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Varnish trouble!

2015-01-29 10.53.07

Having finished my Lion Rampant retinue, I moved onto the next project on the work bench, the 40th Somersetshires. With just the six figures in the command group to finish, I will have another Battalion for my Waterloo army. The photo shows the nearly complete group. I just need to add static grass and some army painter highland tufts to finish them off completely – Oh! and there is the small matter of adding the flags…

All did not go well with this batch of figures though. I had problems with the final stage of varnishing them. Normally, once the figures have been coated with Army Painter Quick Shade and allowed to dry, I give them a quick spray of Anti Shine matt varnish, re-highlight and all is done. However, with the weather so cold and windy, I was unable to spray the models outside ( I’m banned from spraying indoors!), so I thought that the easy solution was to give the figures a coat of Vallejo Matt Varnish by hand. I’ve used this varnish before to touch up any excess glossy bits on my models that the spray has missed, so I wasn’t expecting any problems.

I just gave them a quick coat of varnish and waited for this to dry. Arrgh! I was obviously a bit heavy handed with the varnish and when it had dried it had gathered in all the creases, blotting out the shading. Even worse, it had ‘bloomed’ ruining the main black and red areas! Arrgh! again, this isn’t supposed to happen with brushed varnish, only sprays do this don’t they?…Apparently not. So the lesson is only use a very thin coat and paint it on, not slap it on!

I repainted the worst affected areas on the figures and they don’t look too bad, certainly good enough for the gaming table. On the positive side, the brighter finish certainly makes the command group stand out from the rank & file. So another unit takes to the field and I am a little bit more wiser regarding using varnish – even water based brushed on varnish will bloom if you don’t use it carefully!