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"Spray vs. liquid varnish on Airfix 20mm" Topic

18 Posts

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Dan in Vermont07 Dec 2020 6:49 a.m. PST

Hi all: just finished painting up Airfix US paratroopers and Italian infantry for Sicily 1943 gaming using Vallejo acrylic. I do plan to do a final ink/black wash and then varnish. Can't decide on matt spray varnish or liquid varnish.
1) what are the practical differences between spray and liquid varnish?
2) what are the visual differences between spray and liquid?
3) does varnish darken miniatures?
4) any other thoughts?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Dec 2020 6:58 a.m. PST

1) Same stuff generally, but spray is faster and gives a thinner coat.
2) None
3) Good quality varnish will not.
4) Ask guys who paint soft plastics the best varnish for the job – you want one that will bend, not crack.

jdpintex07 Dec 2020 7:56 a.m. PST

I use spray matte. Preferably W&N, but in a stretch I'll use Krylon that is safe for acrylics.

I have used liquid gloss for water features.

Spray on is much quicker/easier and leaves a more reliable/consistent matte finish. I tried liquid matte once and didn't like the results at all.

I've never had an issue with darkening of the figures. If humid you might get a glaze, but that's easily fixed.

Buy a good spray matte and go to town. :)

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2020 7:58 a.m. PST

With soft plastics, my first choice is Woodland Scenics Terrain Cement. I'm pretty sure it's a dilute white glue, which goes on opaque white but dries clear and flexible.

I've also been known to just brush on a dilute white glue. Either way seems to work.

MajorB07 Dec 2020 9:20 a.m. PST

I don't use varnish. Haven't seen the need for it in over 40 years of miniatures.

RittervonBek07 Dec 2020 9:27 a.m. PST

A dilute coat of matte mod podge will seal and harden the figure. You could then put a matte varnish of choice on top. Pretty much the same as Robert P above has suggested.

Dan in Vermont07 Dec 2020 9:50 a.m. PST

@ Ritter von Bek…….. what is "matte mod podge"??

Legionarius07 Dec 2020 10:17 a.m. PST

My choice is Mod Podge matte. It is a glue-like white thick liquid that dries clear. I use it on all my 1/72 plastics. You apply it liberally with an old brush. Great stuff!

RittervonBek07 Dec 2020 10:32 a.m. PST

Its a glue and sealant often used in decoupage. Have a look on Amazon.

Vintage Wargaming07 Dec 2020 11:24 a.m. PST

Spray with clear Plastidip

John Leahy07 Dec 2020 12:08 p.m. PST

Agreed. Clear matte Plastidip. Protects the figs in a BIG way. Ace Hardware carries it.

bobspruster08 Dec 2020 10:22 a.m. PST

I usually brush on Liquitex matte medium.

Green Tiger09 Dec 2020 7:14 a.m. PST

I have never found any need to varnish plastic figures- probably detrimental…

Dan in Vermont09 Dec 2020 10:22 a.m. PST

I looked at Plastidip at Ace Hardware last night. The sales guy implied that it made like a plastic shell…….which could come off and thus lift the paint.. when using Plastidip for figures do you just do a light spray? thx, Dan

John Leahy09 Dec 2020 10:59 a.m. PST

Light coat. It does NOT come off. It's a rubberized shell. You'll love it. Just shake it up well.



Dan in Vermont09 Dec 2020 11:45 a.m. PST

@ John Leahy. thanks! I will give it a try.

von Schwartz ver 212 Jan 2021 2:51 a.m. PST

Mod-Podge = White glue and water 50/50

Dan in Vermont14 Sep 2021 10:09 a.m. PST

Hi again folks: I ended up using Plastidip from Ace Hardware. Came out great!

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