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Gloss varnishes discussion/questions


Weatherman
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Hello fellow modellers! I am opening this thread in order to let any of us who has good experience regarding the following gloss varnishes, as a guide for any modeller who wants to end up chosing "his" varnish. I will start reviewing varnishes that I have worked. Please do not mention reviews about Future (or Klear) liquids, as there is no Future in Greece (liquid or real future anyway...) ore maybe in other countries as well.

 

1)

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One of the most classic varnishes. I used to spray it in my airbrush over Humbrol enamel painted surfaces with good results. Nice airbrushing, quite fine and very glossy finish, though it is better to spray 2 to 3 very thin layers to avoid thick gloss surface. After it dries it creates a hard glossy surcafe where you can do any kind of weathering you like (oil washes etc), after setting the decals.

 

2)

41-Xz-JXVki-KL-AC-SX355.jpg

 

I used this gloss varnish at a model that I am building this period (a greek PZL.24 in 1/48), sprayed over Humbrol enamel colours, with good results. It sprays very well, but it needs a fine surface in order to show up its glossy characteristics. The model might need some light sanding before applying the varnish, especially if the paints are to matt. It takes some time to dry out, but is leaves a very fine and thin layer, almost satin at first spray, quite more glossy at second.

 

3)

talens-amsterdam-114-acrylic-varnish-glo

 

Some days ago I bought this staff at my local arts store, asking for a gloss acrylic varnish. They suggested me this one, which - as they told - is diluted with water and sprays very well. When I got home to check it, I was surpised to see that water is NOT the solvent, so not a classic acrylic staff... Its solvent though is white spirit andany relative products, which made me think about using it on a model. I brought it to an ideal ratio for airbrushing (since the material in the botlle is quite thick and heavy) and tested it on a scrap wing, painted with Humbrol enamel matt pain, quite chipped and vallejo chrome acrylic undersurface (I was testing Humbrol behaviour with the laque technique). It sprays really well, it does not build up or run, an when it dries it leaves a fine almost satin finish. Since then, I left it at the corner because I am not sure if it turns yellowish after some (maybe long) period. My fear derives from the fact that it is diluted with white spirit and not water. Moreover, I don't know its behaviour on enamel surfaces, even my test on the well-dried humbrol khaki colour did not cause any problems. After a week, I checked the scrap part (half airbrushed with this varnish, half without varnish but only with colour) and the khaki colour that was sprayed with the varnish seems a little yellow... I thought it was my idea but then I looked better, and unfortunatelly I was right. Talens says it does not turn yellow...

 

Just for discussion purposes, I usually paint with Humbrol enamels but recently I chose to change my collection into acrylics and laquer-acrylics and specifically: Vallejo acrylics, Mr Hobby-Gunze and AK Real Colours. Will I have and problems at all using a water dilluted varnish over acrylics or laquer-acrylics (of course well dried). Now my experience ends here and it's your turn to post your experience.

 

Indicativelly, I am asking for any reviews for the below products:

 

4)

AK1921N.jpg

 

5)

alclad-ii-alc-600-aqua-gloss-clear.jpg

 

6)

GX100.jpg

 

7)

0022979-winsor-newton-artist-acrylic-gloproducts-galeria-gloss-varnish.jpg

 

To end my post, what is the difference between the last two W&N varnishes? Do they turn yellow? Are they both diluted with water?

 

Thank you,

 

Themis

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I use GX100 and GX112 on a regular basis. They dry fast and pretty hard. Thin layers, build it up, Mr. Leveling thinner is perfect on these (they require a lot of thinner as they're pretty thick in the bottle). I've used C46 before switching to these, that's a good varnish too. You can safely use them over decals, never had a problem. Can't speak to how good they'll take washes/weathering. I've only done light, "waterbased" washes on them and didn't have any issues.

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If you want a very resistant and very glossy coat, you can go with 1-component Clear Lacquers.

 

They are car varnishes and there is no need for hardeners. They are easy to use and dry quickly. You can find these in car paint stores.

 

Use a mask and get thinner for it. Some say it is ready to use but you will need the thinner to clean your airbrush.

 

Nice and glossy:

 

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If you go for the two-component varnishes you will get an even better result. I would use this all the time if I built cars:

 

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20 hours ago, bmwh548 said:

I use GX100 and GX112 on a regular basis. They dry fast and pretty hard. Thin layers, build it up, Mr. Leveling thinner is perfect on these (they require a lot of thinner as they're pretty thick in the bottle). I've used C46 before switching to these, that's a good varnish too. You can safely use them over decals, never had a problem. Can't speak to how good they'll take washes/weathering. I've only done light, "waterbased" washes on them and didn't have any issues.

When you spray over decals do you go slow and light at first or can you go in straight away with wetter coats?

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51 minutes ago, Steve Noble said:

When you spray over decals do you go slow and light at first or can you go in straight away with wetter coats?

Hi Steve,

 

If I can chime in here because I too use the Mr Hobby GX100. It's my preferred gloss and finish coat - excellent thin, tough finish with quick dry and self levelling properties   I too have had no trouble with the GX going over decals and no trouble with its compatibility with enamel washes, when required, using the GX as both a base and finish. The thing is I am patient. I will leave the decal job a good 24 hours before going over decals. Although, of course I have decalled in the evening and GX coat in the morning without trouble. Although, the impatience usually comes the other way around - gloss coat and wanting to get into the decals.  I do not put on a heavy wet coat over decals. A number of light coats work for me. the initial touch dry is so rapid that this does not mean the painting has to stop, I just keep going but see no need to flood. However, I do want it hitting the surface wet to ensure good levelling and avoidance of orange peel. 

 

Similarly, I will ensure enamel washes are left to dry well before GX finish coats.   

 

I have also put the GX over AK interactive acrylics without trouble. I am not fond of this though and think if I was to do this again I would use an alternative, a non- lacquer based clear coat. This has not been a problem as my go to paints are Mr Hobby Aqueous Color and Tamiya Acrylics also thinned with Mr Levelling Thinner where there is good compatibility with the GX and no troubles. 

 

Have I had experience with GX over full enamel finishes? No. 

 

Ray

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Pretty much the same as Ray: 1-2 mist coats at first over decals and then 1-2 wet coats. In extreme situations I've used it over decals 2-3 hours after sticking them to the model, nothing bad happened. 

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I'd like to pitch in with a question if I may. Airbrushing a varnish in my mind seems incredibly difficult as unlike almost all paint jobs, the entirety of the model needs coating. This surely leaves nowhere to hold the thing - especially with aircraft as you need to get to the undersides. How do people tackle this challenge?

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28 minutes ago, Filler said:

I'd like to pitch in with a question if I may. Airbrushing a varnish in my mind seems incredibly difficult as unlike almost all paint jobs, the entirety of the model needs coating. This surely leaves nowhere to hold the thing - especially with aircraft as you need to get to the undersides. How do people tackle this challenge?

Attach something to hold it with usually using blue tac or in the case of car bodies I use the Tamiya painting stand...

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51 minutes ago, Filler said:

I'd like to pitch in with a question if I may. Airbrushing a varnish in my mind seems incredibly difficult as unlike almost all paint jobs, the entirety of the model needs coating. This surely leaves nowhere to hold the thing - especially with aircraft as you need to get to the undersides. How do people tackle this challenge?

This is now a thing of the past for me because I use GX100. I hold the model resting on my gloved hand spray the underside. Set it down and let it dry for 10 minutes. Pick it up flip it over, let it rest in my gloved hand and spray the topside. I do not grip it. I do not clean the airbrush between these coats. You can spray up the sides get in and out as you go. This is also true of the colour coats when using the acrylics that work with Levelling Thinners like Tamiya and Mr Hobby. It's made life simple. 

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Another shout here for GX100 thinned by about 70% with self levelling thinners. It’s great stuff. 
 

James

Edited by franky boy
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  • 2 months later...

I am about to use Tamiya lacquer gloss as a clearcoat and will update how it works for me.

 

First top tip: Make sure the bottle you are mixing paint and thinner is thoroughly cleaned so as not to contaminate with residue of God knows what.🥴😥

 

I have used the AK glossy and it wasn't very good for me. It could have been simply my airbrushing technique but there was a lot of tip dry and many a coat to get it up to a good gloss. (Ammo's Lucky was an absolute disaster. Not sure what happened with that stuff.)

 

As to the question on W&N stuff I think it is just their premium versus basic range. Probably not a massive difference in quality just price.

Edited by Stef N.
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I recently upgraded from Tamiya acrylic gloss to Mr. Hobby GX112; One light coat followed by one thicker and finally a misted coat of pure MLT. Gives the best and most durable gloss finish I have ever experienced in 35 years of model building.

 

Bjarne

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