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"We're playing a wargame not making a documentary." 26/1/'14
The Cardinal's 3rd paradox of wargaming .

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Cardinal's Secrets to priming and varnishing.

People are always asking on forums about undercoating and varnishing and I always mention my preferences, now I will have a spot I can link to..huzzah!!!
For priming, and in the case of my cheaper paint jobs  undercoating I use these sprays, .I purchase them from Bunnings or Magnet  Mart or anywhere I come across them.  They are around $11AUD each. .These are superior  to other purely  hobby branded spray cans , being much more robust in their finish  and only half the price. The Primer ,I have been told is an acrylic lacquer, and  dries quite  hard, goes on easily and covers well. From that point I either spray them with  the Matte black or undercoat in Tamiya flat brown through the airbrush.Always allow 24 hours for the Primer to dry. It dries dead flat..if you have shaken it up well. The black, on the other hand being only Matte has an annoying sheen.
 When the miniature is finish I then coat it with the above, with a thick big brush..and allow to dry. If you are going to use  Testors dullcote then I find this to be a crucial process.this being a Matte, not a flat, dries with a bit of an annoying sheen..but..

then comes the final varnishing ..I am just beginning to use Dullcote again..I used it all the time when I painted in oils and enamels.. but I found Acrylics a bit delicate . It is usually safe if you have sealed your mini with the Jo Sonja's Matte..if not it can eat you acrylics right off to the metal.
But my favourite is  seen in the last picture .Gunze H20 flat clear..if you have let the Matte varnish dry completely, and conditions are  perfect, or near perfect, then I run it through the airbrush, mixed well in my paint shaker  for about 2 minutes,  with about  1:5  ratio of Windex window cleaner/Varnish  and spray away .
People don't take seriously the paint shaker..bad luck for them I say. An absolute must in my opinion. especially using tear dropper acrylics. I routinely  shake all my new dropper bottles before first  use., and it is a boon in "recovering" paint that has dehydrated to some extent..a small amount of Window cleaner and a five minute shake and you can usually bring  dieing GW paint back to complete a useful life.


  1. What effect does the window cleaner have on later paint coverage Kendo? I'm into stirring GW paints but over time I can see them thickening, especially as inertia has me leavig the painting table in the morning sunshine. A couple of drops of window clearner stirred through will thin them a little will it?

    Does it make it easier to wash with them as well?

    And I hate teardrops even though I like the Vallego colours as I don't really have a paint shaker option here.

    Cheers, Thomo the Lost

  2. Thommo cheap as chips.Get one and turn your life around you need a step down transformer and one of those funny international plugs
    5,000 shakes a minute sure mixes things up and withj a little care revives paint magically..stirring doesnt cut the mustsrd I am afraid

  3. I dont use Window cleaner to thin washes..iI always use water..I do use Window cleaner to thin and clean everything cures you of licking your brush

  4. Thanks - I'll certainly try the window cleaner for reviving older paints - the shaker will need to wait until living in a more shaker-friendly environment

  5. They are mostly well behaved little shakers

  6. There's also this magic stuff in the plasti-kote range. Works well for soft plastic figs of the polyethylene variety since it dries back to a really flexible plastic coat. You'll find it in Bunnings with all the other spray primers.

  7. now that is a useful thing to know I have seen it but never considered it..