical on hand to clean up", acetone, even if it is available in my wife's and daughter's bathroom cabinets (nail polish remover) isn't thrilling me either. I get it if this is your go-to paint, but I have at least 3 different types of paint on hand.


There is a blog on the Tru-Color web site that covers some of these issues, but it isn't that helpful for others.






From: <> on behalf of mel perry <clipper841@...>
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 3:35 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tru Color was ] Vallejo box car red from micro-Mark



ever give a thought of discussing

this problem with the manufacture?

as an aside, why buy a half bottle of

paint, better yet why didn't the lhs

spot this?

just asking?


mel perry


On Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 1:25 PM Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...> wrote:

Hi Bruce and List Members.


I also had my first experience using Tru-Color Paint in recent days. I purchased one bottle each of TCP-822 FLAT RAILROAD TIE BROWN and TCP-830 FLAT RAIL BROWN.


I was quite unhappy with what I got.


Here is what I found...


(1) The instructions say that each of these is supposed to be ready to brush right out of the bottle (instructions indicate this is true for all the 800-series Tru-Color paint). When opened, I found that the FLAT RAIL BROWN bottle was reasonable full, and the paint within had a reasonable viscosity. The bottle of FLAT RAILROAD TIE BROWN was only about 1/2 full, and the paint was noticably much thicker in terms of viscosity. There was no visible indication that the bottle had been previously used or opened before I bought it. But I have to wonder - why the huge difference in thickness? And why was it only half full? Did one of them evaporate due to an incomplete seal of the bottle at the factory? I was somewhat surprised by this, but I do wonder if maybe the plastic bottles and caps provided don't seal as tightly as they need to.


(2) I went ahead and used them anyway as-is. The FLAT RAILROAD TIE BROWN was brushed onto the metal rails of some clean new track. The FLAT RAIL BROWN was painted onto the ties. While the colors looked good as they went on, the thickness of the FLAT RAILROAD TIE BROWN was a bit of an issue. I went back and looked at things once the paint had fully dried, and I saw that both dried to a mildly glossy finish. By no stretch of my imagination was this a FLAT finish, yet both colors specifrically say they are a FLAT finish paint - sez so right in the name of the color!


(3) Once fully cured, I found that the FLAT RAIL BROWN paint did not stick very well to the metal rails - if you breathe on it the wrong way the paint falls right off - argh! I will say that the (incredibly unbelievably tiny, almost microscopically small) directions for use printed on the bottle say "Primers can be used on metals and plastics, if desired", but I read this as telling me that primers are OPTIONAL, not required for these surfaces


I looked over their web site at and did not find any obvious place that contained directions for use, or hints for a good finish, no recommendations for primers nor what surfaces might need priming, I did not even find a recommeded thinner!


As I mentioned, I bought these from my LHS, they cost $6.19 per bottle there, so for this price I kinda expected the paint to work as advertized


So far, I am entirely disappointed - I give the paint a letter grade of D- and I give the web site a letter grade of C


If I'm doing something wrong, would someone kindly PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THAT IS!


Thanks in advance - Claus Schlund



----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 2:35 PM

Subject: [RealSTMFC] Tru Color was ] Vallejo box car red from micro-Mark


Don, Folks,


I used Tru-Color for the 1st time last night and today. There is definitely a learning curve with every new paint, but so far I'm mystified. I bought TCP-019, Santa Fe Brown, to paint a Bx-31 boxcar. This is supposedly a paint that needs no thinner. Using my Badger 200/210, I could not get it to airbrush at all. I added Tru-color thinner 1:1 and sort of got it to work but it was still really reluctant to flow. I tried at my normal 23 psi and at 30 psi. I did get the car painted and I like the finish, but I feel like it happened more by forcing it than by getting decent airbrush action.


Is it the airbrush? I can try my old badger 150 dual action, but I am reluctant because paint drying in the airbrush is clearly and issue.

Is it the PSI? I did see one post where the poster went to 35-40 psi.

Do I need to thin even more than 1:1?




Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: <> on behalf of Donald B. Valentine via<>
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 9:31 AM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Vallejo box car red from micro-Mark



    Frankly I am so pleased to have Tru-Color paint available in even more colors

than my late friend George Bishop provided for us in his line of Accu-Paint that is

the exact same paint from the same supplier that George used after Floquil tried to

give him a hard time. I know that story all to well and never bought Floquil after

that. Tru-Color has expanded the line and offers the same great paint I’ve used since

George first offered it as the new form of Accu-Paint. Even Gordon Cannon used the

same Accu-Paint in Erie-Lackawanna Gray to paint all samples of his products before

photographing them for advertising purposes, suggesting that I do the same with the

NERS “Pullman Parts” line, many of which he cut the molds for and did the molding

before his untimely loss. So why put up with the hassle of trying to figure out what color

you are really getting when some supplier sells the same paint to several other sellers

each of whom put a different label on it? This is nonsense. I’ve never had such trouble

Tru-color and have been very pleased with the way it handles and helps me keep the

freight cars of my choice rolling our of the car shop properly painted. I’ve know very

few modelers who have learned how to use Tru-Color properly who have ever been

satisfied with any other model paint they have tried on resin or styrene models. Try it.

Learn how to use it properly and you’ll swear by it.


    No, I have no financial involvement with Tru-Color but would be lost without it.


Cordially, Don Valentine


Join to automatically receive all group messages.