- Articles, Blog


Thanks to everyone who commented on our last
video were we tested a shorter format called Zero Two Thirty. Your feedback through the poll and via the
comments helped us a lot. We’ll use those shorter films for updates
or announcements only and keep to our usual durations for our “How To” films. And sometimes maybe even a little bit longer. Also, we’ll cover the VW Golf build in more
detail in a future video, as promised. But for now, here’s another “How To” guide. This time, we’re going to look at a really
useful set of paints from Tamiya. It’s their Clear range of semi-transparent
gloss acrylics. You’ll find then in a selection of colours
from dark grey, or “Smoke”, to Red. We’ve found them really useful in our military
model making and wanted to share some techniques with you. Our first tip is to use them to change the
chroma of your paint coats. In other words, to subtly warm up the colours. You can use the Clear colours to change the
tint of your main paint coat or increase the saturation of the colours. This is a technique we first saw used in French
model magazine Steelmasters and it’s really effective. Here are some examples of how to do it. Let’s take our Tamiya 1/35th scale GMC truck. We painted it in Lifecolor acrylic shades,
sealed it and then applied the markings. After the mud stages, we then decided to flatten
everything down. We did this using our favourite matt varnish. However, as can happen very occasionally,
it left a slight grey film on the model. This was probably due to improperly mixed
varnish or possibly coats being too thick. It could even be an old bottle that was past
its prime. In any case, it looked overly dusty and greyed
out – this was too noticeable for us to ignore. Mainly because we wanted the truck to be in
a muddy northern European environment. The look might have worked for somewhere more
dusty. We decided to use Tamiya Clear to adjust it
and warm it all up. We reached for Tamiya Clear Orange (X26) with
a bit of Smoke (X19). We took a small amount and then thinned using
Tamiya Lacquer. We find this solvent works really well with
the Clear paints. Next, we set about correcting that flat, greyed
varnish. We mist over gentle coats of Clear. Here, you can see it come back to life. The dullness disappears and the saturation
returns. The model can then be weathered and finished
as usual. It doesn’t mean you can only use these paints
for reinvigorating a finish, you can also use them for weathering. On this Tamiya 1/35th scale Char B1 Bis, we
decided to use the Clear paints to change the colour of certain panels and to add streaks. The model was first painted and then coated
with Johnsons floor polish. It was shaded with subtle oil and enamel washes
to add shadow areas and then we reached for the Tamiya shades. We used Tamiya Clear Orange (X26), Clear Yellow
(X24) and Clear Green (X25). This technique works really well to create
the illusion of depth or a 3D effect. It is especially convincing when used alongside
techniques like colour modulation. You can see use misting thin coats of
paint over selected areas of the model. Notice that this time, we’ve used Tamiya’s
normal thinner X20A. This gives a slightly more matt effect than the lacquer thinner. By varying the shades, you get contrasting
colouration. “How about helping us out by doing this?” Now you can see us using the colours to create
streaks as part of the weathering process. What’s more, the sheen these paints produce
really helps for later weathering stages. One paint, Smoke, is very useful to post-shade
your model. Mix a very thin coat and trace along seam
lines or joins with an airbrush – this builds up the paint to make shadows and streaks. It’s also a great shade to stipple at very
low pressure using an airbrush. This replicates oil spots and specks of dirt. You can also use the colours imaginatively too. This is Academy’s 1/35th scale ACAV which
we painted in Ammo By Mig’s Vietnam shades. We used Tamiya Clear Green (X25), Clear Yellow
(X24) and Clear Orange (X26) as well as Smoke (X19). We sprayed them in quick misted coats to punch
the colours out a bit. We tried to hit different areas with different
shades of Tamiya Clear. This created differentiation in all the different
panels and components. But then we masked off a portion of the hull
leaving a lower section where the mudguards had been installed. By spraying over this section in multiple
passes, the paint is darkened. As you remove the mask, you get the effect
of a darker layer of paint, hinting at the later removal of the mudguards in theatre
in Vietnam. You can of course use the paints in a more
traditional way, for your glass work. This is often how Tamiya advises using them
and you’ll see them called out in instruction sheets. Here’s Tiger Model’s VBL in 1/35th scale. Our research showed that the armoured glass
had a green tint. We simply mixed it up using Tamiya Clear Green
(X25) with a bit of Tamiya Smoke (X19). By gently over-spraying the glass, it is subtly
coloured. Here are the transparent pieces in place. For the indicators and other lights we used
reds and oranges. You can brush paint these shades but it’s
best to use an airbrush. Just make sure you paint the underneath in
silver for a realistic effect. And here you can see us paint goggles on this
Nuts Planet resin figure. This time, the paints are applied by brush. We combine shades to get a redish, orange. We then add Smoke (X19) around the edges to
create a darker shadow. If you’re a car modeller, these shades have
loads of uses too. From making tinted glass, to other effects
like this sunshield. When using the paints this way, make sure
you paint the underside of the transparent part, for a smooth realistic effect. Maybe you have discounted these paints. Perhaps you have them but rarely use them. You may also be looking for exactly these sorts of
effects but don’t know how to get them. Either way, we hope this video helps you. Thanks for following Scale War Machines. Please use the comments section and please
subscribe to our channel. Also, if you could give us a Facebook like,
we’d really appreciate it. Bye for now!

About Roger Trantham

Read All Posts By Roger Trantham


  1. Great video and tutorial. Very useful and informative. Good to see that you went back to the normal format and video lenght. Thanks for sharing. Ive already liked on FB

  2. i can really use the streaking method on my tanks, funny is that i didnt even get them because of that, i got the to paint wine bottles that cam with the kit.
    also, the char tank, i see ut in so many videos,did you take them at once and just upload them one after another or do you take your time and work slowly with it

  3. He guys, great vid!
    Would it be possible to make a tutorial for the airbrush with respect to when do I use which air pressure with which color for which purpose (e.g. base coat, fine streaks, etc)?
    I've watched so many airbrush tutorial vids and still haven't found what I'm looking for. I'm currently using my airbrush w/ around 0.5 – 1 bar for any purpose, w/ questionable success..
    Thx a lot in advance, either for trying to help or at least for reading my comment!
    Have a great day!

  4. Thanks for this video, I had been thinking of getting tamiya clears for a while, but it was hard to find good information on how to thin them, if they would pass through an airbrush and how their finish whe dry was.

  5. Artists call this "glazing". Very handy technique. You can also make your own clear paint by mixing any color with clear varnish or Vallejo's Glazing Medium.

  6. Thank you kindly for the work you do on the video's. I find this fascinating, can be applied to my aircraft modeling, Cheers!

  7. I don't play war games, I may but I really just like miniatures and these are still really cool

  8. The usefulness of these paints is astounding!! Increasing saturation adds a special touch. Just a question … I'm starting to use Vallejo paints, if I put Tamiya paints on top, will they be compatible? Thanks for your tutorials, they help a lot.

  9. Thank you very much for making videos like this. I whole heartedly appreciate the amount of effort and time put into the builds.

  10. I have and use Tamiya clears… but not in this way! Really brilliant video thanks for sharing

  11. To what degree would you thin these colours down?

    I only ask because while some of them, like red, have airbrushed fine and clear, my attempts to use blue on windows actually made them semi-transparent and opaque, and I had to clean them off and brush paint instead.

  12. Thank you for a great tutorial. I love the Tamiya Clear Line. You might want to mention though that these paints are extremely poisonous especially when used with an airbrush – all information about health hazards by Tamiya.

  13. OK… Serious question here… Is the continuous use of the third person a cultural thing that is just unique to Brits?

  14. the reason you are getting that chalky effect is because you matted over your pigments Never use a mat to finish your model. apply a satin coat over your decals and start weathering and that is the last seal coat you apply

  15. A very useful video, thanks. Plenty of ideas for using these paints other than simply for lights and smoke stains. I have a build that has suffered that horrible grey, dusty look. I might actually try this technique to see if I cant bring it back.

  16. im not into models at all, random clicks got me here.. but damn I know how to appreciate master-like painting and you got a sub from me. looking forward to seeing more about this world i have no clue about!

  17. Awesome! I have them but until now have only used them for the lights on builds.
    Very happy I ran across your videos and subscribed!

  18. Some interesting/useful tips on using this medium, but no mention of thinner ratios of air pressures and very brief on airbrushing clear parts – basics

  19. Thank you for a very interesting tutorial. I have these paints, and I don't use them very often, other than the occasional scifi/terrain piece. Although the things that I try to do usually work out fairly well, and as I originally intended, I suppose that I must consider myself a fairly inexperienced modeler. The main reason for that has to be, that whenever I see one of you highly experienced guys pick up well finished and highly detailed model, and aim an airbrush full of orange paint at it, I get a sense of panic. Honestly, the little voice in my head would definitely be screaming 'what are you doing?' I think that's why I love to watch an occasional tutorial by scale war machines among others. The information is always useful, and the inspiration is, well inspirational; but, the courage to actually try some of this craziness is probably the greatest benefit of all.

  20. Thank you so much for making and posting this video. I don't do car models, I do gunpla and this has been a great education and I cannot wait to apply what I've learned!

  21. Absolutely wonderful video. I have these paints sitting in my shelf. Now with this demistration. I have multiple uses for them. Thank you very much for sharing these techniques

  22. Wow, you are an absolute wizard with the airbrush! I just got mine, and haven't gotten to use it quite yet, as there was a lot of things I needed that I forgot to get, so I'm still waiting for the last few essentials, but I'll be watching a lot of your videos to get a grip on things, I can tell already!

  23. 2:34 – Woah, Lacquer not Acrylic Thinner? Or do you just find it more effective for airbrushing? I actually have some of these Clear Acrylics, but I'm only limited to hand-brushing.

    6:23 and 6:56 – Did you thin that paint before handbrushing? What did you use?

    7:01 – By painting the underneath in silver, what do you mean? Paint it silver first before the clear color? Or paint the one side with clear then silver on the other?

  24. I use Tamiya X-27 Clear Red for miniature painting, usually using a brush for blood effects, or painting it directly over MDF bare wood for that lacquered armor effect (seen in old east Asian body armor).

    It tends to get gummed up rather quickly, not just on the brush but in the bottle as well – will using the X-20 thinner avoid this? What about water?

  25. I am just getting into car modeling and airbrushing and my first car is done with a silver base coat and clear red top coat for a sharp metallic candy finish. I will definitely be using your smoke with low-pressure tip to put some oil / dirt splatter around the exhaust. Thanks!

  26. I'm glad I found your channel. The way you explain the techniques is much better than what I watched before.

  27. Thanks for this. I have been using the red and yellow for turn signal lenses. Now I have some other ideas.

  28. if i airbrush the X-7 color RED gloss with lacquer thinner, will it look glossier than if i use tamiya thinner x-20A??

  29. Master model builders fascinate me. I build motorcycles. I can't even begin to be at these peoples levels. Outstanding.

  30. I’m building the Tamiya 1/6 Honda 750 it is molded in gold ,can I spray silver over the gold ,then Tamiya Clear orange to get the orange colour the bike came in nice work by the way🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦

  31. I am making a diorama in 1:35 with a PZH 2000, Leo 2a4, flakpanzer gepard, and 5t man truck and this helped alot. THANKS

  32. Hi just one questions i am a beginner.
    when you mix the paint to brush the glass parts do you add thinner to the mixed paint?
    I used the same colors from tamiya

  33. This was an awesome video I have several of the transparent colors from Tamiya I don't have their thinner I usually just try to send them with distilled water as our hobby shop doesn't really carry their thinner I do have a question though I'm going to try to use the red to cover a couple live transparent domes that go on the warp engines of a model of the Enterprise that I'm planning on trying to light up the problem is is that I'm not really sure how to airbrush the clear domes so that they come out looking even I'm afraid that when I airbrush it I'm going to get a darker pattern in one spot a lighter pattern in another and I'm just not going to get an even coat any suggestions on how to do that? Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated and I thank you for your time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *