29 January 2014

Challenge Day 46 - Army Painter Anti Shine Varnish Review

I have been plugging away in the challenge, having had a bit of a slump recently in output. This was bound to happen at some point as you can crank figures out at a heck of a rate only for so long, the stumbling block for me was a unit of French in white coats rather than the grey white, however they are now done and just need basing.

Anyway I digress the main point of this review comes from the fact that before the challenge started I had been completely unable to obtain my favoured varnish in the UK. I have used Testors Dullcote for a good few years as I liked the finish it gave all the figures and it completely killed the shine on figures.
This left me with a few options and I almost went back to my old faithful Humbrol Matt brush on varnish, but this has to be very well mixed before use and constantly stirred whilst in use and is very time consuming to use on lots of figures.
So I was rather left with no alternative than to give the Army Painter Anti Shine Matt Varnish a try.

Now I do have to adjust how I am going to score this product as it is not a lead purchase, but I will stick to the system as much as possible.

Firstly price, Well I shall compare this to Dullcote which averages £4.60 for a 3oz can, Army Painter anti shine averages £8.50 for 400ml. Well to work out the cost basis a quick conversion, reveals that the 3oz can is approx 88ml so that means I get 4.5 times as much varnish for just under double the cost. That is a big saving by any standards

Cost score 10 out of 10 Ravens.

The real test for any varnish is does it do the job you need. This is where I was dubious and so it needed a good lengthy trial hence I have used it for every submission I have made to the challenge thus far. There are a lot of reports on the internet of misting etc etc for this product. However one thing I am aware of is how silly people can be when it comes to varnishing figures myself included. So I have followed the instructions given to the letter for the trial.
Finished with Antishine
So does it really give a dead flat finish - Yes it does, providing you give the can a damn good shake and apply several light coats as instructed.
The metal work still has a shine
Will it kill my metallic paint like Dullcote - Partly but not to the extent of Dullcote. Dullcote kills metallic paint and those areas need to be repainted to make them shine, The Army painter merely reduces the shine but it still retains a bit of metallic sparkle, so I am actually happier as I dont have to repaint.

Product Comparison Score 10 out of 10 Ravens.
I was more than Happy to use it on this piece of work.
I can recommend this product without any qualms but do recommend you follow the instructions properly to get the best results. I was actually very impressed with the way colours kept alive as well, some thing you do have to be careful about with Dullcote as it can often flatten vivid colours too much.

My overall rating for this product is 10 out of 10 Ravens.

44 comments:

  1. Thanks for the thorough review, I have tried Army Painter varnish and the finish of the varnish was very rough as you could feel some sort of sandy texture on the miniature. It was an old can so I probably need to buy another one as I have loads of miniatures that need a coat of varnish.

    Cheers
    http://wargameterrain.blogspot.be/

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    1. The rough finish comes when you spray too closely and have not shaken the can properly. Causing it to build up in an un even coat, it needs the distance from the nozzle to diffuse correctly

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  2. Handy and well timed review... I am in need of a top up of varnish this weekend

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  3. Good review! And I must agree on all points. I've been using their varnish for a bit over a year now and it's been working marvelously and lasts for quite a long time. But it sure needs to be shaken properly as it seems to be thicker than most sprays. Same applies to their undercoat sprays.

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    1. Have too agree it needs a good couple of minutes shaking and the distance is very important

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  4. Very useful review, Andrew! I have not tried Army Painter but have used Dullcote for decades. I may have to give AP a try.

    Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for the review, Andrew; Dullcote is like hen's teeth here as well, and it pays to be able to have a backup.

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    1. Hen's teeth are easy to get by comparison. Ev, looks like this solves our problem. I hope.

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    2. As you both know I have painted and varnish a fair amount of work since the start of the challenge and am happy with the results. I felt it needed a damn good trial before drawing any conclusions

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  6. Very helpful. I use Humbrol tins for figures but was looking for something with more covering poer for senics.

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    1. Have not tested it on scenics but can see no reason why it would not work

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  7. I don't know anything about any of this BUT, I do know that those creatures are pretty darn cool looking.

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  8. Thanks indeed for this review Andrew. Testors is increasingly hard to find here in Oz too, so an alternative is required

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    1. Trying to get the stuff here now is like trying to obtain rocking horse shit!!!

      Now I have a product that works and lets be honest gives me a lot more for my money

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  9. Thanks for the review Loki. I did buy a can a while ago when I was running low on my Humbrol matt spray, but then found an alternative supply online. I was wary about trying it out on figures that were to complete armies I'd previously used the Humbrol for, but might give it a try with my pirates. If it does the job, then it will be a bit of a saving, not to mention easier to get supplies of.

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    Replies
    1. I used Humbrol for 20 years, in fact I still have 2 unopened jars of the stuff, then about 8 years ago discovered Dullcote and did not look back as it was such a time saver, I am grateful the Army painter is just as good, although I must stress follow the instructions well and shake for a couple of minutes

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  10. Thanks for the usefull review. I should try out this stuff...

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  11. Good review, Andrew! And great figures to test on too.

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  12. Good review, for mat varnish I turned to a DYI shop product some time ago as well. It provides good results and is way cheaper than Army Painter, Vallejo or GW.

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    Replies
    1. I have tried that route in the past but as many of them contain polyurethane, I found the figures turn yellow over time.

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  13. Nice review Loki, sounds like a bargain....if you use it correctly, and that's the problem, most of us don't! I've gone back to hand varnish, I'm too scared to chance it!

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    1. The good thing about this one is the instructions are remarkably simple to follow, shake for 1 minute before use, I give it a bit more then spray from 8 to 12 inches away and job done

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  14. Fair enough, I'll give it a go. Thanks for the review.

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  15. Great review. I switched to this stuff about 3 years ago, and have been just as happy for the reasons you give.

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    1. I am always hesitant about changing my varnish products

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  16. Best figure painter review I have read of that product. It is now on my list of future purchases.
    cheers

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  17. I use this a lot of the time and have had no problems with it.

    Still prefer Vallejo and HMG (but you need spare caps for the latter as they can clog)

    Ian

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    Replies
    1. I tried HMG coloured spray awful stuff, like you say one use nozzles

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  18. I already use it. And I have had no problems with it so far. Very good review though.

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  19. Very useful to know Andrew! Thanks!!

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  20. Great review Loki. I'm a diehard Dullcote fan but its such a bugger to get hold of, its always out of stock! I much prefer to spray varnish all my models. Its quicker and I think if done right produces a much better finish than hand brushed varnish imho. I usually apply a couple of coats of satin varnish (GW purity seal does the trick) and then apply dulltote as a third layer. I'll definately get a can of this AP stuff though.

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  21. Intetesting, I also scurry around trying to source Dullcote a couple of times a year so having a backup will be hugely useful!

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  22. I never use varnish but when I would need it, I will remember this post! Thanks!

    Greetings
    Peter

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