Gunpla Panel Lining Tutorial


Panel lining is an easy way to make your Gunpla kit more detailed and awesome! Don’t be afraid that you’ll ruin your kit because it is easy to do and I will show you two easy methods that I personally use:

1st Method: Marker (of your choice) Panel Lining with Rubber Eraser

1st thing to do is of-course find a part that we need to panel line:


Materials that will be used are the marker of your choice and a rubber eraser, my personal favorite is the COPIC Multiliner. For the rubber eraser, I like the red rough ones being sold in National Bookstore.


This method is pretty easy, just ink on the panel lines like shown in the photos below, don’t worry about excess ink or lines that go out of the panel lines. The rubber eraser will fix that.




As you can notice, the panel lining is a bit thick and there’s a little smudge at the bottom of this part. Rubbing the lines using the rubber eraser can quickly clean your panel lining neatly.

Extra tip: Rub the panel line using your rubber eraser perpendicular to the line being cleaned. COPIC Multiliners are not quick to dry, so it’s easy to clean mistakes.




And viola! A nice thin panel line! =3 Easy right?

Method 2: Panel Line Accent Color + Enamel Thinner

This method is also known as enamel wash as it involves thinned out enamel paint as the panel lining tool. Before Tamiya produced these Panel Line Accent Color bottles(which are enamel based), hobbyists resort to the original Tamiya enamel paints and thin it with lighter fluid or enamel thinner. Anyway, good thing they made these Panel Line Accent Color so that you don’t need to thin your own enamel paint and these bottles come with a handy applicator.

Materials that will be used are the following: Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color, Tamiya X-20 Enamel Paint Thinner, cotton swabs.

Extra info: Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color comes in different colors like grey and brown. I still like black.


This method is also easy! You just have to use the applicator that is attached to the bottle cap and dab it to the panel lining. The concept is that the enamel paint is thinned enough that it will run itself through the lines, all you have to do is dab a small amount of Panel Line Accent Color on any part of the panel line.

WARNING: Do not overdo and put too much enamel paint on the piece! Before dabbing it on the piece, you can remove excess ink from the applicator by just skidding it by the bottle’s opening. If there’s too much ink on the piece, you can quickly clean it using some swabs, don’t worry about smudges as we can clean it later. The reason behind this is because too much enamel paint on the Gunpla’s plastic material can make it brittle and crack. So be careful okay?




The piece will look something like this after Panel Line Accent Color application:


Now we can clean the smudges and ink blots using a small amount of enamel paint thinner on a cotton swab.


Just dab the cotton swab with the enamel paint thinner lightly on the excess ink, don’t press too hard as you can remove the underlying panel lining.



And viola! Beautiful clean panel lining!


That’s it for this tutorial! I hope fellow hobbyists and Gunpla beginners will find it useful. You can ask questions in the comment section below and I’ll glady answer it. 🙂




53 thoughts on “Gunpla Panel Lining Tutorial

  1. Nice…I have few things to ask…
    Will acrylic thinner x20A work instead of enamel thinner x20?
    Second is I like to paint the gunpla with airbrush do I apply the panel lines after painting…I am not able to remove the excess paint using thinner as it messes up the paint job badly..panel lines on plain plastic seems easy…need help with panel lines after painting ..thank you


    1. acrylic thinner will only work with acrylic paints. if you use enamel paint, you need to use enamel thinner. Note that enamel paint can thin acrylic paint. What I do is coat the airbrushed acrylic with lacquer clear gloss, then do panel lining. Sorry for the late reply. 😀


    1. Good question! You can use it while the marker is still wet, the thing is, markers like copic multiliner takes a very looong time to dry, usually more than 24 hours. Sometimes I’m still able to erase excess lines days after. That’s why the use of topcoat is recommended to seal in the panel lines. Note that in my experience, Gundam Markers dry faster and are harder to erase when dry. 🙂


        1. 1. If you haven’t painted your kit, you can do panel lining first before top coat.

          2. If you use accent color, maybe 20 minutes or so? the longer the better, maybe watch a netflix tv show an episode or two.

          3. I’m not sure if alcohol can be used for accent color, I know that accent color is enamel based. You can test on an extra runner sprue.


  2. Usig panel line much detail compare to marker, still with little more touch up you can detail more the line, good job providing this usefull trick,


  3. I used tamiya panel line accent in a painted surface. The painted surface was coated with vallejo polyurethane varnish. Is there a problem if I use that kind of varnish, apply tamiya line accent and then clean with X-20? Some days ago I used standard thinner and the coat was badly damaged and I don’t know if I will avoid this using X-20.


    1. The problem is x-20 thinner is very strong. The precedence goes like this lacquer -> enamel -> acrylic, which means enamel thinner will damage acrylic paint but will not affect lacquer paint. The vallejo varnish might be closer to acrylic paint such that x-20 can damage it. That’s is why its highly recommended to coat with clear gloss lacquer before using Tamiya Panel Line accent, since it is enamel based and won’t affect your lacquer coat. Hope this helps. 😀


  4. Hi, according to some website that i have read, a black one on white part may sometimes the contrast overwhelms the entire piece and makes it seems to dark. However, I am more to the black one as you do. Thanks for a quick reply.


  5. Hello,
    Thanks for this brilliant tutorial. It’s simple yet helps so much.

    I plan to do panel lining (as per your second method above) on a model AFTER I have primed (e.g. Tamiya Fine Surface Primer) and painted a layer of acrylic paint on it (e.g. Tamiya AS-20). But based on your advice above, it seems that the enamel thinner would damage acrylic paints hence the need for a lacquer layer.

    My question is that what if I needed my acrylic paints to stay matte. Do I then use the Tamiya TS-80 Spray Lacquer Flat instead of the gloss lacquer? Also will the spray lacquer be a problem if I want to do weathering later or should I do weathering first?

    If TS-80 is the right choice, is the order then =>
    Primer -> Acrylic Paint -> TS-80 -> Panel Liner/Washes -> X-20 thinner to clean up -> Weathering.


    Primer -> Acrylic Paint -> Weathering -> TS-80 -> Panel Liner/Washes -> X-20 thinner to clean up

    Sorry in advance for this long winded questions! 🙂


    1. This is my shortest method: Primer -> Acrylic Coats and details -> Lacquer Clear Gloss -> Panel line -> water slide decals -> Lacquer clear matte (optional, but in my experience, weathering on matte surface produces better weathering effects) -> weathering using acrylics -> Lacquer clear matte to achieve matte final look.


        1. Oops I forgot to ask … when you say Lacquer Clear Gloss, are you referring to => TS-79 Semi-Gloss Clear Synthetic Lacquer Paint?

          Can the clear gloss lacquer stage (step 3) be replaced with matte if I am not putting on water decals?

          Thanks again for your help.


            1. Thanks so much darkandchoco!!! ^_^
              I did not know that panel lining was not recommended on a matte surface.
              I’m more comfortable painting figures. Vehicle model kit/bandai kit/gundam painting is completely new to me. It’s great to see experienced modellers like you sharing simple yet important tips for newbies like me. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Will a regular isopropyl alcohol work as a thinner for clean up when you use tamiya accent panel wash or is it better to use lighter fluid as an alternative instead? Thanks!


    1. Alcohol doesn’t work well with plastic surfaces, sometimes it creates undesirable white coating or just smears the enamel paint around. To be sure, use enamel paint thinner for maximum cleanup. Lighter fluid can also be used but be careful as it is flammable.


      1. Thanks! How about painting white over colored plastics? E.g. red parts. Thewhite color doesn’t seem to apply well. Any tips on how? Or will sanding the colored plastic help? The white comes out with an orangy hue. Doesn’t look white just whitish.


  7. First, thanks a lot for sharing your methods in panel lining. I’m new & just finished my very first kit, and your tips helped a lot!
    Just want to ask, do you still have to paint over a primer of the same color?
    i mean, say…
    white primer > white acrylic? > clear gloss > panel line…
    will skipping the acrylic part change the final outcome? thanks in advance!


    1. You can do without the white acrylic as long as you are happy with the color of the white acrylic, sometimes the white darkens if the base color of the plastic is dark so you have to watch out for that and observe the paint color as it drys.


  8. Thanks a lot for the tutorial you have done 🙂

    Now I have been seeing that you can use the acrylic clear gloss like the Tamiya X22 Acrylic to protect the base coat to do panel lining with the Tamiya Panel Line Accent.

    What are your thoughts on this?


  9. Hi there,

    Great detailed tutorial. I tried using panel wash on unpainted white pieces and when I tried to do the clean up with thinner, the wash got smudged into the plastic making it really difficult to clean up while brittling the plastic. Is it recommended to put a layer of lacquer gloss coat on top before panel lining to prevent smudging?


  10. Good day,
    This tutorial has been helpful! however, i faced some difficulties in removing the excess ink from the gundam marker I’ve used for panel lining on a painted surface. Gloss coat has already been applied, but when it comes to cleaning up the excess ink, I’ve used cotton swabs damped with lighter fluid but the ink still could not be removed. So my question is as follows, is it okay to use gundam marker on a painted surface or is it much better to use tamiya accent color?


  11. I tried using the second option, but then my parts has cracks and even breaks. What did i do wrong? Too much panel liner or thinner ?
    Also is it better to apply top coat before or after panel lining? Will it help with my problems?
    If so what type of top coat should I use?


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