Are you tired of glossy or foggy finishes ruining your miniature masterpieces? Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Finding a good matt varnish requires trial and error, so thankfully, I did all the hard work for you. In this video I share my best matt varnishes for Warhammer (spray and airbrush products), all tested and approved by myself.
I don’t know about you, but for me, finding the perfect matt varnish was like the search for the holy grail. It can be difficult to find a good varnish for your Warhammer miniatures because many matt varnishes on the market have actually a rather satin finish, despite what the label says. Additionally, matt varnishes are more prone to the dreaded frosting effect that turns minis into a whitish foggy mess.
There are several types of varnishes available, including water-based, polyurethane and solvent-based varnishes. I recommend using water-based acrylic varnishes, because even though polyurethane and solvent-based varnishes tend to provide a more durable finish, they are more aggressive and can reactivate and dissolve acrylic paints and decals, especially ink-like paints like Citadel Contrast and Speedpaints.
My best matt varnishes for Warhammer
I divided my list of matt varnishes into three categories: budget-friendly, ultra matte, and then at the end comes my absolute favourite varnish product:
I put all the products featured in the video here in this post, with links where to find them:
So unfortunately, the most expensive product is also the best – at least in my opinion: Premium Top Coat Flat from Mr Hobby, yet another Japanese scale modelling slash Gunpla company. In my experience, Japanese hobby companies just smash it when it comes to quality and craftmanship.
Now let me know about your favourite matt varnish products in the comments, and I’m eager to hear about your advice or varnish-related mishaps. Thanks a lot, and happy varnishing!
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I had a really bad experience with their matt varnish spray can, but I use their regular gloss varnish and the polyurethane gloss varnish for sealing miniatures before I apply oil or enamel washes. Since their new matt / ultra matt varnishes are polyurethane based, I stick to water-based acrylic varnishes for sealing the final paint jobs of my models.
FYI, Vallejo’s “Mecha” line of paint features some truly great acrylic varnishes. The Mecha imprint doesn’t seem to get talked about much because it’s aimed at Gunpla builders in latin America who don’t have access to imported Tamiya paints. Like the colors in the Mecha line, the varnishes, while being acrylic, harden to a very tough finish. (Because they’re meant for models with moving parts that will rub against themselves.) I find them excellent for wargaming miniatures which will be picked up and moved around a lot, and bump into each other.
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What amout Vallejo varnishes?