Thursday, July 11, 2013

Varnish Test #1

So the Dallimore book is pretty pedantic about testing out your varnish before coating a figure you've spent untold hours on. I can certainly relate. However since this was my first foray in the Foundry method, I didn't really have another figure to test on. So I quickly primered up another of the levy and let him dry overnight. Then I hit him with a 75/25 mix of Humbrol gloss coat and Gamsol spirits. Very soon after that I noticed some lighter spots on the figure, and started worrying than my tin of varnish was off. I let him dry thoroughly and decided to hit him with a couple light coats of Testor's dullcote before I came to any conclusions. Here's a quick pic of the little guy:




You can see to the triangle of a lighter color near the center of his chest. And a smaller one down near his belt pouch. So first off, it dawned on me that this might not be the most accurate test since my real figure will be mostly covered with acrylic paint (not enamel like the primer). My second thought was that I had been playing around with diluting the primer with Gamsol as well. Maybe I just didn't get good coverage with the primer in those areas and only noticed it when the gloss went on.

I guess I'll do another test with a figure at least dry-brushed with acrylic paint, but I was curious as to what others think. Thanks!

8 comments:

  1. I see the triangle you are talking about but I can't tell if that was due to varnish or not. I am using a cheap craft store varnish and a Vallejo matte varnish. So far I am happy with it.

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  2. why are you varnishing and undercoated figure? I tend not to get to worked up about varnish if it goes wrong I sort it out. The only thing you cant fix is spraying it with colour instead of varnish
    Peace James

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    1. It was kind of a daft test, I admit. I guess I was just too eager to test the varnish.

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  3. Whew! When I saw the figure I thought you had done the old "picked up my can of spray varnish only to find it was primer" trick. I see the triangle and have no clue what could be the cause of it. I would hazard a guess that it may be as you suspect, the primer is thin there. But I'm not sure what a good test strategy would be. I put it on and hope for the best.

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    1. Ha! Thank goodness, no. Actually, I was poking through the Dallimore book and one of the guest authors (Sascha Herm) does test his varnish on undercoated figures. I may do one more test with some acrylic over the undercoat, but I suspect you may be right and it might just be time to get on with it.

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  4. I start with Krylon #1303 Crystal Clear. Two coats, usually. This is acrylic.

    I end with Krylon #1311 Matte Finish. This is a bit more agressive. I knocks off the gloss.

    Gospel.

    I avoid Testors Dullcote like the plague. It makes things look like you used Testor's Dullcote.

    Also, mind the humidity. Super important. The last thing you want is moisture under your finish.

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  5. There are a few things that will affect the finish of varnish

    1) The can hasn't been shaken for long enough. If the can has been sat around for a while, the paint can clump up in the can, which is what causes a frosting effect on models. Shaking the can properly and reapplying the varnish can solve this one if you're lucky...

    2) It's too cold and the paint crystalises slightly, again causing a frosting effect. If it's cold and you need to be doing some spraying, get a bucket of warm-ish water and stand the can in there while you're not spraying with it. This will help keep the can at a moderate temperature.

    3) It's too hot and the paint is drying as it comes out of the can. This can lead to very rough, grainy paint on the model as it is drying too quickly and can't flow properly.

    4) As Dwarfy McGee mentioned, it's too humid and the spray picks up some additional moisture in the journey from can/airbrush to the model and becomes slightly watered down. This can lead to some interesting mottled effects where the varnish isn't as thick in places.

    I'm not exactly sure what could cause what you're seeing though

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    1. Thanks, Paul. That's very helpful.

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