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Tiny air bubbles in Tamiya TS paint?

6 replies
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  • Member since
    July 2017
  • From: Boston
Tiny air bubbles in Tamiya TS paint?
Posted by George123 on Monday, November 26, 2018 3:14 PM

Hi Folks,

I've started to build the Tamiya Enzo Ferrari (Yellow version) in 1/24th. The model is quite a piece of engineering in itself.

The styrene is yellow OOB, and very nice.  Unlike many car models the body here is in many pieces.

Washed all styrene, primed with Tamiya white fine surface primer and light coats of TS-16  yellow then wet coat a day later.  Always at least a day between  coats.

On only once piece when dry (the back bumper) there were many tiny air bubbles that looked like tiny pin holes. I sanded down then sprayed again.

Second time there were fewer but still there.


Does anyone know why this is happening and only on one of the body pieces?

Trying to figure this out before I sand down and spray again.

I guess in the world of real car painting these  tiny holes would be called "fisheyes" caused by a contaminent on the surface , but my model surface is quite clean.


Thanks for any advice.



  • Member since
    January 2013
  • From: Sugar Land, Texas, USA
Posted by VintageRPM on Monday, November 26, 2018 6:13 PM

You are holding the can too close to the model while putting on wet coats of paint. Those bubbles are the propellant.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 8:27 AM

It is possible that the bubbles are either propellant from the paint or some sort of contamination of the surface.  If you handle the surface with your fingers or dirty gloves, that contamination may have transferred to the plastic.  Try using mist or light coats of paint until you acheive the paint depth you desire.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Atlanta GA
Posted by Zoom Zoom on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 9:53 AM

As mentioned above and by personal experience, it's definitely from spraying too close on wet coats; the propellant that is normally dissipated before hitting the surface gets trapped under the surface by the surplus of wet paint from a too-close, too-wet coat.

Zoom Zoom, aka Bob Downie My Fotki Album The only cure for modeler's ADD is "final assembly and decal placement"
  • Member since
    July 2017
  • From: Boston
Posted by George123 on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 10:15 AM

Thanks for these reponses Guys,

I'll back the can off. 

Is 12" the recommended distance from your experience? 


My first time using the Tamiya TS paint. It looks to work pretty well, execpt for this one small issue on one part.


Thanks Again.

  • Member since
    October 2015
Posted by Tim Boyd on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 5:15 PM

I have also experienced this problem, but only with Tamiya paints, and at least for me, only with spraying the final wet coats with TS-13 Clear.  

Bob's explanation is right on the money. 

Back off the spray can another couple of inches and you will be fine. 

However, the only way to get rid of all the bubbles is to remove the paint entirely from the damaged area and start over.  Otherwise you run the risk of the bubbled surface, no matter who much you have sanded it smooth, bubbling through to the new top coat. 

Good luck with the kit!  Sounds like a winner.....TIM


  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 8:29 PM

Sounds exactly what happened to my last project and yes I was spraying too close. I took out some of the parts from the kit, put the rest back in the box and trashed it. No more problems.

High octane


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