Best paints for clear plastic

Since I’ve got some models that have clear parts I would like some advice as to how to paint them while still having the see-through effect of the clear plastic.

Washes or thinned contrast paints might get you the effect you are after?

The lightning on this (which is slightly translucent IRL) is contrast blue over clear plastic


Yeah it needs to be something really thin like that. Any normal paint would ruin the translucency and basically make it uglier, I think.

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Thanks for the advice.

Don’t use acrylic paints as they are opaque. You can test whatever medium first, see how much the original color is underneath to get an idea.

I use inks if I am going to color them, here is an example using yellow (left) and red/orange inks (right) on transparent minis. These are acrylic artistic paints (Daler Rowney Fw) you can pick up at any art store.

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“Tamiya Clear” are the paints that work best for those kind of application

not my pictures:


I was going to suggest the same as @kodos

I use the Tamiya ‘clear’ colours for exactly this

Tamiya paints don’t brush well, they’re more suitable for air brushing and stink to high heaven. A good alternative to them are Badgers ghost tints. They’re similar but not solvent based. I’ve brushed them on fine in the past when I struggled with tamiya. The only issue is they split over time so you have to give them a good shake every few months to keep the bottle healthy when Tamiya don’t.

never had any problems using the “Clear” paints with a brush
but yes they are nut suited for advanced techniques like blending with other paints but really just there to give clear parts a colour or make some special effects (Clear Read+little bit of Black gives the best “fresh” blood effekt, and using them over a silver or bronze surface for a coloured metallic was unmatched until Citadel Contrast came out)

Really glad you guys could give some good advice to @PrinceoftheNorth here, I was way out of my depth. Haven’t tried something like Tamiya since I used it for armor back when I was a kid, and I can agree about the smell @WoofBird , I still remember that. :nauseated_face:

Whatever medium tamiya uses doesn’t self level very well so you get patchy coverage. One thing which might work well also is the army painter tones. They self level really well and tint stuff pretty good. Contrast comes out a bit patchy at times and might cause issues on clear surfaces.

Many years ago when I got my airbrush I picked up a lot of tamiya paints because they were so well recommended. I’d spray in a room with 2 open windows and come back hours later and gag. They’re like stink bombs when you start spraying them. Ended up giving them all away to another modeler and switched over to Vallejo air for spraying. I had a pretty good time with mission models RC paint line recently and am tempted to expand the endless money pit known as the paint collection

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On clear plastic like a lot of the Wizkids stuff, I’ve had good success with the Tamiya clear stuff. Yes, they stink, but I used a brush on these with no problems.

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