Re: MTC 71979

Nelson Moyer

The camera is not only a valuable tool, but it’s your worst critic.


The XM-1 turned out fine despite the Tru Color travails. With Tru Color, it really important to check everything by taking pictures after priming. That way it’s a lot easier to make corrections. Once you paint with Tru Color, it’s very difficult to make paint touch-ups because the new paint softens and mixes with the old paint, smears, allows contrasting colors to bleed through, and other headaches. Tru Color isn’t meant for brush painting, though I’ll try to salvage a paint job with a brush as a last resort before stripping and starting again. Of course, if the accidents occur after decals are applied, that means a new set of decals.


For example, I’ve been working on the truss rod FGE reefer mini-kit from Chicagoland 1918, and I’ve made about every mistake imaginable while trying to get a decent paint job. First problem was some gouges from removing molded grab irons that I didn’t see until after the sides were painted yellow. I removed the paint using a Q-Tip wetted with lacquer thinner to remove the paint and Tamiya white putty to fill the dings. I scribed the board groves with mixed results, brush primed with Tamiya gray primer out of a bottle, and sprayed the sides yellow again. After applying the roof and end details, I snapped the sides in place and glued in the floor, which also glued the sides down.  I marked the location of the brake foot, brake step, and upper brake staff bracket, then glued the brake step onto the B end. I inserted the brake staff, and painted  the roof and ends. To my dismay, I noticed that the brake staff was leaning left two board widths. Ouch. I removed the brake step, destroying it in the process, used CA remover to remove the CA and surrounding paint, sanded and primed the end damage, built a new brake step, primed it, and mounted it properly. While adding the brake staff the second time, I unknowingly got glue on a finger, so when I picked up the car body, I got a glue spot on the side paint. I put a drop of CA remover on the glue spot, and it promptly removed the glue, the paint, and the primer, so I had a circle of raw resin the size of a dime. I feathered the paint edges with 1000 grit sandpaper, primed the bare resin, masked the side with Tamiya curvable tape, PostIt notes, and my gloved fingers, and applied a few very light coats of paint with my air brush to blend the spot into the side paint. After the side dried, I used the same masking process to paint the B end damage from replacing the brake step. While checking the car before applying decals, I notices some yellow overspray on the outer truss rod, the roof fascia, and the roof. I brush painted the truss rod black, brush painted the fascia mineral red and airbrushed the roof mineral red. Thinking I was finished painting, I applied decals, only to notice a very light yellow overspray on the roof in two panels near the edge. I used a brush to touch up the paint, and ran into the usual Tru Color bane of smeared undercoat, and paint mixing. The brushed paint dried slightly globby, so I sanded it lightly, masked the side, and airbrushed the edge of the roof mineral red. All was well – or was it? A little mineral red wicked down the groove between two side boards about a half inch, leaving two parallel lines on my yellow side. Fortunately, the mineral red paint stopped short of the REFERIGERATOR decal. I tried to scrape the mineral red paint out of the groove with a dental pick with mixed success, the masked the fascia, roof, and decal, and airbrushed yellow paint over the board grooves. At that point, I quit. After all, it’s just a cheap plastic model.


I have never has such a series of undesirable events while building and painting a model, and Tru Color certainly compounded the difficulty of repairing damage. I think I’ve moved beyond slippage into early regression. Clark, if you decide to replace the brake step, you have my sincere sympathy.


Nelson Moyer

Join to automatically receive all group messages.