Monday, July 28, 2014

Tru Color Paints a replacement for Acuflex modelflex paints?

Hi All

Like all things, if you have something that works for you, you need to have a reliable supply.  Unfortunately Acuflex or modelflex paints are no longer available.  I have been looking for a replacement, this means:

  1. Can be used straight from bottle to gun.
  2. Has RR colours.
  3. Bottles can be screwed straight onto the gun.
  4. Fine pigments.

I had been experimenting with various paints, and for weathering I have been relatively successful using Vallejo acrylic paints.

However for straight painting, it got a little expensive, small containers of 17ml, which had to be transferred to a bottle, that could be fed into the gun.
These were meant to go straight into the gun, which is what I was after, no stuffing around.
But I found Vallejo needed to be cut.

While at the Ballarat exhibition I came across these, Tru Color Paints, the guy selling them, Toney, is the owner of Southern Cross Railway Hobbies (here is the link)

Apart from the base being Acetone, the paints fit the bill, they have all the railway colours.
In descent size bottles, and can be sprayed from the bottle directly from the gun.

After first giving it a go, I have learned that it does not hurt to cut the mix with some Acetone.  There is some escaping of the acetone over time, so I just monitored my usage and adjusted accordingly.

Plenty of googling will show some tips, from on line forums, my tip is a lick of acetone to each bottle before application is just fine.

 Here are some of the paint colours,
 I must admit that I am impressed with the colour matching of this range.  I find that if I start close to the as built colour its sort of easy to fade, weather etc.

 Here is the good old UP Harbour mist Grey.
 REA Green, a very close match for AN green, if you need to repair an Auscision modeletc.

 L&N yellow, don't over think it, the perfect RR yellow for AN HI etc.
To solve the problem of transferring paint from one jar to another I have modified as shown the cap, I put a hole in one of the used up bottles and glued it inside the Acuflex top, and now I can spray straight from the bottle, yippy!

Some painting tips, Barcoola style.
On my dual action gun, I set the nib back slightly so paint will come out as soon as I press down on the trigger, just to ensure that paint is not restricted, should give you a slight mist for which you can start controlling the thickness of paint.
thus if you have the paint too thick it will show before you point it at any model.

With the acetone base it could be destructive to plastic bodies.  However I have so far only noted some slight crazing on one model, but this had other paint underneath.
I have painted 12 locomotives without this happening, so I will monitor.

The paint can go easily gloss, so make sure you have plenty of matt, as this will be required to finish off each project.

On the reverse side decals love it.

Get plenty of straight white, you will always need this for mixing.

Coverage is dam good, white is always the test.

Don't think of doing three different colours in one day on the one model it just won't happen, straight up limitation of the paint.

Give them a day or two between coats of different colours.

Magic tape is good for masking, have not used any others at this time.

The locomotives below have been painted exclusively with Tru Color Paints.

 The colours I have used, White, Reefer Orange cut with white and red to get the right Mt Newman orange punch.
BHP blue is L&N Blue, its dam close straight out of the bottle.
the black is Grimy black.
Weathering is Grimy black with red added, make not mistake you need to add red, for Pilbara grime and dust.
Yellow is L&N Yellow, straight from the bottle.

So now I have something that is an acceptable replacement for Acuflex.

  • Proper railway colours.
  • A reliable source.
  • Good size bottles, and can be sprayed straight from the bottle.

So at this time, I guess, I am a Tru Color paint convert.

Give it a go, just remember its not an acrylic paint, and Acetone is a flammable material, so take appropriate pre cautions.



  1. They even have G&W orange and yellow in their range so anyone painting a loco in the current scheme as worn by the GWA's, GWU's, GWN's, and the recent repaints of FQ03, CLF6, & 701 is also in luck.


  2. Have had trouble sourcing tru colour paints in Australia. I am an Alaskan and Canadian modeler in Victoria (Australia). Any suggestions.

  3. sure, here is the link.