Japan Chemical Item Export Ban

I’ve just went over to R10 to pick up a few bottles of paint and I ran across THIS MESSAGE on their site. Basically, Japan has now banned exporting any sort of paint, thinner, cements and… you know… “chemical containing items” and the likes. Both spray can AND bottle form are no go. Their initial ban some time last year just pertains to spray cans. Tools are still okay though. From what I can understand on that page (it’s kinda in engrish), it seems like manufacturers need to present an MSDS (material safety data sheet- a paper that tells you how “hazardous/flammable” the stuff is) in order to be shipped… but can still be denied if the chemical is deemed too dangerous by Customs >_>. R10 has removed all their CSI Creos (Mr. Hobby) and Gaia Notes paint supplies from their inventory list to reflect this… along with Tamiya Acrylic which is what I buy (its Enamel counterpart is still there though). Maybe the acrylic will come back later…  I don’t know. As with the spray can ban, I’m assuming this will mainly affect US consumers since people from elsewhere will somehow find ways to smuggle them in ^^;. Since this is also very recent, I’m sure your store will still have plenty of stock left. Well, looks like I’ll have to resort to using Testor (domestic) for paint in the worst case scenario…

Let’s say it together everyone!


58 thoughts on “Japan Chemical Item Export Ban

  1. Zi feel your pain man first topcoat and now this, the prime health official in japan may love topcoat and tamiya paints so much hes decided to not share it to the world:( but it doesnt apply to me because ive been using domestic testors paints and testors dullcote since i began modelling

    Japan makes money of Gunpla so why ban PAINTS!!!! and stuff. :(((

  3. I order directly from Tamiyausa.com I believe it’s based in Cali. It’s all there cans bottles and tools. I’m not sure if anyone realized this. plajapan.com also carries mr.hobby topcoat also based in japan, also they are running a $1 flat rate shipping at the moment so check it out.

    PS- Didn’t read some of the comments before I posted so sorry if I blurted out known info. ^.^*

  4. Don’t panic too much yet. As some have said, at least Tamiya have branches at least in other parts of the world and since they provide MSDS for their paint then most likely, they’ll be fine for shipping again after awhile. I do find it strange how acrylic should be more dangerous than enamel though… >_>

    We can really raise hell when Japan bans the export of Gunpla for whatever reason heh…

  5. ahya, yea.. i have some paint bottles that’s in English and not Japanese. PlaJapan actually doesn’t carry top coat anymore… or stock them. I would know… I’ve been monitoring their top coat page every week since last summer… and it was never in stock.

  6. Thankfully, I use Bosny sprays for major painting and topcoating, which aren’t made in Japan *whew*

    I DO use Tamiya paints for smaller parts, details, & touch-ups, so this affects me as well, or at least it may in the coming months when I have to restock on paint, dammit.

    And I thought the US customs were the only paranoid ones.

    Hey, hey…Gunpla uses ABS plastic, which is also used in the molding of airsoft rifles! Maybe they should ban Gunpla imports altogether, ne?

    Or wait, the PS2 and PS3 reportedly use CPU components also used in guided missile systems! Oooh, maybe THOSE should be banned too!

    I’m also pretty sure my Chogokin Voltes V is made of hard, die-cast metal, which can be used to club someone to death! *Gasp!* Perhaps we should ban Soul of Chogokin toys, too!!

    The list is endless!! Ban all Japanese toys!



  7. I can only guess why as to the ban, but I don’t think it would go too farther as some had exaggerated here. Besides, panic can be very annoying when someone cries wolf too much and the wolf never comes (as opposed to what happened in the long-used analogy).

    This wouldn’t affect me too much, if at all. I don’t think I’ve used paint yet for my Gunpla`(as I slowly and surely start out my collection of Gunpla). The closest is markers that clearly aren’t Gundam markers (which I still have yet to get), but paint will be necessary real soon for at least one of my models that I will be building soon.

    Pretty obvious from the thread that Tamiya is recommended and Testor isn’t so much (according to Z), but given the ban in mind (or even setting it aside or different circumstances yielding similar situations), what would anybody here commenting (or Z) recommend to get that’s available domestically (in the U.S.)? Or is Testors the only option?

    And since I’m new to it… What’s the best way to apply the paint? What would be used for panel-lining? I think those are a couple of questions that would help me with one of the models I’ll soon build. *shrug*

  8. @Z Oh, I thought the Mr. Hobby stuff was top coat? I’m not sure cause it had different finishes so I assumed.(Gloss, Semi and Flat) My mistake, but hey, $1 shipping special can you beat that. :)

  9. Siroh, I think everyone was just poking fun at the whole situation… or at least I was ^^;. There are plenty of paint options in the US but I’ve only ever used testors and they are the easiest to find. Since I don’t paint, i can’t help you much on applying paint but a fine tip gundam marker is the way to go for panel lining… if you haven’t peaked into My Tools page yet xD

    Ahya, oh you must’ve been referring to the gray cans. Those are top coats… but a bit different. heard they should (and recommended) be used only on painted surfaces. Heard some disastrous results with them on bare plastic ^^;. Not to mention they cost over $10 a can…

  10. testors is for newbies and people who dont care what their models end up looking like. Go with citadel if you cant get tamiya.

  11. Z: I already peeked into it tons of times. Remember my similar questions around half a year ago? *shrug*

    I was just further exploring alternatives, and at a time when I should’ve already been dozing off (it was almost 6AM as of my last post), but wasn’t. It’s like you and building Gunpla instead of working on essays. :P But to be fair, I’d probably be guilty of that as well.

    I just thought that since everyone goes for Tamiya paint, specialty markers, and and specialty markers, that I shouldn’t bother exploring for alternative “over-the-counter” choices for tools and such (aside from a couple of basic essentials).

    I just figured–acquiring necessities aside–that painting would be a tedious process of applying special blue tape on areas to protect, and coating areas to paint a few times to make it look decent, and then perhaps do the same to the rest of the body for consistency of color (which I’ll likely not do).
    I mean, earlier models–as you know–always had the feet of Gunpla molded in one entire color, whether it was that way or not, or some other area (regardless of what age, grade, size) left molded in a single color when it wasn’t in the MS design. When I attempted this hobby earlier (a long time ago and in a much earlier age), I was pretty crappy at this. This is why when I tried “painting” my models last year, I just tried normal markers. They pretty much did the basic job, though in my experimenting of both, they ended up a little tacky (my Altron less so, but my Sandrock is so messed up in my attempt to grayscale it even after my accidents with it). It’s just that for my next model, I want something better for it.

  12. “[…]since everyone goes for Tamiya paint, specialty markers, and and specialty markers[…]”

    *facepalm* I retract my excuse of fatigue, since I screw up when I’m awake, too. *sigh*

  13. First spray and now bottle paints. It’s the the worst message I could hear in the new year. I use only Tamiya bottle paints and few from CSI Creos and I will have to look for some other paints. Man this sucks…

  14. freaking sad to hear this.

    anyways, since top coats are hard to come by in my place (malaysia), i’ve been trying some flat colourless varnish. german brand or some sort, aerosol form, same as topcoat.

    it’s pretty much the same, but it does leave a thicker residue, so i had to rub my gundam with my fingers to smoothen it out.

    price is almost the same as well. worth looking into that as an alternative :|

  15. i’ve suggested this alternative top coat before… and it worked fine for me, even fooled someone with my Sinanju since it was so shiny the red looked airbrushed.

    anyway, get Krylon Gloss Top/Clear Coat.

    if you can’t find that, go to a wal-mart, if you’re in the US obviously, go to the crafts section and locate this blue+black acrylic protective coat spray can [comes in gloss or flat]

    try it, it works fine for me, stinks like hell though, i prefer the smell of kyrlon better.

  16. as for the paint.

    sigh… well if i get this job i’m interviewing for, i will definitely say “no + more o’s” as i will be buying a compressor+airbrush asap and some tamiya paints/thinner.

  17. As I make this post, I’m finally starting on my first of four new models. But it has yet to be assembled as I’m painting parts still attached to the runners. As I now revisit the joys of painting, I know why I went with (just plain) markers to begin with. *sigh* Even with the less-than-stellar review of stored-over-time Gundam markers you got, Z, I still think I might want to explore getting a couple; I think it’ll do better. Well, either that, or tape entire runners and try out a spray can or something. *shrug*

    Ah, amateur hour at it’s finest… :)

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