Tamiya Model Paint Application

Tips, Techniques and Precautions

Tamiya model paint application is an important part of building up your rc car.

Of course if you are using a ready to run kit then most probably the model will be pre painted and decaled without much work left for you. However if you are a DIYer like me then you would certainly prefer coloring all by yourself.

In this article you will learn about various stages of tamiya model paint application. Some tips, techniques and caution to help you carry out your next model painting project.

We will divide the entire tamiya model paint application process into four different stages viz preparation, primer application, top coat application and lacquer application.

Preparation for Tamiya Model Paint Application

The first stage in tamiya model paint application process is preparation. Irrespective of whether you are painting a new body or old you must do certain things to ensure that you get a great surface finish. It sure takes time and more often than not you will be tempted to skip these steps and start playing with the paint.

Please trust me for a moment and go through these preparatory steps. You will be glad you did.

Move your fingers over the body and try to feel the imperfections present there. You will find some smooth places and some not so smooth ones as well. If these uneven areas are prominent then there is very good chance of these showing up after you color it up thus decreasing the aesthetic appeal of your rc car. Thus our first task at hand is to remove such unevenness to create a relatively smooth surface that can give us better look after coloring.

This can be achieved by using a fine grade sand paper. Put some detergent powder into a bowl containing warm water and then dip the sand paper in it. Use this wet sand paper to clean up the surface. As a precautionary measure while rubbing the sand paper be gentle on the surface and drag the paper from one direction to the other. Once you are done with this activity let the body dry up. You will observe small scratches on the surface which have been caused on the surface because of the sand paper.

…there’s nothing to panic.

Infact it’s good that these scratches have been created. These scratches increase the surface area of the body thus providing a greater surface for the primer to sit on. Usually a relatively rougher surface will hold on to paint better than a very smooth surface.

With that we are all set to move on to the next stage of tamiya model paint application.

Primer Application

This is where you start dabbling with the spray. As a primer you could use any automotive primer available in the market or else you could go for the ones available from Tamiya.

While applying paint make sure that you use light bursts of primer rather than heavy concentrated disposition. It’s advisable to heat the spray can in mild hot water before use. When you heat it the solution mixes properly and moreover the internal pressure in the can increases that results in fine spray. Use an open space for applying the primer. A garage would be perfect. It’s best to prime your car in summer because of warm temperature and low humidity. Attach the body shell to some hook or arrangement at a high comfortable level. That way you can have easy access to complex contours. When placed at a height the body stays away from the dust particles on the floor which is so much required while painting.

Once you are done with your first coating of primer let it dry. Then check for abnormalities in the surface. If you find the surface is not smooth enough then rub it with a wet sand paper and then reapply the primer keeping above mentioned points in mind. Having a smooth primed surface result in great looking final body. So spend enough time at this stage, its all worth it.

Top Coat Application

After the primer its time to apply the top coat. Acrylic paint works best, so get your self a pack of it. If you intend to use more than one color then use the lighter ones first. After each coat let the color dry for a couple of hours. You may use a wet sand to rub the surface before reapplying the coat if you are not satisfied with the finish of the colored surface. I would advise don’t rush through this step and let the color dry after each coat.

Lacquer Application

This is the last step of tamiya model paint application process. Some people apply the decals before lacquer. I would personally do that. Moreover some may advise you not to use lacquer but I am a strong supporter of it. Sure it takes some time and delays your time to track, but then the advantages far out weigh the disadvantages. Lacquer forms a protective covering over the coat thus increasing its longevity. It gives better finish and visual appeal to the body. It also prevents degradation of pigments of the acrylic color by protecting it from UV rays.

That’s about all the major steps you need to follow to get your tamiya model paint application done.

Irrespective of the task of painting rc car, truck, aeroplane, boat or painting model trains just follow the basic steps enlisted in this article and you will be surprised at how much success you achieve.

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