Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

beachboy
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby beachboy » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:44 am

I would comment on the Humbrol varnishes, particularly with the postal problem, and that they are ' locally ' available. Well more so than others.
Tacky finnish is usually because the contents have not combined enough through sufficient mixing.
I give the Cotes a good 10 mins stir, before use. And have worked fine. Sometimes non drying can be resolved with exposure to UV light ie outside.
With all paints etc I use, a swab goes on a sheet of white plasticard & labelled as a test, but also a handy comparison of shade & colour to use in matching what looks right. The Cotes, which are from when they first appeared are clear, and satin matt etc. As they should be. I appreciate there may be batches with problems. I have had Black 33 separating & common to several tins. Whether this is relevant to production being in UK now v China ? But another brand solved the problem.
Halford gen. paint may well be acyrlic base. But I enquired about having to use cellulose for the paint mixes, and primers. As i to understood there was an enviromental issue for droping cellulose, or possibly the amount of exterior plastic now being used.
I also contacted Ronseal as their matt, despite trying several tins, dried semi gloss. It also has a muddy tint.
But was told it was designed for wood, not modelling.

As an aside in earlier days when questioning my model finnishing, I accepted from the Humbrols etc everything was matt per the little tins.
I was suprised on studying tanks, aircraft, wagons etc. that earlier paste mixes in general produced a semi gloss finnish. Its the wheathering can tone it down.

Steve.

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:09 pm

Hi all,

Having successfully reached the varnishing stage, over cellulose satin black, I have now stumbled across the 'non-drying Humbrol Matt Cote' phenomenon during tests. This despite a very thorough repeated mixing beforehand, as warned earlier in this thread by beachboy.

I am now armed with a spraycan of Testors Dullcote, but also wanted to trial-run the bottled version, for airbrush spraying. Our local shop has the bottles of Testors Dullcote lacquer OK - but not the dedicated Testors lacquer thinner.

I note that Mike Garwood mentions using cellulose thinners earlier in the thread, I wonder if you have now had experience of doing this Mike? On plastic modellers' fora, there is reference to the thinners/lacquer containing the solvent MEK. Clearly white spirit will not be appropriate.

Anyone had success, thinning Testors lacquer with other than their own brand thinners, please?

Oh yes, and I have yet to test its effect on HMRS Methfix transfers...........

Many thanks in anticipation,

Steve

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:00 pm

Back again;

I now read, on the 'Varnishing over weathering powders' thread, that 'modelmaker87' successfully thinned Testors Dullcote 50/50 with 'mineral spirits' for airbrush spraying. 'Mineral Spirits' being the US name for 'White Spirit' over here (UK).

So, the comment in my previous post, decrying white spirit, appears wide of the mark.

'modelmaker87', from his style, I assume to be Tony Sissons - but not currently active on this forum? Certainly a fine recommendation for going ahead with white spirit, I guess.

Here goes....

BW

Steve

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Flymo748
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:07 pm

essdee wrote:I am now armed with a spraycan of Testors Dullcote, but also wanted to trial-run the bottled version, for airbrush spraying. Our local shop has the bottles of Testors Dullcote lacquer OK - but not the dedicated Testors lacquer thinner.

I note that Mike Garwood mentions using cellulose thinners earlier in the thread, I wonder if you have now had experience of doing this Mike? On plastic modellers' fora, there is reference to the thinners/lacquer containing the solvent MEK. Clearly white spirit will not be appropriate.

Anyone had success, thinning Testors lacquer with other than their own brand thinners, please?


Steve,

I realise that this may be too late if you have already bought the tins/bottles of varnish, but have you considered using the Testors spray cans of varnish?

I've used on on my Pug, Coffee Pot and Tram, all with excellent results. It's not at all like using a Halfords rattle can. The spray delivers an incredibly fine mist, so fine that it can be difficult to tell if you've put any on at all.

Highly recommended. I really wouldn't consider using anything else now.
Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:30 pm

Hi Paul,

That's good news - thanks very much indeed. Yes, I obtained the spraycan version first (recommended by Jim Pairman, who you may have met at Missenden?), but had not tested it before deciding to get the jars as well. Looks like I can proceed with confidence on both fronts now.

Sorry to miss Missenden - hardly believable that it's a year on already; but these have been fraught times at 'Highbridge Works', big changes in the offing.

I was AWOL from Missenden partly to be able to travel on the S&D for the first time by train; a superb Saturday at Midsomer Norton, 50th anniversary of the last day of ordinary trains. Quite emotional! Check out the site's Facebook page with video clip of the restored Sentinel 'chasing' the service train (Jinty, Mk 1 plus 'Queen Mary' brake) up the 1 in 50 bank....

See you at Wakefield,

All best

Steve

Philip Hall
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:33 pm

I would endorse the spray can version of Dullcote, there is no better flat finish. Absolutely no need to airbrush, the cans are very fine.

I have also been quite impressed lately with the finish from Tamiya spray cans, but only paint in this case, I'm not sure what varnish they do. I haven't used an airbrush for many years (and will not, for the foreseeable future) so they have proved to be very useful.

Philip

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:37 pm

Thanks Philip - noted! Ta muchly.

Ironically, the first time P4 model I completed and painted, unlined SDJR blue, back in 1984, I used sable brushes and much-thinned Precision (?) Prussian Blue. Was then asked what airbrush I had just bought.......

BW

Steve

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Mike Garwood » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:57 am

Steve

Sorry to be so late in replying. Like Paul I eventually went for the can. But a tip I'd had off here was to warm it up in some warm water before spraying as this helps with the atomisation of the varnish. The other thing to be wary about this varnish is that it is dead flat.

Mike

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:27 pm

Thanks Mike,

A useful reminder about warming the can - I have been standing my mixer pots for the airbrush in a metal foil pie tray to warm before decanting, and have left spraycans in the bathroom sink before use; these small Testor's cans will need something in between!

Thanks also for the warning; this sounds ideal for a 1930s 'grimed' LMS finish; but I will explore on test pieces first to get a feel as to coverage and appearance.

Cheers,

Steve

Philip Hall
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:30 pm

Usually any dead flat finish can be gently polished with a cotton bud or a soft mop in a mini drill. Don't run the drill too fast or the varnish/paint could rub off or melt!

I often use this technique as it allows for variations in the surface finish. Sometimes only a little polishing is required to put some life back into the surface.

Philip

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MarkS
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby MarkS » Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:47 pm

Additionally, you can add a little car or furniture wax to the cotton bud to get a bit more shine...
I have done this when restoring Hornby Dublo items to match the finish, for example, of a tender to a loco.

I second the warning of a soft mop in a mini drill, I found it was very easy to melt paint with one!
Cheers,

Mark.
"In the end, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done..."

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:23 pm

Philip, Mark,

Thanks for the further suggestions for buffing up a dead-matt varnish finish. I have actually done some experimenting recently, applying weathering powders to a Hornby factory finish, after fitting a P4 easichas, then removing the excess and 'cleaning' the boiler and other likely places for shed attention (it wasn't a BR era Gateshead engine....).

Both mop and cotton bud brought up a sheen nicely - but be warned about the buds; with assertive use, the plastic tube 'stem' can become exposed, and this will impart a nasty scar.......fortunately I discovered this before tackling the engine.

Cheers

Steve
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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Andy W » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:37 am

Not bad for a "beginner" Steve! A lovely job.

Are Testor products available from many retailers? Not having a local model shop anymore I've searched sites for Hobbystore etc without luck.
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Mike Garwood
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Mike Garwood » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:59 am

MarkS wrote:Additionally, you can add a little car or furniture wax to the cotton bud to get a bit more shine...



What sort of 'turtlewax' to name but one brand? Is that the sort of polish we're talking about here? or even Mr Polish? I'm curious enough to try this. I have to admit, that having put this varnish on my coaches - and it does look good - then compare some of the finishes with photos, they do seem a little too flat. So knowing this is a useful tip. Anyone with favoured brands?

regards

Mike

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:08 pm

Thanks Andy, it was something of an experiment, carefully worked up; I didn't want to overspray the Hornby finish with something that might affect transfers or paint. I was certainly pleased with how it came together. I have a second Hornby A3 to do, which has a 'mint' tender but a serious case of 'sludge' weathering on the loco. Trials suggest that a cotton bud with a LITTLE Brasso will bring this off while leaving the paint/lining, but it's going to be a long haul; wiping off the Brasso residue gives a really high polish to the paintwork, which will make a nice variant finish to Windsor lad, but will need some matting on smokebox, running plate etc...... Matching tender and engine will be interesting!

Testors' UK availability seems patchy for sure; a bit puzzling when it seems so highly regarded!

Best wishes

Steve

dal-t
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby dal-t » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:30 pm

essdee wrote:Testors' UK availability seems patchy for sure; a bit puzzling when it seems so highly regarded!


I've always assumed their home market in the US is so large, European imports are a minor sideline to them. But Creative Models are the UK distributer, so possibly the first port of call. Unfortunately their website is (and has always been) a mess, and as far as I can see they're only offering the Model Master varnishes at the moment (MM being a Testor's brand). Alternatively, try anywhere selling wargames figures - Dullcoat is most Gamers finish of choice.
David L-T

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David Thorpe
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:46 pm

Testors Dullcoat 3-can pack £13.50 plus £6 p&p from http://ngtrains.com/Pages/Glues/gluestools.html#Potions (lots of other useful things too)

DT

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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Andy W » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:00 pm

Thanks David, I'll order some up.
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MarkS
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby MarkS » Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:29 pm

Mike Garwood wrote - What sort of 'turtlewax' to name but one brand?


I use a paste wax for furniture or floors. Usually Goddards fine furniture - it has a nice lavender smell!
I have not tried car wax, so cannot possibly comment...

I suspect painting a test piece black, then dull coat, then experiment with whatever wax you have to hand might be the way to go.
Cheers,

Mark.
"In the end, when all is said and done, more will have been said than done..."

essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:13 pm

Well............!!!!

I have had my first trial spray of the Testors Dullcote spray can, on some cellulose satin black applied to a NS 6" sheet with LMS Methfix transfers.

The results were - appalling.

Not for the first time, I am following multiple recommendations, and obtaining completely different results? After prolonged shaking and warming, even at the recommended 10+ inches distance from the test piece, in a room at 21deg, the can sprayed a deluge of thick varnish which flooded the workpiece - certainly nothing like a fine mist as had been suggested? It did dry relatively quickly, to leave a distinctly patchy, even mottled finish. It was relatively dull compared to the satin, but not dead flat. Interestingly, when sprayed over some earlier Humbrol Matt Cote which did have a lovely dead flat finish, the Testors Dullcote dried to a perceptible sheen. Placed side-by-side with the initial spray onto the satin cellulose, there was quite a contrast. Neither finish was anywhere near acceptable for my purposes.

I do not know what to make of this, other than I would not let the Dullcote spray anywhere near any of my or another's models. I will be testing the bottled version, spirit-thinned, in the airbrush where I will have some control over what comes out the spout. At the moment, though, it's going to be perseverance with Humbrol Matt Cote.

The nugget of good news is that it doesn't appear to affect the transfers.......

Thanks for all the advice and recommendations, gents - but unless anyone can explain what I have observed and offer a remedy, it's 'no thanks!' to the spraycan version at least? Sorry about that, it sounded the proverbial bee's knees till I tried it....

Best wishes

Steve

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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Andy W » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:18 pm

Oh dear! I'm a little confused though - what finish did you apply to Windsor Lad?
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essdee
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby essdee » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:24 pm

Not as confused as I am.......!

No, Windsor Lad bodies were purely the Hornby finish, with weathering powders applied, wiped off - and no overlying varnish layer.

The Easichas components -nickel silver - were primed with Halfords Upol acid 8 etch primer from a spraycan, then Halfords satin black acrylic, Humbrol Matt Cote brushed on (dried fine that time!?!), then weathering powders applied/removed - again, no subsequent varnish.

Now utterly fed up with a) painting/varnishing, and b) toy trains in general. Perhaps Wakefield bring and buy is in for s major windfall......

If I can face the hassle tomorrow, I will try thinning the bottled Dullcote and use via the airbrush. I am not optimistic.

Good luck!

BW

Steve

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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby Andy W » Fri Mar 11, 2016 9:55 pm

I hear fishing is a good hobby, no varnish involved.
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

dal-t
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby dal-t » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:08 pm

The only observation I would make is that for a fresh rattlecan, fully shaken and warmed, 10"+ is still pretty close - it does sound like you simply got too much volume, too quickly, onto your test piece. When the coating is that wrong, the finish seldom comes back properly, it's usually a case of strip and start again regardless of actual runs. Also - so easy to say after the event, but so easy to forget in the moment of putting the paint on - it shows the value of always spraying 'away' before spraying 'on', even when simply testing; the 'away' burst helps to judge the weight the sprayhead is delivering, and hence the speed at which you need to move it across the face of the subject to lay a reasonable coat on. With a familar airbrush (cleaned and functioning properly!) that sense comes automatically, but with a random can it can vary by a surprising amount. I find I often need a few practise passes onto masking material before I trust myself to get it right pointed at the subject.
David L-T

DougN
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Re: Airbrushing varnish: advice sought

Postby DougN » Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:35 pm

I'm with Steve. There are times when I was painting things and it just didn't work out to the point flower arranging was becoming an attractive option! Keep persevering is all I say. My methods for painting metal rolling stock has become very regimented in preperation. I believe if as Steve has found go looking for other options. Try different products. I don't have too many other modellers to canvas opinions and skills from.

I am actually looking forward to the next painting challange!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling


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