1:48 Tamiya Tips and Techniques USAF


K Color Chrome metallics recreate natural metal as easy as one, two, three…


“Away from the actual metallic paint and its appearance, I have to say I was also impressed by how hard-wearing the finish was, even after being in place for only a few hours”


Having finished the MENG P-51D, I wanted to have a crack at using some new paints to replicate the dissimilar metalwork that would be a feature of my next build: a modern day warbird featuring a highly polished finish.


I revealed these paints a few days ago (https://thekitbox.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/k-chrome-the-way-forward/) and now, I’ve had time to work with them a little more on the rest of the airframe, the fuselage being first sprayed with their Chrome Base and then oversprayed with Chrome Aluminium. Because I’m in something of a rush with this build — to say the least — the primer was sprayed-on using an Iwata TR1 airbrush and then left to dry for only a few hours before applying the metal finish, which is completely against the instructions provided by K, who tell you to leave the base to dry for at least 12 hours before overspraying with the metal! Thankfully and I mean that most sincerely, the primer was dry enough take the finish and now that it is on, I think it looks pretty good – not perfect, but for a first run with a new product, acceptably fine and enough to convince me that these paints are worth investigating further.


Away from the actual metallic paint and its appearance, I have to say I was also impressed by how hard-wearing the finish was, even after being in place for only a few hours. Being acrylic in nature, I was less than convinced that I would be able to mask over the model without leaving it overnight to dry, but being rather fly, I applied a test-strip of tape to the underside of the wing and found that upon removal, it left no market whatsoever. Bonus! Convinced that I wasn’t about to cock up the finish with tape applied before the paint had fully set, I masked off the blue nose and red rudder, blasted each area with Gunze Sangyo gloss colours and then removed the tape. Result? No damage whatsoever and two coloured panels that were almost perfectly defined other than a little bit of colour drift seen around the cockpit opening.


So, a few hours work, a less than patient approach and I have a model that kinda captures the look I was after – a P-51D with painted wings, a polished fuselage and gloss nose and rudder. A few more hours and this should be finished and then I can round-up my conclusion on this new range of acrylic paint and dump the finished feature into next month’s Model Airplane International magazine…

For more information on this range of paints, please click the following link:


I'm formerly the editor in charge of Military In Scale magazine and latterly, Model Airplane International. Editing duties to one side, I'm now a full-time modelmaker with Doolittle Media, working to supply modelling articles and material for a number of their group titles, including MAI and Tamiya Model Magazine International. I'm also an avid fan of Assassin's creed, Coventry City FC and when the mood takes me, a drummer of only passing skill. Here though, you'll find what I do best: build models and occassionally, write about them!


  1. Luiz Carlos

    Fantastic NMF shades!…


  2. Wayne Beattie

    The metallic shades look fantastic. The”chrome” look that you wanted? Well I think you got it. It does look like a restored Mustang.


    • Yeah, it’s fairly close. Not as smooth as I would have hoped for (I need to play with the base layer a little more) but so far so good! Thanks for the comment.


  3. Nice looking metals. As I only brush paint does brushing work at all with this stuff? Yeah I know it isn’t made for that but I’m a rule breaker if it works ….



  4. Christian Atkins

    Very nice indeed!
    Glad to see you back, I was starting to get worried as your vblog had become a mini-sanity blanket for me out here.


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