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Diorama Texture Paint - Soil Effect (Dark Earth & Brown)

Catalog Number:
87109 Dark Earth & 87108 Brown
Sunday, May 7, 2017
Retail Price:
Reviewed By:
James Spellmire


Dark Earth and Brown



Tamiya has recently released textured paint for various diorama affects, including snow, soil, sand/grit, pavement and grass. This review is on their soil effect paint which comes in two colors: brown and dark earth..  

The Product

From Tamiya:: "This water-based paint features a paste-like texture and is useful for reproducing ground textures. The soil effect paint has special resin particles and can be formed before it dries. Contains enough paint to cover a 250 x 353 mm or 9.8 x 13.9 inches of area (1 coat).  Drying time: 4-5 hours. 1 bottle contains 100ml."

Tamiya continues about the product's qualities and potential uses as follows, with my comments and related experiences :

     "This water-based paint features a paste-like texture with special resin particles for recreating dirt surfaces."

Upon opening up the bottle, you can see the resin particles. giving the paint a texture similar to scale dirt.



     "Paste-like consistency offers excellent concealment qualities and can also be used like putty to fill in gaps."

After mounting an AFV, I used this paint to fill in the gap between the base and the tracks so the vehicle would not be floating:


     "After applying a thick layer, the surface can be formed before it dries completely."

I scooped out some paint, which was pretty solid from the bottle, and then spread it on a base using a spatula.  I was not entirely satisfied with what I had done, but it would have dried hard if I had left it like this:



     "Thin with water if paint is too thick."

Thank goodness I read this next part. By adding water, I was able to thin the paint to the desired consistency and apply it to my base. Since I wanted to use this only as a paint rather than as built up ground work, I laid down a layer of Durham's water putty on my base and mounted the vehicle. Once dry, I then painted the base with the thinned texture paint.




     "As these items are water-based, they do not have a strong smell and it is possible to clean with water before it sets."

There is a smell, as with all paint, but it is not overpowering. Any spill or excess can be wiped away with a damp cloth or paper towel. 

     "When applying, please use a spatula or an old paintbrush as new brush bristles may be damaged when applying."

Although the paint brush I used was old, it still held its shape. After using it to brush this paint on the base, the bristles did get damaged as forewarned:


     "It is possible to mix with other Tamiya acrylic paints to achieve different colors."

I tried this by adding Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow, water based Ocre Burnt Terracotta Craft paint from Michael's to separate samples of the Tamiya Brown Soil Effect to see how the color changed. I also tried adding Future to see if I could achieve a wet mud effect. 


Here is a close up of the four: Upper left - Tamiya Soil Effect Brown without any added paint; Upper right - Terra Cottra added to give the brown a reddish hue, Lower left - Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow added to give the brown a lighter hue; and Lower right - Pledge with Future added trying to give the brown a wet look. 


The color changes were very subtle. If additional paint is added to change the color more, the textured paint gets thinned out and you lose the desired "real dirt" effect. I did not see any marked difference to the textured paint with future added. Future, clear coat or some other gloss paint should be painted on after the texture paint dries to achieve a wet look.    

     "It is possible to apply washing and dry brush effect on the texture painted surface with enamel paints."

I used thinned Windsor & Newton oils to darken the tread marks with no problems:


     "Do not use with airbrushes as it may cause damage."

I took Tamiya's word on this and did not risk ruining my airbrush for purposes of this review.


With a little thinning, this paint can be used right out of the bottle and give a realistic look to any base representing soil or dirt. 

Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.

Thanks goes out to TAMIYA  for this review sample.

Reviewed by James Spellmire


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