How to use tamiya paints

Written by marsanne petty
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How to use tamiya paints
Use Tamiya paints to paint models like this. (model car. hobby, collection image by Ana Vasileva from

Tamiya paints generally are used for painting model planes, cars, boats and trains. Animals and houses, farm buildings and other general purpose plastic modelling items may be painted with Tamiya paints as well. The important thing to remember is that these paints are for models only. There are several different kinds of Tamiya paints, but all of them are acceptable for any type of plastic model kits.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tamiya spray paints
  • Plastic model
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Tamiya brush paints
  • Small paint brush

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    Tamiya Spray Paints

  1. 1

    Prepare your work surface. Either work outside where over-spray will not be a problem, or cover your work table with a sheet of plastic. Shake the can of Tamiya lacquer spray paint thoroughly to make sure that the particles of paint are mixed properly. Ensure that you dispose of the plastic sheeting in a lined dustbin.

  2. 2

    Spray a very light coat of paint on the model. Allow the paint to dry for four hours. Lacquer is the only paint available from Tamiya in a spray can version. All other Tamiya paints have to be brushed on.

  3. 3

    Coat the plastic model again with Tamiya lacquer spray paint. Wait for the paint to dry for four hours. If you want the colour to be darker, continue to add layers of paint, waiting for them to dry between applications.

    Tamiya Brush Paints

  1. 1

    Leave small pieces of plastic models attached to the sprue (the connector to which the pieces are attached). This will avoid having to use tweezers to hold the pieces, which could leave marks in the paint.

  2. 2

    Apply an even coat of Tamiya brush paints to one side of the pieces on the sprue. Allow the paint to dry for four hours.

  3. 3

    Add more paint to the first side of the sprue if you need the paint to be darker. If not, flip the sprue over and paint the back sides of the pieces. Allow the paint to dry for four hours. Add as many coats as needed, allowing four hours' drying time between each coat.

  4. 4

    Remove the painted model pieces from the sprue and carefully brush paint on the areas where the pieces were connected to the sprue. Skipping this step may leave some unpainted parts on your completed model.

Tips and warnings

  • Check carefully that the paint you are considering can be used over previous layers of paint. Lacquer paint is not particularly suited to painting over other types of paints.

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