I have been kicking it into high gear trying to get the last couple of units of Allies painted for my Quatre Bras game. I just finished 5 stands of allied artillery and several stands of light infantry and went to clear coat them. I generally use a coat of gloss followed by a coat of matte. The gloss went on fine but the matte caused the dreaded “fog” effect. The horror! Calmer heads prevail. I remembered that applying another coat of matte could sometimes alleviate the problem so I applied another coat. To my shock, it got even worse! At this point I was getting ready to change my vocabulary “load-out” to “cluster F-bombs.” Armed and ready and in a generally foul mood, decided to check the inter-webs one last time for a possible answer or answers. From what I gleaned, apparently humidity makes a huge difference. The day I sprayed these little fellows, humidity was at a whopping 65%. Most of the articles I read were swearing 60% was the maximum limit. Anything past that and the moisture would trap in the coating and cause a fog effect. However, that did not seem to hold true for gloss coat. I suspect I know the reason why.
- Gloss coat is relatively smooth so light will bounce off giving it a shiny effect. The surface has no pockets for moisture to get trapped in.
- Matte coat has a relatively jagged surface. The microscopic crannies are enough for the moisture to get trapped in and cause the dreaded fog.
My solution was to hit the figures with a coat of gloss finish again. I did this in my basement right before I went to work. i wanted to get it done before 24 hours lapsed because I was not sure if the effect would be reversible after the dull coat fully cured. That evening, still in my relatively low humidity basement, I hit it with the dull coat. I checked an hour later and the results were perfectly fine. Here are the artillery.
Some of the articles I’ve read have sworn off brand X or brand Y of clear coats because they ruined there figures after putting on a matte finish. Fear not! Most brands should work just fine. For instance, everyone swears by Testor’s matte finish. I have sworn them off because they fogged up some of my figures years ago. I suspect all of these products are perfectly fine. You simply need to read the label and make sure your conditions are within specifications of what the product instructions prescribe.
On a side note, for those that have fuzzed up figures after their primer sets, you may wish to read your labels on those products as well. Primer has a similar characteristic to matte coat with the jagged surface for paint to adhere too. Moisture getting into the nooks and crannies here can cause the fuzzy flaking that strikes from time to time. Again, it is probably not a case where brand X is garbage but brand Y is perfectly fine. It is a case of simply following the directions, especially when it comes to humidity!
Giving credit where credit is due.
I discovered a really good red paint in Games Workshop’s Evil Sunz Scarlet . Their red paint during the last run (Blood Red) was not great, requiring a coat of white first. With the latest run of paints their Evil Sunz Scarlet red paint has really good coverage. No more need to paint the surface white before painting it red. You can make do with a coat or two of red paint. Highly recommended.