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Protecting Bones

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Hi folks,

 

I'm a complete newbie to this stuff, but I know that I need to toss a coat of varnish of some sort on my Bones to keep them from being ruined. I've seen the "Toss a few Bones in a box" tests, and Bones stand up fairly well, but I'm experiencing a little bit of rub-off and I will be using Bones for RPGs so they're going to take a bit of punishment.

 

I gather that Testors Dullcote is industry-standard for a matte varnish. Do Bones require a gloss coat before a matte or can I just hit them with a matte varnish and be done?

 

What brand of gloss coat should I use if required? Any favorites if I can't get my hands on Testors Dullcote?

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For minis intended for heavy use, I've been using GW 'Ardcoat brush-on. I haven't really found many options for brush-ons though, and the GW is a bit thick and very shiny.

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I use Krylon Gloss clear coat that I get at ACE hardware. Once that dries I hit it with a coat of Testors Dulcote. (Hobby Lobby sells that and if you get an online cupon you get it for 40% off!)

I have also ahd good luck just using a brush on dulcote when I want some aprts to remain shiny(Like armor)

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Oh man this thread is just what I'm looking for. Aerosols seem to be bad news, for a variety of reasons. There have been reports that gloss sealers are actually bad for Bones, since they will crack where Bones, paint, and matte sealers will bend. Matte sealers do provide some modicum of protection, and I think it should be plenty for the already-sturdy Bones.

 

That said, I am having a really difficult time figuring out which matte sealer to use. Some people swear by Dullcote, but as far as I can tell, Testors sells a range of products under the Dullcote banner. Which is the ideal for brushing onto miniatures? How about the Reaper brush-on sealer? Will any of these have gross fumes? Can they be used indoors, in a wide variety of temperatures? What are the chances of screwing things up? I've only ever used matte sprays, and there is very little Bones-centric advice so far on this front, and what does exist is scattered and disorganized. For all the science that has been done with Bones, very little of it seems to involve sealers.

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Slendertroll - I have, in less than a year of painting, gone through 3 bottles of Army Painter's matte varnish. It's awesome. I use it as a mixing medium with some other companies' paints too (P3 especially) if they tend to have a more satin finish than my beloved MSPs.

 

It has no fumes, and it seems to bend and adhere to bones as well as anything.

Edited by Baugi

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How to protect bones? I'd suggest a locked display cabinet, with an alarm. You might want a few heavily armored guys, but people might break in just to get them. They are easy to sell on the black market after all ;). Make sure to place Kaladrax/Nethy somewhere where they can see what is going on.


And get a bottle of vintage paint, and place it away from the bones. Just in case of Buglips! ;)

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As it was explained to me by my painting professor in college: at a molecular level, acrylic medium is like cooked spaghetti. To make it into paint, you add pigments, matting agents, and surfactants. Some pigments are gritty like meat and spices, while others flow freely like tomato sauce. As acrylic paint dries, water evaporates from the mixture, causing it to harden and bind all the ingredients together, like spaghetti left out in the sun. But, if the mixture is out of balance, and too much water or pigment displaces the acrylic medium, some of the pigments can remain exposed and vulnerable. A gloss acrylic varnish is the equivalent of spreading a layer of fresh, clean noodles over your spaghetti paint, and will safely secure your meatballs.

 

Matte acrylic varnish is like spaghetti with a little cheese in it.

 

When you go to apply other sorts of varnishes over acrylic paint, you're taking some chances. A lot of it will work, but it's like pouring corn syrup on spaghetti sometimes.

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As it was explained to me by my painting professor in college: at a molecular level, acrylic medium is like cooked spaghetti. To make it into paint, you add pigments, matting agents, and surfactants. Some pigments are gritty like meat and spices, while others flow freely like tomato sauce. As acrylic paint dries, water evaporates from the mixture, causing it to harden and bind all the ingredients together, like spaghetti left out in the sun. But, if the mixture is out of balance, and too much water or pigment displaces the acrylic medium, some of the pigments can remain exposed and vulnerable. A gloss acrylic varnish is the equivalent of spreading a layer of fresh, clean noodles over your spaghetti paint, and will safely secure your meatballs.

 

Matte acrylic varnish is like spaghetti with a little cheese in it.

 

When you go to apply other sorts of varnishes over acrylic paint, you're taking some chances. A lot of it will work, but it's like pouring corn syrup on spaghetti sometimes.

 

I...what? Damnit Jim I'm an engineer, not a cook! My idea of haute cuisine is that you should wait for it to cool first.

 

Doesn't an acrylic varnish mean that it will react with your acrylic paint and cause "bleeding", therefore making a non-acryl finish preferable? That leaves Polyurathane, Lacquer, or Resin varnish, because Oil varnish, shellac, and two-parters are right out.

 

Still at a bit of a loss for what to use as protection. I'm not sure I just want to throw a matte finish on and call it done, I'd much rather have some back-up from a gloss coat. Maybe if I just spam 4 layers of matte finish...?

 

I'll see if I can grab some Testors Glosscote Lacquer spray and then smack it with Dullcote Lacquer. Then maybe paint-on some 'Ardcoat if I ever need something to be shiny like armor.

 

I realise that a lot of the talk in here is going to be anecdotal, but I'd be interested in how Reaper Sealant works if nothing else (give it a tumble test). Trying to compare a bunch of brands and types of varnish would take a tonne of time and resources.

 

@Slendertroll: Testor's only has 1 kind of clear lacquer dullcote and clear lacquer glosscote: http://www.testors.com/category/136064/Testors_Enamels

Also not sure what's so bad about sprays/aerosols.

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I still swear by Future floor polish (now called Pledge with Future Shine) for gloss coats on miniatures and scale models. The stuff is bulletproof and accepts matt coats easily.

 

The Egg

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Doesn't an acrylic varnish mean that it will react with your acrylic paint and cause "bleeding", therefore making a non-acryl finish preferable? That leaves Polyurathane, Lacquer, or Resin varnish, because Oil varnish, shellac, and two-parters are right out.

 

Short answer is NO! Absolutely not! Waterborne acrylic bonds safely and completely to waterborne acrylic.

 

Long answer: In the event that application of acrylic varnish over acrylic paint causes color bleeding, you have used an inferior paint that may not be acrylic at all, or have thinned it to such an extent that it is essentially watercolor; it has so little acrylic left that it cannot act effectively as a binder. Also, if you have happened to mix alcohol into your acrylic varnish (and there are legitimate reasons for doing that, but not right now) it may cause the paint to craze, lift, or otherwise partially dissolve. There are also a very few specific pigments that remain semi-soluble even when in dried acrylic paint, notably dioxazine purple. These may bleed into the first coat of varnish, but that makes sealing them all the more important.

 

If you're attempting to give an archival protective coating to a work of art (which is well above and beyond what's necessary for miniatures as it can get pretty thick) you may layer several different varnishes, including a waterborne acrylic isolation barrier and another resin that can be removed with a solvent that doesn't affect the acrylic (for cleaning and repair).

 

Here is one article among many explaining part of this in technical terms.

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But isn't the top layer of paint essentially watercolour anyways? You're probably glazing or throwing washes down that are 3:1 or more water-to-paint.,,,

 

In the event that I want to use an Acrylic sealant...what's out there? AFAIK Testors Gloss/Dullcote is a lacquer-based sealant, so I'm not sure why it's become "industry standard" if it's the wrong chemical formulation...

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