Sunday, August 29, 2010

Should I Clear Coat My Models

I have been painting miniatures for many years and I always spray my models with a clear coat after painting them. For some time now I have been having issues with the clear coats on the market. The main issue I am having is the clear coat fogging once sprayed on the model. I started using Testors Dull Coat and it works great. The only issue with Testors is that the model still has a shine to it, just look at the model from my previous post. I also lose some of my highlights once I spay on the clear coat. Now I am at a cross road and need to make the decision if I should continue using the clear coat or just skip this step.

On the positive side clear coat adds an extra layer of protection on the paint to protect it from chipping. This is a major benefit and makes me want to continue using it. On the negative side, well I have already outlined the problems I have been having. I would like to hear from some others on this subject before I move forward on the models I just finished.

Do you use a clear coat on your models?

What brand are you using?


Drunken Samurai said...

I use Krylon Matte varnish and have for years. I have never had the fog with this brand. Years ago I used the GW varnish and it fogged on several occations.

sonsoftaurus said...

Some of the figs that I just use for RPGs I don't bother coating, but for wargaming armies and things that might see heavy use, balancing on terrain and subsequently falling off, dice bouncing off them, etc. I definitely coat them. You may lose a little bit of detail, but I think it's better than having big chips!

I normally use Krylon or American Tradition/Valspar sprays and haven't had any serious problems that weren't caused by my own impatience - spraying on too much or in too humid conditions.

closet gamer said...

I've just started using GW's purity seal on metal minis and as yet, I've only had problems! The frosting is occurring far too frequently but the metal minis need something because the paint can chip so easily. So I wouldn't recommend that product!

AoM said...

Dullcote or Krylon 1311. Fogging is due to humidity. A little time on the stove with the oven on below at about 200 degrees can help with that sometimes. A coat with a gloss sealer after the fog can help sometimes as well. If you're getting a glossy finish with the Dullcote, make sure you are shaking the can enough, and don't spray so heavily. Dullcote takes things to a dead matte finish unless you're spraying too heavily or things aren't mixed enough.

You said you are losing highlights when you use Dullcote. That's actually one of the reasons Dullcote is so popular. Dullcote will blend some of your layers together, giving you smoother transitions. Any rough transitions after Dullcote were very sharp to begin with. Dullcote forces you to bring your shadows darker and your highlight higher. This is a good thing. Whenever you are painting, take your highlights and shadows as far as you think they should go, then take them two more steps further in each direction. After that, Dullcote. You'll be surprised at the results.

If you're sealing models to protect them for gaming, you're going to get the best protection by spraying with a gloss sealer first, then spraying your Dullcote over that (after the gloss has FULLY dried). This gives you the hard candy shell of the gloss, and a matte finish like everyone prefers. You also get the added benefit of having a gloss show through if you're wearing away the matte sealer, rather than having chips or missing paint show up as you wear through the matte sealer over repeated gaming sessions. I originally got these tips from Tom Schadle (26 Demons, 3 or 4 Skullies (Privateer Press), staff painter for Wyrd, and full time commission painter).

I've been using these techniques on my gaming pieces and my competition pieces since then, and they have never steered me wrong. In fact, using the Dullcote to help smooth out your transitions is part of one of the classes Tom teaches at Gen Con.

I will Dullcote a model after a few painting sessions to protect the work (kind of like saving anytime you're working on a long document on a computer), and to give myself a chance to see if my blending really is as smooth as I want it. When I think I've got the highlights high enough, Dullcote is the ultimate test.

Da Green Skins said...

Hey guys thanks for the feedback. I am going to get some Krylon Matte and give it a try.

AoM your suggestion did work. I gave the models I painted a light coat of varnish and it did not shine at all.

Back to painting you guys all take care

Anonymous said...

the most important thing I have found is make sure the temperature is constant. I had a lot of fogging problems.
Outside temp 80-90
Inside temp 70

So i started storing the models outside for 4 hours before coating (I just keep paints outside now) and let them dry outside now.

Solved most of my issues.