Now strange as it might seem in all my years of playing and painting I have NEVER varnished a model!
Partly it was because I never really painted any good before so it was not worth it and partly it was because of an element of cowardice in terms of potentially messing up the model. Well this time round I thought I would give it a go.
I read up on a fair few forums about the best varnish to use. Most people seem to suggest a gloss finish for hardness and then a matt one to taste if you don't like it all shiny. However a few more modern posts sung the praises of satin varnish, a kind of halfway house.
There were horror stories a plenty about using spray on varnish, warnings about humidity, bad examples of particular brands that ruined paint jobs etc. I found a few posts from quality painters that said Vallejo did a nice set of varnish that you can brush on. I prefer brush on myself as although I have an air compressor I have not used it in real anger painting wise, just for base coating, and I did not like the idea of doing it outside in the British weather (I do not have anywhere suitable in the house).
They also made mention of the difference between acrylic and polyurethene varnish, with the latter being much sturdier and better. So I stuck with what I love (Vallejo) and ordered a bottle of the poly varnish from Element Games.
I did varnish one of the juves (see below) first and waited 24 hours and it held up well. No discolouring or misting problems. When the varnish goes on it does appear a bit milky in places and I was worried about it pooling whilst using a brush, but in the end it worked out well I think.
Yes it does have a slight shiny finish but I think I will let it be for the time being and see how it goes. I believe I can always come back and put a layer of matt on it to tone it down. In the meantime I have also discovered that the local Range offers a wide, well, range of varnish that is high quality artist stuff at a price that is cheaper than you can get on the net! So next time I might pop in there for a bit of quality Winsor and Newton stuff.