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Questions about Varnish


GazB
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Hello all. I'm in a state of confusion at present, heh.

Ok, so here's the issue. After quite a hiatus I've recently got back into some modelling. Back when I use to make models, I put them together, painted them and added the decals, and that was it. I never used varnishes or washes or weathering.

For Christmas I received a Bandai 1/72 Y-Wing starfighter. A bit different from what I used to make, being a clip-kit, but I actually quite liked not having to faff around with glue, sticking the parts to myself more than the other pieces :D

So anyway. I gave it a coat of Tamiya primer, then some flat black and light grey for the shadowing. Other bits were painted with Tamiya acrylics with tiny amounts of Revell matt enamels here and there (for chips and marks and whatnot). Overall, I think it looks pretty good for my first foray into 'beating' up a kit.

Now here's where the dilemma sets in. Varnishing.

I've read a lot about Klear. Of course, prior to this kit, I'd never heard of the stuff. Apparently it was renamed and rebottled and appears slightly different, but works the same way. I got my hands on some Pledge Multi-Surface Wax, which I think is the same stuff updated. My surety wavers a little when I see people displaying bottles with the old Klear markings above the new title (I haven't actually seen anyone with the exact bottle I have).

I've tested it on a small piece, and it did do the job. Also stood up to a small test of Mig washes and a bit of paint cleaner (still waiting on my Mig thinner to arrive). However, the results were a little less stellar on a larger test piece (the kit base). It didn't seem to apply consistently, and even after a few coats the wash test didn't really flow into all the little nooks and cranny's. In hindsight doing a test clean up with the Revell paint cleaner probably wasn't the best choice ( :P) since it started to remove the underlying layer, but the exercise had me a little concerned for when I would apply this stuff to the model. By brush, I might add.

So I started looking around. So far I've snagged myself a can of Vallejo matt acrylic for the final job (I think prior to applying Mig pigments, since I hear coating them doesn't work well) since a test of adding some flat base to the pledge didn't exactly work, but my recent test had me wondering about the gloss.

Today I had a look around. The options were limited to a bottle of Windsor and Newton gloss varnish (not sure how that would react), and some Humbrol gloss cote. My confusion flares up with regard to the Humbrol in particular. The Humbrol video on the gloss cote says to thin it up with enamel thinners. That would suggest its composition is similar to enamel paint, or something similarly solvent based (no real information on what its made up of that I can find). But then the Humbrol washes (and the Mig for that matter) are enamel, and cleaned up with enamel thinners. So how is it the Gloss cote isn't stripped off as well?

I'm pretty confused at the moment, and a little worried to try anything in case it completely knackers all my work so far. If anyone can clear this up for me, I'd really appreciate it.

I'd also love to know for certain if this is the right stuff:

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Thanks for any help in advance :)

Edited by GazB
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am in exactly the same kind of boat as you. I have tried the Future - or Pledge thing and not managed to get it to work. I have also tried the Humbrol Clear with very mixed results, so am looking for a decent clear gloss that I can use as well over my Tamiya and Mr Hobby acrylics. It does seem that the world of clear coats is extremely confusing :(

Edited by TPReggie
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I have the exact same bottle of pledge as that. I have used it without problems over vallejo and Gunze Sangyo aqueous.

Humbrol clear on the other hand is a nightmare, sprayed over Gunze it turned into crazy paving requiring a complete strip.

I found vallejo clear drys too quickly leading to an uneven surface.

My favourite clear for Gunze paints is Gunze Sangyo own clear varnishes. They are similar viscosity to the paints which I can then thin to my desired viscosity for spraying.

I find klear/pledge to be a little too thin and runny.

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I am in exactly the same kind of boat as you. I have tried the Future - or Pledge thing and not managed to get it to work. I have also tried the Humbrol Clear with very mixed results, so am looking for a decent clear gloss that I can use as well over my Tamiya and Mr Hobby acrylics. It does seem that the world of clear coats is extremely confusing :(

After a little bit of trial and error, I did managed to get this Pledge to work, sorta. After a respray of the base for my model, I put on about 3 or 4 layers and then did a little wash. Seemed to work better. Then I sealed it with a can of Vallejo Matt Varnish. Haven't had any white spots or other errors show up. Just hoping that continues to the actual model itself :)

I have the exact same bottle of pledge as that. I have used it without problems over vallejo and Gunze Sangyo aqueous.

Humbrol clear on the other hand is a nightmare, sprayed over Gunze it turned into crazy paving requiring a complete strip.

I found vallejo clear drys too quickly leading to an uneven surface.

My favourite clear for Gunze paints is Gunze Sangyo own clear varnishes. They are similar viscosity to the paints which I can then thin to my desired viscosity for spraying.

I find klear/pledge to be a little too thin and runny.

The Pledge seemed to work (over Tamiya) after a couple of coats. Just hoping that extends to the actual model.

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Hi Gaz,

I've never had a problem with the old Kleer, and have found it's good as a base for washes before the final matt coat. However, I've started using Winsor and Newton Gloss and Matt varnishes and found them excellent. I use Vallejo and Lifecolor and the Winsor and Newton varnishes do not react with them.

They are not expensive, available at most artists shops, Hobbyland, and on-line too. You could do worse than give them a go.

Best Wishes,

Will.

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Hi Gaz,

I've never had a problem with the old Kleer, and have found it's good as a base for washes before the final matt coat. However, I've started using Winsor and Newton Gloss and Matt varnishes and found them excellent. I use Vallejo and Lifecolor and the Winsor and Newton varnishes do not react with them.

They are not expensive, available at most artists shops, Hobbyland, and on-line too. You could do worse than give them a go.

Best Wishes,

Will.

Thanks, Will. Appreciate the guidance :)

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Hi Gaz,

I've never had a problem with the old Kleer, and have found it's good as a base for washes before the final matt coat. However, I've started using Winsor and Newton Gloss and Matt varnishes and found them excellent. I use Vallejo and Lifecolor and the Winsor and Newton varnishes do not react with them.

They are not expensive, available at most artists shops, Hobbyland, and on-line too. You could do worse than give them a go.

Best Wishes,

Will.

What do you use out of interest Will, the acrylic or other option?

Acrylic Link - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Winsor-Newton-Galeria-Gloss-Varnish/dp/B0027INUPU/ref=sr_1_4?s=kids&ie=UTF8&qid=1455626252&sr=1-4&keywords=winsor+newton+acrylic+varnish

Non Acrylic Link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Winsor-Newton-250ml-Artists-Varnish/dp/B006OK6T78/ref=pd_cp_21_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1JKVQYJBZM9398HRZ2MF

Also do you airbrush or hairy stick it? And if airbrush, do you thin it or straight out of bottle?

Apologies for all the additional questions :(

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TPReggie,

I use the acrylic stuff as its almost odourless, and I have to model indoors. I thin it with a little airbrush thinner, Vallejo, Lifecolor, or Ultimate, and airbrush it on.

Best Wishes,

Will.

PS The matt varnish is really good as it dries to a dead matt finish.

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