Ammo Varnishes

Published: April 3rd, 2018     
Product Image
Bottles
Reviewed by: 
Tim Wilding, IPMS# 47420
Company: Ammo by Mig Jimenez
Price: $5.99
Product / Stock #: A.MIG 2050, 2051, 2052

Sealing the paint before decals and weathering a model is an important step in preventing damage the base coat. Ammo by Mig Jimenez has released a line of acrylic varnishes (finishes) that are easy to use and are nontoxic. Here is the description from their catalog:

Varnish application has long been one of the biggest challenges for modelers. Many have ruined a few models due to the use of poor quality or inappropriate varnishes for the job at hand, and the thing is that the varnishing process is an extremely important step of the build. For the first time, AMMO releases a complete varnish range for winning results on each and every model.

These acrylic varnishes will allow you to get the best results with both brush and airbrush in a very simple manner. It must be used in thin layers and can be applied directly from the jar without thinning for a perfect finish. When used through the airbrush, we recommend spraying 6 inches (15 cm) away from the surface. It is non-toxic, odorless and dries completely in 24 hours.

This new varnish range was carefully developed over a lengthy period to ensure the modeler a perfect result every time. Don't take your chances, use LUCKY VARNISH, a winning product that will rule out any mishap that may occur when using ordinary varnishes. Available in all the usual finishes used in scale modeling, from high gloss to dead flat.

The product comes in 17ml bottle, the same size as their paint, and a 60ml bottle. The three finishes I am reviewing are Satin Lucky Varnish, #2052, Matt Lucky Varnish, #2051, and Ultra-Matt Lucky Varnish, #2050. There also is a Glossy varnish in this product line. These finishes come with a stainless-steel ball bearing in them to aid in mixing while you shake it. The ultra-matt varnish can also be mixed with paint to give it a matt finish. They recommend 40% varnish to 60% paint. Ammo recommends airbrushing the varnish straight at 17 psi, spraying light coats and waiting 5 minutes between coats.

As a test, I sprayed a strip of plastic with gloss green paint and a couple coats of Future to simulate decaling and sealing the decals. I divided this test into two-inch sections and sprayed each varnish per the manufacture's recommendations. The satin went down great and was totally clear, that is the far left on the photo. The matt got a milky color while applying, but pretty well cleared up when dry. This is the middle finish in the photo. The ultra-matt turned very milky white after the first coat and only got worse as I applied more coats. It did lighten up a little when it dried, but did leave a very noticeable white, chalky finish. I tried this ultra-matt on my paint mule model, then rubbed it with my damp finger and a paper towel after drying to see if that would take the murkiness off, but it did not. I think I will only be using this to mix with paints to give them a matt finish. The varnishes got very hard after leaving them to dry for a day and are hard to damage by scratching. I cleaned up my airbrush by spraying Windex then water through it with no problems.

I really like the satin and matt finishes it gave my test strip. I usually use satin before weathering to help the dot filters have something to grab on to and still let washes flow into recess areas. I then give the model a light matt coat when done. I can see myself using these varnishes since they are so easy to airbrush ad clean up.

I would like to thank Ammo by Mig Jimenez and IPMS for the opportunity for reviews these varnishes.

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    Ammo Bottles compared to Popular Paints
  • Instructions on Bottle Back
    Instructions on Bottle Back
  • Finishes Tested
    Finishes Tested