Monday, October 10, 2011

Protecting Models From Chips

One of the things in the hobby that really gives me the “shits” is the chipping of, in particular, metal models.

In the past I have used Games Workshop’s “Purity Seal” and their “Matt Varnish”. Both provide a satin finish to the models but have not proved strong enough to protect my models from constant gaming. I must have done remedial work on my Wood Elves wardancers five or six times, I reckon.

The other varnish I have used is Testors Dullcote. This gives a fantastic matt finish – perhaps almost too dull for metallic – but the one thing it is not is a varnish. Dullcote provides next to no protection.

Rule #1: Never Let Models Bathe In Chips

Looking at the chips on my Skaven recently I did some online research to come up with a permanent fix. Here’s what I have found out and now started to use:

STEP ONE: Apply a clear, water-based, polyurethane gloss varnish using a brush. You can pick this up from your local hardware shop but make sure that it is water-based and dries clear. Typically it will be white in the tin. I bought some from Wattyl and it cost $26 for a 500ml tin. I’m guess that is sufficient for about 20 armies. One applied you should let it fully cure for 48-72 hours.

STEP TWO: Again with a brush, apply a matt varnish to the model. I’d recommend either games Workshop or Vallejo. Ensure that you have a clean brush.

STEP THREE: Spray the model with Testors Dullcote to flatten (matten?) any glossy bits that have escaped.

STEP FOUR: Redo the edges of metallic to give them back any necessary sheen. Not so required for the blunt weapons I give my Slaves.

So there is a four step method to help your models endure normal gaming wear and tear.


  1. Is this a topical article about Charlie's army and the murderous hurricane of Levin?

  2. I thought it was a Charlie article when I saw the title - Horowhenua Hurricane attacks!

  3. My weekend in Levin:

    Step 1: Set up your entire army on the table.
    Step 2: Hear a loud crash as the wind knocks that table over, and your army explodes all over the concrete.
    Step 3: Drive home, and have your car engine explode 40 minutes into the drive.
    Step 4: Definitely not profit :(