Tamiya panel line accent review | The Best for Models and Miniatures?

· · ·

Tamiya Panel line accents are one of the most sought-after washes miniature painters use for panel lining and to create textures on the models. But, are they really better than others? 

Before you decide to get their black, gray, or brown washes, here’s all you need to know about Tamiya panel line accents. 

What is a wash?

Painting miniatures is fun. Still, the most difficult task miniature painters may face is creating specific textures like weathering effects, which makes the model feel more abstract and real. 

A wash is a paint, but it won’t have the thick consistency of regular acrylic paints. These paints help you create varying effects and textures depending on your project demands. 

It enhances the surface details, creates artificial shadows, and adds depth to the model. 

Tamiya panel line accent Is good for miniatures and models

This wash works fantastic for models and miniatures, but I really think it could be a miss, especially when using them for surface coating. 

Used for panel lining and on small recesses, the Tamiya panel line accent wash is great. 

The Panel Line Accent’s medium is oil

Before you start using this Tamiya wash, you need to know that it is oil based since it is enamel paint. 

It simply means before applying the paint, you should take safety precautions by ensuring your workspace is well-ventilated is essential. 

What are the Tamiya wash’s features?

  • How does it flow? 

The biggest advantage of the Tamiya panel line accent washes is they have excellent fluidity, which creates a symmetrical coating on your model.

However, you want to pay attention to how well it flows, especially in large areas. No matter how large the recesses or panel lining may be, this paint may reach everywhere when coating large surfaces since they are thin, 

  • Is it easy to use?

Paint viscosity, the process of thinning the paint, and its flow ability, are three things that make using paints a hassle. The panel line accent washes are different. 

The paint is pre-diluted into the ideal viscosity and can be easily applied to the panel lines on your models and miniatures. Plus, you can clean them effortlessly. 

The paint is quite easy to handle.  

  • How well does the wash dry?

Unlike regular enamel or oil-based paints that take up to 30 minutes to dry, the wash can easily dry in 10 minutes. 

  • Should you thin it?

Tamiya panel line accent washes come ready to go out of the pot. Of course, they will need mixing, as the enamels can settle on the pot’s bottom, but they’re ready for use straight from the bottle. 

  • Are the panel liners easy to clean? 

Yes, you can easily wipe the wash off with a thinner. 

Tamiya panel line accent wash can be cleaned with Tamiya’s X-20 enamel thinner. Alternatively, use a less aggressive thinner or turpentine so that the paint cleans off well without damaging your work.  

Most people confuse the X-20A for the enamel thinner and end up seeing the paint coming off. Tamiya’s X-20A is acrylic thinner (A stands for Acrylic). It is mostly isopropanol, water, and surfactant. These panel liners are enamels. So, they won’t dissolve well in acrylic thinner.

On the other hand, the wash sticks harder on surfaces coated with flat clear and semigloss varnish, making them difficult to clean. However, they clean better when used with a gloss varnish.

Bumblebee done with Tamiya Panel Line Accent

What wash color does Tamiya Panel Liner have

Tamiya produces several shades of panel line accents, from black to brown, dark brown, gray, and dark brown. 

The brown and dark grey washes are often used for white or very light camouflage colors. On darker colors, they don’t appear visible, and over white, the regular gray feels too light. 

Tamiya’s best wash colors

I use more black and try to stay clear of the dark brown because it has a very weak tone and it is hardly visible after coating the model with varnish. 

On the other hand, lighter colors, such as gray and light gray, separate easily.

I often recommend black washes as they work well on various subjects. For instance, they look good on a black-painted subject, where the idea is to paint the model in something lighter than black, like a very dark grey. The black wash makes it easy to create a contrasting effect between the regular black paint and black wash on a model. 

The black washes also look great on moveable surfaces since they help you make a believable contrast against the panel lines, making these lines look deeper than they appear in reality.

Regardless, use brown for your military models and figures or over bright colors like yellow and orange. Gray works perfectly for white or light grey parts. Their dark brown wash will work perfectly for weathering effects on tank models. 

Is Tamiya Panel Line Wash the best wash for miniatures and models?

The best washes should help you create weathering effects and work well on panel lines. 

Tamiya panel line accent washes are great for lines, but they don’t work so well for creating a weathered look on the model. Plus, they won’t flow well in large areas. 

For this reason, we won’t crown them the best washes for models and miniatures. But, they do work effectively for your panel lines. 

Do you really need a wash for your miniature?

Generally, applying washes on your model or miniatures is not necessary. Most experienced painters can do without using washes on their models and miniatures. Still, they are more beneficial than you think. 

They help you get some good-looking shades, shows, and weathered looks on your models with minimal effort. They are basically one of the best speed painting paints that save you time. 

Tips for using Tamiya paint line accents 

  • Apply a base coat before using the wash. The panel line accent is enamel based. Hence, the washes can easily brittle bare plastic. The top coat helps protect the plastic and allows for a smoother surface for the panel line accent to flow on.
  • Avoid adding panel line washes excessively on a flat base coat since accent color washes can easily permeate plastic. 
  • Like all paint, these washes will have fine pigments that will often get loosely suspended at the bottom of the jar. So, you need to stir them often and completely. 
  • The paints are fluid. It means they can easily spread. When using washes, use fine-pointed brushes to ensure pinpoint and precision application. 
  • These washes are enamels and can easily cause health hazards inhaled. So, don’t airbrush them. 


The best way to give your panel line a more realistic depth is by using washes for highlighting details. So, if you need a good wash, Tamiya panel line accent paint colors are efficient washes for your miniature and models. They are easy to clean, handle, flow, and dry well and won’t require thinning. Just make sure to apply them properly to avoid damaging your plastic models.