From the Shed: Varnishing disaster saved on Great War Tanks

I wanted to do some more Great War tanks in 15mm to go with my board game. I scaled up the Bergman design from 1/200th to 1/100th and ran off a pair of MKIVs. The plan was to paint them in German colours as captured tanks using the fancy new paint set I had got. The colours went on well and I was happy with the decals too… however, when it came to varnishing I got the dreaded white mist effect:

I was quite annoyed as you can imagine and nearly binned the models, such thoughts are only possible with the cheapness of 3d printing, but remembered that I had no more decals for them.

I risked revarnishing them on a dry day with gloss varnish, I vaguely remembered hearing somewhere that this work, and this managed to save them. See the reults here:

Really glad it did as they look pretty good now. Also it shows the limitations of scalling up a model to twice its size. Some of the detail is a little chunky now. At least it will survive game handling.



27 comments on “From the Shed: Varnishing disaster saved on Great War Tanks

  1. Jeff Groves says:

    Nice save, Pete! I have had luck spraying the white misting with thinner, it resets the varnish somehow.

  2. Good recovery there, Pete! πŸ™‚ Nice looking tanks! I’ve given up on acrylic varnish because of the misting and have gone back to enamel (even though there’s a risk of yellowing with age). I can remember using gloss varnish to recover things in the past and it seemed to work reasonably well though.

  3. Interesting, never heard of the white mist effect. Learn something new every day!

  4. I use Humbrol Acrylic matt varnish in a rattle can, I always spray figures in the Garage (much to my wife’s annoyance!), and have a small fan heater blowing across the figures (about ten inches away) while I spray. They dry super quick and I haven’t had a problem with misting since I started doing this, but now after saying this you just watch the next lot…..

    Nice tanks, I would never have realised they were scaled up. πŸ˜‰

    Cheers Roger.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Roger. I’ll try that. I can do the spraying in my shed and use a fan heater I’ve got stashed in there. They can be left to dry there and noit stink out the rest of the house.



  5. That looked like a close call with the varnish Pete but in the end they have come out looking very nice indeed. πŸ™‚

  6. Ann says:

    I’m glad you were able to save them from the White Mist Monster!

  7. Nice save, you’d never know there had been an issue looking at them now.

    I had the dreadest white mist on a scenery piece once, looked like it had been dipped in wax.

  8. Marvin says:

    Those tanks deserved saving – really nice pair of WWI hardware.

    The white misting is annoying. I don’t get that problem very often but if I get a little then if I’ve probably been over-zealous with the amount of varnish applied, but sometimes it’s just a mystery!

  9. Hey Pete nice save. That issue, as well as the near impossibility of using rattlecans in Massachusetts for the vast majority of the year, got me to move to using water based varnishes with a large needle airbrush and spray booth. Had major limitations on priming and varnishing before, now none. Plus it doubles as my photo booth! I really like the German painting on the Brits. Cheers!

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thanks Mark. Your airbrush set up sounds great. Is it too cold or too humid in NewEngland? I’ve never been out there the two times I went to the US.



      • Rattlecans in general require both low humidity and temperatures over 60 F. That cuts out the winter months – including part of October through March. Then it’s iffy in April with rain. May through September can be ok, but weather can always be an issue – and it can get pretty humid in the summer- but I want to be able to prime or varnish on demand. I really like my setup, it’s a collapsible spray booth that I use in the cellar, and I leave it up all the time now.

      • Pete S/ SP says:

        Thanks for the info. Your set up sounds leadl if you can leave it up out of the way.



  10. Azazel says:

    To echo both my initial thoughts – and then half of the other comments I just read through – nice save! The pair of them have come up really nicely as well!

  11. borderguy190 says:

    Nice save. I’ve managed to avoid the white misting. But did actually use white paint as a matte spray once on a Bretonnian damsel… I caught myself after 1 or 2 light passes… Still meant a repaint.

    Tanks look great. What did you print them with?

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thank you. Printed in cheap PLA from Amazon on an Anycubic i3 mega.



      • borderguy190 says:

        Wow. Thats crazy. Such detail in PLA at that scale. Well done. I’ve only had my Ender 3 flr a couple weeks and really haven’t donw anything to mess with settings. So far ive been pretty happy with what has come out. Too cold in my basement to print currently. Took me a couple failed prints to realize what the problem was.

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