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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





I don’t varnish my minis.

I know varnish is a thing that I figured was used to coat and protect minis. But having watch some YouTube recently people have mentioned using them to affect the final look of the mini, which is obvious I.e. a gloss varnish will make you model shiny, but why would I want a Matt varnish. Or an extra Matt varnish.

And I have also seen vids in which people talk about (but not in enough detail hence the thread) varnishing between layers. What’s going on there.....


Cheers
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Ambitious Archon





Port Carmine

You primarily use matt varnish to protect your paintwork from damage......This is really beneficial to people who use contrast paints because the paint sits very thin (particularly on raised details), and is quite prone to being rubbed off. Contrast can also be tricky to touch up later, so avoiding damage in the first place is a good idea.

You can also use it to remove unwanted glossy effects, like on transfers.

Varnishing between layers is sometimes used as a form of insurance against later mistakes later in the painting process.

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/04/19 17:18:53


Kabal of the Mon-keigh's Paw
Coven of the Screaming Statues
Cult of Veiled Malice

"Death is only a concern if you're both weak enough to be killed and dumb enough not to arrange your own resurrection." PM713
 
   
Made in gb
Ork-Hunting Inquisitorial Xenokiller




There's also Satin varnish, which is supposed to be somewhere between Gloss and Matt.

However, recently testing how varnish, all Vallejo brand, affected paint, i can't tell the difference between the Matt and Satin.
   
Made in gb
Stalwart Veteran Guard Sergeant





Matt varnish is more important for metal miniatures than plastic ones, simply because the paint is more prone to coming off due to the weight of the model.

Personally I varnish all models, regardless of size or material type. Some people don’t varnish at all, even metal miniatures.
   
Made in no
Longtime Dakkanaut






Fictional wrote:
There's also Satin varnish, which is supposed to be somewhere between Gloss and Matt.

However, recently testing how varnish, all Vallejo brand, affected paint, i can't tell the difference between the Matt and Satin.


It depends on the colours you are using. Bright colours wont show any difference, but dark and metallic shows a big difference when using matt and satin.
I am mainly painting dark or metallic so i use gloss followed by a satin to remove the blitz effect that gloss have, but matt alone removes the natural shine of the paint. Some say that the paintjob more realistic to the scale but to me it distorts the dark and metal paint colours too mutch.

Then thinner paint you use, the more important varnish is, cus it will wear off from small amounts of handing. (super important if your are using mainly inks, shadewashes or GW contrast)
Varnishing in between is what you do when you use several different layers of enamels, oils and acryllics to prevent the current painting layer from wearing out the prev finished layer.

If you are doing gaming minis then allways varnish as the final step, it will save you the hazzle of constantly having to repaint your minis.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/19 13:42:36


darkswordminiatures.com
gamersgrass.com
Collects: Wild West Exodus, AoS, SW Armada. Adeptus Titanicus, Dust1947. 
   
Made in gb
Wise Ethereal with Bodyguard







I understand that if you are using non-acrylic weathering techniques (oils and suchlike) then it can be beneficial to put a layer of varnish over the acrylics before you go into the weathering. Stops the different products from interfering with each other and gives a specific base to work from.

Please excuse any spelling errors. I use a tablet frequently and software keyboards are a pain!

Terranwing - w3;d1;l1
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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





so how should varnish be applied? Brush, airbrush or rattle can?

can I use any old varnish?
   
Made in gb
Khorne Chosen Marine Riding a Juggernaut




Southampton, UK

You can brush on but will get a better finish (and do it quicker) with an airbrush. I'm wary of rattle can varnish since a bad case of frosting on my CSM Havocs that took me *ages* to paint!
   
Made in fi
Shas'la with Pulse Carbine






I don't think I've ever varnished a model just to protect the paint coats. I've only used varnish to remove the gloss from transfers, or to glossiness from a wash etc

All varnishes tend to dull the colours too much to my liking. Thankfully, I haven't had any issues with paint coming off from the models even without varnish.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/04/19 16:15:57


 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






I've mostly used Citadel Stormshield varnish, applied with a brush. I'm not convinced it's faster than airbrushing, as it takes only a few seconds to completely cover a 28mm mini - it's not like you need to be careful about not going over the lines!

It's described as matte, but it's basically the same finish as the Citadel paints, to it won't completely flatten metallics and whatnot.
   
Made in gb
Thane of Dol Guldur





Bodt

Matte is used to get an even finish, and remove unwanted shine from surfaces. You don't want to spend all that time making nice colour and shade transitions only to have a shine stop them from being seen when you look at them.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





 AndrewGPaul wrote:
I've mostly used Citadel Stormshield varnish, applied with a brush. I'm not convinced it's faster than airbrushing, as it takes only a few seconds to completely cover a 28mm mini - it's not like you need to be careful about not going over the lines!

It's described as matte, but it's basically the same finish as the Citadel paints, to it won't completely flatten metallics and whatnot.


My instinct is that you need to be really careful with applying by brush not to get lumps of varnish etc or is it really easy to get a nice smooth finish
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut




Annandale, VA

Varnish has a couple of purposes.

1. Protecting a model after it has been painted. There's a long-standing myth that gloss is more durable than matte; it's mostly a myth, as the only difference between the matte and gloss of a given brand is normally the presence or lack of matting agent. Two coats of your choice of varnish will provide good protection.

2. Providing a smooth surface for subsequent work. If you're applying transfers, a bit of gloss varnish evens out the surface and avoids the 'silvered' finish of air getting trapped beneath.

3. Protecting paint against solvents (as sometimes used with oils or enamels), or providing a 'save point' where solvents can be used to correct subsequent mistakes.

4. Adjusting the finish of paint. Gloss to make stuff shiny, matte to make it look dry or dull.

5. Evening out the finish of paint. If you use any washes, drybrushing, or paints from multiple brands, then your model will not end up with a consistent finish. As well, most acrylics are partly transparent and will show some depth to the layers of paint. A coat of varnish evens it out and 'flattens' the paint. It's hard to put into words but improves the appearance.

As far as what type to use- I use brush-on gloss varnish for transfers, but everything else gets spray. I use an airbrush, but canned varnish will work fine. The advantage of a spray over brush-on is that the varnish applies as an even layer, whereas brushed on it tends to flow away from raised edges and collect in the recesses, which is the opposite of what you want. Rattlecan varnish in particular is solvent-based, and slightly melts the surface of the paint to help it adhere. Some brush-on acrylic brands contain mild solvents and will do the same to a lesser degree.

Matte varnish will dull colors, so if you want a vibrant look, opt for satin instead. Note that these are just labels; every brand and every product matts to different degrees, so you may need to experiment to find the level of shine you like.

Personally I swear by Pledge Floor Gloss for a brushable/airbrushable gloss varnish, and AK Interactive Ultra Matte for finish. The Pledge is a heavy-body acrylic with mild solvent content and so provides good protection, while the Ultra Matte provides a dead-flat finish that I like. I apply both through an airbrush, undiluted, at about 20 PSI.
   
Made in gb
Ork-Hunting Inquisitorial Xenokiller




FrozenDwarf wrote:
Fictional wrote:
There's also Satin varnish, which is supposed to be somewhere between Gloss and Matt.

However, recently testing how varnish, all Vallejo brand, affected paint, i can't tell the difference between the Matt and Satin.


It depends on the colours you are using. Bright colours wont show any difference, but dark and metallic shows a big difference when using matt and satin.


In this case, black. I was testing to see what effect varnishing would have on a sprayed model with brushed touch up, largely because I didnt want to have to paint the whole thing twice and because the black paints looked very different, but after varnishing, i couldnt tell the difference.

AndrewGPaul wrote:I've mostly used Citadel Stormshield varnish, applied with a brush. I'm not convinced it's faster than airbrushing, as it takes only a few seconds to completely cover a 28mm mini - it's not like you need to be careful about not going over the lines!


I think on figures it wont matter, however if youre doing it on vehicles for example, you might see the brush marks more easily, so less about time and more about appearance.
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Making Stuff






Under the couch

Fictional wrote:
There's also Satin varnish, which is supposed to be somewhere between Gloss and Matt.

However, recently testing how varnish, all Vallejo brand, affected paint, i can't tell the difference between the Matt and Satin.

This very much depends on the brand. 'Matte' is not a defined term, and different brands apply it at whim to anything from completely flat to satin finishes. If you want no (or very little) gloss, you need a Flat sealer.



mrFickle wrote:
can I use any old varnish?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!


As others have noted, varnishes can darken the colours, and also tend to kill highlights somewhat. Exactly how much will vary from brand to brand. Be particularly wary of craft or hardware varnishes (ie: stuff not made specifically for miniatures) as these can sometimes have a slight tint to them (most commonly yellowish) which can really mess with your paintjob.

For miniatures, while I rarely varnish my stuff as I don't find it necessary, when I do I stick to Testor's Dullcoat, as it's by far the best finish with the least impact on the paint range. I'm hoping that someone buys the range when Testor's finally shuts its doors...

 
   
Made in se
Bonkers Buggy Driver with Rockets




Sweden

I dunno how many of you use gloss varnish, but I use it on pretty much everything these days. In my view a gloss varnish not only adds a shiny and robust finnish, but it also enriches the colors. The difference is largest for black, but all colors look more saturated.

Brutal, but kunning!  
   
Made in au
[MOD]
Making Stuff






Under the couch

Gitdakka wrote:
I dunno how many of you use gloss varnish, but I use it on pretty much everything these days. In my view a gloss varnish not only adds a shiny and robust finnish, but it also enriches the colors. The difference is largest for black, but all colors look more saturated.

This is true, but the important part is that they look shiny.

That can work for some models, and some painting styles, but it's definitely not to everyone's taste.

 
   
Made in us
Slaanesh Havoc with Blastmaster





New Orleans

5. Evening out the finish of paint. If you use any washes, drybrushing, or paints from multiple brands, then your model will not end up with a consistent finish. As well, most acrylics are partly transparent and will show some depth to the layers of paint. A coat of varnish evens it out and 'flattens' the paint. It's hard to put into words but improves the appearance.

This is a brilliant way to describe it!
rough dry brushes look smoother,
harsh highlight layers look more blended,
etc
I gloss coat everything now, then matte coat them


also, for Matte brush on (Liquitec etc)
make sure to shake the bottle VERY well,
the matte component can settle out and leave you with a semi-gloss,

you just need to either wait a while afterward to allow the bubble to settle, or pour it out into a small container (bowl etc)

(I have several agitators in my bottles , and
shake untill I see no settling in them)

Chris
   
 
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