Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Matt varnish test

Test Van

After a couple of days talking about shiny things, I thought that perhaps I ought to take a look at curing the gloss problems on models.

Picking up a handy model VW campervan, I've matt varnished different panels on one side using a variety of products. Apart from being a fantastic car, the VeeDub is handily split into obvious panels that allow me to divide the side up.

Starting with the front, you see the raw Oxford Diecast gloss enamel finish. Nice, not too thick, but too shiny for a model vehicle in my opinion.

The cab doors are hand painted with Microscale Micro Flat, bought from Jotto Hobbies in Rugby. This is a water based varnish that flows well. The finish isn't perfectly matt, although I only used one coat, but the sheen is very slight and only visible in certain lights. Ideal for a clean and shiny car.

The middle panels are hand painted in Testors Dullcote Lacquer bought from Hobby Holidays. Quite a thick liquid that needed a good shake to mix the contents up, it still flowed well and dried with no brush marks. Drying time was fast too - 3 minutes or so. Clean up is with cellulose thinners rather than turps which might not be that convenient.

Finally, the rear panel is sprayed with Testors Spray Dullcote Lacquer bought from EDM Models. This is my standard matt medium and works as well as ever. A quick squirt from about 30cm away followed by a blast from the hair dryer and the paint turns matt is quick and simple. Of course you do need to mask any glazing (I used Blu-tack which still needs to be fully removed from the edges of the frame) but that's as bad as it gets.

Varnish Test
Conclusion - They all work. Brush painting is very handy for small areas. The Micro Flat is the easiest clean up as you just need water, but the least matt on test. HAving said that, it's perfectly acceptable and I'll be using it in the future. I really like the paint on Dullcote as it's very handy but will continue to work my way through the stocks I have of the aerosol version.

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