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Tamiya X and XF acrylic paint, confused

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I'm a bit cunfused on the Tamiya X and XF range of acrylic paint.

In the manual it says X and XF for plastic details, like in the Wild Willy 2 manual, and i assume Tamiya then mean to use a brush to paint?

But when i read about the X/XF paint, many says its not good for brush painting, only airbrush will get a good result?

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i have tried brush painting with acryllic X paint, and it didnt look good. the finish turned out very uneven. on the other hand, enamel X paints doesnt give me any problems.

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I think X and XF paints are designed to be brushed on. They seem to work fine with both hard and polycarbonate bodies in my experience.

I guess the final result will be dependent on a person's painting skills and how picky you are. My skills aren't great and my cars are runners/bashers but the results I've got so far have been fine for me.

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I only use airbrush for Tamiya's acrylics.. however, the tint and clear colors I have used brush painting for lenses.  I found that the previous coat must be COMPLETELY dry and use a very soft bristled brush to layer further coats.  Even so very difficult to get a consistent layer.

It got too tiring for me as I am a simple guy that is always on the look out for simple cheap solutions.. I mostly use Testors enamels that are basically found locally at any hobby store and just mix my colors to achieve the colors Tamiya calls out on the instructions.  Its' been working great for me for brush painting.  

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Tamiya X/XF paints are one of the best for hand brush painting. Here is a video with tips on how to achieve the best result.

 

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Ive struggled with brush applying the X/XF paints. Some of the colours need a second coat and ive found brushing on the second coat lifts and drags around the first coat which results in a poor claggy looking finish.

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1 hour ago, Superluminal said:

Ive struggled with brush applying the X/XF paints. Some of the colours need a second coat and ive found brushing on the second coat lifts and drags around the first coat which results in a poor claggy looking finish.

I've had the same experience with the acrylic.  I should not be fighting my tools while I am working on a project so I only use generic hobby enamel paint for brush painting.   I can paint a fairly large area using my narrow brush with great coverage, no brush marks.  

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7 hours ago, Willy iine said:

I only use airbrush for Tamiya's acrylics.. however, the tint and clear colors I have used brush painting for lenses.  I found that the previous coat must be COMPLETELY dry and use a very soft bristled brush to layer further coats.  Even so very difficult to get a consistent layer.

It got too tiring for me as I am a simple guy that is always on the look out for simple cheap solutions.. I mostly use Testors enamels that are basically found locally at any hobby store and just mix my colors to achieve the colors Tamiya calls out on the instructions.  Its' been working great for me for brush painting.  

 

6 hours ago, Superluminal said:

Ive struggled with brush applying the X/XF paints. Some of the colours need a second coat and ive found brushing on the second coat lifts and drags around the first coat which results in a poor claggy looking finish.

 

These two post are very helpful for me. I thought I was just going mad!

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I also struggled at first with brushing the X and XF paints, watched some tutorials and it is getting better.
But because I found it difficult to paint and had to do larger areas on my Wild Willy body I decided to order a paintbrush and I must say I’m glad I did. I watched tons of Youtube videos to understand how to use it, did a lot of testing and next tried it on the body and was amazed by the result! Al with X and XF paints, you can see the result here: 

Seems the link doesn’t get you to the rights post, scroll down a bit for the pictures of the body.

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X stands for gloss and XF for flat.

I am static modeller and Tamiya paints are terrible with brush. There are many, many better option but I am not sure if they will stick good to plastic. It is good to use primer first.

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Thnks all for your input! So the X/XF are meant to be able to brush, and if you do, let it dry very long between coats?

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Yes but effect will not be good. X/XF paints are based on Isopropyl alcohol. Despite that layer is dry, next layer will dissolve it a little and you will get brush marks.

Tamiya paints should not be used with brush. There are e.g. Vallejo paints which are perfect to use with brush. Once you try it, you will find difference.

Which parts you have to paint? Maybe I will suggest you something.

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6 minutes ago, skom25 said:

Yes but effect will not be good. X/XF paints are based on Isopropyl alcohol. Despite that layer is dry, next layer will dissolve it a little and you will get brush marks.

Tamiya paints should not be used with brush. There are e.g. Vallejo paints which are perfect to use with brush. Once you try it, you will find difference.

Which parts you have to paint? Maybe I will suggest you something.

Thnks!

I want to paint my Wild Willy 2, mr Willy, and the details on the body.

I think i let the body itself be in the molded plastic green color.

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Remember that you can always use Tamiya spray as a first layer and the use brush friendly paints for details.

Just to be clear. Tamiya paints are excellent, one of the best on market. Unfortunately they work well only with airbrush.

One more thing. Tamiya paints smell quite bad. Maybe it is not the worst smell in the world but you will not be happy. On the other hand, real acrylics ( Tamiya are not acrylics as far as I know) does not have any smell, which is biggest advantage. You can just use it at home and paint models, not to worry that whole house will have that funny smell.

Have not used them but I believe even worse are lacquer paints. I also used enamels but they smell terrible and can make a lot of mess.

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1 hour ago, skom25 said:

Tamiya paints smell quite bad

Wait till you tried Mr Color! 🤣

1 hour ago, skom25 said:

real acrylics

Real acrylics like Vallejo or Mig are even easier to hand brush paint but they are weaker than Tamiya acrylic. And when they do come off, they tends to come off in sheets rather than chip off.

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47 minutes ago, alvinlwh said:

Wait till you tried Mr Color! 🤣

Real acrylics like Vallejo or Mig are even easier to hand brush paint but they are weaker than Tamiya acrylic. And when they do come off, they tends to come off in sheets rather than chip off.

Mr. Color is lacquer I wrote about. I did not have them but I can imagine smell, because I had non modelling paints of that type :P

Vallejo put on primer, sticks very well and do not have that problem. However, yes,.you are right. If you will not use primer, they will come off just after touch of fingernail.

I quite often complain how expensive RC is and now, I have just remembered that feeling when you want to build new model and you have to buy new set of paints.

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40 minutes ago, skom25 said:

Mr. Color

Mr Color is the best airbrush paint, very forgiving and easy to use. Over a decade ago, they were not easily available in the UK (EU ban?) and modellers will go to great length and costs to import from Asia. I was speaking to a 15yo modeller at the club last week and he uses Mr Color as his default paint for airbrushing and was surprised when I told him they were banned in the UK before he was born. These days they are easily available in shops.

40 minutes ago, skom25 said:

Vallejo put on primer, sticks very well

Hang on, shouldn't any paint be on primer? Still, I do not find Vallejo primer work as strong as Mr Surfacer or Tamiya primer. 

One trick we use to improve Tamiya acrylics is to use Mr Color Leveling Thinner to make them even better.

https://www.childofmecha.com/blog/creative-tip-mixing-mr-color-leveling-thinner-with-tamiya-acrylics#:~:text=Many people are unaware that,Most notably%2C Tamiya acrylics!

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I ordered some X and XF bottles, i had a great deal on them last week.

I just painted some white moldsprues, and it seems to cover pretty well, with not that bad brush marks.

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I’ve had good luck thinning Tamiya paints with Tamiya retarder and/or Tamiya lacquer thinner and brush painting. I’ve also used Mr. Leveling with good success. For white, I use Tamiya white primer, and I cannot successfully brush paint any yellow, so that’s always airbrushed.

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2 hours ago, Big Jon said:

I cannot successfully brush paint any yellow

Yellow is the curse of many modellers!

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