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Herald of The Warp
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings heretics!

Seeing as I'm starting my airbrushing career (already did most of my landraider armor actually) A thought came to mind; It's regarding airbrushed models and varnish. I need you experienced airbrushers advice.

Normally I just use a matt varnish when I'm done with a model to seal it. No biggie and it stays there - I used the Army Painter spraycan. However, now that I've got a airbrush I've switched to this one as I like the control better - using Vallejos matt varnish.

However, I realize that a airbrushed models coat is vastly thinner than a regularly painted model, and I don't want it to peel off - So my question is this; Which varnish do you propose I use to seal it properly for wear and tear? Are we talking a gloss varnish first followed by a matt varnish, after the airbrushed parts are done before I head over to the brushes and continue?

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I don't want the paint to peel off mid-session or when I'm playing. It would be a pain to reproduce!
 

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If it's a resin or pewter model I'll normally go for a gloss varnish and then as many matt varnishes as are needed to get rid of the gloss. On a plastic model? Varnishes tend to be used less for protection are more for just... Well, getting rid of gloss. Are you finding that paint rubs or peels off with airbrushing? If so, I must ask are you priming your models with actual primer (such as this) or just flat out painting them?
 

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I've used both can and airbrush varnish for airbrushed models and they both work great. I do prefer doing it through an airbrush simply because I don't have to go outside to do it, don't have to worry about the outside temps, and it may just be in my head but I feel like out of the bottle of varnish I get for the airbrush that I'm getting more coats for my money than I do from a can. Again, that just may be in my head.
I've never had a problem of the paint peeling off after being varnished. (I've chipped it from rough play, but that's different). The primer (IMO) is the key. If you don't get a good coat down, then the thin AB layers are more likely to peel.
Best advice when it comes to airbrushes (or anything) is trial and error. You can read and watch videos all day and it'll give you a great head start. But actually doing it yourself is key.
 

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Herald of The Warp
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If so, I must ask are you priming your models with actual primer (such as this) or just flat out painting them?
I am using this exact primer actually - That was my first thought as well. I haven't experienced any peeling yet, except for a few corners where I can see the plastic showing through after some use on the model.

If you don't get a good coat down, then the thin AB layers are more likely to peel.
Hmm so it could be a too thin priming layer? Could gloss coat and matt varnish seal it properly you think?
 

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The coats of varnish will always help to protect and hold the paint on. However. No matter how well you seal it, if (starting with the primer) you cant get the paint to stick, then putting varnish on it is like putting scotch tape over a leak in a pipe. That first bit of primer is esential to get right (IMO).
 

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Herald of The Warp
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you wash your minis before painting?
Resin yes, plastic no. However, maybe I should re-evaluate that position.

However. No matter how well you seal it, if (starting with the primer) you cant get the paint to stick, then putting varnish on it is like putting scotch tape over a leak in a pipe
Not a bad comparison actually - I will see if I can't seal it and just take it from there, and know for the future.

Thanks for the replies to the both of you!
 
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