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What's your preferred finish for sealing BattleTech minis?

Matt
17 (77.3%)
Semi Gloss/Satin
0 (0%)
Full Gloss
0 (0%)
I don't varnish/seal
2 (9.1%)
Other (describe thanks!)
3 (13.6%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Author Topic: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?  (Read 710 times)

worktroll

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Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« on: 22 October 2022, 23:24:40 »
So, I'm a flat matte addict by nature. These are war machines, my brain says. But I had a recent happy accident. My regular Humbrol Matt Acrylic can died a third of a way through a unit. So I pulled out an old reserve can of craft shop matt, warmed it up, shook it for 5 minutes, and sprayed. And it worked, but was definitely in the semi-gloss category. Which for this unit (which I'll be posting this week) it worked. But I just did buy some more matt varnish.

So what's your preference? Please vote and tell us!

Also things to discuss, if you feel:

- Do you do one, two, or more coats? I'm a recent convert to the one gloss and one matt coat, for durability. Other opinions?

- Acrylic vs enamel varnishes? I prefer acrylic for speed, but enamels work just as well in the long run.

Discuss!
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dirty harry

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #1 on: 23 October 2022, 04:54:06 »
Due to my local restrictions i am unable to spray varnish, so brush-on only.

Primarily i use Vallejo matte varnish, but i lately tested a bottle of Army Painter matte varnish. Result is almost identical, the Army Painter varnish might dry a little faster.
Clear varnish is usually used in defined spaces like cockpit windows or laser lenses.
If i varnish in semigloss it is usually to let the paint pop out a little more, e.g. metallic colors (like 2nd Big MAC).

If i have to protect paint from scratches thanks to (potentially) rotating parts (magnetized turrets and so on), it is not varnish, it is a thin layer of acrylic glue (let it dry carefully before reattaching anything!). The acrylic glue generates a far harder surface than any varnish ... but it is also very shiny, so maybe a thin layer of matte varnish afterwards, although a few rotations later you have those scratchmarks in the varnish (at least not in the paint job...).

Cat

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #2 on: 23 October 2022, 08:03:58 »
I've always done gloss for hardness and then matte on top after it's dried thoroughly.

NeonKnight

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #3 on: 23 October 2022, 08:44:50 »
Put me firmly in the HARD SATIN/SEMI GLOSS what have for a first heavy coat, then a light coat of matt to take the sheen off.
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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #4 on: 23 October 2022, 12:17:33 »
Definitely matte at the end for me, though I do a coat of gloss before, to provide a smooth surface for decals.
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Sapphirus

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #5 on: 23 October 2022, 12:26:07 »
Definitely matte at the end for me, though I do a coat of gloss before, to provide a smooth surface for decals.
Same here!

Sartris

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #6 on: 24 October 2022, 12:16:55 »
gloss then matt so i can do touchups when shiny spots appear

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MarauderD

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #7 on: 24 October 2022, 13:22:39 »
I do Krylon Fusion Gloss in two thin coats for hardness.  Next day I do a Krylon Fusion Clear Matte Sealer in two thin coats.  So I definitely go Matte in the end.

I'm starting to realize that Northern California is an unusual place because I can use spray cans 9 months out of the year easily, and even in the summer before it gets too hot. 

Bedwyr

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #8 on: 24 October 2022, 17:40:31 »
Matte fanboi for regaining a sense of scale against the base artwork for sure. I was turned on to using Deluxe "Looks Like Glass" on cockpits and laser apertures. It looks really really good.
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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #9 on: 24 October 2022, 18:49:39 »
Definitely matte at the end for me, though I do a coat of gloss before, to provide a smooth surface for decals.

Same here!

Ditto


I was turned on to using Deluxe "Looks Like Glass" on cockpits and laser apertures. It looks really really good.

I read about an old version of "Future" or some other mopping product that is really good for that but the formula changed & it seems a lot harder to find the old stuff now or a suitable replacement.
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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #10 on: 25 October 2022, 04:17:30 »
I only use matte from AK Interactive. Dries fast and strong. However, it is only available for brush use (that i know of) so application is a little bit slow for my taste. I prefer can sprays as I am not a very patient painter (and it shows)

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #11 on: 25 October 2022, 09:16:03 »
Actually, I've wound up doing a more multi-layered finishing due to Fighting Piranha Decals being ink-jet printed and therefor needing an acrylic sealant.
 
After painting, I spray Testor's Glosscote lacquer.  Then apply decals.  Then spray with Krylon Matte Clear acrylic.  But that is in fact quite Satiny, so after that dries, then a spray of Testor's Dullcote for actual matteness.
 
As always, I leave weapon tips and canopies in a base white until all the sealant is done, and then do them with gloss paints for sparkle.

sounguru

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #12 on: 25 October 2022, 11:00:35 »
Matte but I do something a little different in that I seal as I go I have mechs that have over 20 layers of matte on them though the painting process. I am not a real fan of the semi gloss then matte circle I tried it and it and I could still see the thickness of the semi gloss layer under the matte so I stopped doing it.

I will gloss cockpits and laser ports ... which reminds me I need to go get some brush on gloss thanks for that..  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: 25 October 2022, 23:18:25 by sounguru »
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Xan

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #13 on: 25 October 2022, 22:50:08 »
I do a coat of Testors dull coat then brush on gloss for any cockpits/weapons.  I have recently started to use brush on gloss as a barrier if I am trying something I might want to wipe off, and keep the paint underneath intact.

worktroll

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #14 on: 26 October 2022, 00:52:11 »
I keep meaning to gloss varnish a white base coat, then try black ink wash, before drybrushing white. But then I discovered Citadel's Contrast White, and then I discovered the even better Soulblight Grey shade.  But maybe one day ...
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Kibutsu

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Re: Varnishing/sealing - what's your preference?
« Reply #15 on: 26 October 2022, 18:46:09 »
I use acrylic gloss prior to oil wash and decals, then acrylic matte as a final coat. I airbrush everything, and currently I'm using Vallejo Mecha and find they work very well, but they would work just as well using a brush. VMS is also very good but I only have tried the matte so far.