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gordon s

Matt varnish suitable for an airbrush

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Been working through all my goods stock to take them from pristine items to the dirty old vehicles of the early and mid 60's. I've found weathering powders give me the result I want, but I really want to protect them with a matt varnish that I can spray via an airbrush.

 

I have a few cans of Testers Dullcote kicking around, but am cautious about using them. Firstly they have been there for several years and when I used one before it didn't dry as a matt surface. Might have been the temperature or any of a dozen reasons, but I don't want to mess up some more vans trying.

 

I'm very happy using an air brush as it gives me far more control than a rattle and spray can.

 

Can anyone recommend a matt varnish that can be used via an airbrush that won't cause problems with weathering powders?

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I haven't used the rattle cans for dullcote, but I've just used the brush on stuff over some graffiti transfers, on some scaledale retaining walls, and you wouldn't know it was there!!! but....the brush on stuff is top coat....

 

its too thick to air brush, but I can't see any brush marks on my transfers when I look at it in the light so it might be worth testing that and see what you get with it?

 

 

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This is what happened when I used a rattle can of Dullcote recently.91C2F334-95AF-4C4F-8550-193210F7B4F0.jpeg.94bacf17b4766652f2135a52ca0d5eaa.jpeg

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Gordon

 

I usually use Humbrol acrylic satin varnish spray can which gives a nice finish and is easy and quick to use. I have had some ready thinned Phoenix varnish in a tin for ages, as I have a new and better airbrush been thinking of giving it a dry

 

I use Halfords acrylic primer, which is excellent, they may sell an acrylic varnish 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your replies and in particular Mick Bonwick as unknown to him, I have used MiG weathering powders. I started looking for a UK supplier and came across this in Brit Modeller. I'm working on that all their products should be compatible.

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235040932-lucky-varnish-gloss-and-ultra-matt/

 

It hasn't put me off as it was 2018, but wondered if you had experienced this at all, Mick?....

 

However, at the bottom of the page it mentions Winsor and Newton Galleria, which is an artist's brand which I haven't come across in a modellers forum. Another search took me back to Brit Modeller's site and it appears to have had very good reviews. The pictures of the Harrier are impressive from a finish perspective...

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/46166-winsor-newton-galeria-matt-varnish/

 

Anyone tried it? I may well give both a punt for comparison.

 

Edited by gordon s

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Vallejo matt varnish ref 70.520 thined with a few drops of water works well in an airbrush. They also do a satin version.

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26 minutes ago, gordon s said:

It hasn't put me off as it was 2018, but wondered if you had experienced this at all, Mick?....

 

However, at the bottom of the page it mentions Winsor and Newton Galleria, which is an artist's brand which I haven't come across in a modellers forum.

 

 

Hi Gordon,

 

I have used all varieties of Lucky varnish, with total success (thin coats only!). The original idea was to sell them through my workshops and demonstrations, but I have kept them for myself apart from a couple that slipped through the net!

 

I haven't used Winsor and Newton Galleria myself, but have seen recommendations from others (notably Tim Shackleton, my mentor) who all give good reports.

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I've used Testor's Dullcote forever and it has worked brilliantly for me.  When finishing a model I spray it with Glosscote before applying transfers.  Then I apply Dullcote afterwards.  I really get a great looking finish.

 

John

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17 hours ago, JimFin said:

Vallejo matt varnish

My experience with this isn't very good. Although it can spray well, the finish has been nowhere near a proper matt surface.

The Humbrol acrylic matt rattle can is better, but not much help for the OP

 

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19 hours ago, ColinK said:

This is what happened when I used a rattle can of Dullcote recently.91C2F334-95AF-4C4F-8550-193210F7B4F0.jpeg.94bacf17b4766652f2135a52ca0d5eaa.jpeg

 

Interesting comment on Brit Modeller re Dullcote. May have been the cause of your problem. I have tried it in the past, but couldn't get the matt finish I wanted. There was still a shine to be seen. Possibly operator error on my part...;)

 

Testors flat finish is lacquer based and is 'hot' and can cause acrylic paints and decals to run or melt respectively if brushed on more than once or too heavy handed (can't comment on airbrushing).

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Thanks.  As only this bit of the four locos I sprayed went wrong, presumably I held the spray can too long on this one side.

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23 hours ago, JimFin said:

Vallejo matt varnish ref 70.520 thined with a few drops of water works well in an airbrush. They also do a satin version.

Ive used same here on my attest DRS coach,works real treat Vallejo matt varnish...

thumbnail_IMG_3318.jpg

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Interesting that there is positive and negative re Vallejo. I have never had a problem with it and find it preferable in the airbrush than using a rattle can over a small and/or intricate area as you can adjust the flow to get into detailed corners, round axle boxes and the like which I cannot get right with a rattle can, I end up flooding it.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, JimFin said:

Interesting that there is positive and negative re Vallejo. I have never had a problem with it and find it preferable in the airbrush than using a rattle can over a small and/or intricate area as you can adjust the flow to get into detailed corners, round axle boxes and the like which I cannot get right with a rattle can, I end up flooding it.

 

 

I use a lot of the Vallejo colours also for weathering locos and stock,find both dry brush or airbrush methords work...:good:

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Posted (edited)

There are different varnishes from Vallejo, and they're not necessarily equal. I've got 70.520 Matt varnish and 26.518 Matt varnish, and they perform totally differently. One is actually matt, the other doesn't change the finish at all. Annoyingly I can't remember which one is which! However both are perfectly safe over any finish. 

 

The ultimate in matt was definitely the Humbrol rattle ca stuff, that was too matt, though you could get a good effect by spraying a model in it then buffing it back to life leaving the edges and inaccessible bits looking very subtly dirty. (you should be able to make out the effect on the doors on this GPV: 

BFI-DSXT1766.jpg.87df6f06adf2f7ac355268aac0164a0c.jpg

Edited by Quarryscapes
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Thanks for all your input. I heard a similar comment on the Brit Modeller thread about a varnish being too matt, so I've ordered both a matt and satin version of the Winsor Newton varnishes and will update you regards results once it arrives. I'll do a similar test with MiG Lucky, once I can sort out a supplier. I use a Vallejo primer on my track before painting and have had mixed results as it doesn't really stick well to SMP sleeper material. I suspect the plastic is slightly greasy once moulded and that may be the problem.

 

Either way, I'll be happy to get some protection on my weathering powdered wagons and locos....

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Something just occurred to me... Wagons and vans aren't an issue, but how to you handle coaches? I haven't done any yet, but suspect most of the weathering is below the window line and the roof. Using a matt or satin varnish, do you have to mask the windows?

 

I can't imagine a matt window with no reflection at all as even dirty windows have clean patches where the glass reflects. 

 

Grateful for your input before I end up making a mess of a coach...They're not cheap these days. ;)

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I use Ronseal varnish (not the water soluble variety though), comes in matt, satin and gloss. They do what it says on the tin (no surprise there!) and can be mixed to get different gloss finishes.

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Posted (edited)
On 07/05/2020 at 12:12, Quarryscapes said:

There are different varnishes from Vallejo, and they're not necessarily equal. I've got 70.520 Matt varnish and 26.518 Matt varnish,

 

Interesting - 70.520 is the 17ml dropper bottle and 26.518 the 60ml squirt bottle. As far as I was aware - contents were the same. Wonder if the larger bottle has settled out more than the dropper bottle or something.

 

 

Edited by JimFin

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1 hour ago, gordon s said:

Something just occurred to me... Wagons and vans aren't an issue, but how to you handle coaches? I haven't done any yet, but suspect most of the weathering is below the window line and the roof. Using a matt or satin varnish, do you have to mask the windows?

 

I dont use a varnish at all on coach bodies or locos, the weathering I do on them is minimal with weathering power and find that they retain the look for several years - so long as the bodies are not handled much. Just need a slight refresh now and then.

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1 hour ago, gordon s said:

 suspect most of the weathering is below the window line and the roof. Using a matt or satin varnish, do you have to mask the windows?

 

I can't imagine a matt window with no reflection at all as even dirty windows have clean patches where the glass reflects. 

 

 

Seek out photographs of coaches, Gordon. There are lots of them if you search online, and I'm confident you'll find that a coach side is either all clean or all dirty. There have not been many periods in the life of railways when people cleaned only the windows. The carriage wash accessed the whole side, metal and glass alike, or it all got dirty from the same sources - track dirt from below and unburnt carbon from above.

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I have the same problem as Gordon.  I have some coaches that are very shiny plastic.  Looking at photos of the real thing they are kept very clean, so all thats needed is a little weathering on the underframes and roofs and a tiny bit on the lower sides and ends. But the real sides are fairly dull. I’ve no problem doing the weathering,but its getting rid of that plastic look I’m not sure about. As they are LGB G scale coaches, I can’t afford to mess them up.

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