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Help with Varnishing my first mini


shibe
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Hello All,

 

This is my first post so please excuse any incorrect use of etiquette here.  I hope this hasn't been posted elsewhere.  I have searched for varnishing tips and I get conflicting information all over the net.  Each person has their own methods and what works for them it seems.

 

I have a pewter mini I purchased through Reaper. (Lucius Panderwagon)  It is my first one.  I have just about finished painting it and I purchased some varnish to complete it.  I have Liquitex Matte Varnish.  The liquid inside looks cloudy and when I test paint it on a surface it gives it a light frosting.  Should I be using this as a varnish?  Does anyone have any better suggestions for this?

 

Just want to say thanks in advance for all the contributions on this forum.  All the information has been very helpful in getting my first project going.  Lots of fun.

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Hey welcome to the forums, I've not done the varnishing thing either, but I think what you'll probably want to look up is "dip," "dipping," or "quick dip." There are products out there like Quick Shade from Army Painter. Here's a video on how it's done. Other people use Minwax, there are plenty of different shades for Minwax and Army Painter has 3 different shades.

 

Hope this helps!

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Are you just trying to put a protective top coat on the miniature, or use the varnish as a shade medium? If you are just trying to create a protective top coat, I'd suggest either Testors Dullcote or Reaper make a brush on sealer that I've not used but many people swear by.

 

EDIT: Added link

Edited by The Inner Geek
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I brush on varnish.  Not with the expensive liquitex stuff, mind you, but I'm pretty sure the premise is the same.  That frosted look you've described commonly happens when applying too much varnish.  It looks like the liquitex stuff is water-based, so you can thin it out a bit with a couple drops of water before you apply it, and make sure you also apply it in thin layers, and use your brush to prevent it from pooling too much in the low spots on the mini.  Multiple thin layers are better than a single thick one.

 

Many claim that for protection, gloss varnish is sturdier than matte varnish, so a common process is to do a first coat of gloss varnish, followed by a  second coat of matte varnish.

 

If all you have is the matte, it will still protect your paintjob though, just maybe not as well as the gloss/matte 1-2 punch would.

 

Edit:  Oh!  I forgot to mention.  I've also heard of spray varnishes causing frosting if applied in too cold a temperature.  Unsure if this also applies to brush on varnishing, but it's something to be aware of, anyways.

Edited by Sabith
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Yeah, I use the Testors Spray to seal my figures as well, it's the matte stuff, but I do have gloss now too. Also in my arsenal is the reaper brush-on sealer that I use for all sorts of things, but that is also glossy so I make sure to always hit it with the matte sealant after the figure is done to tone it down unless I need something shiny looking.

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Hi!  Thank you all for the quick replies.  I mean to protect my paint job with a final coat of varnish.  I am just not sure if I am using the correct material.  I do not want it to be super shiny yet I also do not want a frosted look either.  I put a pretty thin coat of this stuff on a clear bottle so I could see how clear it actually dries.  I am not sure which way to go here.  I may go with something in-between the gloss and matte.  I hear satin is the one for that.  Does anyone have any experience with this particular brand?  How about any brands and methods that work best for them.  I hear a spray from a good distance is good as well as very thin coats with a brush of a non spray varnish. I will check out the videos as well.  Thanks for all the responses! 

Edited by shibe
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I will try to water it down a bit.  Maybe a gloss would look nice as well.  I can add a picture and maybe you guys can tell me what you think a good protectant would be for the way it looks? :)

 

post-13119-0-66571000-1390595871_thumb.jpg

Edited by shibe
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I will try to water it down a bit.  Maybe a gloss would look nice as well.  I can add a picture and maybe you guys can tell me what you think a good protectant would be for the way it looks? :)

 

Definitely try watering it down like cutebutpsycho says. Take pics and post them up. Put it up in the Show Off section of the thread since it's a finished product, if it's a work in progress then you put up pics in a WIP thread. This is a very friendly forum/community and really willing to give you good advice.

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The way a matte varnish works is to scatter the light that reflects off of the figure to remove specular highlights (direct reflections off of the surface). If you put matte varnish on a clear bottle, it's going to look cloudy because of that effect. Part of the reason that you're having difficulty interpreting the replies is that it is possible for a dulling coat to frost enough that it will show up as a frosted coat over colors as well.

 

To see whether the product will give you the look you want, you need to paint a coat over something that is opaque and ideally multi-colored. (A piece of discarded packaging from something purchased recently should work fairly well.) A thin coat shouldn't obscure the details but should kill the shine.

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