Kamoi 7mm Washi Tape

Modelers are an interesting group. While many will think nothing of plunking down hundreds of dollars on kits and accessories, we also like to save money. Recently, the focus of some of us has been on tape. Tape is pretty much a requirement for a modeler as we use it to hold stuff together while it dries, cover parts of the model so that paint overspray isn't an issue, cut through it to mask canopies and even use it for disruptive camouflage schemes.

While there are a lot of different tapes, some are too sticky, some leave residue, some don't hold all that well, and some will pull up paint. Many of us prefer Tamiya's tape. It is sticky, but not too sticky. It can be used to mask canopies, though its lack of total transparency makes masking some of them tricky. It is also fairly expensive.

As we do use a lot of this stuff, it was suggested that that we try kabuki tape. Well, tamiya tape IS kabuki tape which is simply another way of saying masking tape. In Japan, where this stuff is made, it is really called washi tape (yes, there are several words for the same thing).

However, washi is a bit different. The whole washi tape phenomenon started in 2006. A group of artists approached a Japanese masking tape manufacturer - Kamoi Kakoshi - and presented them with a book of art they had created using the company's industrial masking tapes. The artists requested that Kamoi Kakoshi manufacture colourful masking tapes for artists.

This was the start of mt masking tape. In the beginning, there were 20 colours, colours designed to bring out the beauty of the rice paper (or washi) used to make the tape. The tapes were a hit - with artists, crafters, and design lovers - both in Japan and, gradually, internationally. With success came new colours, patterns and sizes.

But What Is Washi Tape?

To put it simply, washi tape is a high quality masking tape made of rice paper. Rice paper is a bit of a troublesome term in and of itself but basically rice paper isn't made of rice but usually out of other short, strong plant fibers.

But more than that, washi tape is a material which is beautiful yet useful at the same time. You can tear it, stick it, reposition it, write on it... The low tack adhesive makes it extremely easy to use (and reuse). I think it is so popular because it is so easy to use - and looks good while doing it!.

So, I ordered several sizes from Japan. There are a lot of different sellers and this review is for the 7mm size. Including shipping these 20 rolls cost $14.00. If one can get over the colors, this is very good tape. It seems to be slightly more sticky than Tamiya, but that may just be perception. Thanks to all the colors, the amount of translucency is variable. The black tape is pretty opaque, but the lighter colors are easier to see through, an important aspect when using them to do canopies. Like Tamiya tape, it does a good job of masking over irregularities. I even sprayed directly into the tape to see if there were problems with leakage and there was not. After the paint had dried a bit, I put some tape on it and it would not pull it up.


While this may not have you immediately dump your Tamiya tape and order some of this, if you use a lot of tape, it may well be a more economical option. An interesting thing that is pretty much Japanese is that when this box of tape arrived, it came with a nice origami crane and a pocket pack of tissues. This is something quite typical of Japanese shops; to include a little something extra. 

September 2016

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Thanks to me for picking this up. Amazon is a good place to start if you are seeking some of this.

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