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Acrylic varnishes and decals
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 09:52 AM UTC
Hello Everyone!

After 13 long years I picked up this wonderful hobby again. Back in the day I was doing the painting with enamel paints from Humbrol and some acrylics from Tamiya. For gloss and matt varnishes used Mr Hobby cans. Those were very durable and easy to use as far as I remember and never had any problems with decal fixing and setting solutions.

Nowadays seeing how far acrylics came and all the brands, I went on a buying spree and got loads of Vallejo, Ammo and AK products. One of them is Ammo Lucky Gloss varnish to use as a base coat for decals.

No matter how thick I apply it, how long I leave it to dry and cure, it is still reacting with water and especially with Ammo's decal set and fix solutions I bought as well. Not even mentioning that the setting solution doesn't seem to have too much of an effect on the decals either. So far I used it with 2 models and I am not happy.

Any help or recommendation for an alternative would be greatly appreciated.

I don't want to go back to enamels and lacquers as I have a limited amount of space and that is shared with family as well. So stinking up the place and potentially putting others at risk with the fumes is out of the question.

I am a bit in the middle with Ammo products as their paints and brushes are nice, but the varnish and the decal solution is a bit of a letdown.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,479 posts
Armorama: 976 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 06:38 AM UTC
You really can't go wrong with Testor's dullcote or glosscote in the rattlecan. I got some Tamiya flat clear on the way again in the spraycan. All are lacquers and easy to use but you don't want to use those. I've used Future/Pledge as a gloss coat and it works well but the drying time is quite long. And for some reason when it comes to clear coatings I like spray cans better and have better results. Are you thinning the clear with anything before you lay it down? And how are you applying it? Brush or airbrush?
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 09:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You really can't go wrong with Testor's dullcote or glosscote in the rattlecan. I got some Tamiya flat clear on the way again in the spraycan. All are lacquers and easy to use but you don't want to use those. I've used Future/Pledge as a gloss coat and it works well but the drying time is quite long. And for some reason when it comes to clear coatings I like spray cans better and have better results. Are you thinning the clear with anything before you lay it down? And how are you applying it? Brush or airbrush?



Ammo Lucky varnishes can be used out of the bottle without thinning allegedly. I use an airbrush and give it roughly a day for drying.

I did hear good things about Pledge products, might give it a go at some point.

In the mean time I got AK gloss varnish as well, which I thinned with Vallejo airbrush thinner and used now to seal the decals as a second coat. Looks good for now. I am curious how it will be tomorrow.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,479 posts
Armorama: 976 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 07:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

You really can't go wrong with Testor's dullcote or glosscote in the rattlecan. I got some Tamiya flat clear on the way again in the spraycan. All are lacquers and easy to use but you don't want to use those. I've used Future/Pledge as a gloss coat and it works well but the drying time is quite long. And for some reason when it comes to clear coatings I like spray cans better and have better results. Are you thinning the clear with anything before you lay it down? And how are you applying it? Brush or airbrush?



Ammo Lucky varnishes can be used out of the bottle without thinning allegedly. I use an airbrush and give it roughly a day for drying.

I did hear good things about Pledge products, might give it a go at some point.

In the mean time I got AK gloss varnish as well, which I thinned with Vallejo airbrush thinner and used now to seal the decals as a second coat. Looks good for now. I am curious how it will be tomorrow.



My rule of thumb is never mix paint brands. Every one is making proprietary formulas and to save myself from any grief I use Ammo thinners with Ammo paints, Vallejo with Vallejo and Tamiya with Tamiya. 99% of the time you might get lucky but that 1% can cost you more than a bottle of thinner in grief, anger and frustration.
nsjohn
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: July 26, 2018
KitMaker: 225 posts
Armorama: 212 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 01:46 PM UTC
I think the problem could be the Decal set. I had some old Carrs decal fix which was a very effective paint stripper, and wrinkled the decals as soon as applied. I switched to Humbrol decalfix which was just about as bad. I finally got some microscale Microset which works very well, with no paint problems as long as it is used in moderation.
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 08:31 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I think the problem could be the Decal set. I had some old Carrs decal fix which was a very effective paint stripper, and wrinkled the decals as soon as applied. I switched to Humbrol decalfix which was just about as bad. I finally got some microscale Microset which works very well, with no paint problems as long as it is used in moderation.



Yeah, I've heard of microsol and microset and Mr Hobby ones as well and the crowd is very mixed. Some recommend the aggressive ones to be used on thick decals like what Tamiya has.

In this case I blame the varnish as it can dissolve in water easily after 24 hours of drying time and as it gets sticky the decals can't stretch out properly.

I've order the Pledge gloss floor varnish yesterday from amazon. Funnily enough every comment and review was from a modeller.
Going to start my next plane soon and see what happens.
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 08:38 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

You really can't go wrong with Testor's dullcote or glosscote in the rattlecan. I got some Tamiya flat clear on the way again in the spraycan. All are lacquers and easy to use but you don't want to use those. I've used Future/Pledge as a gloss coat and it works well but the drying time is quite long. And for some reason when it comes to clear coatings I like spray cans better and have better results. Are you thinning the clear with anything before you lay it down? And how are you applying it? Brush or airbrush?



Ammo Lucky varnishes can be used out of the bottle without thinning allegedly. I use an airbrush and give it roughly a day for drying.

I did hear good things about Pledge products, might give it a go at some point.

In the mean time I got AK gloss varnish as well, which I thinned with Vallejo airbrush thinner and used now to seal the decals as a second coat. Looks good for now. I am curious how it will be tomorrow.



My rule of thumb is never mix paint brands. Every one is making proprietary formulas and to save myself from any grief I use Ammo thinners with Ammo paints, Vallejo with Vallejo and Tamiya with Tamiya. 99% of the time you might get lucky but that 1% can cost you more than a bottle of thinner in grief, anger and frustration.



That is a good rule. Going to follow it as well. Although some manufacturers do recommend distilled water if nothing else. I presume that wont contaminate their formula.
So far it looks like the Ammo paints play nice with the Vallejo thinner, but I can't say the same with the AK varnish. It has a bit of sticky consistency left behind. I haven't tried unthinned, but people were complaining that it easily tip dries.

What do you use to clean the airbrush after using Pledge/Klear varnish?
Namabiiru
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
Joined: March 05, 2014
KitMaker: 2,803 posts
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Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 - 12:02 AM UTC
I have one airbrush I use only for spraying Pledge. I clean it with ammonia, which will dissolve even hardened Pledge. I then give the thing a thorough rinsing and cleaning with plain water.

Scarred
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,479 posts
Armorama: 976 posts
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2020 - 04:56 AM UTC
Remember Pledge dries slow. I have a couple of plastic tubs with some small holes drilled in the sides that I use to cover the model when I'm done spraying pledge. As soon as I'm done I'll pop the cover over it to keep the dust off while it dries. At least a week I'll leave it under a cover.

And for setting decals I use Microscale Micro Set. And I use Windex to clean the Pledge out of my airbrush.
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 02:17 AM UTC
Yesterday I tried Pledge floor polish and I was blown away how good it is. Easy to spray with airbrush without thinning. Self levelling is excellent. Drying time is decent. And it seems to be resistant to decal set liquid, enamel wash and of course water.

Thank you very much for the tip Patrick. It was a life saver.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,659 posts
Armorama: 3,119 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 02:25 AM UTC
Hi Jedite,

Any chance you could post a photo of the Pledge bottle here? They've changed the brand and formula several times, and I find it hard to keep up! (Don't want the wrong one...)

Before Pledge came up I was going to suggest using Micro Gloss, as it works well with Micro Set and Micro Sol, and is hard as nails when dry. The only issue is the cost for such tiny bottles.
Jedite
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: August 24, 2007
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 18 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 04:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Jedite,

Any chance you could post a photo of the Pledge bottle here? They've changed the brand and formula several times, and I find it hard to keep up! (Don't want the wrong one...)

Before Pledge came up I was going to suggest using Micro Gloss, as it works well with Micro Set and Micro Sol, and is hard as nails when dry. The only issue is the cost for such tiny bottles.



Hi Tom,

I bought this one from amazon. It has a lot of reviews from modellers praising it. Rightfully so.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000ARPH4C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I am building an Airfix 1/72 Spitfire and I used it for the interior to seal the paint before panel line wash. I was very pleased with the coverage. Can't wait to do the outside as well and see how it will work out.

Still hesitating to dip the canopy in though.
barkingdigger
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: June 20, 2008
KitMaker: 3,659 posts
Armorama: 3,119 posts
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 05:02 AM UTC
Thanks! Bottle on its way to me...