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Author Topic: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish  (Read 2931 times)

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« on: December 20, 2022, 11:43:41 AM »
I'm a gamer first but I would like to try and get some decent shots of my work.

Rough handling needs protection, but I assumed mat varnish meant mat. The figures look mat in daylight, but lamp light gives them a glossy look, what am I doing wrong?

Offline Silent Invader

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2022, 12:14:21 PM »
Could be a number of things going on. For example:

Direct lighting from an unscreened  LED lamp can give some reflective shine off of smooth Matt surfaces.

Poor mixing can result in a varnish layer that is more of the carrier medium than the matting elements.

Different varnishes can interact in different ways - be they water based or solvent - depending on the material the mini is made from and the type of paints used.

Iím sure others can come up with more variables, these are just ones Iíve experienced.
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Minis (foot & mounted) finished in 2023 = 151
(2022 = 204; 2021 = 123; 2020 = no idea)

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2022, 02:17:00 PM »
Thanks, to give some context metal miniatures and vallejo paint and citadel wash

The vanish I used was Vallejo Premium Matt Varnish applied with a brush, I have had the pot for a while

Offline vexillia

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2022, 02:51:43 PM »
More information please:

[1] Does the whole miniature look shiny under lamp light?
[2] If no are only certain colours shiny and if so which ones?

I will comment further after your reply but in my experience I get the opposite when my varnish fails ever so slightly: artificial light makes the figure look flat whilst in daylight they have a slight sheen.  This because daylight is usually stronger and directional indoors.

Offline Cubs

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2022, 03:19:02 PM »
I don't know why it has become so difficult to find really good MATT matt varnish these days - I feel like it used to be a lot easier a few years back, but then for some reason they all started to get satin instead of matt.

I used Testors for ages, because although not cheap, it was the mattest matt varnish I had found, but it is constantly being taken off the market, then going back on, then being taken back off. I have no idea what's happened to it since, I got bored of bulk-buying during the 3 days it was ever available in the calendar year.

Now I use Winsor and Newton professional range matt varnish, which is as matt as I could hope for. It's not cheap again, so I use a cheaper varnish for a quick once-over, then finish off with the W&N, because I always double-layer for extra protection.
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Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2022, 04:10:20 PM »
It's probably more satin than gloss, particularly bad in the wash areas and lighter colours

I got so frustraighted with them I ended up repainting, just want to avoid the issue in future

Offline vexillia

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2022, 05:12:24 PM »
For years I struggled to get a reliable & reproducible matt finish on my 15 mm figures.  The main problem was on reds, some blues, and bright greens.  They always seemed to dry satin when all the other colours on the same figure dried matt!

The short version is that the affected paints have porous finishes and the surface layer tends to absorb any varnish; it doesn't stay on the surface as it should and repeated coats don't help either.

The solution lays with the paint not the varnish: add talc to the paint.  The platelets in the talc dry flat and seal the surface allowing the varnish to coat the surface as it should.  Talc also disrupts the paint surface resulting in a matt finish before the varnish had been applied.  Very little talc is required.

Another trick is to add craft paint of a similar shade to your "quality" paint as the craft paint contains lots of talc as filler: you get the best of both worlds.

Links for more:

https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2021/09/cheap-paint-nearly-one-year-on.html
https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2019/09/painters-miscellany-1.html & links therein
https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/2014/05/painting-tips-5c-matting-acrylics-with.html
https://blog.vexillia.me.uk/p/articles.html & the link to my "The Unvarnished Truth" article (pdf)


Offline Ray Rivers

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2022, 07:14:08 PM »
Do you spray or paint on your varnish?

Offline vexillia

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2022, 08:02:44 PM »
Do you spray or paint on your varnish?

Paint. Always.

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2022, 10:00:58 PM »
Another Windsor and Newton Professional recommendation - itís easily the best matt Iíve used in 50+ years. It gives a matt finish. Nothing else Iíve used does that.

Doug

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2022, 10:30:59 PM »
Thanks for the tips will look into W&N but I'll want one I can paint on rather than spray, I see there is more than one type though?

Offline syrinx0

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2022, 02:56:05 AM »
I still have some Testors but their quality control is terrible or their formula changed - I now only use that for terrain. When spraying miniatures I also use Windsor and Newton Professional. On the rare occasions I paint I use a blend of Tamiya Matt Base with Windsor & Newton Galeria matt varnish. The matt base and Galeria matt were purchased for one of my kids high school art projects and will probably last my entire lifetime.
2023: B:77; P:27;

Offline Cat

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2022, 03:27:48 AM »
Testor's is now owned by Rustoleum, the formula has changed.  It's still flatter than many though.

Offline Silent Invader

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2022, 06:24:00 AM »
Iíve tried various varnishes including the little Humbrol tins, Vallejo, Galleria, all of which I had problems with for one reason or another. Iíve finally - for now at least! - settled on a W&N Artists Matt that is solvent* based. It does need stirring and shaking before use.

*See image re hazards. The drying time refers to oils. My acrylic painted minis usually wait 24 hours before being varnished, often spending a few hours in the airing cupboard to accelerate the process.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2022, 06:45:49 AM by Silent Invader »

Online 2010sunburst

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Re: Is shine always an issue even with mat varnish
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2022, 06:44:48 AM »
Plus one on the W and N varnish.  Itís reliable when brushed.  It is very similar in smell and consistency to Humbrol Mattcote. 

Something I do differently to most is to gloss varnish first with an acrylic varnish such as Johnsonís Klear.  This seals the figure and gives the matt varnish an even surface to work on.  It also has the advantage that gloss is harder wearing than matt and protects the figure better during handling.  If the figure starts to go shiny in use it can then be matt varnished again before the paint coat is degraded. 

 

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