How to Airbrush With Tamiya Paints

Written by peter anema
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How to Airbrush With Tamiya Paints
Learn how to airbrush with Tamiya paints. (abstract airbrush graffiti on old metal image by GoodMood Photo from

Tamiya is the name of a brand of acrylic paints that can be airbrushed to a smooth, even finish in various painting applications. The limited range of available Tamiya colours is offset by the fact that mixing new colours is very easy which means you can create nearly any colour you can imagine for your project. In order to get the best consistency for the airbrush, you will have to thin the paints down according to your specific task.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tamiya paints in various colours
  • Containers
  • Paint stirrer
  • 91-percent isopropyl alcohol
  • Airbrush
  • Tamiya glossy paint
  • Tamiya paint thinner

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  1. 1

    Pour out the main Tamiya paint you want to use to airbrush into a small container. Don't fill the container all the way or you won't have room for thinning or mixing the paint.

  2. 2

    Add the additional colours of paint into the container of dominant paint to achieve the colour you want. Mix thoroughly after each addition and add the colouring slowly to avoid over-colouring.

  3. 3

    Thin the container of paint by adding 1/3 the quantity of paint in alcohol and mixing the liquids together thoroughly. So if you are using 88.7ml. of paint, add 28.4gr of alcohol for thinning.

  4. 4

    Fill the airbrush cup with the thinned paint and set the air gun pressure to 15 psi. You can increase or decrease by 5 psi until the paint goes smoothly onto the piece.

  5. 5

    Mix the gloss paint to the colour you want to finish the piece within the same way you did for the first paint. This is the final colour for the work piece to achieve a glossy, shiny finish.

  6. 6

    Thin the gloss paint using the same 1/3 proportion as you did with the first paint. The only difference is that you should use the paint thinner instead of alcohol to retain the glossy finish.

  7. 7

    Let the first paint dry for 20 minutes then apply the thinned glossy paint in the same way. Leave the glossy paint to dry for another 20 minutes before touching the piece or applying any decals on top of the paint.

Tips and warnings

  • Write down the amounts of secondary colours used to achieve your desired mixed colour for future reference.
  • Do not leave a dirty airbrush to dry with paint on it or it could clog the gun nozzle.

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