Layman's Gunpla Guide - Paint Review

[working] Under Construction

Over the course of my kits I've used many different paints, with varying levels of success. To save everyone the trouble of my trials I thought I'd create a list of some of the more notable paints I've used and how I've fared with them.

Your own experiences may differ from mine, hopefully for the better due to my own incompetence. If I'm doing something wrong please don't hesitate to give me some tips.


Model Masters - Various Flat Colors - I use Model Masters enamels most of the time, sticking to flat (vs semi-gloss or gloss). They mix and spray really well.

Tamiya Clear Colors - I haven't used these much but thus far I've had a positive experience. They spray well and are easy to clean up. I tried getting purple by mixing red and blue, wound up with black.

Spray Paints

All spray paints have one flaw, the potential to lay on thick. A quick way to spice up a kit, yet a quick way to ruin one.

Valspar Premium Enamel - For the most part my limited experience with this paint as been a positive one. Good colors that don't spray too thickly. I would use them again.

Valspar Brilliant Metal - Probably my favorite chrome/silver spray. It provided a much better finish than the equivalent Testors' chrome can. The paint and solution it's in can seperate after spraying, leaving small blemishes. Usually not an issue if you shake well before hand. However this is more prominent when trying to remover the paint from the can for brushing. If that's your intent I recommend a bottle Model Master's chrome silver as an alternative. I plan to try other colors in the future.

Model Master 'Customer Lacquer System' (specifically Grabber Orange) - I wouldn't recommend this paint to anyone. For me it sprayed on way too thick and does a really poor job of holding up against wear.


Krylon 'Indoor/Outdoor' Primer (White & Gray) - Best primer, ever. I love this stuff even if the white has become difficult to find on store shelves. You can pick up a 12oz bottle from a Michaels craft store for the same as a Testors 3oz bottle. Krylon primers also come with a swivel spray head that provide the best control of any spray can.

Testors - Your basic primer. Works well but you can do better for your cost/volume ratio.

Various Rust-Oleum Whites - I've purchased several white plastic primer sprays from Rust-Oleum and they're downright awful for gunpla. They're far too thick for a primer, in some cases filling in detail lines.