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What is Tamiya X-21 for?

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  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Nova Scotia, Canada
What is Tamiya X-21 for?
Posted by qtaylor on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:16 PM

Hi all,

N00b question, I know, but I had the Tamiya flat base sold to me as a clear coat.  That didn't work out so well.  Then, I had someone tell me that you mix it with other paints to ensure a flat finish.  That was better....but it lightened up my panzer grey a fair amount...and made it all too flat.


So, before I ever use the stuff again in a 'best guess' manner; what is the x-21 flat base actually designed for?


QT

"Neither a purist nor a perfectionist be."
  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Upper left side of the lower Penninsula of Mich
Posted by dkmacin on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:39 PM
I have to honestly say, that I have found that it is really good at ruining model paint jobs.
(I never used it again.)

Don

I know it's only rock and roll, but I like it.
  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: United Kingdom
Posted by scotty on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:51 PM

You can use X-21 as a clear cote as long as you use future with it about 2/3 future with 1/3 X-21 and apply with a fine mist. and I think when you mix it with paints you only use a small amount just to take off the gloss, The paint itself reminds me of a ink called "Tinting Medium" when I worked as a printer we used it instead of white ink.

If I'm wrong someone will point you in the right direction.

 

Scott

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Peoples Socialist Democratic Republic of Illinois
Posted by Triarius on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 5:38 PM
X-21 is a flating agent—don't use it straight. It can be mixed in varying amounts with gloss acrylic (only) paints to produce any desired level of reflectance, including Tamiya clear gloss coat.

The same can be done with Future. See "The Complete Future" thread in the Painting and Airbrushing Forum.

I have used it with success, especially with Future, to produce satin, eggshell, and semigloss finishes.

Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 6:13 PM

 dkmacin wrote:
I have to honestly say, that I have found that it is really good at ruining model paint jobs.
(I never used it again.)

Don

That and frustrate the #$%^# out of modelers.

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Southern California, USA
Posted by ABARNE on Thursday, March 09, 2006 1:59 PM

 qtaylor wrote:

N00b question, I know, but I had the Tamiya flat base sold to me as a clear coat.  That didn't work out so well.

Tragically, you're far from the first person to be so afflicted, and until Tamiya decides to print some English language instructions on the bottle, you won't be the last.

 qtaylor wrote:

So, before I ever use the stuff again in a 'best guess' manner; what is the x-21 flat base actually designed for?

As the others have said, this is not a stand alone product but rather a flattening agent that is mixed with glossy acrylics to flatten the finish.  It works great when mixed with Future at a ratio of 4 parts Future to 1 part X-21 Flat Base.  You can use more Flat base, but at 2 or 3 to one ratios, you run the risk of "frosting" in any areas where the Future/Flat Base coat is a bit thick.  For me, the 4:1 ratio gives a nice flat finish.  I now use Future/X-21 exclusively for my flat coats and have been very happy with it.  I have a large jar into which I mix up a large batch, rather than trying to mix small amounts every time I need to spary a flat coat.  The other cavaeat, is that the Flat Base will settle so make sure you mix it well prior to use.

You can also use it flatten out regular paint.  I have a bottle of MM Acryl Rust that was slightly satin.  I have mixed up a some of the MM Rust with a heavy dose of Flat Base to make a really flat rust.  As with the Future/Flat Base, everything separates over time so it needs re-mixing prior to use.

Andy

 

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: USA
Posted by MusicCity on Thursday, March 09, 2006 9:28 PM
The important thing to notice is that nowhere on the bottle does it say "Paint" or "Clear Flat".  It does, however, specifically state XF-21 Flat BASE.  Paint is composed of pigment, base, and solvent.  XF-21 is, as the name on the bottle implies, only the base.  It is sold, as was mentioned above, to create flat paints from gloss paints.
Scott Craig -- Nashville, TN -- My Website -- My Models Page
  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Posted by qtaylor on Thursday, March 09, 2006 11:16 PM
Thank you, Abarne, and others.  Musicity, please don't misundersand.  I'm not blaming Tamiya for me not having done any homework to understand the products before I used them.  Heck, I'm not even blaming the guy that sold it to me.

I am simply trying to now, though late, figure out what that bottle of stuff is on my desk for :)  I appreciate the answers, and hints.

Thanks guys,

QT
"Neither a purist nor a perfectionist be."
  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: USA
Posted by MusicCity on Friday, March 10, 2006 5:27 AM

Musicity, please don't misundersand.  I'm not blaming Tamiya for me not having done any homework to understand the products before I used them.  Heck, I'm not even blaming the guy that sold it to me.

I apologize if my post came through that way.  This type of post comes around frequently, and usually the people are blaming Tamiya for their not reading the label on the bottle or for not stopping to ask the question, "What is a Base for?".

Scott Craig -- Nashville, TN -- My Website -- My Models Page
  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Left forever
Posted by Bgrigg on Friday, March 10, 2006 7:02 AM
As a matter of fact this subject was the impetus for my first post on the forums. The Flat Base works extremely well, once you understand how it works. It is to be used sparingly as a flattening agent. It was MusicCity's website that provided the answer.

It is similar to a loaded .44 handgun. Used properly it is a powerful and useful tool, but in the wrong hands, it can wreak havoc and devastation wherever you point it! Most of which is difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

So long folks!

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Saturday, March 11, 2006 8:32 AM

 qtaylor wrote:
Thank you, Abarne, and others.  Musicity, please don't misundersand.  I'm not blaming Tamiya for me not having done any homework to understand the products before I used them.  Heck, I'm not even blaming the guy that sold it to me.

I am simply trying to now, though late, figure out what that bottle of stuff is on my desk for :)  I appreciate the answers, and hints.

Thanks guys,

QT

Actually, you, and the modeling community, should be blaming Tamiya. Given this subject pops up at least monthly on these and other modeling boards, there's clearly a problem that goes beyond the consumer. The existence of this product might make sense if the entire Tamiya line were gloss to begin with, but it has both gloss and flat colors. No other paint line has a product like this. Every other clear flat is applied over the finished model.

Further, the point of flattening a gloss paint in our application seems kind of silly since we'll be making it gloss again to apply decals then make it flat again by mixing this stuff with clear gloss in an alchemic formula that has to be just right. And, yeah, I know some guys want a semi gloss, satin finish and you cna get that with this, but for most of our modelling applications, we want either gloss or flat and there are numerous, excellent clear flat coats in acrylic, enamel or laquer, bottle or rattle can, the do the job as well or better without bringing in Mr. Wizard to mix up just the right solution.

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 11, 2006 8:42 AM

Small simple question. If you Mix X-21 with X-22, would you get a semi-gloss finish (which tamiya don't have in there lineup) If so, about what mixing ? 1:1 ?

X-22 apply very well and offer great result, but sometime semi-gloss would be useful, and the one I found don't match Tamiya quality.

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Left forever
Posted by Bgrigg on Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:13 AM
1:1 would be WAY too flat. The one time I tried mixing X-21 & X-22 I went 4:1 and it was still way too flat. I would try 6:1.

Better yet, get some Future and use that for gloss coats straight out of the bottle and mixed with the flat base for various flat looks. This is cut and pasted from Swanny's definitive article on using Future:

Future does produce a glossy finish so many modelers will introduce a flattening material or only use it as a pre-decal sealer. If you wish to use flattened Future as a final coat here are a couple of suggested ratios of Tamiya flat base for different effects:
      1 part flat base to 3 parts Future = very flat
      1 part flat base to 10 parts Future = flat
      1 part flat base to 15 parts Future = satin
      If you get too much of anybody's flat base on the surface of your model you run the risk of making it all go white. No thinning is required just make sure it is well mixed.


MusicCity has different ratios, from his website:

I use it a lot with Future Floor Polish (see the section above) to give it a flat finish. For a completely dead-flat finish mix about 4 part Future to 1 part XF-21. For a semi-gloss or "Satin" finish mix about 6 parts Future to 1 part XF-21. As always you should try this on some scrap to determine the ratio that works best for you.

So long folks!

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Saturday, March 11, 2006 6:49 PM
When mixing the X-21 and the future to the desired ratio, is it necessary to thin the mixture, and if so, what would you guys recommend?

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • From: Left forever
Posted by Bgrigg on Saturday, March 11, 2006 10:59 PM
No thinning should be necessary.

So long folks!

  • Member since
    February, 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Sunday, March 12, 2006 2:36 PM

OMG!!! That stuff is awesome!! Just tried it for the first time, going with a 5:1 ratio for a matt cote. I swear I'll never use anything else. You guys rock!!! Big Smile [:D]

I am really looking forward to experimenting with different ratios for different lusters. Coolest modeling tip I've picked up in ages.

 

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 12, 2006 5:46 PM

Thanks for the reply

I will try a 10:1 mix of X-21 & X-22. I didn't know the Flat was so reactive.

As for the question about thinning, I need to thin Tamiya paint with my airbrush. 4:1 or 5:1 is usually good. I use Isopropyl to thin the paint. Work great.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Wagga Wagga, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Posted by Bill Clarke on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 2:59 PM

This is great info guys, but I have a couple of questions:

With reference to the ratio of 4 parts to 1 part, 6 to 1 ect, what does a part equate to ? my understanding would be that if you're measuring out 1cc of flat base then you add to that 4 cc's of future. Is this right ?

 

and how do you clean you're air brushes ? I am a bit apprehensive about putting windex (which I believe is the correct agent to clean out the future) through my aztec as it contains ammonia, and could damage the rubber seals, also I have no idea what the future and flat base combined would need to clean them out of the brush.

Thanks guys.

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Peoples Socialist Democratic Republic of Illinois
Posted by Triarius on Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:10 PM
You are correct. 1cc, 1 gallon, 1 koku, whatever, to 4 of the same, etc.

Use Windex or equivalent, and thoroughly flush with water, afterwards. I don't use an Aztek, but what I do is open the paint aperture wide and blast a full (1/4 ounce) cup of windex (from a clean cup or bottle) through the brush, followed by at least twice that much water. Don't know how this process translates the to Aztek.

Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Member since
    June, 2010
Posted by lars1359 on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 7:43 PM

I'm finding that mixing X-22 Clear with X-21 Flat Base at even at a 6:1 ratio results in an almost glossy coat  (i.e. Flat Base doesn't flatten the Clear) that still leaves a white tint worse than the yellow tint you get from 2 or 3 coats of Testor lacquer flat finish.  More flat in the mix, more white tint.  Less flat, more gloss shine.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
Posted by MA.K72 on Sunday, September 03, 2017 9:15 AM

I know this answer is really late, but for those who do figure painting:

Tamiya X-21 is really great for figure painting. Add a VERY small amount to your (VALLEJO)flesh. During the painting of flesh you will have many MANY brush strokes which most of the time will buff the paint and make it shiny, the thing that we as modelers are trying to avoid. 

So in short, Tamiya X-21 is great for figure modelers, but I cannot speak for it in any other capacity.

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