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Varnishing "metal"

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by Tarok, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Tarok Active Member

    Hi-di-ho neighbours,

    I'm finishing off a figure and just need some advice on which varnish to use...

    Basically the situation is as follows... I've applied 3 or 4 coats of Humbrol Polished steel to the figure's helmet, and polished it up using an ear bud (cue tip?). I've also polished the sword blade up a bit with steel wool...

    I now want to "seal" the above items and have the following products in my paint box: Humbrol Matt Cote; Humbrol Satin Cote; Humbrol Gloss Poly (I think that's what its called?).

    Which one of these 3 products could/should I apply and still be able to keep that polished look that I have miraculaously managed to achieve?

    Thanks in advance

    Rudi :)
  2. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hola Rudi!

    I dont know if Humbrols metalizer is any different from the Gunze Mr. Metalizer, but from my experience it screwed up the nice polich and made it all grainy and nasty looking. I used the Humbrol varnish when it happened. You might want to try Future Floor Wax as it is an acrylic medium and it may not interfere with the polish.

    I would love to hear your results with what ever you use.
  3. dArtagnan A Fixture

    Hi Rudi,

    Humbrol varnish will damage your polish steel.
    I use acryl varnish gloss here to do the trick.
    The one from Andrea works for me, but
    there are others that works at well (like valejo).

  4. gary New Member

    Hi Rudi,

    FWIW, I've found that an acrylic clear coat works muuuch better than the solvant based varnishes. If the Humbrols are anything like the Gunze products or Testors metalizers, a solvent based varnish will ruin the effect of a solvent based metallic paint. An acrylic based clear coat has always worked for me.

  5. Tarok Active Member

    Thanks lads.... I guess I'll hold off on doing that until I can get round to the LHS that stocks Vallejo... bummer, was hoping to complete the figgie this weekend....

    Rudi :)

    p.s. Anders, thanks for the Future advice, mate, but unfortunately it's not commercially available in SA.... :(
  6. Einion Well-Known Member

    Hi Rudi, why do you want/need to seal the paint or the metal? There's a really simple solution: don't bother :)

  7. Opsofficer New Member

    Howdy Rudi!

    I must agree with the Gary, Eddy and Anders and suggest acrylic finish.

    It's rather sad yet funny (now when looked back upon), but the first figures I did using Humbrol (and other enamel metallics) over 20+ years ago suffered terribly from "fuzzy metal"! :lol: Even after drying for a few days, when the solvent-based finish was used it ruined the delicate embroidery I had worked so long on!

    The delicate lettering either looked fuzzy or ran alltogether! After this experience, I always used either an acrylic finish entirely or as an undercoat before a solvent-based finish!

    If you leave the metal unprotected, it will tarnish over time - especially the sword!

    Justin :)
  8. Arminous Member

    Hi all!

    You may have to try the best for polished metal parts(or even painted metal parts,if not painted with acrylics...).Tamiya smoke is an alcohol-based varnish mixed with black color and will make your polished metal look VERY realistic!Just make sure you use it VERY well-thinned-around 12 parts alcohol in 1 part Tamiya smoke.Let it dry for 30 min and repeat the process.The more times you repeat,the darker gets the metal.Just be sure not to repeat over 4 or 5 times to avoid a non-realistic look of "dirty glossy" metal part.2 times is enough if it goes over an already painted area.Not sure if it works with printer ink metalic paints(I'm testing it this period ;)).After the last layer dries,you may give a wash of a mix of Burned Sienna and Burned Umber W&N oils to make the metal seem slightly rusty.Any other (oil) color wash may give an interesting effect(for example,a wash with blue may give the effect of twilight shadows,if you are brave enough to give the same shadows to the rest parts of your figure-face,clothes etc.).

    Hope I helped.

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