August 31, 2011 by elromanozo
From Japan with love, Tamiya is a well known brand… At least to the model builder. They offer loads of models and building tools and they have an excellent range of paints for beginners and confirmed painters alike.
The range is systematically divided in “flat” and “gloss” pots, and most colors have a matte and a glossy variant… Black even comes in semi-glossy ! There’s also a range of smaller pots, and a range enamels (they’re not acrylics, be careful !), as well as a special range for aircraft colors and a whole lot of small spray cans in different colors.
The paint is smooth and easy to use, even if some colors are a bit thin to my taste, and it doesn’t dry too quickly (which admittedly can be a flaw, especially when working with their inks).
The Tamiya inks are among the best I’ve ever seen, their texture is thick and oily… they should, of course, never be used pure! So, there is a slight learning curve, as it’s quite different from the inks in other brands. Their “Smoke” ink is legendary among painters (much like Devlan Mud or Hull Red from other ranges…), and rightly so: this is a multipurpose colour that can be used for shading, for charring, as well as for oil stains, worn metals, greasy engines…
Unfortunately,there’s a problem with Tamiya pots… they suck!
Seriously, they’re smooth glass with a plastic screw-on lid. If you get some paint on the screw (and you will… trust me on this…) you’re likely to need a feat of strength to open that pot again. You can reduce this inconvenience by wiping the screws clean every time… but it’s a hassle, and I’ve had the displeasure of finding many an old pot completely sealed shut!
The Tamiya range is, incidentally, the one I started painting with… They’re as good a range now as they’ve always been, and, while not overall “special”, they feature some great paints that no hobbyist should do without!