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Yah, so there I was with a beautifly painted Blood Angels Veteran Sergent... I don't want to ruin it by giving it an overly shiny finish, but I also don't want the transfers to stick out like a soar thumb. The thing is, I see some of the well painted BA models in this forum and in some of my books; and the amount of reflection seems to be even. It also seems that they aren't all glossy looking.
On my test models I used a light coat of 'ardcoat, then applied the transfers, then a coat of matte varnish spray. The outcome was not really impressive. I got patchy spots of gloss, and a matte finish in other places.
The reason I do it this way is to hide the trasfer lines. Before any of you say it; I don't free hand insignias very well. AT ALL.
Let me know how you all paint over your reds. Any suggestions are more than welcome.
Sounds like you are going about the transfers in the right fashion. Definitely put down some gloss varnish where you are going to lay the transfer. However go a step further and apply a second layer of gloss varnish over the transfer. As far as transfers go I have found that if it doesn't lay completely flat you can go back over the transfer once it dries with an x-acto knife and scrape away the raised areas. Doing so very lightly will remove the raised areas and leave the reast intact. If there is any area that needs to be filled in you can paint those areas before adding the 2nd layer of gloss.
Now after you gloss up the decals I have found Testors Dullcote to work very well in removing all shine. As for varnishing my normal method is to spray 2 coats of Krylon Crystal Clear non-yellowing matte varnish followed by 2 coats of Testors dullcote.
Here is an example of what my transfers look like:
With the gloss varnish followed by the dullcote you shouldn't see the silvering that is common with decals. Another useful product to use with decals is Micro-sol and Micro-set (you can usually find them in model railroad stores). They are decal softeners and do a great job of making the GW decals more form fitting. Not perfect but definitely better than water alone.
Hope this helps...
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