First time user of Real Color

I Started as a kid with Pactra and Testers paints. As a teen I added Humbrol to my palate along with Model Master. Tamiya followed and became my go to. I have pleaded for years for Tamiya to publish a mixing chart for their paints but to no avail. I have decided to change paint to one that has more color selections. I tried Life Color but opaqueness of some colors was a problem. I was told that Real Color behaved like Tamiya. Can someone help with a comparison between Tamiya and Real Color? The good, the bad. Thank you. I just want a flawless paint that will never have any issues… :smirk:
Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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@TopSmith like you I’ve been using Tamiya paint since their introduction here in the US way back when. There were times when I was frustrated with their limited color selection but I have come to accept that their line just grows very slowly. More to the point is the fact that for the past several years I have been mixing my own colors. Yes it is somewhat of an inconvenience but I find I can achieve the colors I want pretty consistently and with little to no waste. If you haven’t already gotten one a color wheel helps you understand the colors and what to add to what to get close to the color you are after. Self mixing is by no means perfect but for me just getting close to the color I want is good enough as the weathering process usually changes the initial base rather dramatically. I also use the Tamiya lacquer thinner (yellow cap) which AB and lays down much nicer than their standard thinner. As for a flawless paint. . . something we all dream of. Good luck.

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Greg, I tried AK Real Color paint and liked it so much I bought them all. It performs just like Tamiya, but you get all the custom military colors pre-mixed. I thin it 50/50 with hardware store lacquer thinner and it shoots like magic. 12 PSI. It covers in 1 or 2 passes and is very forgiving. It self levels and dries rock hard and silk smooth. No tip drying, no clogging, no issues at all. The other day I was airbrushing for 4 hours straight without a hitch. Cleanup is super easy - lacquer thinner cleans everything squeaky! Give it a try, you’ll be in love.


A ringing endorsement tempting this long time Tamiya user to give it a try.

I ordered a set of the South East Asia colors for Vietnam for a Skyraider. I wanted to get a feel ahead of time for what I need to do and how the paint would behave. Hope there is not a temperature issue in shipping.

I just had some shipped to me last week in sub freezing temps (like 18º F) and it was just fine.


I am in the process of adding AK Real Colors to my selection of Tamiya paints. They spray just as well as the Tamiya paints. You can also mix them with Tamiya paints. I have done this to lighten or darken a color for post shading. I am getting the best results spraying them with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner mixed 1:1 at 15 psi. I have not had any issues with tip drying or splatter. I have not had to mess with flow enhancers or precise measurements with the thinner. They also work well with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner and of course with the Real Color Thinner. Do NOT use with Tamiya X20A - it turns gummy. Thinning with isopropyl alcohol resulted in a grainy surface.

The biggest problem that I’ve had is availability in the US. Not may shops carry them and shipping costs from Spain are high. But, the availability of easy to spray pre-mixed colors is worth the procurement hassle.



How do they brush paint? I love Tamiya through the airbrush but if it’s a project I’m going to have to brush paint parts, I often hesitate.

@tarylorrl - in case you don’t already know, you can get AK real colors from ScaleHobbyist, HobbyLinc (in Georgia), and Michigan Toy

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I haven’t given them a good work out with a brush. In my initial attempt, they behaved like Tamiya. Thanks for the additional sources of supply.


You can also get them from Microworld Games. Sets or bottles. I have brush painted them with excellent results. Smooth flow, good coverage, and no gunking up like Tamiya.

They are fantastic paints and can be brush painted easily as well.
Also they can be diluted with almost anything and airbrushed.
Don’t just take my word for it though have a look at this:


I plan to brush paint Tamiya this weekend. Two how to videos I plan to use.


AK does sounds interesting.

i have used/still use tamiya, as well as all the top brand acrylics,does the real colors line have a paint smell like tamiya paints? i have a house with kids in it and dont want it to be too toxic smelling,hence the reason i use acrylics,thanks!

It does have a unique smell, kind of like Tamiya, but not too strong. You can get a whiff when you first open the bottle, but you won’t smell it on the bench after that.

great!,thanks for the input!

I finally tried Real Color today while painting my M26 Pershing. And WOW. I’m amazed. I’ve been a Tamiya fan for awhile but I have to say…Real Color is no joke. I mixed with 50:50 Tamiya Lacquer thinner and it sprayed like a dream, so smooth, no clogging and came out buttery smooth on the model. I’m sold. Now to get ride of 50+ Vallejo Air bottles which give me nightmares. :angry: :joy:

I’ve used them on two projects so far. First time on a Leopard 1A4 a couple of years ago, thinned with Tamiya X-20A, per what the guy at the hobby shop said he had used, and got a very gritty finish. Second time two weeks ago on a Leopard 2 airbrushed with Mr Levelling thinner, airbrushed superbly. I am now sold on them big time!