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Old 05-29-2020, 05:08 PM   #1
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Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

I went back to some of my old custom models this week and there is something odd, which I THINK is the varnish, but not certain. As you can see in the pics, there is yellowing on and around the areas where I painted with Humbrol enamels and then sprayed over Humbrol varnish (I think on one model, the Fedex, it was probably a small pot to which I added thinners, on the second, the Flybe, I think it was a spray tin of the same). The yellowing on the Flybe is not just visible over the white, but also the blue paint.

Has anybody else had this experience? Am I right, is it the varnish? If this is the case, what solutions or alternatives have people used to resolve this?

Any help really appreciated before I do the same to other models.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

Just in case anyone is having similar problems, I've been doing a bit of googling, and found that others (in railway modelling and others) had found similar issues (https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/in...nish-any-cure/). It appears that using the Humbrol Cote products rather than the varnish, is the answer, so I will go back to that. May be a little late for my beloved models above though :-(
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

I've seen it before, but I don't recall the solution. I believe it was something like exposing the model for a day to direct sunlight, outside. But I'm not a 100% certain.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

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Originally Posted by DutchCollector View Post
I've seen it before, but I don't recall the solution. I believe it was something like exposing the model for a day to direct sunlight, outside. But I'm not a 100% certain.
I may just try that anyway, anything has to be better than loosing my models and having to start again! Unfortunately I think the weather is on the turn here now
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:13 AM   #5
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

Don't try it in the rain. It's been a long time since I tried anything like it, but I remember placing a model of mine in the sun for a day which also had yellowing around the edges.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

As a long time model kit builder, I believe the problem is that the film around your decals is yellowing.

It may have nothing to do with your clear coats.

If that is the cause, and I mean if because your other cause could be the correct one, there isn't much that can be done now. Thom's suggestion of using sunlight to bleach out the yellow is probably a good idea.

As a suggestion for future projects, always remember to clean the decals with a cloth dampened with clean water after they are dry on the model. This removes any excess decal adhesive left over from the process. Then seal them with a clear coat.

It has always worked for me. Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:59 AM   #7
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

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Originally Posted by N3424V View Post
As a long time model kit builder, I believe the problem is that the film around your decals is yellowing.

It may have nothing to do with your clear coats.

If that is the cause, and I mean if because your other cause could be the correct one, there isn't much that can be done now. Thom's suggestion of using sunlight to bleach out the yellow is probably a good idea.

As a suggestion for future projects, always remember to clean the decals with a cloth dampened with clean water after they are dry on the model. This removes any excess decal adhesive left over from the process. Then seal them with a clear coat.

It has always worked for me. Good luck.
That's a helpful tip on the cleaning of the decals. As it happens though, some of the yellowing has occurred just one the enamel, such as on the underside of the Flybe aircraft, and on the tail cone of another aircraft, which only has a small logo right in the centre of the tail (and I think from memory I applied the varnish before the decals in both cases). I will keep your tip though anyway. You refer to clear cote, so is that the product you use in favour of their varnish (spray can or airbrush).

I might be going a little crazy, but I tested the sunlight trick, and am sure it was working. Unfortunately I put a model in the sun on Monday and the following morning the rains arrived, so I will have to wait to test it more.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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Re: Help! Issues with varnish...I think!

You can apply the varnish, also called a clear coat here in the States, before and then after the decals are applied. The coat applied over the decals seals them and can allow for much better handling of the models.

Often the decal adhesive will mix with the water used to apply them and flow away from the decal itself. This maybe why the yellowing appears on the tail cone and underside of the model.

Again, best of luck on your future projects.
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