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Bones vs Liquitex Gloss Varnish


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Hi Reaper Forums! I'm new here. I'll be posting pics of my minis to share when I get a light box but for now I want to talk about varnish:

 

I have seen a couple of threads where folks have had trouble with the brush-on Liquitex Gloss varnish being sticky on their Bones. I'm not sure if this is the result of plasticizers leaching out of the Bones material or just a characteristic of the varnish itself. I experienced it myself, and I was very concerned that the varnish i put on to protect my hours of painting on the gaming table actually was wrecking the mini. 

 

For the record this is how I prep and paint ( I am up in Seattle in case people have a climate question) :

 

  • Wash bones with toothbrush and dawn dish soap
  • Prime mini with Vallejo or Badger Stynylrez urethane primer. (let cure >24 hrs)
  • Paint with combination Vallejo/Reaper paints 
  • Brush on Liquitex Gloss Varnish (protective coat)
  • Brush on Liquitex Matte varnish (dull the shine)

 

 

A few of my minis prepped this way stayed a bit shiny and went a little sticky- not as sticky as it would with a bad spray primer but you could press your finger against the surface and feel a little resistance when you let go.

 

Yesterday I took a can of Testor's Dullcote to my problematic minis. It's only been 24 hours but I am super happy with the result. The minis are dead flat, and the stickiness is completely gone. Hopefully this is the end of the problem, but if it starts getting shiny or sticky again I will update this thread. 

 

If someone has a suggestion for a better brush on gloss varnish I am interested in hearing it! Otherwise I may just keep this process.

Edited by Hobospider
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Welcome Aboard, Hobospider!

 

I have been using the Liquitex Gloss Varnish followed up with the Testor's Dullcote for a while now, and it works great.  When I've tried following the Liquitex with another brush-on matte varnish, it does seem like it doesn't kill the shine as easily / well as I'd like.  I have even "rescued" some earlier Bones minis who ended up sticky from when I first starting painting Bones by giving them a spray of Dullcote.

 

Don't know if other mattte varnishes work as well, but it's Testor's Dullcote all the way for me!

Edited by Painting Dog
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Any recommendations on what to use if you can't use a spray sealant?  Sprays are not exactly ideal for me for a variety of reasons.

 

Liquitex and other artists acrylic brands offer a range of brush-on varnishes with a variety of finishes. Most will have to be thinned for use on miniatures. Usually they are thinned with water, but there are some products that require mineral spirits or alcohol to thin them, and will be labeled clearly as such.

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Any recommendations on what to use if you can't use a spray sealant?  Sprays are not exactly ideal for me for a variety of reasons.

 

Liquitex and other artists acrylic brands offer a range of brush-on varnishes with a variety of finishes. Most will have to be thinned for use on miniatures. Usually they are thinned with water, but there are some products that require mineral spirits or alcohol to thin them, and will be labeled clearly as such.

 

 

Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!

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Reaper's Brush-on sealer isn't 100% matte, but it did kill the stickiness caused by a Vallejo gloss varnish.

 

Speaking of, I've used Reaper's new gloss sealer on a few Bones and didn't have any of the tackiness problems that I've had with Liquitex in the same climate.

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 That's actually a bit of a tricky question - is it literally petrified, where it's become basically fossilized, or is it just dried out/partially cured by the salt content of the environment?

That'll make a difference, since it alters just how porous the surface is (and whether moisture will affect it), and thus how it'd react to sealing.

Off the top of my head, a regular two-part epoxy or polyurethane coating should work on preserved flesh and bone, since they generally work passably well on almost anything. You'd need to make very sure you sealed it completely airtight, though, to retard any further breakdown of the material.

You'd probably need to apply multiple thin coats (and many more than you'd put on a metal mini, since you need to bolster the structural integrity of the item as well), and you'd definitely want to test whatever you decide to use on a small broken piece first, if you have one.

 

 You might also want to hunt down a taxidermy forum or email a professional taxidermist - they'd most likely be able to tell you if there's something in the taxidermy or anthropology fields that's designed for that sort of thing and if it's available commercially, or at least give better advice on how to do it safely and effectively on the cheap.

 

 Speaking of which, I seem to recall that one of the more well-known painters here used to work in the anthropological or paleontological fields at some point, but I can't quite remember who it was...

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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On 7/3/2016 at 9:18 PM, ultrasquid said:

 

Liquitex and other artists acrylic brands offer a range of brush-on varnishes with a variety of finishes. Most will have to be thinned for use on miniatures. Usually they are thinned with water, but there are some products that require mineral spirits or alcohol to thin them, and will be labeled clearly as such.

 

Do folks routinely thin Liquitex Gloss Varnish?  I've always used it straight out of the bottle. :wacko:

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7 hours ago, Painting Dog said:

 

Do folks routinely thin Liquitex Gloss Varnish?  I've always used it straight out of the bottle. :wacko:

 

It depends on the effect you are looking for. 

 

Straight out of the bottle any varnish or gloss medium is going to be thick and maybe leave brushstrokes.

 

Liquitex itself recommends to “Dilute Gloss Medium and Varnish up to 20% for better brushing and leveling” and “Apply Liquitex (Permanent) varnish in 1-3 thin coats, rather than 1 thick coat.” (A “thin coat” implies at least a little dilution).

 

Gloss varnish does not need to be thick to protect.

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On 12/2/2017 at 9:47 PM, Michelle H said:

Any recommendations on sealing/glossing petrified fish? I took home petrified fish bodies from Salten Sea and am hoping to protect them with some sort of seal or gloss while still being able to enjoy their beautiful detail. (First time bone glosser here)

20161125_124820.jpg

 

I'd reach out to some paleontologists for that one. When I did a brief paleo field trip, we used a diluted sort of soft glue to hold fossils during extraction. They'd know more though. 

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3 minutes ago, Cyradis said:

 

I'd reach out to some paleontologists for that one. When I did a brief paleo field trip, we used a diluted sort of soft glue to hold fossils during extraction. They'd know more though. 

 

Wouldn’t that be reversible, though? Just to stabilize things until back in the lab? Acrylic sealer is permanent and cannot be easily removed.

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