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Need help with 1/72 painting Options
Bluejay123
#1 Posted : 18 April 2020 10:48:47

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Hi all,

This is my second time painting 1/72 figures. I paint 1/72 figures and tanks. I have a few questions.

What are gloss and varnishes used for and should I uses them when painting.

I paint with acrylic paints, after painting, should I applying anything before applying decals?

I recently bought Mr.Hobby's Acrylic Paint Washes. After I finish painting, should I apply anything before applying the paint wash?

Much thanks!!
Plymouth57
#2 Posted : 18 April 2020 15:16:21

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Hi there Bluejay!

If you check out the later stages of my Messines diorama in the Figures and Diorama section you'll see my 1/72 scale figures and how I painted them. I also use acrylic paints, Vallejo have become my favourites now, originally I used Humbrol acrylics when they were virtually the only ones out there!
If you are painting the figures for a diorama and they won't be handled afterwards then you shouldn't need to bother with any varnishes on the figures themselves, wargame figures on the other hand are usually protected with a varnish (usually matt but sometimes gloss) simply to protect the paint from being worn away by repeated handling.
Larger scale figures can sometimes benefit from satin or gloss varnish on certain wooden, leather or metal items like wooden stocks or leather straps etc just to accentuate their textures being different from the cloth of the uniforms but in 1/72 scale there's no need for any of that.
As far as 1/72 scale vehicles and decals, the decals will adhere better to the models if they are first given a gloss finish (even though they're supposed to be matt), then use one of the decal solutions like Decalfix by Humbrol which softens the decals more than just plain water so they follow the shape of the vehicle better, especially if they are applied over rivets etc. You can either use a gloss varnish or (if you can get it) use Pledge "Multi-Surface Wax" (formally known as Johnson's Klear). This will give a good surface to apply the decals to and once they are dry you can return the vehicle to a matt finish with a matt varnish by brush or airbrush ( a cheapie one is fine for that!)
As far as the Mr Hobby's Paint Washes, I've never used that brand but I've used Citadel Ink washes which are water based. I would think that they would go better without any clear coat on the figures (I just apply the washes straight onto the acrylic paint). As for the vehicles, I'd use the wash after the matt varnish used to seal the decals on myself as you would want the wash to 'dirty' everything including the vehicle markings.
Hope you get on well and post up some pics for us all soon!

Robin.
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Bluejay123
#3 Posted : 18 April 2020 15:19:13

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Thanks a lot man!
Bluejay123
#4 Posted : 19 April 2020 01:32:35

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I checked that mr. hobbys wash is oil-based, but it is a bit thick and heavy. Can I mix it with Tamiya acrylic or enamel thinners?

Also, what is the difference between the three varnishes? I can't seem to find an absolute answer online.

Thanks!
Plymouth57
#5 Posted : 19 April 2020 16:39:22

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Hi again Bluejay!

If the wash is oil based DON'T use anything acrylic with it! You would be basically mixing oil and water and end up with an awful globby mess! For oil based (or spirit based as its also called) you can get expensive spirit based thinners but I normally just use a good clean white spirit, the same as I use for cleaning brushes after enamels. Enamel thinners on the other hand would be fine with the Mr Hobby wash.
The three varnishes are traditionally Matt, Semi-Gloss and Gloss, however, Semi-Gloss is also called Satin or sometimes Eggshell too.

Matt: A true 'dead matt' is completely non reflective, the closest thing I can think of is a matt black blackboard (or chalkboard in the US)or possibly a whitewashed wall.

Gloss: A gloss varnish is basically shiny and will act like a mirror to anything close by. If you painted a blackboard with gloss varnish you would see your reflection in it (and find it impossible to use chalk to write on it!)

Semi-Gloss, Eggshell and Satin: This is in-between the matt and gloss, shiny enough for a 'sheen' but not enough for a true reflection. Satin and Eggshell have a slight sheen, Semi-Gloss is a little shinier still.

The problem is different manufacturers have different finishes to their paints and varnishes. One company's matt finish could be like another company's satin and the same with varnishes. I've used both Vallejo and MiG matt acrylic varnish and one is a lot 'matter' than the other!

In 1/72 we all tend to use matt finishes because it looks nicer and more to scale, but if you look at the full size original tanks and aircraft some of them appear quite shiny in real life. Vehicles are a personal choice, but in that scale I think figures should be as matt as you can get them!

Hope that helps!

Robin.
First wooden ship: The Grimsby 12 Gun 'Frigate' by Constructo Second: Bounty DelPrado Part Works Third: HMS Victory DelPrado Part Works 1/100 scale
Diorama of the Battle of the Brandywine from the American Revolutionary War Diorama of the Battle of New Falkland (unfinished sci-fi), Great War Centenary Diorama of the Messines Ridge Assault
Index for the Victory diary is on page 1
Bluejay123
#6 Posted : 22 April 2020 12:10:13

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Hi again,
I recently bought a new matt varnish. Should I apply this all over my tank before adding washes on the vehicles? I read online that they advise a gloss varnish before adding washes, is the matt varnish fine as well?

Thanks.
Kev the Modeller
#7 Posted : 22 April 2020 14:43:59

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Hello Bluejay,

Applying a gloss coat after you've painted your model is the correct next step and the reason you do that is that if you applied a matt coat after paint and then placed your decals over that you would be prone to getting what is known as 'silvering' of the decal film edges. That's where it looks like the decal hasn't stuck down properly at the edges and seems to have a layer of air trapped underneath it. It is in fact just that, a thin layer of air caused by the decal sitting on top of microscopic peaks in the matt paint caused by the matting agent which is usually chalk or talcum powder and not sitting fully flat. A bit like placing a sheet of ply across the top of a dozen molehills! Coating the paint in gloss varnish will prevent that and stop any 'silvering'.

So, the correct procedure is:

1. Paint your model with a thin layer of primer. Some people don't bother with a primer coat and just go straight to the coloured paint application but it's always best to use a primer if you can to help the paint layers to adhere to the plastic.

2. Paint your model in the desired colours, thin coats are best.

3. Gloss varnish the whole model with a thin coat.

4. Apply the decals. Try to use setting solutions if you have them, such as 'Micro Sol' and 'Micro Set' to help the decals conform to any curves or odd shapes. If you haven't got any, it's not the end of the world!

5. Seal the decals with another thin coat of gloss varnish.

6. Apply your washes.

7. Finish with a final thin layer of Matt varnish (or Semi-Matt or Gloss depending on what final finish you want?)

As a matter of interest, prior to painting the initial layer of primer or paint, some modellers also wash all of the model parts (on their sprues) in warm water with a small amount of washing up liquid added, then rinse in clean water and allow to dry in an airing cupboard or other warm place. This is done to remove any 'releasing agents' that may be on the parts, which the manufacturer applies to help remove the parts more easily from their moulds? Not removing those agents can sometimes hinder the primer and subsequent layers from fully binding to the plastic. However, I only wash the parts if they feel a little oily and there have been many times in my long modelling career when I haven't washed the parts and I've yet to have a problem with the paint attaching later on. Personal choice really, just thought I'd point that out to you?

Hope that helps?

Kev.


Per Ardua Ad Astra
Bluejay123
#8 Posted : 22 April 2020 15:11:41

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Thanks! LOL
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