Less of a hobby tutorial, and more of a hobby request:  How, and why, do you go about spray sealing your miniatures?


When I first started painting and collecting miniatures, the majority of the figures were metal.  Metal Termagants, metal Genestealers, and metal Carnifexes.  These figures had a tendency to chip easily, and the tips of most of my Tyranid claws were worn away.  If you thought the tongue-out Genestealers looked bad, just imagine them with red and metallic tips…  A friend suggested that I spray seal my models, and a can of Ral Partha figure flat was quickly purchased.


The sealer I used certainly protected the paint from chipping, but it also lead me to believe that what is considered a “flat finish” is fairly subjective.  Ral Partha’s “flat” was in my opinion, rather “satin”.  Not exactly what I wanted.  A few years later, and I found myself with yet another metal army, just waiting to get damaged in transit.  Metal Necron warriors… those metal gauss rifles that ended in sharp points were such a bad idea…


With this collection, I chose to go with the fabled Testors Dull Cote spray sealer.  This sealer offered protection, and also dried with a truly “flat” finish.  However, I noticed that all was not right…  It was as though the Testors Dull Cote somehow removed a large amount of blending from the models.  I have seen this Dull Cote sneak-attack more than once, and it is heartbreaking.  Just as you think you have finished your collection, something comes and removes some of your work just as you try to protect it.


Ed Miller from the Battle for Salvation crew told me that he likes to use an air-brush to put on a coat of acrylic floor varnish, like pledge, and then follow this with a layer of Dull Cote.  This sounds like a pretty good idea, and I have seen Ed’s Salamanders up close, and they look gorgeous.  I suppose I should invest in an airbrush…


Regardless, I have yet to spray seal my most recently finished army of Vraksian Renegade IG.  Due to the fact that almost 90% of the collection is resin or plastic, this lack of seal does not particularly bother me.  Resin seems far less likely to have acrylic paint chip off.  I try to keep my hands clean, and rarely eat buffalo wings while handling my miniatures at the same time.  However, I would like to get a final “finish” on the collection, just so I can know the figures will have a lasting durability.  I know that this means I will have to eventually re-apply acrylic gloss to all of the “fetish-esque” tubing, gloves and lenses the army has, but I would be happy knowing it is “done”.


Anyway, this article is less of a hobby “tip” per se, but more of a hobby “appeal”  I am hoping that you guys would share with the community if you seal your models, and if so, with what method?


I look forward to hearing your input!