Mixing Tamiya "X" and "XF" colours

Good day fellow modellers!

I am embarking on a WW1 WNW aircraft (the Hannover C1.II to be exact) and in the instructions they say to mix, for example, (Tamiya) X-17+XF-23. I know that one is gloss and the other is flat but they are both acrylic paints. Is this possible? Does it actually work? I suppose the result would be a semi-gloss(?). I guess I am just curious about other peoples’ results with this.

Thanks and have a great day!

Interesting, I would expect the same a semi gloss color. Never tried it myself.

If you thin Tamiya with alcohol it won’t matter – it’ll be flat.

I have mixed them when I ran out of the flat/gloss of a color but as I usually do military kits and I am an alcohol user I haven’t actually seen if it is indeed semi.

Absolutely no problem mixing the X and XF lines. The ratio of X to XF will modulate and determine the final sheen.

You can also do the same with the 3 different sheen clears, X-22 clear gloss, X-35 semi-gloss clear, and XF-86 clear flat. All three can be mixed to achieve just about any degree of clear sheen. I’ve found that this is the easiest way to achieve a specific level of sheen rather than experimenting with ratios of X and XF colors. Mix those to achieve the color tone, then over-spray with the clear mixed to the desired final sheen.

Finally, Tamiya X-21 flat base is used to mix with X-series gloss colors to also produce varied sheens from semi-gloss to flat. DO NOT USE X-21 by itself! It is not intended as a standalone topcoat. It is an additive for the gloss colors (actually it can also be mixed with the standard XF-series colors if they’re not flat enough.)

This all works with either of Tamiya’s proprietary thinners, X-22A or Yellow Cap Lacquer Thinner or a mix of the two.


Some interesting and not known pointers there … Very handy to know all that :+1:

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I’ve made that mistake with X-21 flat base before. Makes a passable frost effect though :grimacing:


Can X-22 clear gloss be used as a stand alone clear if thinned? Or not thinned?

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Yes, it works perfectly fine as a clear coat. I’ve been using it lately, thinned, with great results. Can’t say how it works unthinned.


Got it. I’ve been looking for a consistent air brushable gloss clear ever since I ran out of my stash of Model Master gloss clear. I bought 8 2oz bottles when the Model Master Acryl line was dropped.

I’m not smart enough to be able use a floor wax or a desert topping for a clear coat on models.

I’ve used the AK gloss clear with some success but I discovered it needs to be run through a paint strainer as it’s poured from the large dropper bottle it comes in, prior to thinning in a smaller dropper bottle, otherwise the chunks in the AK clear clog up all my airbrushes, including my hi-flow one.

It’s the same for me with the AK primers- they need to be strained.

Thanks for the info.

Yes, X-22 clear gloss is primarily intended to be used as a gloss top coat. It is thinned (reduced) and sprayed just like any of the other X-series colors.

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I use X 22 clear gloss for gloss coat before and after decals . Thinned 50/50 with Mr Color Leveling Thinner. Be aware that if you use leveling thinner with XF Flat colors it can impart some gloss to
them - if I want flat I use Tamiya yellow cap .

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