Cybermodeler Online

Celebrating 23 years of hobby news and reviews



Notice: The appearance of U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Defense, or NASA imagery or art does not constitute an endorsement nor is Cybermodeler Online affiliated with these organizations.


  • Facebook
  • Parler
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • YouTube

Italeri Acrylic Paint Line First Look

Italeri Acrylic Paint Line First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2012 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Acrylic Paints Product Number See below
Pros Solid coverage, self-leveling Cons Fragile until cured
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $4.59/20ml bottle

First Look

At one time, Italeri distributed the Testors line of Model Master Acryl acrylic paints in Europe and their kit instructions reflected the Model Master paint numbers accordingly. Recently Italeri developed their own paint line which fills in a growing number of color gaps in the Testors Acryl line. Interestingly enough, the paint numbers for each Italeri color match up with the corresponding Acryl color so that their instructions are still valid with these new paints. There are 90 colors released in the series so far and we've added the Italeri colors to our online paint charts for your reference.

I decided to give these paints a try to see how they perform. The instructions have you thin these paints before airbrushing as they are set up out of the bottle for brush painting. I squeezed some Panzer Yellow 4796AP directly into my airbrush cup to see what would happen. It took a little extra air pressure on the airbrush but the yellow laid down smoothly on the model's surface. What's more, when the bottle says Flat, the color is indeed dead flat but it isn't a rough surface. The smell of the acrylic is a slightly sweet odor and not at all objectionable so it should be acceptable to your family when used in the house.

Speaking of odors, there has been some conjecture online about who is producing these paints for Italeri with some folks believing these are from Lifecolor. I gave these paints the sniff test and they are definitely not Lifecolor. They smell different than Gunze Aqueous and Tamiya acrylics as well. They do smell very similar to Vallejo, which is another source many have guessed and I'd say this is a stronger possibility.

Back to the test - the Panzer Yellow laid down very smoothly and did nothing to obscure any details - and this was without thinning! When I attempted to do the same test with the Panzer Gray 4795AP, the airbrush finally plugged up. This was an intentional test as I've had another brand of acrylic behave very poorly under similar conditions and wanted to see what would happen here. First, the Italeri paints respond to Windex (ammonia-based window cleaner) the same as the better acrylics and the airbrush was clean and functioning very quickly.

I used Tamiya Acrylic Thinner to thin down the Panzer Gray (and turned down the air pressure back to 15PSI) and the results were outstanding. Same smooth coverage, dead flat appearance, and no other issues observed except one - I was only shooting one coat of each color and I found it easy to scratch off the surface of the model until it is fully cured. On the other hand, the paint is self-leveling and when I airbrushed over the scratches I put into the paint, there were no visible scars leftover in the paint's surface. Very nice. Since the Italeri acrylics responded well to the Tamiya thinner, I shot a Tamiya Metallic Gray onto the model and there was no reaction or problem mixing the Tamiya and the Italeri paints.

It was time for some paint torture. I shot a gloss coat of Alclad II Gloss Kote over the model to provide a barrier coat for the acrylic paints. Once again, no issues arose so these Italeri paints behave as well as the other better acrylics out there. I applied a coat of weathering wash using oil paints thinned in Odorless Mineral Spirits and the barrier coat would have failed at this point if there were any interoperability issues. You can see the test subject and more about the test here.

The paint in the series include:

Flat Interior Grey Green 4301AP FS34151
Flat Orange 4302AP FS32246
Flat Dark Earth 4303AP FS30118
Flat Middle Stone 4304AP FS30266
Flat Light Brown 4305AP FS30219
Flat Medium Brown 4306AP FS30111
Flat Medium Blue 4307AP FS35095
Flat Azure Blue 4308AP FS35231
Flat Light Green 4309AP FS34230
Flat Dark Slate Grey 4311AP FS34096
Flat Extra Dark Sea Grey 4312AP FS36118
Flat Medium Sea Grey 4313AP FS36270
Flat Medium Green 4314AP FS34092
Flat Olive Drab 4315AP FS34088
Flat Light Flesh 4390AP FS33695
Flat Skin Tone Tint Base - Light 4601AP FS31575
Flat Skin Tone Warm Tint 4603AP FS31433
Flat Non Specular Sea Blue 4604AP FS35042
Gloss Red 4605AP FS11302
Flat Red 4606AP FS31400
Flat Guards Red 4632AP FS31350
Flat Clear Acryl 4636AP
Semigloss Clear 4637AP
Gloss Clear Acryl 4638AP
Flat Non Specular Interm. Blue 4639AP FS35164
Flat Marrone Mimetico 1 4640AP FS30109
Flat Marrone Mimetico 2 4641AP FS30118
Gloss Yellow 4642AP FS13538
Flat Nocciola Chiaro 4643AP FS30219
Flat Bruno Mimetico 4644AP FS30140
Flat Giallo Mimetico 3 4645AP FS33434
Flat Giallo Mimetico 4 4646AP FS30266
Gloss Light Blue 4650AP FS15200
Gloss French Blue 4659AP FS15180
Gloss Green 4669AP FS14090
Gloss Gold 4671AP FS17043
Gloss Brass 4672AP
Flat Wood 4673AP FS30257
Flat Leather 4674AP FS30100
Flat Rust 4675AP FS30109
Flat Aluminum 4677AP FS37178
Gloss Silver 4678AP FS17178
Flat Steel 4679AP FS37178
Flat Gun Metal 4681AP FS37200
Gloss Orange 4682AP FS12197
Gloss (Blue Angels) Blue 4687AP FS15050
Gloss Black 4695AP FS17038
Gloss White 4696AP FS17875
Flat Earth Red 4707AP FS30117
Flat Field Drab 4708AP FS30118
Flat Dark Tan 4709AP FS30219
Flat Armor Sand 4711AP FS30277
Flat Insignia Red 4714AP FS31136
Flat Sand 4720AP FS30475
Flat Insignia Yellow 4721AP FS33538
Flat Verde Mimetico 2 4723AP FS34092
Flat Dark Green 4726AP FS34079
Flat Olive Drab 4728AP FS34084
Flat Euro I Dark Green 4729AP FS34092
Flat Medium Green 4734AP FS34082
Flat Interior Green 4736AP FS34151
Flat Pale Green 4739AP FS34272
Flat Medium Gray 4746AP FS36270
Flat Gunship Gray 4752AP FS36118
Flat Dark Gray 4754AP FS36173
Flat Dark Gull Gray 4755AP FS36231
Flat Dark Ghost Gray 4761AP FS35237
Flat Light Ghost Gray 4762AP FS36300
Flat Gull Gray 4763AP FS36622
Flat Light Gray 4765AP FS36495
Flat Non Specular Blue Grey 4766AP FS35189
Flat Black 4768AP FS37038
Flat White 4769AP FS37875
Grau RLM 02 4770AP FS24226
Hellblau RLM 65 4778AP FS35352
Schwarzgrün RLM 70 4780AP FS34052
Dunkelgrün RLM 71 4781AP
Graugrün RLM 74 4784AP FS36099
Grauviolett RLM 75 4785AP FS36231
Lichtblau RLM 76 4786AP FS36473
Sandgelb RLM 79 4789AP FS30215
Flat Panzer Schwarzgrau RAL 7021 4795AP
Flat Panzer Dunkelgelb 1943 4796AP FS33440
Flat Panzer Schokobraun RAL 8017 4797AP
Flat Panzer Olivgrün 1943 4798AP FS34128
Flat Russian Armor Green 4807AP FS34083
Flat US Army/Mar.Gulf Arm Sand 4812AP FS30450
Flat Olive Drab ANA 613 4842AP FS34088
Flat Dark Earth ANA 617 4846AP FS30140
Flat Military Green 4852AP FS34098
Thinner 5049AP

I'm definitely going to put these Italeri paints to work under other conditions but so far I find they are interchangeable with other acrylics I use regularly like Vallejo, Gunze Aqueous (Mr.Hobby), and Tamiya. While the paint can be easily scratched, it is also one of the easiest to touch up without leaving any sign of the event. To be clear, once the paint has cured, it appears to be less vulnerable to scratches though the top coat of Alclad Gloss Kote added to that protection. I shot the test colors directly to the plastic surface without a primer coat, so you may find it to be more resilient over primer as well.

If the price of the paint has you concerned, you might want to think again. These bottles are 20ml for $4.59 USD and on the surface, that sounds expensive. Testor Model Master paints retail for $3.69 USD, but they have less than 15ml per bottle, so the Italeri paints are cheaper per milliliter. In contrast, Vallejo Model Color runs $3.60 USD per 17ml bottle and this works out slightly cheaper than the Italeri acrylics and even less expensive compared to the Model Master paints whereas the Vallejo Model Air also runs $3.60 USD per 17ml, but it is already pre-thinned so you're paying more for the convenience of airbrush-ready paints.

In any case, this is a versatile product that doesn't require any special steps (if you're used to Tamiya/Gunze/Vallejo paints) and is ready for brush painting out of the bottle and airbrushes well with a little thinning.

My sincere thanks to MRC for these review samples!