The Tamiya paints are known for being one of the best-made paints for modeling, but are they good for brushing? Can they be used with a model brush, or are they solely for airbrushes? Let’s find out.
Tamiya paints are good for brushing because they are versatile and are made for beginners and experienced modelers. Furthermore, Tamiya specifically made brushes compatible with their paint which justifies that their paint can be used with a regular model brush.
This blog post will explain why Tamiya paint is good for brushing. It will also explain what we can do to achieve the best results. While airbrushes will always produce the best results, this doesn’t mean we can’t achieve good results with a regular brush. Furthermore, we will also dive into how good Tamiya paint is for modeling.
Can you brush Tamiya Acrylic paint?
You can brush Tamiya acrylic paints. However, remember to prime, thin, and coat to achieve the best results. Furthermore, it is best to use compatible products since Tamiya paint’s solubility is different from other acrylic paints.
What makes Tamiya acrylic paints good is that they are very versatile. This means they can be used on airbrushes and a regular model brush.
Furthermore, Tamiya made brushes for their paint which means they specifically designed the paint to be compatible with brushing.
This means Tamiya is confident that their paint can be used with a model brush to produce quality results.
However, while their paint is good for brushing, it requires some practice since brushing requires some skills, and preparing the paint also requires some preparation.
For example, Tamiya acrylic paint is very thick. Using it straight out of the bottle to paint the model is a bad idea since it is prone to clumping.
Thus, Tamiya paint needs to be thinned to achieve the consistency required for painting.
Generally speaking, the optimal thinning required for painting is 1:1. This means you need 1 part paint and 1 part thinner. However, this depends on the painter on what consistency they are comfortable with.
Thus, learning how to thin the paint properly is necessary when painting.
Furthermore, Tamiya paint is quite unique because it is alcohol-based, unlike most acrylic paint. This means water does not thin the paint as well as the Tamiya paint thinner.
This means to achieve the best results, you need to use their thinner.
However, the paint being too concentrated is actually a piece of good news. Since the paint is so concentrated, a single bottle can last long and be used for multiple builds.
Also, remember to use a primer. Acrylic paints, like most Tamiya paints, tend to use primers.
Primers act as a bridge between the model body and the paint. Without the primer, the paint wouldn’t stick well to the body. This can often lead to bubbles or wrinkling after painting.
However, this is not Tamiya’s fault. Almost all acrylic paint needs a primer to achieve a quality result.
That’s why if you decide to use a brush, do not forget to use a primer.
Lastly, use a top coat to protect the paint and get that glossy look.
Most modelers would want to make their models shine. Adding a top coat not only shines the model but also protects the paint from external stress such as oxidation and water contamination.
However, the bad news is since Tamiya paint is water-based, ordinary top coats don’t usually work as well as the topcoat made by Tamiya.
When it comes to topcoats, since these paints aren’t entirely water-based, using Tamiya topcoats is the best. However, I’ve found that some top or clear coats still work, such as Mr. Color GX 100 or 112 for glossy finish and 113 for a matte finish.
You can get these Mr.Color in spray cans, so there is no need to buy an airbrush and use it while using a brush for painting.
Winsor & Newton Galeria varnishes also work. However, I recommend using it with an airbrush. Also, technically, since Tamiya paint is alcohol-based, it can be too hot for the paint when this topcoat is used. However, by experience, I find that it works.
With these, you can make the best results even if you’re only using a paintbrush. However, I have a bonus tip for you.
Always clean the lid of the paint after using. Dried paint can make it harder to reopen the cover, and the clumps can contaminate the paint leading to clumps.
This means on your second use, if you didn’t thoroughly clean the lid, the quality of your build would not be as good as the first one.
You can find more information about this in my article about the disadvantages of Tamiya paint. You can find it here: Are Tamiya paints good?
Next, while you can achieve great results with a regular model brush, a Tamiya brush can often make it easier. How? Let’s find that out in the next section.
Are Tamiya Brushes Good?
Generally speaking, Tamiya brushes are good since they offer a very flexible and comfortable brush. Furthermore, their design allows them to paint the hard-to-reach parts with ease. As a result, these brushes are an excellent bang for the buck.
If you remember correctly, I talked about how Tamiya made a brush specifically for model painting.
This is an addition to make them more money, but it is to help people achieve better results when using only brush for painting.
Tamiya brushes are usually durable, comfortable, and flexible. This means it is easy to use and would often lead to quality results since your hands won’t be as tired when using them.
I like these brushes because the hair is very flexible and can easily reach those hard-to-reach parts.
Furthermore, they are very durable.
Generally speaking, they can also go on against more expensive model brushes such as Citadel Layer S’ brush.
So, if you will use a paintbrush for a while, go with a Tamiya model brush.
However, if you plan to upgrade to an airbrush soon, save your money for an airbrush since airbrushes are way better than a regular brush.
But if you are just starting, you can go for a Tamiya brush since you will use it for quite some time before upgrading to an airbrush.
Now that you know about the Tamiya brush and how it is still a good idea to learn how to use it via brush, let’s go to the paint itself since you won’t get the best results with only the brush.
Are Tamiya Paints Good?
Tamiya paints are good and very flexible for both beginners and experienced modelers. They have a wide variety of colors, and their pants last a long time. Lastly, they work great with both regular brush and airbrush.
With all of these, we can say that you can achieve great results with a regular brush using Tamiya paint provided that use a proper mix ratio, use a primer, and a topcoat.
However, of course, we can’t replace the quality an airbrush can do.
But a model brush is enough for beginners to produce quality models, and you can upgrade your tools when you’re ready.
What’s next? I made a blog post talking about the advantages and disadvantages of Tamiya paint. If you are interested, you can find the post here: Are Tamiya paints good?