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Re: Matte Vs Gloss

It is very much a matter of choice, partly driven partly by what you are intending to 'do' with your model soldiers.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I painted my figures in Humbrol matt enamels and then gloss varnished them. The reason was that I wanted to retain the brightness of the colours (which gloss varnish does) and add a hard-wearing protective coat over the paint, as my figures were being handled on wargames battlefields.

I then realised that this was - as donald observes - making my figures look a little too much like 'toy soldiers'. So I stopped gloss-varnishing my figures. And soon after that, I 'retired' from the hobby for about 20 years or so!

Having returned to painting figures in the last 10 years, I now find that (a) really high quality acrylic paints have largely replaced enamels; and (b) my figures are now for my collection and occasional display, rather than as active wargames units. I no longer varnish my figures, although I do have a need to do so with one large consignment that I am painting which will be for a bigger project and may well need a coat of something 'protective' over the matt acrylics.

I do routinely use a well-known artistrs acrylic Silk varnish for horses - it gives a good sheen. I'll be using the same manufacturer's matt varnish for the project mentioned above. But gloss varnish is now only very rarely used for my figures.

Re: Matte Vs Gloss

I certainly appreciate the "protection" factor of a good gloss varnish.
However, all my wargaming figures are on bases & these are what's usually handled: not the figures.
Plus my pals & I treat all our figures with due respect and rough or grubby handling does simply not happen.

Thus the protection-factor is largely irrelevant for me.

donald

Re: Matte Vs Gloss

Paintdog
I certainly appreciate the "protection" factor of a good gloss varnish.
However, all my wargaming figures are on bases & these are what's usually handled: not the figures.
Plus my pals & I treat all our figures with due respect and rough or grubby handling does simply not happen.

Thus the protection-factor is largely irrelevant for me.

donald
Yes, of course donald. Good sturdy bases, well-trained wargaming buddies and a respect for the painted figures on said-bases almost removes the need for varnishing!

Re: Matte Vs Gloss

Many years ago when I was painting LOTS and lots of Revell 30YW figures I finished them in gloss varnish, mainly because I didn't trust the paint to stay on. I hate them now, the problem is that I also don't trust Matt Varnish sprays enough to ust give them a squirt all over.

I was told many years ago - even before the 30YW figures, that a coat of gloss, followd by a coat of matt actually makes the colours 'pop' more. But I'm not sure that this applies any more considering the strides we have made in colours and techniques since then.

Re: Matte Vs Gloss

Ah the good old times when there were just those enamel colours. Still got lots of those and use them on occasion. Way back then I gave my figures a coat of gloss varnish because I had the impression it would protect the tiny parts, bayonets etc. and the colour was less likely to flack of. And I still think it somehow might have protected the older figures from crumbling to dust.