How to Use Washes Oil, Tamiya panel line accent color, Citadel – Great Guide Plastic Models

How to Use Washes Oil, Tamiya panel line accent color, Citadel – Great Guide Plastic Models

In today’s tutorial I am going to focus on washes, both commercially produced and self made washes from oil paints. Adding washes is a technique of painting models with very thin mix of paint. It is used to enhance the surface details, create artifical shadows and add depth. Washes can be mixed from oil, enamal or acrylic paints. I start with washes made by Tamiya, namely Panel line accent color. Tamiya produces several shades, but I prefer the simple black one. I think, that dark brown color has very weak tone, and it is hardly visible after coating model with varnish. The advantage of these washes is an excellent fluidity, which creates a symmetrical coating, dries fast and you can easily wipe the wash off with a thinner. Tamiya wash is not suitable for surface coating, but it’s great for panel lines and small recesses. It can happen that it doesn’t reach all the places when coating large areas. Now the dark brown wash. Shade is suitable for white or very light camouflage color. You wouldn’t even notice it on darker one. Wash is going to dry in 10 minutes. How to wipe the dried wash off? I use Tamiya X-20 thinner or less aggressive Thinner for washes from Mig production. You can also use turpentine. Here is the result after wiping the wash off. If you have sprayed your model with gloss varnish thoroughly, then you can wipe the wash off without problems. Wash will stick on surface coated with flat clear or semigloss varnish, and it will be difficult to wipe it off. Acrylic varnishes proved to be the most useful, because they are very resilient. I use Gunze Mr. Color Super Clear III and classic glossy Mr. Color. Tamiya varnish is not bad either, but it is necessary to apply it in two or three layers. Then I use Alclad aqua gloss varnish for metallic surfaces. Now a demonstration of Tamiya wash on a small Star Wars X-wing model. The model has a lot of raised sections and details. Tamiya wash is going to work really great here. Afterwards I can nicely remove it from the wings, so it will stay only in chinks and on the edges. I use it for cockpit, chassis and wing flaps when building aircraft models. Now, other washes or rather shades. It is not possible to wipe them off and they are applied on flat surface. I usually use them when painting scale figures to create artificial shadows. They change the tint of base color so they act as a color filter. Simmilar product made by Vallejo. This is how it looks after drying. It would require too much work to create simmilar shading with common paints. Yet one more demonstration on the model. If you try to wipe the wash off, you will remove the underlying color too. And now, finally, let’s look at oil washes. It really does not matter which oil paint you buy. The important thing is, that they must be fully opaque. So you can simply buy cheap Umpton or Abteilung paints. Expensive paints for professional artists could cost even 20 euros for a piece, and they are great for painting scale figures, but I think they are too good just for common washes and you can as well as work with cheaper ones. At the beginning you will need only three colors – black, brown, and white. You can use white wash to soften black or very dark camouflage colors. That was just a short introduction. It is not good to work with paint extruded straight away from the tube. s you can see, it containes a lot of oil that you don’t want to have in the wash. Therefore, I squeeze out the paint to a paper napkin and leave the oil to soak in. The less oil you have in the wash, the faster it dries, and you do not have to wait a week until it is fully dried. I use Mig Thinner for washes for thinning oil paints too. I coat the entire model with wash using a standard brush. The wash makes the base color a little darker, and it is therefore necessary to take this fact into consideration when you mix paints for base coat. Do not apply wash on the whole model at once, but progresses rather gradually. One wing first, then the second, bottom, trunk, etc. Some people leave the washes to dry for up to 6 hours, but if you use a hairdryer then you can wipe off the dried wash just after 10 minutes. You can use a common dry paper towel. I am wiping it off in flight direction. This way I can create a very subtle effect of wear and tear. I suggest using surgical gloves when wiping off other parts of the model. Wash properly dries after 3-4 days, and without gloves you could leave fingerprints on the model. A little summary at the end. If you are a beginner, then you probably only need Tamiya Panel line accent color and turpentine. I mainly use oil washes, because I create rivets by hand on the majority of models, and then I cover the whole surface with wash to get the paint into all rivet holes. Tamia wash isn’t good in this case, because you can’t wipe it off with a dry paper towel. I usually use oil washes on surface of model, wings, and then I use Tamiya Panel line accent color for fuselage and details in cockpit. It is not in my power to show and describe all existing washes, so please consider this video only as a brief guide, what you could use and what proved useful to me personally.


  • Marcello Calì says:

    how do you call those little metal cups that you use to mix and thin the colours? where can i find them or something similar? i can't use plastic cups because my enamel thinner makes it solve. any advice?

  • El Diablo says:

    A word of advise;….always clear coat any model before applying any washes
    to protect the base paint and decal work and obtain professional results….=)

  • Fran _ says:

    what thinner else i can use expect Mig thinner for washes?

  • titi thierry says:

    after this, can you put flat or gloss varnish on oil painting layer?

  • Piotr Kozłowski says:

    What oil wash would you recommend? Because 502 abteilung black is out of stock everywhere… :-/

  • guillem grau freixas says:

    what will happen if i use water instead of thinner for making the wash?…

  • Alejandro Gordillo says:

    After applying the oil paint, how many hours do you have to wait to let it dry and then clean it?

  • Phayzyre105 says:

    Question: When thinning the oil paints does it matter which thinner you use? I have some regular mineral spirits that I purchased from a hardware store but I think it might be a bit too harsh and it may attack and damage the undercoat of paint. What do you think!?

  • Gadge87 says:

    Do you seal the model with varnish before or after you use the oil wash?

  • Carl Johnson Outdoors says:

    another excellent and informative video david! Thank you. Keep up the good work!

  • Thehoby painter says:

    great tutorial on different washes. thanks for sharing.

  • Kevin Yang says:

    3:50 Panel line wash going through areas is so satishfying… You can almost wank to it

  • Joss says:

    thanks for the tips!!
    just wondering what are those little dishes you use for mixing and where would I find them? they look really useful.

  • Justin Valentin says:

    Hey all, what thinner can I use for the oil wash if I don't have MiG Thinner for washes? I tried using Tamiya X20 Acrylic thinner but it didn't work too well, any insight? Thanks

  • yk303kk says:

    Good stuff

  • Terry Pepper says:

    holly cow what a detail piece . I dig this a lot thanks 4 sharing .

  • bold bold says:

    Super video diky moc …….a jinak moc krasné modely

  • sebol931 says:

    what can I use to thin oil paint washes I cant find mig wash thinner you use I have Tamiya x20A what else can I use

  • Paul Evans says:

    Thank You… for this! Many folks beat around the bush, but you say it as it is! Again, I thank You!

  • Monsterist76 says:

    The blaring, overly dramatic music was really annoying.

  • I D says:

    Toll! Danke!

  • ijsbrandvr says:

    Hi, me again:-o I've still troubles with the varnish, this time I tried tamiya x22 mixed with vallejo airbrush thinner(every consistency, every pressure) but I doesnt go glossy unless I spray ways to much so you get waves. Super clear III is not available in my country. I have also vallejo gloss varnish. but can I use mr hobby super clear gloss for oilwashes too? I think it is a laquer and so, how to clean the airbrush from it?

  • ijsbrandvr says:

    Thank you!, I don't have x20 now but it was already on my list. I hope that will give a better result.

  • ijsbrandvr says:

    ok thanks!!!!!!!!!

  • razorseal says:

    Where to use black and where to use white oil? And how much to thin? Looks like a good amount

  • Mrgasmaskdude says:

    Can someone help me, I have been trying to use x20a thinner to make oil washes, and am using faber castell oil paints, yet even the paint never mixes with the x20a thinner, please help!!!!!

  • GalaxyStranger01 says:

    Has anybody tried airbrushing washes?

  • Eisernes Kreuz says:

    Very Nice Video,
    helped me a lot to understand Washings.
    Unfortunately Tamia Panel Line Accent Color ist very
    hard to get in Germany, so I have to buy the one from Ammo of Mig,
    hoping it will work as fine as Tamiya.

  • CW RH says:

    Using your full-coverage method for oil washing, do you still need to apply a gloss coat?

  • Grammer Natcis' hair are you're christmas present; says:

    Seeing the detail coming out on that xwing….I can wank to that all day.

  • Tim's scale model building says:

    I heard you need to apply gloss coat before decals and after painting to prevent silvering, but i also heard you have to apply a clear coat after decals and before sludge wash in order to protect decals when you rub the sludge wash with a paper towel, im confused, so i need an overview of what to do after painting

  • Adnan Karagöz says:

    I couldnt understand do i need to varnish before or after when i am using wash ?

  • Michael Wild says:

    Excellent. Just headed into oils…thanks for all the information.

  • Fran _ says:

    Where can you boy oil paints?

  • Space Explorer says:

    do you need to apply gloss varnish also for oil wash or only for tamiya panel liner? I have my p-47 coated in 1 layer of tamiya semi gloss and finally want to try oil washes, what do I need to do so I wont get problems?

  • Bat Man says:

    Would you recommend any clear coats from a can?

  • I Q says:

    THANK. YOU. SO. MUCH. Seriously, this is super helpful

  • necropasha says:

    Thanks for the great tutorials & videos! I have recently obtained large amounts of glycerine – do you think if I were to mix them with water + pigments, would the end result be similar to oil washes? Could I be able to wipe it off afterwards I wonder. Also do you think sludge washes could substitute for oil washes? Once again thanks for amazing videos & have a good one.

  • astheskyfalls says:

    Great Video – Thank you, just out of curiosity can you use acrylic topcoat / varnish with the Tamiya panel liner or does it have to be a enamel based varnish?

  • HL 17 says:

    may i ask, can i use white spirit to clean up Tam panel line accent ?

  • Sed Esuriebam says:

    Great video, I have one question though. You use laqcuer clear coat, but is an acrylic clear coat a good option too? More specific the Humbrol clear Gloss.

  • HL 17 says:

    normally how long you wait until begin to wash the panel line , David ?

  • Andi says:

    Hi! Thanks for this video! Did you try with turpentine instead of x20 or MIG? Will i achive the same effect when i mix oil paint with turpentine? Thank you!

  • Fran _ says:

    can i use any oil color?

  • LemonArch Fábrega says:

    I got a question: I paint my citadel miniatures with enamels (testors, revell, etc) which technique should I use? Will the oil wash do better? Have you tested citadel and vallejo washes on a enamel painted mini? Im considering applying those acrylic washes on my enamel painted minis, do you think it ll work? (With or without gloss varnish) If youre interested Im eager to share my humble work

  • Kevin Morrison says:

    I have found about 90% of these specialty application products are nothing more than a gimmick to make money where money should not be available! None of these so called washes are necessary to be purchased and you can easily create the same effects with regular products and a compatible thinning agent. More times than not these products are watered down products of things they already sell, marketed with a different name. The idea that they charge double for these is abusive marketing and it would not even be so if people would just get educated about how to do these things with normal products. Nuff Said…;)

  • flymax says:

    I have a Trumpeter 1/32 F-14D SuperTomcat…what is the best oil color for it? I want to buy the Abteilung 502 black color or the Tamiya Accent Color Black…Which one should I buy?

  • lukebremner19 says:

    Really helpful! Thanks!

  • mario polito says:

    Great video

  • John Burdis says:

    Adam Wilders company puts out ,as to say, oiless oil paints.

  • Matej Uzelac says:

    Any other solutions… i dont have a tamiya wash nearby… what are my other solutions.. and whats the best thing to wipe off excess wash?

  • Rusty Graves says:

    There comes a point when modelling crosses over into being art!
    I’ve only been doing it 18 months and every time I finish a project and I’m pleased with the results,I look at tutorials like this and realise how crappy my efforts are!

  • Hector López says:

    Turpentine diluted in water (is possible?) and would be less agressive?

  • Recon Brad Vaughn says:

    Awesome videos. Love your work. Are you on Facebook

  • NeAr1986 says:

    Hi! I'm trying to use Tamiya Panel Line Accent. I've applied an acrylic satin varnish to protect the paint before. But when i had to remove the panel line eccess (with the tamiya X-20A), the varnish and paint comes off…Where is my mistake?…

  • P.V.T. S. says:

    You are great!

  • Lance V.o says:

    You are a great person honest and helping other people I bought and tested most of the things you use in this series and the end results are satisfying and amazing! Thank you so mutch my good man! Love from the Netherlands

  • Steve Short says:

    If you're going to make a video in English, learn to speak it before you do the video

  • Weaselpro says:

    Very useful and FAST video.

  • x_r_q_a_v says:

    thank you again for the excelent info. (the music is a bit too much for my taste though)

  • Michael Ritzen says:

    Hey David, Does it matter what kind of thinner I use for oil paints? I started to look around today to see what kind of oil paints are available and what thinner would work best, but I can't seem to get a clear answer between enamel and mineral thinner. Also, would you recommend Abteilungs own thinner, or would any thinner, be it enamel or mineral, be sufficient?

  • Cliff's Scale Modeling says:

    David, I can't find anything on what clear (varnish?) to use. I have some Alclad Clear (it seems to activate the paint (Tamiya Acrylic) a bit. PLEASE let me know what to use to do panel line washes. THANKS!!

  • Cliff's Scale Modeling says:

    THANK YOU so MUCH!! And for the quick reply, Thanks Again

  • gilang kristiawan says:

    Ima binge watching your videos maan, gonna make my F15E and F14A badass! Thank you!

  • Anon_anon says:

    Very nice

  • Donnacha Foley says:

    Excellent David

  • Angelo Nelia says:

    You are fucking confusing

  • asprivl says:

    Very useful David! Thank you very much. I watch always all your videos. I do mostly airplanes and tanks. I try to become better through your videos!

  • Scott Cook says:

    Another great video!

  • Don Russell says:

    I was wondering how you achived these techniques. Thank you for helping me becone a better modeler

  • John Chetcuti says:

    I wish you had a school? Awesome videos my friend

  • In blind modeler says:

    Excellent job and information ! Thanks

  • Benjamin Bovard says:

    Ok but whenever I use the black panel liner and then try to take off excess with thinner and a q-tip afterward, it ends up taking the other layers of paint below it with it, even though they are acrylic base paints protected with two layers of varnish. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

  • cameron chaney says:

    I love your work. I'm trying to find out though, what paints do and do not work with the enamel washes. I painted a grill piece with testers silver and the tamiya ate it up. So what do you use to clear coat the model before you wash it? What types of clear can you use, especially a flat coat.

  • Gustavo Camargo says:

    Amazing video sir. Quick question for all the guys here. If I want to enhance the detail of a Gundam model, which approach should I use? Thanks 🙂

  • Hovik Davtyan says:

    Everything is very cool! (8:24) Do you cover the model with varnish (and how) and what is the proportion between solvent and oil paint before coating with oil paint?

  • t34 fan says:

    Great instructions, thanks . Like the tip on using the oil.

  • Harry Potter says:

    Love that oil wash on the vampire

  • Starburst7641 says:

    Ehm so white spirit will work as a thinning agent when mixied with oil paints, right?

  • Cody Sanchez says:

    Can u tell me what do u call that small silver plate where u put your paint?

  • O Secony says:

    Plasmo tour work is amazing . Congratulations and keep bringing us great videos.
    Could you do a tutorial on the weathering with oil paints?

  • Jerry Mccrae says:

    Ive been modeling 45 yrs and still learning! Im enjoying your suggestions thank u 4 the vidio.

  • GodTierBunny says:

    i kinda like the dark color of that xwing

  • Ignatius Loyola says:

    tamiya x-20 thinner, is it good for wash up and clean up the accent that made by line marker?

  • Sylan 0610 says:

    I realize this is an old vid but hoping to get a reply. About to tackle my first scale model kit (Warhammer 40k and other wargaming hobbyist here lol) an airfix 1/72 P51D Mustang for use in my Bolt Action US army. I want to try to use the oil wash technique and will be painting the model with acrylic colors from both Vallejo and Citadel line. What varnish would you recommend for use with these color brands in mind before doing the oil washes? Thankyou for another amazing vid Plasmo and thankyou for any help you can give.

  • frederick Foster says:

    Tamiya wash is not a good idea on bandai star wars cause plastic broke

  • gunarto old game says:

    Can i wash with Tamiya enamel paint or Mr. Wheatering?

  • Darren of Earth says:

    Is using acrylic wash on acrylic gloss bad? Trying to figure out why my washes suck

  • Marcos Baungartner says:

    Thank you very much for sharing you knowledge, much appreciated =]

  • Petr Koktan says:

    Great job! Thanks

  • Justin Thorsson says:

    I was sooo worried when you were doing the vampire weathering when you went to wipe it off,thought you would wipe the paint off using thinner!😯

  • faisal rahmat says:

    Tamiya panel line accent color crack my gundam…

  • an cliuin says:

    There are sooo many videos out there that offer only pretty pictures and clever talk – you show how it is done, brush in hand. Thanks a lot for that, I have learned a great deal!

  • realdaneben says:

    forgot to say: oil washes work best on acrylic colours …if you use oil washes on enamels, the wash will remove the colour.

  • Patrik Marek says:

    wow, looks pretty good, but I suppose not so good for cars? 🙂

  • Crazy Pat 86 says:

    thanks for sharing your expierience with us! you are awesome!

  • Jakub Zarybnický says:

    skvělá čengličtina 😛

  • rafael maya says:

    Hello my friend it's a nice video I have a question how can I fix the oil washes on my model? When I try to clean all the paint come off what can I do ?

  • theo3300 says:

    let someone else to speak….you are unreadable

  • Michael Gee says:

    Question (sorry if question is stupid but) 1) wash is applied after all other painting is done- correct? 2) if so, how do you rub off the wash with thinner without removing the underlying paint?

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