Tamiya Clear Red X-27 - Bloody Marvellous!!

There have been a few comments circulating through the zombieblogosphere extolling the virtues of TCR, otherwise known as Tamiya Clear Red or X-27. Whilst X-27 sounds disturbingly like a viral compound to me, TCR was one of the first hobby items recommended to me when I started this blog. The recommendations came from Colin and Bryan, both of whom could not speak highly enough about this product. With support like that it seemed foolish to ignore such advice.

Once the X-27 virus spead there was no stopping them.
So what is TCR and what can it do? Tamiya Clear Red X-27 is an 'effect' paint. It is an acrylic paint, comes in a 'mini' 10ml pot, is packed with that nostagic Tamiya acrylic aroma and costs around £1.50 a pot. The most notable features of the paint are its translucency and the fact that it dries with a bright, glossy finish.

So how can it be put to best use by post-apocalypic zombie gamers? Simple...blood.

In short, TCR works like a glaze to brighten and enhance blood detailing leaving a glistening red which is, well...ooooh, shiny! It also allows a base colour to show through, so you can produce the effect of blood-stained clothing and retain the base colour of the 'fabric'. As with any application of blood on a painted model, less is more. A little goes a long way and if you are painting a more decayed style of zombie, you might want to avoid using it altogether.

The following images show a selection of before and after shots of a few of my early fresher zombies. The before pictures show how they previously looked (with a base of Miniature Paints 43 Plum Red and a layer of GW Blood Red) and the after shots show the same models with an additional top-coat of X-27 in all the red, mushy places.
Suit - Before TCR

Suit - After TCR

Neil - Before TCR
Neil - After TCR

Sk8r Dude - Before TCR

Sk8r Dude - After TCR
I have been aware of 'effect' paints for years but, being a typical wargamer, chose to ignore them in favour of simple 'get stuff on the table' techniques. The Outbreak City project has helpded me see this aspect of the hobby in a new light. With the exception of just a few pieces, each model is unique, and can now be afforded a little more love than it would normally have received. If you are looking for a way to enhance your painted blood detailing, Tamiya Clear Red is highly recommended.
Colin and Bryan, thank you for the recommendation. It has opened my eyes to new possibilites and I have already picked up some clear gloss and other colours I wouldn't normally have considered in order to explore what else can be achieved.

Tamiya Acrylic Mini Clear Red X-27


  1. I recently converted to this myself and it's literally bloody brilliant but smells like a bad lab experiment. Good comparison/difference pictures and zombie pictures obviously.

  2. I have to get hold of this one......

  3. What a superb post! The before and after pics you've shown perfectly illustrate just how effective TCR is.

    Something to bear in mind when using TCR is that you can achieve a variety of effects with it depending on what you mix it with. A small (and I do mean small!) dab of Chaos Black or black ink added to it will give you a nice congealed look or a darker red. Great for adding to weapon blades! Likewise, you can mix it with a spot of Scorched Brown for more congealed effects and of course if you paint it over any shade of pink, red or crimson you'll get different results. Try experimenting with different (but appropriate) colours for different effects. Because you're painting zombies it's hard to spoil the overall look of the figure.

    It looks like I've found another convert to the TCR fan club!

  4. I've been using it myself on my zombies and has worked the treat, but I use as a follow up after my inks.


  5. Nice job. That really made a difference. I think I used TCR a while back for gems on High Elves. Never thought to use it for blood.

  6. Cool, might have to get some for my 15mm stuff.

  7. This is a great post Adam, and I'm flattered to be given some of the credit!! It should all go to VtG IMHO.

    I'd never heard of 'effect' paints until I read this, even though I've been using TCR and TCY for months!

    BTW, are you going to Salute? I'll be there, so maybe we can meet up?

  8. Hah, I've received my first TCR last week and I had the intention of doing a review too. Now I'll just put a very short version in this comment:

    1. missus: "smells like cough mixture." me: "yep."

    2. missus (when looking at my improved zeds): "Now this looks entirely different!"
    me: "yep."

    3. I think TCR slowly kills brushes, but it may as well be Mr. Whiteface slowly killing brushes.

    So, Mr. Whiteface is giving a thumbs up and an hopefully encouraging insane grin for Tamiya Clear Red. Buy it!

    Whiteface / Oliver

  9. very interesting hobby man

  10. Thanks all. Love the comments about the smell - It is quite ripe. Colin. The termn 'Effect paint' refers to product that does something other than just provide coverage of flat pigment. Anything such as a wash, glaze, eggshell finish, varnish or any sort of slow/fast drying mediums. Metallics used to be in this category but they are now quite commonplace. Effect paints have been around for years but I guess the term isn't used so much nowadays.

  11. Love the Hazmat Squad, ive had my eye on them for some time now, Thinking how they could play a futre role in my ATZ campaign.

    Oh and i love the way you have done the bases of your figures, its to late for me to start basing my figures like that now, wish i would have seen your blog months ago.

    Anyway great job look forward to seeing more!