VMS Varnish advice?

Hello everyone…

I’m entering the weathering phase of my OT-34/76 build, and today I attempted to seal the paint job on my model using the VMS Varnish HD top coat in the Matte finish. Although I have viewed the VMS varnishing video several times (taking note of the part regarding spraying this product un-thinned straight from the bottle), I managed to clog 2 of my airbrushes within 2 minutes of spraying a half dozen road wheels. When the clogging started, I cleaned the airbrush, added AK acrylic thinner to the varnish to thin the mixture, however the product would not spray at all. The VMS matte varnish seems to be very rapid drying, almost like cyanoacrylate glues.
I sincerely hope to hear from any other modelers who have experience using this product. Also, I am open to any suggestions regarding an alternate varnishing product.

I am attempting to seal a coating of AK 3rd generation acrylics (excellent paint IMO) prior to applying mud/rust pigments, fuel stains, etc. I am using a Paasche VL airbrush with the size 4 needle and tip.

Thanks for reading!

While I have not had the chance of trying VMS varnish, in general it is not a good idea to mix products from different brands (AK thinner). Being both acrylic is no guarantee it will work.

Other than that, it is quite strange that is has clogged your airbrush so fast, they are usually regarded as excellent products and my experience so far with other of their range has been positive. Airbrush is 0.4mm ?

You’ve probably already done this, so forgive me for being obvious, but you might drop him a note. I’ve always received rapid responses to any question. I have not used the VMS varnish.

Good point on the AK thinner, I considered that possibility, however I don’t have any VMS acrylic thinner on hand. I live in a remote area without any hobby shops within a 3 hour drive. I’m going to order the VMS thinner, however it has been my experience that with things being what they are in the past year, my modeling supplies usually take about a month to arrive. I took a gamble…I won’t make that mistake again.
Yes, I used the .4 needle. I’m considering trying this again after switching out to the .5 size needle.

Sorry, but I missed the name of the person whom you recommended that I contact with questions.

Sure. It’s Chris, I don’t recall his last name, at VMS. I just use the contact form to send him questions.

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My suggestion would be to use a appropriate paint retardant agent for the brand you are using. My uncle was a auto body guy and whenever he was spraying cars especially depending upon the conditions he would all sorts of different things into the paint to make it behave in certain ways.

A paint retardant will increase the working time of the paint being sprayed the other thing I would suggest based on my experiences with him would be a flow improver. Although I am not familiar with the particular brand you are using it’s always a good idea to use brand specific items to work with the paint especially when spraying.

I also live in a remote area everything has to be flown in so I try to keep items in larger supplies than normal Modelers do because depending if my guy has it in stock just shipping from him to me can take a month if he has to order it then the time starts adding so if I need something I will put the project aside and move to something else that I have been working with. I always have multiple projects on the go for just that reason.

I hope it helps

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While I’ve not used the VMS flat varnish but if it is drying too fast for you the VMS-AX08 Slow-Mo Extender for Airbrush - Acrylic 50ml might be worth asking VMS about as well.

Depending on the type of paint, more thinner can just make a hotter paint mixture that dries even faster under certain conditions. Sometimes a bit of retarder or slo-mo is needed.

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Thank you for the suggestion.
I will look in to using VMS’ Slo-Mo Extender, hopefully this will solve the problem. I have to admit, a little voice warned me to not mix brands when adding thinner, but I went ahead and took a gamble. Impatience on my part since this kit has been taking more than 6 months to complete (!).
I completely agree on the suggestion of keeping extra supplies on hand. The experience of supply chain/shipping delays during the past year, has resulted in my ordering 2 or more of everything for the reason which you mentioned.

Thank you for the suggestion.
I hadn’t considered the VMS Extender, for some reason I just assumed this product would only be used with paints. I’ll ask about its use with the varnish when I contact the folks at VMS.

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I contacted Chris Obarski from VMS and I received a prompt reply from him by the end of the day. His recommendation was that I use a .4 or greater size airbrush tip, and/or use the Slo-Mo Extender. I don’t have any of the extender on hand, however I will try switching out to my .5 size airbrush tip in the meantime.

Cool. I found this article on the michtoy blog talking about the slo-mo extender. Looks like good stuff.

I subscribed to the MichToy blog, yet somehow I missed that review. Very informative. I have placed an order today for the Slo-Mo extenders for both brush and airbrush. Hopefully these will arrive soon!

Thanks again for your responses everybody. I’ll post some pictures (someday) when this tank is finally finished.

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I do love their satin varnish but I found out that it flows WAY better with a .5 needle and tip and just a little bit of vallejo acrylic airbrush thinner. The thinner doesn’t effect the durability either (i also wait 48 hours after applying the varnish before i do washes). Just my 2 cents…

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I have applied the Matte varnish to the model, however after over 72 hrs. of drying time, the surface of the model’s hull is still somewhat ‘tacky’ to the touch, and there are some areas of ‘milkiness’ in certain recesses and crevices. The turret of the vehicle has an excellent matte finish however. I am wondering if anyone else has had this type of experience? Is there a proper procedure to dry out the ‘tacky’ area of the hull such as using a hair dryer?

I have written a message to Chris from VMS regarding this issue, however I have not yet heard back from him.