More varnish questions

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Andy W
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More varnish questions

Postby Andy W » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:57 pm

I've painted some wagons with 'enamel'' - Humbrol and PP. I need to apply a thin gloss coat to help seat the transfers down. I'll then weather them with washes etc.

What gloss varnish would members recommend? If acrylic would I be able to then add a wash of thin enamel without cracking?

I picked up a bottle of Humbrol clear, but have read less than encouraging comments about it. The same regarding Humbrol gloss.

The Vallejo range seems to be well liked - and then their acrylics can be used as washes. But can enamels be dry brushed on top of Vallejo gloss?

I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, I know matte varnishes have been discussed but can't find anything about glosses and there seems to be so many recommendations out there.
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Re: More varnish questions

Postby Knuckles » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:30 pm

I'm no expert on this so I'm looking forward to the wiser among us to teach on it, ehat I can say is I have always had 'giraffe' pattern when using Humbrol gloss so I've lost faith in it. After painting or using transfers I always whisp over some Citadel Purity Seal as a first treatment. It is a satin (unless they do others) although I'd describe it as more a dull eggshell bordering on matt. I find it goes on acrylic or enamel just as well, unifies the finishes and provides a canvas for other varnishes after. Just don't spray it too close/thick otherwise you'll go crazy over the craze.

I'm yet to find a reliable gloss though so looking forward to hearing thoughts on it.

I'd like to use old formula Klear but it is hard to get.

Used to use it in the army for ironing! Special technique go get it to work without staining but boy did you get razor sharp creases. The downside was it turned your clothes into a sort of crispy hard plastic but never mind eh. :D
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James Wells
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Re: More varnish questions

Postby James Wells » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:04 pm

I've had success with Humbrol's acrylic spray varnishes - a shop in our nearest town started stocking then so I bought a gloss and a matt to try and they've shown good consistent results so far.

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David B
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Re: More varnish questions

Postby David B » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:12 am

Don't Microsol and Microset fulfil the function of setting transfers / decals?

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Re: More varnish questions

Postby dal-t » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:32 am

David B wrote:Don't Microsol and Microset fulfil the function of setting transfers / decals?

Yes, but on a matt (i.e. rough) surface they can't eliminate silvering (air bubbles under the decal) which is the reason for applying a gloss finish first. Beware, though, that Microsol can react with (Johnson's) Klear to produce a nasty mush. As for Humbrol's Klear, hopefully they will resolve the problems with the formula soon, but I haven't heard of any breakthrough yet (and if they do, there'll be lots of old pots around to beware of). My personal favourite varnishes remain Hannants' Xtracrylic (over acrylic) and Xtracolor (over enamel) for both matt and gloss, although I'm looking forward to trying Alclad II Aqua Gloss as soon as I finish the current 1/24th car kit I'm working on. For a final matt finish, others 'swear by' Testors Dullcoat (if you can find it) but I know nothing of their equivalent gloss.
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John Palmer
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Re: More varnish questions

Postby John Palmer » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:44 am

In the run-up to Railwells I had a protracted session of lettering and numbering my wagon inventory using a combination of Woodhead, Model Master and Cambridge Custom Transfers. John Isherwood, who supplies the CCT product, explicitly warns that it may be adversely affected by solvent-based varnish, so, as per his recommendation, I tested Humbrol's matt acrylic varnish in spraycan form upon a redundant item taken from one of his sheets. There were no ill effects upon the test item, but during the course of my numbering session I allowed the spray to dwell too long on one wagon's number and thereby caused it some damage. Being a 16T mineral, the damage could be readily concealed by simulated rust/grot, but after that I took greater pains to ensure that all transfers received nothing but a few fast passes with the spraycan at a distance of about 8-10", which seemed to work admirably. I am wondering whether the damage was caused by the propellant rather than the varnish. I used a similar technique to apply Testor's Dullcote to a couple of vehicles, again with no adverse effects.

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