November 2020

Tamiya 1/35 Tiger with the hairspray technique

Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger I Ausführung E (Sd.Kfz.181) Frühe Produktion
Tamiya | No. 35216 | 1:35

This Tiger was the second tank I completed after resuming the hobby almost two years ago. The kit is more than two decades old but nevertheless a good quality basic kit. I paid 31 euros for it. The only thing I would do differently now is to add the after market photo-etched grille set for 8 euros and perhaps Rye Field workable track set for 28 euros.

Tiger I road wheels

As it says in the history books Germans put quality over quantity unlike the Soviet Union. This photo illustrates perfectly how ridiculously over engineered the Tiger actually was. You can see the difference of German vehicles compared to Soviet vehicles still today in museums. Everything in the Soviet vehicles is rough, unfinished and quickly put together. Everything in the German vehicles is fine, finished and really thought of. Even too much so.

Building phase done

This Tiger kit goes together really well. No extra sprue to be cleaned, no fitting issues and no surprises. Looking back to the build now, I really should have added those extra track links to the turret sides as a eye candy.

Painted, decals added and dry brushed

Since this was only the second tank I built, I didn’t know about shadow coats and such. I went and airbrushed the tank with Tamiya XF-63 German Grey straight away. In this photo also decals are added and some dry brushing with flat black has been done.

Next it was the time to spray the entire tank with two thin layers or hairspray. The hairspray dries quite quickly so the white camo paint was next in no time. You want to leave the decal areas almost untouched and just slightly airbrushing them. Another thing you definitely want to do is to use odorless hairspray.

White winter camo airbrushed and waiting for the toothbrush

Then it was toothbrush time. I purchased a fairly hard toothbrush for this. The white paint on the hairspray starts coming off very easily and quickly when you first dip the toothbrush in warm water. Then it’s only a matter of you taste how much and in which way you want to brush the tank. I tried brushing gently from top to bottom. The road wheels were brushed with a circular motion.

Hull and road wheels brushed

The brushing is so easy and quick that you want to be careful not to brush too much. In my opinion this German grey/white on the Tiger in particular is a wonderful hairpray technique training target.

Finished brushing from the rear
Hairspray brushing done

I hope this shows and explains how easy the hairspray technique really is. My Tiger is still like this but recently I’ve thought of weathering it more. It could definitely use some grey washes, rust effects and streaking grime.

All the kit details can be found in