BLUF: Color Muse Tool Isn’t Worth It, See Photos
I always make an effort to leave vintage pinball machines nicer than I found them when I rotate them through my basement, and part of that work is touching up the cabinet. I have slowly and methodically mixed up many batches of paint that are close, but not perfect. I was excited when I heard about a new color matching tool I could connect to my phone.
I bought one for $80 and was excited to finally try it out on my Torpedo Alley yesterday. The tool connects via Bluetooth to your phone, and with the press of a button will tell you the exact color of any paint, so long as it is the size of a quarter or larger. Not only that, but the app it comes with will give you the closest match in any brand of paint you would like. I chose Vaspar brand paint, because they have it at Lowes, and I can get a sample of anything (in Satin Only) for $3.98. Armed with my paint tools, I went and purchased 4 paints for my Torpedo Alley, the Red, Blue, and white of the cabinet and some new blue for my Earthshaker. Now I can get an exact match for any machine I want, and share the paint codes with other pinball nerds… neat!
I got the new paint home and color match swabs it said were right and… its… not even close. The pictures below will show you how close the “perfect matches” were. A bit of paint spilled in the bag and I couldn’t tell which blue was which, but the touch up paint on the front will show you how close the blue for Earthshaker and Torpedo alley were (I used a bit of both) to the cabinet color when dried.
I will say that the device picked the exact same color every time, but the color match is way off. I am going to play around with calibration and see if that helps any, but the moral of the story is that the Color Muse DOES NOT make a close enough match for cabinet touch ups.
I did use the colors it produced and tweaked them a bit to get closer matches, but it does not eliminate the artistry from the work.