Monday, May 06, 2019
Which varnish for transfers?
Having problems with adhesion of some transfers in a kit.
The surface has a rough misting of Humbrol Acrylic on it.
I’m assuming a varnish would help give the surface more grip. I’m convinced gloss varnish is recommended even though matt strikes me as being more sensible.
Which would you go for?
Different varnishes will give transfers more "grip", but not in the way you are thinking I suspect.
The standard advice is to apply waterslide transfers (other types vary) on to a gloss surface. This allows the transfer to stick without micro-bubbles of air trapped underneath. You can see the result of this on the model above, the air shows up as "silvering" around the letters.
Gloss varnish gives a perfectly (in theory) smooth surface so no air is trapped.
I've had mixed results with this. For a start, you really need a very thin coat, applied with a spray from an airbrush or rattlecan. Even then, where you put the transfer needs to be smooth. You could paint with gloss, but I never get on with doing that.
Using Micro-sol or Micro-set over the transfer helps a lot and I've had success with this. It's not a bad idea to paint some on before putting the transfer in place, but work quickly and don't let it dry!
These products aren't a silver bullet - and they do need a bit of practice to get the best from them.
Of course, once the transfer is dry, you'll then need to matt or satin varnish it to match the rest of the model.