Paint review: AK Interactive True Metal range

I really like these paints. They are wax-based, so they behave more like a gel than a paint, and they handle very well. They do look metallic, their coverage is great, any mistakes can be removed with a bush wetted with turpentine, and they can be mixed easily. For large surfaces I found that they should be diluted with turpentine somewhat, and applied in two coats. Interestingly basecoat does not seem to matter – which is an awesome news as basecoats are very important for most metallics.

According to AK you can polish them to a shine, but I found that any gentle polishing will rub some of the paint off; it does not work for me as well as it is shown in their video. If you rub it, some of it does come off.

So back to my colors. I used gold, old bronze, copper, iron, steel and gun metal on my old Panzer IV hull. I did rub a fine cloth on the lower part to show how it polishes up half an hour after applying the paint – the results are not as good – some of the base coat shows off as the paint rubbet off.

I also repeated the exercise a day later – the paint was more resilient (obviously), but there was no dramatic change in shine. (I took some photos using flash as well, as it does bring out the metallic effect better.) Once completely dry, some gloss varnish for metallics does bring the shine out, though.

There is a relatively big range of metallic colors, but I do have some issues with some of the shades. The gun metal should be much darker in my opinion, and the iron is much shinier than the steel color. Plus a bright chrome paint is missing from the palette. More about shades later.

Photos of the paint in diffused lights

Polishing the paint after 24hrs of drying

I took some photos using the flash as well- it brings the shine out better

(You can see where the paint wore off due to the polishing.)

It is probably a good idea to apply varnish developed for metallic paints if you cover larger surfaces; for my purposes it was not yet important to do so.

So what is the paint good for?

(I use these paints for almost all my metallics: engine parts, worn parts like return rollers, figures -literally anywhere where a metal surface is needed. The ease of application and cleanup makes these paints very attractive for me.)

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Well, it is great for drybrushing -it gives off a great metallic effect on tracks and whatnot. It can be used to simulate the worn metal surface on road wheels, idlers and drive wheels; the application is simple, the effect is convincing. If you make a mistake, the excess paint can be removed with a brush slightly wetted with turpentine, and it really saves time and effort when you have countless of roadwheels and return rollers to paint. It is also very useful to paint headlights.

With the Ford Speedster I found that painting thin lines using gold it was indispensable: any mistakes were easily cleaned up with a wet brush (wet with turpentine, that is), so the end results were nice and straight. This how I could paint the lines on the fender and the Ford sign with relative ease.

They are also great for painting shells…

I mainly use these paints for figure painting – as I said I goes on very well, and any mistakes can be easily corrected. (I am a better model builder than figure painter, mind, even though this does not say a lot.)

I was using a drybrush method to paint the Custodian and Stormcast Ethernals – they are admittedly not finished; I was just experimenting with the paint. (I will give them some more attention at some point.) But the TS Terminators and Abaddon were also painted with True Metal colors. The different shades (gold and old bronze) can be mixed in different quantities resulting in nice blends.

If you want to cover large areas (for example an airplane) use it with an airbrush; this I have never tried.

All in all they are very, very good paints. (I still do not understand how the paint did not rub off in the AK video…)

Now to something interesting. Do you recall I mentioned the gun metal being too bright for my taste? Well, there is something neat you can do with these paints: you can mix them with regular artists’ oil paints… making it possible to either “metalize” any color with an iron/steel, darken the metal color with black or burned umber, or to create different hues of whatever metal color you wish to use. This really expands the usability of these paints – which makes me pretty proud to have thought of this. (Not a big discovery, but still.)

I took a photo in diffused light and using flash. The paint mixes with oil very well; it is a quite promising way of creating metallic shades. Gold mixed with black yields different shades of bronze; iron mixed with black creates dark, gun metal shades; the red was just a random color I wanted to try. The best part is that you can even polish the true metal-oil paint mixes to a shine.

So there it is. Overall I am quite happy with these paints; especially with the option of making my own hues and colors using oils.

7 thoughts on “Paint review: AK Interactive True Metal range”

    1. It is well worth trying them… for detail work they are exceptional. (Not sure about large surfaces as I have not tried them yet, but they may be good for that, too. May put together my Accurate Miniatures F3F to try…)

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  1. Fantastic review, thank you! I really appreciate you addressing all the issues I’ve encountered. Modifying the color of some metals is fantastic advice. They cover phenomenally well and markedly outperform acrylic based metals in terms of coverage, even when thinned. After putting them on you can take advantage of their properties for weathering by adding realistic scratches them up or wearing them down. They clean up easy but the metal pigments can get absolutely get everywhere if one is not careful, even after a day or two. I haven’t quite figured out yet, is there a cure time for these, like for oils, that would simply allow one to skip varnishing to keep their finish? Maybe several days to a week? Do you recommend as a varnish? Topcoats I’ve tried don’t stick well.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I found that they dry reasonably quickly -quicker than oils in fact. I just did an Eternal Eagle figure (some new parts), and I put varnish after a day applying the wax paint. (Well, it was: old bronze, details painted with gold, black wash next day, once it dried, some new gold paint on the details, and after about a day acrylic varnish to make it even shinier). I found that the paint is quite durable if you handle it (did not use the figures for wargaming, but did handle them), but if you put gloss varnish on them, the metallic effect is very nice. Check out the post on the guy to see what I mean. (Same thing with the Mystic Wargames Perti, and the upcoming Angron.)

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