Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Matt Varnish - my latest recipe

To protect my miniatures I either use Clear Polyurethane Gloss Varnish or Acrylic Gloss Varnish (for plastic figures) and then apply a coat of Matt Varnish. The choice of Matt Varnish is a hot topic of debate and for some years I have used Galeria Acrylic Medium Matt Varnish (see below), which if bought from The Range (a group of discounter style superstores in the UK) is quite cheap. Please note that I am aware that Galeria have just changed the packaging on this range of paints and mediums.

Some time ago I read in Fine Scale Modeller that it is possible to add Tamiya Flat Base X-21 to Future or Kleer and produce a Matt coat. At the same time I noticed that my half-full bottle of Galeria Matt Varnish was not giving a totally matt finish, more satin, due in part to me, forgetting to shake the bottle before use! I therefore thought that I would see if adding Tamiya X-21 to the Galeria Matt would give a better matt finish.

I used about half a bottle (5ml) of Tamiya Flat Base to about half a bottle of Galeria Matt and proceeded to shake the contents. I was originally horrified to see that the Tamiya Base was floating on top of the Galeria and I thought that I had ruined a good (half) bottle of varnish. Later I realised that it wasn't the Tamiya floating on the top it was a layer of very fine bubbles, which quickly dispersed.

I tried the new mix on a couple of scrap miniatures and awaited the results. The new mix Matt Varnish is definitely more matt that just the Galeria on its own and one month on there has been no separation of the two varnishes or any problems with the painted miniatures and models.

I hope that this helps others who are looking for the perfect Matt Varnish.


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