Monday, 17 November 2014

"We want 8 - but we'll have to wait!"

I am not a happy bunny.

By the close of play Saturday evening the current batch of 8 Royal Navy battleships had been finished and but for the lack of any varnish would have only needed yours truly to finish the bases which was to have been the Sunday job. In fact, this post was to have been the photo shoot.

I should also point out that I had needed to make some very minor changes to 4 other battleships to bring them into line with the two additional models I had painted to complete the classes - basically I had 4 of the 6 Bellerophon/St. Vincent types and needed the other two for the project as all 6 were at Jutland. The shading/highlighting on the last two was slightly more noticeable so I fine tuned the other 4 models to bring them up to the same standard.

The varnish had dried up so I opened one of the two new tins I had (I was using Humbrol enamel). Being mindful of the potential problems with a new tin I took all manner of precautions - stirring and shaking the tin thoroughly - so was confident that all was well. To be even more sure I tested the varnish on an older model just to make sure. It dried perfectly....or so I thought.

The next morning, before we went out Christmas shopping, I made a point of varnishing the 8 new models and 4 touched up others after having checked the test sample - rather too quickly as it turned out.

Six hours later, upon our return, I came home to an absolute horror story.

The varnish had dried to a milky white in all the crevices - around the bases of the superstructure and funnels as well as between the gun barrels. Under close inspection the same thing had happened on my test sample only I had missed it. I was distraught. There was absolutely no way to amend the damage easily - remember my technique involves generous amounts of dry-brushing which is awkward to carry out locally on a specific part of the models without it looking out of place.

After having scrutinised the whole sorry batch the only conclusion I could make was that the 8 models will need repainting from the main deck upwards and to make matters worse, the 4 I was merely touching up will also need the same treatment.

I could not bring myself to tackle it last night - it was too painful to contemplate!

I know on the global scale of things this is small beer - after all no-one has died - but my painting time is really precious these days and so this this is a bitter, bitter blow to my timetable.

I have never had this happen before - my only varnish dramas were restricted to the odd matt coat coming out gloss which is easily rectified or the very occasional metallic paint lift although the latter was firmly exorcised when I adopted acrylic metal colours some years ago.

My mood is dark but hey ho, onwards and upwards and back in the saddle once again - I shall be tackling these later in the week.


Simon said...

Try spraying a very light coat of varnish on them. Sounds crazy but it works, honest.

All the best

Bluebear Jeff said...

It seems to me that I recall reading somewhere about how to fix this without repainting . . . but I don't recall any details.

I suggest using different search terms and letting your fingers search the web.

I suspect that this may have been in a post on a TMP thread but I cannot be sure.

Good luck, sir.

-- Jeff

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

I have experienced similar problems with some varnishes and there is no quick fix; that is to say, that I never found one.

I know that some people have used a coat of gloss varnish over the the milky matt varnish to 'remove' the milky residue, but I have never tried this.

I hope that you are able to sort the problem out without too much difficulty.

All the best,


Paul O'G said...

A first world problem maybe, but most disappointing nonetheless. No doubt the dockyard hands will get a bit of overtime to rectify the situation, so its just like the 1:1 scale versions!

Archduke Piccolo said...

I find that this sort of thing can put a serious crimp in one's enthusiasm. Not only does it represent time lost in having to redo the job, it is further time lost having to undo the mess. It's enough to make one quit war gaming ... for a day or two...

David Crook said...

Hi Simon and Jeff,

I had considered this but the problem is that much of the 'milkiness' is in the crevices - which would ordinarily be the base black undercoat. The effect is to wash the model out rather than having the details 'popping' out.

A repaint will be easier.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

This is a first for me which given my painting career stretching back over 40 odd years is not too bad on the global scale - it is just REALLY annoying!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

Sounds about right but sadly I will not get paid any overtime!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Archduke,

That is exactly right - on both counts!

I have calmed down now and will be back with the brush in a day or so.

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Varnish nightmare arrrgh!

Worse things happen at sea, so people say :(

Never completely trusted varnishes, but they are a necessary evil, models that "gather" in crevices seem to under go strange chemistry

Never had a plane (lots of flat surfaces)go bad on me but had plenty of metal figures and miniature vehicles get the Alex Ferguson "hairdryer treatment"

CelticCurmudgeon said...

While everyone is focused on what happened, there seems to be the avoidance of an important question: why did it happen?
There are three possibilities (maybe more?) that offer themselves. First, the varnish was defective. That can range from not mixing it enough to a problem with the components. The second could be the humidity. Finally, the temperature might have been outside the prescribed range suggested on the can.
I mention this simply to help you avoid this outcome again.

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

I am still having difficulty sleeping over the trauma of it all....;-)

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Jerry,

My feeling is that it might have been a temperature thing as the man cave does get a little chilly. I had warmed everything up but perhaps not for long enough or too quickly.

All I know is is that I shall be VERY careful going forward!

All the best,