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Varnishing minis.

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Varnishing minis.

Postby Figomurphy » Friday August 5th, 2016 9:56am

What do you guys generally do when you've finished painting your models? Do you varnish them?
If so, with what? Spray or paint on? Matt or gloss?


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Goblin-King » Friday August 5th, 2016 11:28am

I'm lazy so I use spray varnish.
I use matte. I find gloss to be too shiny.
Occasionally I'll use some paint on gloss varnish on top of the matte spray for certain details. A big spooky eye or a Tyranid's drooling mouth looks good being a little more shiny than the rest.

The one thing about using any spray on miniatures is that if used carelessly it can absolutely ruin your minis.
Spray paint can at least be be removed, but varnish can ruin your paintjob which is much worse. Varnish spray has a nasty habit of "frosting" your minis if used wrong.

- Always test your spray on something before applying to important minis.
- Use short bursts. I'd say about 1-2 seconds.
- Several thin layers are better than one thick. Be patient...

And last but not least...

- Never use spray if the weather is humid! No really! Abandon mission!
This is the one that will make your primed minis feel like sandpaper or frost your varnish!
The spray will catch water particles from the air and apply lumpy on the miniature.


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby cornixt » Friday August 5th, 2016 11:45am

I don't varnish. Never had an issue with paint coming off a plastic model, the exception being a single coat of black paint that came off the corners of a Bones crate that I didn't clean before painting. Now I always do a second coat of a different paint. Metal models don't hold paint quite as well, so they can scrape paint off each other quite easily, but painted plastic models jumbled in my boxes are completely fine.


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Anderas » Friday August 5th, 2016 12:03pm

If your minis don't do contact sport, rather don't varnish them.
If you varnish with gloss, you will have ugly glossy minis.
If you varnish matte, your metals become greys.
If you varnish before you paint the metals you do it right but that will take a lot more time.
If you apply the matte varnish too thick, highlights disappear. In the recesses you will have an ugly mid grey cover.

Or you just shortcut all these problems by not using varnish and avoidIng that your models touch each other too brutally.


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Goblin-King » Friday August 5th, 2016 12:33pm

Anderas wrote:Or you just shortcut all these problems by not using varnish and avoidIng that your models touch each other too brutally.

I can do that - but I don't trust my friends... |_P


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Figomurphy » Friday August 5th, 2016 12:50pm

Thanks folks. Now now I really don't know what to do :D :D :D

Goblin King, I live in Ireland so it hasn't been humid here since 1652! So no worries there.

Having takin all of the above on board I'm going to go with the no varnish.

Thanks for your time folks.


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby ampersand » Friday August 5th, 2016 6:45pm

Figomurphy wrote:Thanks folks. Now now I really don't know what to do :D :D :D

Goblin King, I live in Ireland so it hasn't been humid here since 1652! So no worries there.

Having takin all of the above on board I'm going to go with the no varnish.

Thanks for your time folks.


try out army painters paint on matte varnish (anti shine). that might be a safer than using the spray. ive ruined minis spraying them. and i just cant seem to ever find the right time to do it. too hot or too cold can have undesirable effects either way. but getting it right seems to be much harder than getting it wrong with a spray on solution
might be worth trying the paint on equivalent as you dont get those same negatives. there is plusses for both really. but i would recommend the paint on stuff as a first attempt.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Army-Painter-Warpaints-Anti-Shine-Varnish-18ml-New-/351733027778?hash=item51e4ec13c2:g:4s8AAOSwInxXNbeQ


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Mophus » Saturday August 6th, 2016 3:14am

I've varnished my first batch of HQ miniatures with matte spray varnish, but as Ampersand said: I had other miniatures sprayed and they got ruined because the external influences like air & can temperature, humidity weren't correct. So since then, I don't varnish my miniatures anymore.


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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby knightkrawler » Saturday August 6th, 2016 10:29am

The tips here have all been great.
I've been thinking about varnishing my HQ batch, but I'll refrain from it as well.
I can just as well paint places in a mini a second time if it takes any damage. Also, I wanna use a lot of pigments, including pastels, which oxidize when varnished.

I'll varnish the dungeon, maybe, but not the minis for now.
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Re: Varnishing minis.

Postby Figomurphy » Saturday August 6th, 2016 4:18pm

knightkrawler wrote:The tips here have all been great.
I've been thinking about varnishing my HQ batch, but I'll refrain from it as well.
I can just as well paint places in a mini a second time if it takes any damage. Also, I wanna use a lot of pigments, including pastels, which oxidize when varnished.

I'll varnish the dungeon, maybe, but not the minis for now.


The Dungeon? What Dungeon is this Knightkrawler? Now you've got my attention.

Ps thanks again to everyone for your time.


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