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"Gloss or Matte ...or (gasp) nothing at all?" Topic

33 Posts

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28 Jan 2015 7:42 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
  • Crossposted to Painting board

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Current Poll

1,340 hits since 23 Jun 2014
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2014 6:12 p.m. PST

When you've finished painting your miniatures, what is your usual procedure for the final clear coating stage?

(a) Gloss finish – I like them to shine.
(b) Matte finish – I like that natural look.
(c) Nothing – I don't use any kind of clear coating on my miniatures.

cavcrazy23 Jun 2014 6:15 p.m. PST

A, I gloss my figures because I like the "toy soldier" shine.

Ivan DBA23 Jun 2014 6:20 p.m. PST

(c). Sealing dulls the colors slightly, and I take good care of my toys, so it's never been a problem.

Cyrus the Great23 Jun 2014 6:21 p.m. PST

(a) It wears better and I don't think they are all THAT shiny.

Otto the Great23 Jun 2014 6:26 p.m. PST

I use Semi-gloss, not too shiny. Matte is too dull.

Titchmonster23 Jun 2014 6:32 p.m. PST

(d)Gloss for durability then ultra matt to bring out the natural look.

KTravlos23 Jun 2014 7:40 p.m. PST


Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2014 7:50 p.m. PST

D as well.
Anything <54mm shouldn't be glossy. That's reserved for those classy old school toy soldiers.

Boone Doggle23 Jun 2014 8:11 p.m. PST

d) when I am not lazy

tkdguy23 Jun 2014 8:14 p.m. PST

Usually c. I have used a clear, semi-glossy sealer, but I haven't used it on most of my miniatures.

CeruLucifus23 Jun 2014 9:41 p.m. PST


Intrepide23 Jun 2014 9:43 p.m. PST


In the past matte, although shields and some leather would get a glossier finish. I am trending towards smaller scales and simpler, brighter paint jobs. Along with that, a hard gloss finish is looking better and better to me.

napthyme23 Jun 2014 10:25 p.m. PST

C I always go commando.

Rudi the german23 Jun 2014 10:46 p.m. PST

B .. So that they look more real…

Martin Rapier23 Jun 2014 11:04 p.m. PST

I gloss toy soldier style stuff, but otherwise I rarely bother to varnish these days apart from 20mm plastics and 6mm horse and musket.

MajorB24 Jun 2014 1:55 a.m. PST

(c) I've never bothered with varnish. Doesn't seem to be a problem.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 2:44 a.m. PST


Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 3:03 a.m. PST

B – matte.

A little while ago bought some figures off BuyerBewareBay – mixed set of plastics and metal.

Plastics were fine, but the metal….they had been nice but the painter hadn't varnished and, to make matters worse, hadn't undercoated either.

Oh…all those little paint chips and shiny bits from very slight wear and tear.

I was not happy – and it'll be virtually impossible to fix, not easy to "touch in" when you don't know the colour blends.

So – B: Matte Varnish

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 3:16 a.m. PST

c never use a varnish

getback24 Jun 2014 4:06 a.m. PST

I find paints have different levels of sheen when they dry. I use Varnish as much to unify the sheen as to protect the figures. Hard plastics seem Ok with one coat of matt. For metals I use two coats of matt.

RavenscraftCybernetics24 Jun 2014 5:19 a.m. PST

A) then let dry completely. Then B)

tigrifsgt24 Jun 2014 6:40 a.m. PST

c the figures are usually o.k., but I have lost paint on flags and sashimono.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 7:42 a.m. PST

B) Matte – Usually Krylon matte finish. Sometimes (mostly when spraypainting outside is not an option), watered down PVA or wood glue.

ironicon24 Jun 2014 8:34 a.m. PST

B Then go back and redo the metallics.

corporalpat24 Jun 2014 9:03 a.m. PST

D) semi-gloss all the way.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 9:57 a.m. PST

B then paint metallics.

Texas Jack24 Jun 2014 11:12 a.m. PST

Another vote for the matte camp.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 11:47 a.m. PST

Matt, with touches of gloss for windows etc!

Olaf the hairy24 Jun 2014 3:23 p.m. PST

satin first, then matte

I've had too many figures lose paint to trust matte on it's own, but I don't like shiny figures.

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 6:35 p.m. PST

I'm a matte kinda guy, but to be honest, the main reason why I use clear coating it to preserve the flocking on my bases. Otherwise, it is constantly crumbling off. I've never had a problem with paint wearing off the figures from handling.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jun 2014 10:15 a.m. PST

I don't usually redo metallics after a matte coat. I think it makes them look more like real metal (shiny, but slightly dulled) rather than hey-this-has-been-out-of-the-box-for-like-ten-seconds metal.

Shadyt27 Jun 2014 10:00 a.m. PST

C. I thought I was almost alone in this, glad to see so many others do not use a spray.

J Womack 9419 Aug 2014 5:10 p.m. PST

Matte, but then brush on gloss for things that ought to be shiny.

Unless I am being lazy. Then just matte.

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