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Tamiya Clears

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  • Member since
    September, 2017
Tamiya Clears
Posted by d_man on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:31 PM

Hi All!

I've been doing some research on the Tamiya acrylic clears and just wanted to see if I have this right or am missing anything else.

X-21 - added to gloss paint to dull down its shine

XF-86,22,35 - Used as a final coat to seal everything.

Additionally, are these just Tamiya paints (86,22,35) without the pigment added to them so basically just the binder and solvent? Can they be used as a medium to make colours a bit more translucent?

Thanks in advance


  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 9:11 PM

Stay away from using X-21. They're nothing but garbage and not worth the trouble using them unless you're looking to ruin a perfectly nice kit. Not worth adding it to gloss paint when there are flat paints available; hence the letters XF before the number.

XF-86 is a flat clearcoat. 


  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 10:33 PM

Tamiya's X-21 Flat Base is used to tone down gloss paints. A good discussion of its merits and flaws can be found here:

XF-22 is RLM Grey is an opaque paint that has plenty of pigment. Not sure how it fits here.


XF-86 is a flat clear for a final coat to seal the model. No color, but the chemistry of the sealer causes it to dry to a non-reflective finish. XF-35 is also colorless, but dries to a semi-gloss finish which is slightly smoother and more reflective than flat. The X-22 is the gloss version, which makes things very smooth, shiny, and reflective. 

You can mix Tamiya's paints to tint the clears to achieve different layers with translucency, but that requires a bit of experimenting to keep a balance of paint, clear, and thinner to get it right. You'll see a lot of old school armor modellers using Tamiya's buff with XF-86 to get dust effects and such. It can be an effective technique.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Great Southern Land
Posted by damouav on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 10:34 PM


In Progress
1/48 Hobby Boss TBF-1C Avenger
1/48 Tamiya P47-D Bubbletop
1/48 Hasegawa P51-D
1/48 Roden S.E.5a
1/48 Airfix Walrus
1/48 Hasegawa P38-L
  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:17 AM


Thank you.  Your overview is very helpful.


  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 3:32 PM

I read somewhere that Tamiya clear gloss acrylic thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner will lay down a glass smooth gloss shine. I have to try that one day.



Too many models to build, not enough time in a day.


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