Diorama Texture Paint Soil Effect

Published on
February 18, 2017
Review Author(s)
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Company: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
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Tamiya has made available a group of 4 texture paints and this review highlights one of those products, namely Tamiya’s “Soil Effect” texture paint.These paints are water-based and come in powder snow, snow, and “soil effect-dark earth”. Several other colors have been discontinued.

An appropriate description of this paint, describing the texture would be, “ gritty toothpaste”, or “damp salt”. Straight from the bottle, the paint does not look like paint at all, but rather a paste consisting of fine grit.

I chose to apply some of this paint to a diorama base for a dinosaur. The base was already covered with “ground”, “rocks” and “vegetation” but there were areas in which the material had worn off a bit, creating a perfect test bed.

I applied the texture paint using a Q-tip, which I found to be very effective as an application tool. I also selected a variety of spatulas from my tool box to “form” and “re-shape” the texture paint as desired. The product was very easy to apply and stuck nicely to the existing scenic effect. I did not work the product into the scenic effect immediately, but after an hour I gave it a go. The paint had begun to solidify but I found that it was easily shaped and molded.

After some reshaping I recognized that the texture paint was clinging to the base nicely, was easy to “work” and was not, in any way, causing any difficulties. I set aside the base for the night.

12 hours after the initial application the texture was “set up” and hard as a rock. Tamiya suggests that the texture paint will set up in 4 to 5 hours and that probably depends on the temperature, humidity, and the age of the texture paint. Tamiya has some tips for the user on their website and, as one can imagine, adding water to the texture paint will extend its drying time if need be.

As it turns out, Tamiya mixes in resin particles to give the paint that “gritty” appearance and feel. There was no noticeable odor, at least as far as I could detect, unless one held the bottle close to one’s nose….but then why would one find that necessary.

Do not use this product in an airbrush as the resin particles will do damage to your equipment. It is not necessary to use high-quality paint brushes to thin the paint or to “work” the paint unto your project. In fact, using mediocre brushes is quite acceptable since one is not painting the texture paint in place, but rather “smearing” it in place.

You can view a very informative video online at


The video is less than a minute and demonstrates how to apply and “work” the texture paint.

Use of this product is certainly not limited to any one genre of modeling. It is easy to think of automotive and armor builders using this product to make “mud”, “tire or tread tracks”, to see figure painters smearing it on the boots of their figures, and certainly used on bases for all type of models.

This product is highly recommended due to its ease of use, simplicity of application, rapid drying time while allowing for ample “working” time and color. The “Soil Effect” paint is appropriately named as it appears just like a brown soil. Thanks to Tamiya for making this product for review.


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