Air brush varnish

Ancientmariner

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Good day all,

Hope everyone is enjoying the new year.

As I pick most my modelling "skills" up from Youtube and websites and forums here there are often times when I see things and think how on earth did I not know that?!

One such instance has occurred recently. Watching a video of a complete build on Youtube the builder mentioned how varnish should always be solvent based over water based paint and water based over solvent based paint.
This is something I hadn't ever given a second thought to and have always used water based paints and varnish without seeming to have any issue. I am now tempted to change to a lacquer based varnish as I think this maybe harder wearing for some things I do.

Any thoughts?
 

Dave Ward

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Good day all,

Hope everyone is enjoying the new year.

As I pick most my modelling "skills" up from Youtube and websites and forums here there are often times when I see things and think how on earth did I not know that?!

One such instance has occurred recently. Watching a video of a complete build on Youtube the builder mentioned how varnish should always be solvent based over water based paint and water based over solvent based paint.
This is something I hadn't ever given a second thought to and have always used water based paints and varnish without seeming to have any issue. I am now tempted to change to a lacquer based varnish as I think this maybe harder wearing for some things I do.

Any thoughts?
Nope, hadn't heard of that - I only use water based paint & varnish! Never given it a thought, never had any problems. I agree that the water based products may not be as hard wearing - but it's a model! Just take care in handling!!!!!!!!
Dave
 

Tim Marlow

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I think the hardness of varnish is down to formulation, not solvent. Future floor varnish is water based and that’s designed to be walked on….Ronseal gloss varnish ( the old solvent based stuff) is glass hard when dry. On the other hand, artists solvent based varnish is designed to be removed without damaging the underlying paint film.
For my gaming figures I always use a gloss varnish followed by a matt varnish. That way, if they go shiny during handing I can revarnish before the paint job is affected. I mostly use water based because they dry faster, but have been known to matt down with W and N artists varnish if I’m brush painting.
For normal display varnishing I think it makes no difference which type of varnish you use over another, or even if you use one. The only caveat is that the first coat of varnish must be completely dry, not just touch dry, before the next varnish coat is added.
 
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BarryW

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I only spray solvent based paints and varnish simply because solvents (lacquer specifically) are much better through the airbrush than anything else.

I know the theory and I have tested it but always, I come back to my lacquers. They just go down so easily and problem free. Far, far nicer than water based acrylics, no tip dry and blockages, very quick dry and cure times, smooth beautiful finish, spraying like silk time after time at a very low psi.

One thing though is that you can reactivate paint coats using a lacquer varnish, so all you do is spray it in very light mist coats and make sure you don't apply any wet coats, building up your effect gradually over several passes making sure the previous ‘pass’ has dried (as lacquers are dry in seconds, that’s no problem).
 
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BarryW

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I think the hardness of varnish is down to formulation, not solvent. Future floor varnish is water based and that’s designed to be walked on….Ronseal gloss varnish ( the old solvent based stuff) is glass hard when dry. On the other hand, artists solvent based varnish is designed to be removed without damaging the underlying paint film.
For my gaming figures I always use a gloss varnish followed by a matt varnish. That way, if they go shiny during handing I can revarnish before the paint job is affected. I mostly use water based because they dry faster, but have been known to matt down with W and N artists varnish if I’m brush painting.
For normal display varnishing I think it makes no difference which type of varnish you use over another, or even if you use one. The only caveat is that the first coat of varnish must be completely dry, not just touch dry, before the next varnish coat is added.
You make a lot of good points but there is just one thing. You are correct to say that water based varnish and paint dry much quicker than enamels but they are a lot slower to dry and, more importantly, cure, than water based. Also humidity can affect the curing time of water based paint and varnish, something lacquers are not affected by.
 

Tim Marlow

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You are correct to say that water based varnish and paint dry much quicker than enamels but they are a lot slower to dry and, more importantly, cure, than water based.
Hi Barry
I think I may be having a thick day, but I don’t quite understand what you are trying to say here?
Agree about humidity though. I was only thinking of the UK, and we have a worldwide membership. My bad!
 

stillp

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Barry, did you mean to say " they are a lot slower to dry and, more importantly, cure, than water based lacquer?
Pete
 

Jim R

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Tim has touched on what I think is very important and that is paint/varnish must be allowed to fully cure before further work. I have today been using Xtracrylix satin varnish. It says on the pot "dries in 15 mins" - no it does not :rolling: Touch dry maybe but not enough to work on. It is all too natural to want to get on with a model but weathering, putting on decals etc before the paint has fully cured is a recipe for problems. Letting paint and varnish totally cure is more important than whether it is lacquer, acrylic or enamel.
Jim
 

Bobthestug

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Very true Jim, well pointed out!
 

Ancientmariner

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Hi all thanks for the feed back.

Re the drying time I had found I had a few issues and after leaving for 24 hours plus to dry had no issues however I am going to try the solvent based paints and varnishes as I have had some issues with tip drying at times which I find infuriating.

James
 

BarryW

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Woops…I mistyped. Water based paints dry and cure a lot slower than lacquers……. 30 minutes max from spraying to being ready to mask over regardless of humidity.


Sorry….
 

Tim Marlow

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Hi James. Tip drying is really not at all an issue with solvent based paints,
Woops…I mistyped. Water based paints dry and cure a lot slower than lacquers……. 30 minutes max from spraying to being ready to mask over regardless of humidity.


Sorry….
no probs Barry, that makes a lot of sense. I thought it was me LOL…..when I’ve made civilian vehicles I’ve left them for a week after painting before I’ve polished the paintwork, just to make sure the paint has properly degassed.
 

Ancientmariner

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Well I shall be trying solvent based upon my return. Think it will be a good test bed for the F14 once I can get the front of the fuselage to fit properly.
 
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