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Tamiya paint tips

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  • Member since
    October, 2015
  • From: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
Tamiya paint tips
Posted by Brian Miller on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:58 AM

Hey guys. I recently bought some tamiya paints and after trying out a few tests it seems to like to peel up with the second coat. I should say that I use a brush as, with a baby on the way, I probably shouldn't buy an expensive airbrush system. I've never used tamiya before and I noticed that they have a spray primer. Is this a good primer to start with? ive heard that a tiny ball bearing  and a few drops of thinner in the jar work well. Does anyone have any recommendations?

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 2:44 PM

Tamiya's Fine Surface Primer is a good choice for undercoating. It has a "soft" spray and dries to a nice level surface.

As for the brushing qualitities of Tamiya's bottle paints, I think most would agree that they leave a lot to be desired. For starters, they dry so fast that keeping a wet edge is problematic, and attempts to touch them up result in damaging the first coat. A couple things help. Thinning a bit with ISO alchohol extends the brushing time and makes the paint less gloppy for a more even coat. Thinning with Future (now Pledge Multi Surface Floor Care) works very well and dries to a harder finish with a glossy surface.

That said I've never attempted to brush paint anything larger than 1/48 scale bombs and rockets with Tamiya acrylics. I use them almost exclusively for airbrush work. Hopefully some other forum members who do a lot of brushing can come in with some good tips for you.

Mike

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 2:55 PM

You need to leave tamiya quite some time to dry. As someone mentioned on another thread, it dries from the top down. I have had Tamiya peel after masking two days after applying.

Like Mike i don't brush paint Tamiya over large areas, in fact i am moving away from it for much of the things i used to use it for.

 ''I am a Norfolk man, and I glory in being so''

  

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/32nd Ju 87G-2

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Griffin25 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 3:01 PM

I love the Tamiya spray can primer. I had the same problems with their acrylics as far as brushing goes. I don't think they are designed for hand brushing really. I use Vallejo model color for hand brushing. It works great for that. Humbrol and Model Master oil based paints work great for hand brushing as well. I switched to Vallejo acrylics so as not to bother with mineral spirits or fumes. I also couldn't stand Humbrols stupid paint tins. 

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 3:37 PM

If you want to use acrylic paint it's tough to beat Vallejo. It brushes great plus they have an extensive array of color choices. Tamiya's color choices are very limited and as others have already pointed out it's not very good for brush work. I recently tried Tamiya's paint retarder and it works great, a huge improvement but still not up to Vallejo's standard. My choice remains Model Master enamel. With the talk about their discontinuing their military color line I've been stocking up whenever I can.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by M1ks on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:11 PM

Let's be clear, I LOVE Tamiya kits, they're about the best kit manufacturer out there.

But what others are trying to diplomatically say is that Tamiya acrylic paints suck!

The flat versions are ok for airbrushing, otherwise forget it, I occassionally tell myself I'm giving them a bad rap and they're not that bad, then I go and do a kit like I'm doing, (airfix little nellie, james bond), and decide to exclusively use acrylics for a change, this reminds me why I detest Tamiya acrylics so much, they're simply awful.

 

If you insist on acrylics and brush painting, go with Vallejo if you must have recognisable colour names, or Citadel if you can get past their weird naming systemm I've never known any acrylic to brush as well out of the pot or water thinned as Citadel.

If however you want THE BEST brush paint finish, get enamels and practise patience while they dry.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 5:47 PM

Thinning a bit and some drying retarder helps reduce brush marks and prevents it from becoming a fast drying clump of goop. It is a most unpleasant paint to brush. I find it's brush coverage poor and the second coat usually damages the first one. Normally I avoid brushing anything but the most tiny parts with it. Airbrushing is a totally different matter all together.

  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: ohio I want to leave
Posted by armor 2.0 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:58 PM
I would just like to add l brush paint exclusively and use only tamiya acrylics x20a thinner and tamiya retarder and have no problem with paint at all.
  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 7:33 PM

I've never had issues airbrushing nor hand brushing Tamiya acrylics. keep in mind, acrylics is a whole different animal compared to enamels. You just got to figure out what works and what doesn't work. When I first started airbrushing, I used mainly acrylics - Tamiya, Aeromaster, Testors Model Master, Pollyscale, Gunze, etc...

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:30 PM

That's odd that a couple of you guys had Tamiya lifting and peeling. My experiences with Tamiya paints have been very positive. I find them to be very durable and have good bonding qualities unlike Testor's Acryl that easily peels when removing masking tape.

It is best to use the X20 thinner with the acrylics. As to their primer, I love the stuff. It sprays smooth and provides a fantastic base for paint.

  • Member since
    October, 2015
  • From: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
Posted by Brian Miller on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:05 PM
What's the best ratio to thin the paint with?
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:25 PM

Brian Miller
What's the best ratio to thin the paint with? 

If hand brushing, three parts paint to one part X-20A thinner.

If airbrushing, two parts X-20A thinner to one part paint, though that's just me (and I do use higher thinner ratios with denatured alcohol or Tamiya lacquer thinner). Your results may vary.

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:38 PM

Bish
You need to leave tamiya quite some time to dry. As someone mentioned on another thread, it dries from the top down. I have had Tamiya peel after masking two days after applying.

The flats dry and cure quite quickly. Dry in a few minutes, but usually at least 12 hours to cure. In the first few hours, even though dry, they are easily scratched. When cured though, they are very hard and tend to shatter rather than scratch cleanly (if that makes sense).

The gloss paints are a different animal though, and as described, form an impermeable skin on the surface and then dry and cure super slowly. Sometimes the underlying paint can still be soft up to a week to ten days later even though the surface is ostensibly dry.

I've found masking over metallic Tamiya acrylics can sometimes lift even when cured. I'd recommend a clear gloss coat as a sealer before masking over.

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:58 PM

Phil_H

The flats dry and cure quite quickly. Dry in a few minutes, but usually at least 12 hours to cure. In the first few hours, even though dry, they are easily scratched. When cured though, they are very hard and tend to shatter rather than scratch cleanly (if that makes sense).

The gloss paints are a different animal though, and as described, form an impermeable skin on the surface and then dry and cure super slowly. Sometimes the underlying paint can still be soft up to a week to ten days later even though the surface is ostensibly dry.

I've found masking over metallic Tamiya acrylics can sometimes lift even when cured. I'd recommend a clear gloss coat as a sealer before masking over.

 

Vallejo is the same way.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:42 PM

laskdjn
Vallejo is the same way.

Vallejo seems to use a vinyl co-polymer. When it lifts, it tends to do so in a continuous flexible sheet (for want of a better word).

  • Member since
    February, 2012
Posted by Liegghio on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:08 PM

That's a bummer if they discontinue those. They have a wide selection and I have always found that enamels flow and level better for airbrushing. I also prefer their enamels for auto paints, hope those are not also in jeopardy. 

First Floquil now this. Seems the best performing paints get taken out first, but I guess the new owners might be simplifying their product line.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:35 PM

It may help to speed the drying of each layer of tamiya paints by using a hand held hair dryer, not too hot!  Just to dry it fully before the next layer. It works for me. I do prefer using Vallejo to hand paint, but you have the tamiya and the hair dryer will help.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, August 31, 2017 6:17 AM

Liegghio

That's a bummer if they discontinue those. They have a wide selection and I have always found that enamels flow and level better for airbrushing. I also prefer their enamels for auto paints, hope those are not also in jeopardy. 

First Floquil now this. Seems the best performing paints get taken out first, but I guess the new owners might be simplifying their product line.

 

Floquil was an excellent paint, specially the Old Silver, Bright Silver and Platinum Mist just to name a few.

From what I have read, only the military enamel colors are being dropped from the MM line. This really sucks cause I only like to use enamels because as you said spray better specially at low psi to get tight clean mottling without tip dry and skipping.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
Posted by hypertex on Thursday, August 31, 2017 9:34 AM

Phil_H

Vallejo seems to use a vinyl co-polymer. When it lifts, it tends to do so in a continuous flexible sheet (for want of a better word).

Vallejo has dropped the vinyl from their formula and now use a 100% acrylic polymer. This is what Alex Vallejo told me in 2015. Problem is, there is still plenty of the old formula sitting around the supply line. My local hobby shop is split about 50/50 between the old a newer formula. You can tell the difference by reading the front of the label under the  "Model Color", it's written in Spanish.

The change is actually a good thing. Use of vinyl in acrylic paint is indicative of cheap paint. It costs less, but it underperforms. I'm not sure when the change took place.

Back to the original topic. I recently build Tamiya's Komatsu bulldozer and brush painted it with Tamiya acrylic straight onto bare plastic. I had to let it dry a day in between coats, but it worked. It was less forgiving than other brands, but it worked.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by Gerhard on Friday, September 01, 2017 4:36 AM

Why not try the Tamiya TS and AS range spray cans? 

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