is an Italian company that manufactures diorama and weathering accessories. The range of products they offer includes weathering, aging, fading, chipping, dust, rust and metallic effects. These are products that are all water soluble, with no odors or chemical smells, easy clean-up and the ability to remove or lessen the effect of the product after application. I received three bottles of True-Earth products, general aging, paint fading 1 and paint fading 2, and gave them a try.
As with any new product, there is a learning curve involved in discovering how to apply it. True-Earth has tried to make things easier by providing some instruction at their website,True-Earth
as well as a handy Tutorial here at Armorama
that demonstrates not only how the products are used, but their versatility as well.
My subjects for testing were a Type 94 truck painted with Gunze acrylic, a 1/4 ton truck painted with PollyScale acrylic and the drive sprockets from a Pz. IV and a Marder III that I threw a quick coat of Tamiya acrylic on. If the product is used on enamel or lacquer finishes, a quick acrylic clear coat is needed.
I began my experimentation with the General Aging
product, using two different methods to apply it. The recommended method is to wet the surface of the model and then apply the product. If the surface of the model is too wet, the product will pool excessively and you will be left with some "tidal marks". On a wet surface, the product flows easily across the surface. It works just like a regular wash, and will collect in corners and recessed areas, providing definition and creating shadows. It only takes a few minutes for the water to dry and the model can then be worked on again.
The other method I used was direct application to the model surface. This method is much riskier as the product can be quickly absorbed into the paint, particularly lighter colors. It can produce a nice staining effect, but it is unpredictable and uneven. I found that once dried, the aging effect had a somewhat shiny finish. If the finish is uneven or spotty, or too dark, it can be wiped off with a wet cloth or cotton swab, or reworked with a wet brush. True-Earth states this can be done for up to 24 hours after application. I again experimented and tried to modify the finish at 48 and 72 hour intervals, and though it was more difficult, I was still able to adjust the appearance.
Paint Fading 1 and 2
are both clear filter products. They can be used to lighten any shade of paint, but for me they worked best on lighter colors. Again, there is a learning curve involved here, and it will take a while for me to get the application methods down better, but my initial attempts to use it on darker colors as a general filter resulted in a somewhat chalky finish. On lighter colors, such as dark yellow, they left an uneven and varied appearance to the paint coat, which is the desired effect. Applied over the darker colored General Aging, the effect of both products was visible, with a surface showing color variation that was very subtle, and very difficult to capture with a photograph. Again, the product flows over a wet surface and settles with some areas showing a more concentrated effect. I used a wet brush to make the application as this also helped to limit any paint lines. Once applied, if you need to fix an area while the surface is still wet, the technique that worked best for me was to re-wet the area with water and then either blend the product again, or apply a bit more.
For rain streaks, I again used both the pre-wetted surface and direct application. I applied the product in parallel lines. On the pre-wetted surface the final appearance was more blended, while with direct application the appearance was much more rigidly defined. I overdid the appearance for the photos as I had some difficulty getting the effect to appear in photos. I was able to re-work the surface with a wet cotton swab to blend and reduce the effect.
All my application was with a brush. The product can be airbrushed over the surface of a model kit for a finer and more even application.
True-Earth products are available through their website and are listed at 5 Euros for a 17ml (.57oz) bottle. The product range is extensive, and can be used for any modeling subject. For me, the lack of chemical odor is a bonus, as my kids are allergic to petroleum products, which has limited my selection of paints and finishing items and my time to use them. Once you learn how to use them, the effects that can be produced, as demonstrated in the "Bastogne in-Bastogne out"
tutorial (linked above), are stunning. This is a very promising product line that is rapidly expanding.