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Humbrol Clear (125ml)

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I should start this review with an apology to Humbrol. I’ve had this product in my possession for other two months but haven’t been able to write this review. This is not without good reason though, as I prefer to use a product of this type before reviewing it. Modelling opportunities have been very limited recently, so I haven’t had the chance to do so. I’ve finally managed to get out to the workshop and fire up the airbrush, so here is the review.

Humbrol describe this new product as a thin, clear varnish that goes on clear and stays clear. Presumably that means it is not prone to the yellowing that can be a feature of some spirit based varnishes. Judging by the name, this product is intended as a replacement for the much-missed Johnson’s Klear floor polish that was beloved of many modellers all over the world until its withdrawal and replacement a few years ago.

I’ve only used this varnish with my airbrush so far, but I can vouch for Humbrol’s claim that it dries to a low gloss finish which can be improved by the application of further thin coats. This is actually an important point, because if you give in to temptation and spray too much onto your model at once. It will pool and cause an uneven finish. A high gloss can be achieved by more judicious use of the product. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to try dipping canopies in the product, but I hope to try this soon and will update this review with the results.

Conclusion

From personal experience, I would say that this is an interesting and useful product. I have to confess that I never really got to grips with Klear as a varnish, but find it indispensible for improving the clarity of canopies. First impressions of Humbrol’s Clear are positive, and hopefully this will turn out to be a worthy successor.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Nice report Paul.

I have tried this product and still have a full bottle of Klear.

They both seem to work the same way.

I have used klear for a long time and had no problems.

This also applies to this new product in that I have had no problems so far.

I am mainly a ship builder so cannot comment on canopies for aircraft. For ships its a great sealer before spraying with matt varnish to get a dry paint look.

Look forward to more of your review of this product.

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Humbrol posted a How To Use video on Youtube which is quite useful to watch. Might have to get some and see what it's like for myself.

Edited by dadgaddad

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Hello, I have used this too and am pleased so far with what has happened. I do not have an airbrush, so it is the hairy stick for me. Used with a wide flat brush and applied thinly it has produced a decent smooth finish, and I cannot see any brush marks. I used it straight from the bottle on an Academy 1/72 Helldiver. That is still in progress, but if it is worthy when finished, I will post it on Aircraft RFI.

I am happy with it so far!

Kind regards, Ray

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That's about three light coats on the Airfix Spitfire XII, over 106 Ocean Grey from the new acrylic spray cans and Tamiya RAF Dark Green freehanded with Mr Color self levelling thinner. Once the first coat or two has "taken", subsequent coats stick like Justin Beiber to a shovel and dries to a tough, "wet look" gloss.

I think it needs slightly more coats over enamels, I have a feeling because acrylics tends to be smoother and of a similar chemical fraternity, the Clear sticks better and faster.

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Edited by Jonathan Mock

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In my experience, Klear dries a lot faster than 30 mins. I can do an entire airframe in one session, starting with one wing that I end up holding to airbrush the other wing as the last part. How quickly can it be handled after spraying?

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Hey Paul, Thanks for the review. How.even/smooth did you find the new humbrol varnish out of the airbrush? The reason that I ask is that I am still using the original Klear with my airbrush and what ever psi I use up close under the light it still seems a little bumpy...

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The reason that I ask is that I am still using the original Klear with my airbrush and what ever psi I use up close under the light it still seems a little bumpy...

I had thsi problem (as for all gloss). I found out that my nozzle was too fine, so brought another airbrush with a bigger nozzle



ALan Firbank informed me that Airfix sourced a bootle of Klear of ebay and did a lab analaysis on it to formulate their answer to this much missed product, hence we know have Clear

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ALan Firbank informed me that Airfix sourced a bootle of Klear of ebay and did a lab analaysis on it to formulate their answer to this much missed product, hence we know have Clear

Would that actualy be legal?

Julien

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I am currently spraying about 1/2" away in ultra thin coats. The misting Windolene over it ultra thin to break up the surface tension. The a light rub with a 100% cotton cloth. So far two coats with very little shine.....

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Would that actualy be legal?

Julien

Good question. Prehaps theyused the analaysis as a basis?

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I am currently spraying about 1/2" away in ultra thin coats. The misting Windolene over it ultra thin to break up the surface tension. The a light rub with a 100% cotton cloth. So far two coats with very little shine.....

This sounds rather complicated, I just spray and leave, it usually levels itself. Most of the time, I just paint on with a wide flat brush though, again no issues there. As Jon says above too, it dries very quickly and you can give a few coats in a short space of time. I suspect the Windolene could be hindering more than it is helping.

Cheers, Neil

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Would that actualy be legal?

Julien

It's called reverse engineering, and is common practice elsewhere in engineering too. Analysing something to learn how it works is not illegal. Producing a copy would be illegal if the product was patented. I suspect these products are just a combination of common chemicals and as such unable to be patented, but patent law is dependent on human judges and does throw up some oddities at times.

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Don't think they'll be breaking too many laws. That is until some modeller decides that it is great for floors. :analintruder:

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I am currently spraying about 1/2" away in ultra thin coats. The misting Windolene over it ultra thin to break up the surface tension. The a light rub with a 100% cotton cloth. So far two coats with very little shine.....

Sounds like you're over-egging it a bit with the Windex. I just load up the airbrush (Premi Air G35), dial the pressure down to about 15psi and start spraying. I find a couple of light passes to let the Clear bed in to touch dry, then a few more heavier coats. Its all down to experimentation to find what works best with your set up. Or you could brush it on, as it self-levels out leaving almost no brush marks.

I'll try and do a video this week.

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Windolene Used to have ammonia in it, which helped acrylic clear to self-level by re-melting/retarding drying, but they removed ammonia (from the British mix at least) some years back, so it does no good whatsoever :shrug:

Jonathan's description hits the nail on the head. Simple and effective :)

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Thanks guys, I am currently in the process of spraying a model without the windowlene and a test piece of a scrap model by brushing it on. Thanks to everyone who has added some side etc. I think that this new Humbrol low gloss may be the way forward.

I did wander about the windolene, I think I spoke to somone in Australia who mentioned about it which would make sense as thier formula includes ammonia...

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I'll try and do a video this week.

A video would be a massive help. I know alot of people who seem to spray Klerk and would like to get better results than that I am getting now. It seems a shame if the model were to turn out rubbish because of a naff gloss coat....

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Water - just clean the cup out first, spray the remnants until the flow is clean, then flush through with water, maybe add a drop of detergent. Check and clean the needle, flush again, job done.

The only extra thing I do is to leave the brush on its stand with some Vallejo airbrush cleaner in the cup, the new Humbrol airbrush cleaner also works.

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I thought I ought to update this review as I've had an opportunity to test the product again. Below is a pic of a Dragon Jagdpanzer IV that I've knocked together in a few spare moments. Having read the responses to this thread, I did something that I would never normally do - I used one of my new Humbrol Flat brushes to brush a couple of coats of Clear on. The results have, to say the least, impressed me hugely. The varnish builds up to a pleasing gloss, levels itself without any brushmarks and dries quickly. So far I have been very impressed and I can see myself using this product a lot.

jagdpzrivclear.jpg

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Thanks for updating your review, from the picture you have posted seems like rather good stuff. Now if I can only find some to buy, my nearest hobbycraft have none and hannants are nil stock.......

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Very nice from Airfix - and smart too. Seems to be very nice stuff.

I could never get a bottle of Klear and used the german equivalent "Glänzer", which is not too great. I am clearly looking forward to my first bottle Humbrol Clear ;-)

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