Tamiya Weathering Master Compact

Whenever my game store is closed for the day (stupid Wednesday!), I'll usually take that time to go scouting around other hobby stores. You've probably noticed wherever I go, I'm always on the lookout for different things from terrain to modeling supplies to tools. And on a trip down to the local Hobby Center, a model train, military, and RC shop, I found a great supply of various Tamiya products.

My first Tamiya purchase came in the form of this little number, a compact that claimed to give wonderful and realistic results with little effort! I'd seen something about these online, but hadn't seen very much to be honest, and even to this day, much of what I have found has been from Tamiya themselves! I just HAD to give this little compact a try.

Don't be alarmed by the photo here, this is after a few months being knocked around in my hobby room and model cases. When I first opened the compact, it was nice and neat and the colors were true. I was reminded immediately of the old halloween make up shops used to peddle to all of us when we were young. More recently though, it reminded me of some of the military camo paint I was using here and there for missions in Iraq!

Once I opened it, I set to finding out just how this stuff works. At first, I started to mess with the brush on the applicator, but quickly found the compound to be far too hard to start off using it. The brush is much like a make up brush in it's stiffness, and the sponge end isn't much stiffer, still much like a make up sponge! The compound itself is more used as a smearing than a powdered pigment (such as Mig Pigments). It takes some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, the effects are easy, quick, and look great!

My first uses were to blacken the ends of my Ork slugga's with the soot. It might be a bit hard to make out in this photo, but once applied, it gave a wonderfully subtle effect that took no time at all to accomplish!

My next big application of the weathering compact was to use it on my Sons of Medusa Venerable Dreadnought, Perseus. With this piece, I used it selectively but to great effect in conjunction with the GW Washes (in this case Gryphonne Sepia) which gave just enough tooth for the compound to really attach itself to and give a great look. In this photo you can make out where I used it around the vents and on the smoke stacks. Just a few quick swipes with the sponge achieved this look.

You'll need to seal this stuff in after application, it doesn't ever really set, so using a varnish of some type will keep it where you want it and off of where you don't.

Something else to keep in mind if you're planning to pick up a weathering compact though, is how you'll store it. I have quickly found that just throwing it in your modeling bag isn't a viable option. It's dried out on me and cracked up a lot now. It's no less effective on the models, just a pain to clean up and work with (see: Messy!) than it was when it was brand new!

I've slowly started purchasing more Tamiya weathering products and paints since picking this up. Has anyone else used any of their products? We would love to hear what folks have found works and doesn't!


  1. Interesting article mate, I'll keep my eyes open for them when I'm next on a hunt.

    You said that it needs sealing, do you reckon you could do this with a spray or do you have to seal it by painting matt varnish on like the mig pigments?

  2. Col. Corbane,

    I have had really good success in spray varnishing this stuff so far. But I'm sure if you're a brush on type, it would work just as easily.

  3. I have discovered this myself a few months back.
    Great product,the applicator is ok but using a cut up paintbrush works much better,but like said the makeup sponge is for when you want it smeared on and the brush for a more traditional dusty look.
    You can also seal it with odorless thinner,which I use for the oil paints I weather with.
    It comes in a variety of colors
    EXHUST BLUE/ORANGE/OILSTAIN(The first two give a fantastic heat scorched effect on exhusts)
    I have yet to try MIG powders so I do not know how they compare.

  4. @BigWill,

    Having used both Tamiya and MIG, I would say that for weathering, MIG is the only place to look. The work in so many ways and can be mixed with other compounds (Acrylic / Oils etc) to give different results.
    I find the Tamiya stuff hard to work with, although i do love their paints.

    @Col, Do you spray your MIG pigments? :O
    I normally use their fixer, I've always been worried about spraying them... Do you ave any images of varnished / MIG'd models?

    @Grey_Death. That venerable dread looks amazing - Do you have any pics of the front?

  5. I'd really love to get my hands on some Mig stuff. I have a feeling I'll be using them a lot when I do.

    Paul, here are some links to more pics of the dread:

    Venerable Dreadnought PerseusVenerable Dreadnought Perseus 2Venerable Dreadnought Perseus 3Venerable Dreadnought Perseus 4

  6. Very nice work Death!
    How did you do the chipping?

  7. I used the method I explained here, though I think since I used a large gnarly brush instead of a sponge. Same effect though.

  8. I use both MIG powders and Tamiya weathering sticks. The sticks are much easier to use and 'fix' on the model without any extra treatment. The sticks not look as good as powders on a static model but are a lot less messy for wargaming.


  9. Hello,

    I also have the weathering sticks and weathering masters. I like them but I couldnt fix the pigments at my tanks.
    When I use the GW-Mattvarnish almost all of the pigments became invinsible. You say that you also use varnish. Does this not happen at yours? I have used the mattvarnish-Spray...

    Btw: Great Blog. Every Friday my F5-Key is in trouble....