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Start with three Goblins, painted (poorly) with MSP. (Reaper bones Goblins 20024)
Then give two of them two coats each of Liquitex Gloss Varnish - Artist Acrylic 6208, with 3 hours between each coat.
Shiny! They're dry, but don't look like it. The spearman is the Control (unvarnished).
Next, the Matte sealers. The Spearman is still the control.
The archer was given a coat of Liquitex Matte Varnish - Artist Acrylic 5216.
The Liquitex Matte goes on just like the Liquitex Gloss, its milky and tranlucent, and prone to bubbling. I have to give it a good coating, then go back over it with the brush and basically pull a bunch off where it's pooled or turned into foamy wierdness.
The Mace guy was given a coat of Testors Dullcote Lacquer 1160.
The Testors goes on clear, and maybe a little thicker, but it starts to dry out and/or turn matte fairly quickly - you can see it starting to happen by the time you finish one mini. It's really easy to just slap on a coat and not worry too much.
Three hours after the first coat of matte, the Liquitex looks kind of greasy. Still shiny, and thick. The Testors looks waxy. Like it's not wet, but there's a layer of something mostly translucent that you can see, dulling everything down.
Both are still too shiny, so a second coat of matte is applied. Three hours later:
Pretty darn similar. Both still waxy, and shinier than I'd like. Compare to our friend the Control:
So a third coat of matte must be applied. This time I remembered to take pictures of what the Liquitex is like!
and with the excess brushed off:
That's still wet, it's just really hard to get the stuff on the mini in a reasonable fashion, and I'm trying to avoid the nebulous 'over-brushing' which can cause fogging, or so the products tell me.
Three hours later, here's coat number three:
The testors looks shinier in the pic, but they're both about the same in person.
Speaking of looks, see how terrible the sealed ones look next to control:
What am I doing? I'm ruining them.
One thing politics has taught me is to never admit you're wrong. Stay the course. Keep on keepin' on. So I put on a fourth coat.
It's not getting any better. Furthermore, I don't really see a difference between the two matte sealers, all I can focus on his how much better the unsealed one looks, and how bad the other two do.
Look at the bases!
Same photo but zoom/crop:
Unsealed (left), then Testors (middle), then Liquitex (right)
My sloppy drybrushing, mostly undone by liquid evil.
So what I was originally trying to find out was the difference between the matte sealers. Why? Because it's too cold/wet outside to use my spraycans. I originally used a couple coats of Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating, then one coat of Testors Spray Lacquer Clear Coat (which is actually Dullcote, but just labeled incomprehensibly). This combo worked GREAT. But in winter (and for some reason, I find myself painting more when I'm trapped inside for months at a time) the sprays aren't so good, hence the brush-on sealers. I noticed my brush-on minis were not as nice as the spray ones. Maybe it's liquitex's fault, maybe their matte isn't good, etc. When I found out Testors made a brush-on dullcote, I had to give it a try.
And I think what I've found out is that Liquitex doesn't suck, I do.
I think my problem is the initial coat. Or all the coats. Too thick, too much. The reason it looks like it's covered in waxy stuff is because it actually is covered in waxy stuff.
So what to do? I noticed the Testors bottle says to "ONLY" use Testors brand thinner to thin for brushing. Am I supposed to thin this stuff? How much? It just says "apply generous coats"! How thin? Doesn't thinning it mean it's not fully sealed? Argh!
Also, I don't have gloss Testors. My only gloss is Liquitex, and it's VASTLY different (see: milky foaming bubble mayhem). Can I use the "Lacquer Thinner & Brush Cleaner" on the Liquitex? It says not to thin with water. Does that mean don't thin it, or do thin it, but with some thing else? It's "varnish" is that the same as Lacquer? Or are they different things? If so, what can I use to thin the Gloss Varnish, if anything? Would thinning it make things better? It's a "Acrylic Polymer Emulsion" but I don't know what the Testors is actually made of.
It's too late for these poor mistreated goblins, but hopefully I can figure something else out. Maybe I just need to be (far) more careful, or maybe there's a different product I can use, but I've got a lot of bones, and very little Summer.
A newcomer to the forums just made a comment that they did not know what Dullcote was, so after explaining what it was and adding a pic of the can, I thought I would add a link to a discussion on sealers....
Imagine my surprise when I searched the pinned resources to find nothing listed!
Now a search of this forum gave me many hits to a lot of different threads, but they were all about a problem, or people asking questions or something other.
So I decided to start a thread talking about Sealers.
Now I use Dullcote Spray Lacquer from Testors, and have been using it for over 30 years.
I am not liable to change any time soon...
I like the nice flat coat that it always gives me when I use it.
It does have it's drawbacks though.
It can hide?, remove?, blur?, your subtle high lights. (Not sure what the right word is, but your high lights can disappear. This has only happened to me once, when I was painting my Behir, and I was not a happy camper.
Went back and did them again a little stronger, and didn't have the problem again...
Spray sealers can 'Frost' if they are sprayed on in areas of high humidity. This will make you tear your hair out, as your wonderful paint job now looks like it has been out in the cold over night....
I have fixed this at last once by re spraying in a non humid environment, but not something I want to experience again....
When I need to put Decals, or water slide transfers as they are sometimes known, I will use Glosscote on the model before doing the decaling. The reason for this is that the Gloss finish is much smoother, making the decal fit to the model better. (there are other things that I do as well, but this isn't about decaling)
I have read that some folks will Glosscote, then Dullcote their gaming pieces, as the Glosscote offers better protection, and the Dullcote takes the shine back off...
The only difference in the cans is the cap of the Glosscote is clear, while the Dullcote looks frosted, so I have started writting on the cans with a sharpie so that I am sure which is which.
I have some 30 year old Polly S Flat Finish brush on sealer, as well as Testors Aztek Clear Matte Airbrush sealer, but I have used neither as of now...
I also have a pot of GW 'Ardcote, that I bought not knowing it is nothing more than a clear gloss sealer. I have used this on gems or critter tongues, things I want shiny, but as it gets applied to my minis after Dullcote, I don't know how it would react to paint.
I know that our hosts Reaper make a brush on sealer, but I have no experience with it...
So chime in folks with your experiences and brands of sealers that you use!
By Matrix Dragon
Until recently I've been making the mistake of trying to use Testors DullCote as a protective layer. No hard gloss underneeth. I'm wondering if it isn't too late for me to protect my old miniatures by spraying a layer of Krylon Gloss over top their original Dullcote layer. Of course, after that I would have to spray another layer of Dullcote...
Is it possible that having these alternating layers of dullcote and gloss could ruin the appearance of the miniatures? Yea, I'm being paranoid ;)
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