Tamiya offers a trio of “panel line accent colors”, Black (# 87131) Brown (#87132) and Gray (#87133). Two of these colors were provided to IPMS for review, those two colors being black and gray. All three colors are enamel based and that means that one will need to be aware that plastic and enamel have a love-hate relationship. While the accent paints will really pop out the detail on a model, if applied too generously it can damage the plastic. Tamiya understands this issue and provides reminders of this issue to the user.
For test purposes I used the F-14 Tomcat that is currently sitting on my work bench. I picked an area that had not yet previously been highlighted or “accented” and then gave it a coat of Future to seal the acrylic and provide a barrier upon which the Tamiya accent paints could be applied.
Tamiya provides a fine-tipped brush which is attached to the bottle cap, and one can certainly use this brush to apply the accent color, but I chose to use a standard paint brush only because the paint brush is more comfortable in my hand than the bottle cap. There is no need to thin the accent color but I did reduce the amount of color the brush picked up by gently scrubbing it on a piece of sheet plastic. I continued swiping the brush on the scrap plastic until the amount of accent color being transferred was what I considered the “right” amount. A few swipes of the brush along panel and engraved detail was sufficient, and then the process was repeated.
There is nothing difficult or tricky about applying these accent colors. The viscosity of the color is good to go straight from the bottle. Once applied one can remove any excess by soaking it up with the paint brush or a Q-Tip, and it really is quite easy to use.
Even when dry, if there are areas that need some touch-up, one can apply a small quantity of enamel thinner to a micro-brush and “sculpt” the density of the accent paint until one is happy with the appearance of the color.
Tamiya suggests that the brown accent color is best used on armor while the black and gray work well with aircraft, but there are times when all three can be used on a model whether it be an aircraft, armor, auto, ship, or Sci-Fi. Use whatever works.
Visit the product pages for the accent colors and you will be treated to some professional imagery of each of these colors being applied to a model.
These Tamiya Accent Colors are highly recommended for their ease of application, appearance, and reasonable cost. Thanks to Tamiya for the review samples.