Varnish????

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
Garyw1960
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Varnish????

Postby Garyw1960 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:32 pm

Seen a few items for sale..gloss varnish applied...why is this done? Thanks Gary

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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:36 pm

What sort of items? Varnish is usually used to protect.

Garyw1960
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Garyw1960 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:48 pm

Mountain wrote:What sort of items? Varnish is usually used to protect.

Locos mainly. Cant indrstand as weathering is usually matt with gloss for special effects...

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Re: Varnish????

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:48 pm

Garyw1960 wrote:Seen a few items for sale..gloss varnish applied...why is this done? Thanks Gary


Collectors!!!!!!!!!!!

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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:01 am

Yes. Collectors where a varnished version of a loco can sell a lot more or a lot less then a matt version depending on rarity.
What really puzzles me a bit, is what is considered rare may actually have been produced in a large quantity (E.g. above 500) and yet if one scratchbuild to a good standard, ones model is not considered of any value to a collector? This to me is strange as surely having one example would be of a higher value to a collector, then a loco which was made in the hundreds, if not thousands?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:40 am

To the Avid collector, as distinct from the modeller who collects, evidence of not being handled, run or played with is all important, thus the glossy finish is all important. From a modellers perspective a model with a glossy finish fails to look like the real thing no matter what depth of gloss it had. The problem being that we judge the gloss by what it reflects, the glossy model reflects a world 76 times as big (if it's 00) not the same at all.
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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:57 pm

I have to be honest and say that while I may have the odd unopened item, I simply dont understand purchasing an item to never even open the box. The only reason why I can fathom someone doing this, was if that person bought cheap to sell on at a later date. To collect just for the sake of having, and never planning to use the item for what it was intended to be used for has to be someone with a problem. (I'm not saying this to single such a person out as we all have our own battles in life. I'm pointing out that collecting something just to own it without intending to even open the box and try it out, there is an issue).

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Re: Varnish????

Postby b308 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:33 pm

Sorry, Mountain, but that's completely wrong and tars every collector with the same brush... What exactly is their "problem" you refer to? People collect things for all sorts of reasons, just the same as we Modellers model for all sorts of reasons.

Does a Stamp Collector have a "problem" (mint stamps before anyone says anything)? Or a collector of rare bears? What is it? Please just accept that everyone is different and just because they do something you can't understand doesn't mean they have issues...

My only issue with collectors is that they tend to bump up the price of some stuff i would like to be able to get cheaper, but that's all... Live and Let Live...



Back to the "varnish" thing, Triang-Hornby had a patch in the '70s of finishing all their locos in gloss varnish, why I don't know and neither did the magazines of the time who reviewed the locos, luckily they grew out of it... Although some of the Bachmann Thomas OO9 locos have gloss varnish finish it's not as bad a T-H's and I can only think that perhaps it's to help protect the finish against young fingers...

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Re: Varnish????

Postby GWR_fan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:54 pm

While I would not class myself as a "collector", at one time I had a vast "collection" of mint LGB locomotives and rolling stock. I would purchase items and upon receipt lovingly clean them, repair/replace any small detail parts that had fallen off in transit or missing and generally strip down and rebuild the loco mechanism so that it ran superbly. Then the item was repackaged and placed in storage.

I saw my role as a custodian of the goods rather than a collector. The pleasure derived for me was simply knowing that I had the items. I did not need to have them on display or actually use them. Just knowing they were mine was enough for me.

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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:20 pm

Talking about varnish and things like that, what about shellac. How is it made? It was popular to protect models back in the early years in the hobby. Is it sold as a product?

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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:23 pm

(Still think collecting without running the trains is a problem. :mrgreen: I know we are all different, and many of us buy, or have bought in the past, and never did get to use some of what we have purchased. Is just the thought of buying and never even wanting to open the box...).

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Bigglesof266 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:33 pm

Garyw1960 wrote:..gloss varnish applied...why is this done?

My best guess is that the previous owner had wanted to achieve the more real life realistic ex-works delivery into service gloss painted look, further weathering to filthy after a prolonged period in service as applicable to shed, role and period notwithstanding. If the purpose had been purely protective or to integrate finish a repaint, integrate repairs or decals, a matt or satin finish would have been the more obvious as original alternative.

Steam locos were painted in gloss enamel IRL, which looked nothing like the pristine matt finishes on your typical Hornby or Bachmann OO gauge model sold today. IDK why models are painted matt still, but as far back as I remember - early 1960's to the initial Triang takeover of Hornby days, plastic Hornby models have always been sold with a matt finish. When they were crude O gauge tin and clockwork, they were gloss enameled, but brightly painted in faux symbolic grouping colours most attractive to excite the imagination of young, and not so young boys.

I can only surmise the initial reason they are a matt finish was that during the 1950s and early 1960s, they were moulded in the particular coloured plastic as Airfix plastic model kits once were, rather than post production painted with what passed for detail paint later applied. As time progressed and steam left the lines and seen everyday familiarity to most, a matt finish is no doubt what the ever more disconnected with first hand reality buying notably change resistant model train buying public came to be conditioned to and so expect. Why it is persisted with today in painted and screen printed detail form with excellent quality gloss acrylics and polyurethanes available is quite the mystery? Perhaps its for the very same reason' of consumer familiarity, or perhaps cost and ease of application and dry time in that production phase?

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Re: Varnish????

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:33 am

Mountain wrote:Talking about varnish and things like that, what about shellac. How is it made? It was popular to protect models back in the early years in the hobby. Is it sold as a product?


Before the days of varnish, shellac was popularly used. One would buy a bag of shellac flakes and soak overnight in from memory methylated spirits (probably your isopropyl alcohol). Many coats would be needed to get a good gloss finish. My dad had a large coolroom in the garage and we spent many, many days shellacing the outer and inner timbers. The end result was like a massive piece of quality furniture. That was nearly sixty years ago.

Card was popularly used prior the advent of plastic sheeting and shellac was used to stiffen and protect the card structure from moisture.

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Bigglesof266 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:39 am

Mountain wrote:Talking about varnish and things like that, what about shellac. How is it made? It was popular to protect models back in the early years in the hobby. Is it sold as a product?

Shellac is an organic compound made from beetle resin. I recall my father mixing the dried flakes into a solution too, as Tim does.

It is still used in certain applications, but has largely been displaced by modern polyurethanes. It's not much chop for our applications though. There are simply superior products available today which are friendlier to use but more importantly, which dry crystal clear. Shellac dries with a tint.

Its heyday as a popular mainstream or commonly encountered finish is long gone.

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Mountain
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Re: Varnish????

Postby Mountain » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:51 am

Thanks guys. It is a case that I have old books (E.g. rolling stock construction in 4mm scale written around 1948) and I was puzzling what it was at first. Then I wanted to know what could be used instead should I build a similar item.


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