Mixing AK Real Colors & Tamiya Paints

Hello has anyone out there ever mixed AK Real Colors and Tamiya paints for airbrushing? If so, what thinner do you use?

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Mr Leveling Thinner

I have mixed them with much success. I also use Mr Levelling Thinner, but any lacquer thinner will do the job, although Mr Levelling Thinner is the best I have ever used, by far.

I also mix Mr Color paints with them, both lacquer and aqueous, using Mr Levelling Thinner again.

Hope this helps.

Thanks guys for responding. I will probably stick with lacquer thinner as I want to have a flat finish. I’ve tried Mr. Leveling Thinner in the past but the finish came out glossy.

I also use Mr Color leveling thinner for my AK Real Colors and Tamiya paints. I’ve had no issues with mixing Tamiya and Real Color. Mine come out dead flat and smooth.

What ratio of thinner to paint do you use?

My paint to thinner ratio varies with the job. 1 part paint to 1 part thinner for base coats. For fine work I use 2 parts thinner. I’m very precise. I eyeball it in the airbrush cup. Tamiya, AK Real Color, and Leveling Thinner are all so forgiving that you don’t need to be precise or need a flow enhancer. This sprays beautifully.

So lemme’ get this straight, because I’ve been seeing this on the forum here since I rejoined.

AK real colors can be thinned with Mr Color leveling (lacquer) thinner or Tamiya X20A thinner will also work?

All this time I’ve been using AK acrylic thinner and lately AK 1500 acrylic thinner……

Lacquer thinner is kind of a no go in my place unless it’s shot in the garage or the boss is out of the house for a few hours. No problems with Tamiya X20A though….

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Yes, Tamiya and AK Real Colors can be thinned with either the acrylic thinners or a lacquer thinner, but the difference in the way the paint behaves is huge. Specifically using Mr. Color Levelling Thinner (HIGHLY recommended), which is a lacquer thinner, the paint airbrushes flawlessly, no tip dry, no clogs, no grainyness, no runs, drips, or errors. It is really astounding to see the difference. The paint lays down in a beautiful smooth coat, self-levels, and dries skin-tight. Once you try it you’ll never go back to acrylic thinners. You’ll find a solution to SWMBO sniffing around.
I have experienced AK RC thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner drying glossy on me, but my next step is to put a gloss coat on the model for decaling, so it’s a moot point.


I find that Ak real colors go glossy if they are put on too wet or if they are thinned too much

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Of course everyone has their own tolerances,but a few drops of Lacquer thinner in the AK doesnt really have much odor to it.Its not like spraying straight lacquer paint,

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Doesn’t bother me- I spent 40 years breathing solvents, carcinogenic dust and aromatic hydrocarbons on a daily basis.

The wife, on the other hand, has an acute sense of smell…


@Arch-Stanton, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We got back from Antarctica yesterday. Tamiya X20A does NOT work with AK Real Colors - it turns the paint into a gummy mess. Mr Color Leveling Thinner produces the best results. AK makes Real Colors High Compatibility Thinner RC701. It has an alcohol like smell. It sprays well but not as good as the Leveling Thinner.

You could always wait to airbrush until she is doing her nails…

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Antarctica, wow. Thanks for following up.

I re read what you’d originally written several times and figured that was the case. I’ve ordered some of the Mr self leveling lacquer stuff to give it a try.