Being new to 40k, I haven't really attempted a "How To" article, because I'm still learning how to. So for my first attempt at what could be viewed as a "How To", I'm describing how I seal my minis after painting them. But please, feel free to offer suggestions, because if there's a better way to do it...I want to know.
During the winter months as I finished up minis I wasn't able to seal them. My garage is where I do all my primering and sealing, but my camper was in there for winter storage. So now that summer is here and camping season in full swing - I've been able to get the camper out of the garage so I can primer more parts and I can seal the finished boyz.
So let me tell you about the first boy I painted. I went out and bought some some spray enamel. I sprayed my boy, and when it was done and dried it looked...wet. See I didn't pay much attention and the can I bought (which was with the flat enamels) was gloss. So he looked wet. I was really kind of pissed and embarrassed.
I was able to fix him by covering his head and arms, and doing a light coating of flat. It didn't completely take the shine off, but it dulled it. I had covered the arms and head, because if it did what I wanted it to, then he'd hopefully look sweaty. If it didn't work, then I figured better his armor and clothing looked bad than his head and arms. He doesn't look bad, but the spray gloss enamel has been retired.
Now I use a clear flat enamel that I bought at a major hardware retailer. I'm not endorsing them, so I won't mention their name, but I can tell you it starts with L and ends with owe's. Nothing fancy, but it does what I need it to: Protect the paint. Now, for things like blood on a blade, or a wound, something like that then a brush on gloss enamel is my preferred choice. That way it pops against the flat.
To seal the minis up, I set them on my saw horse in the middle of my garage. Then I use what I call a burst method. Keeping the can back about 12 inches, I spray the enamel on in "bursts" to keep from causing a build up, or dripping. A burst of enamel, then a different angle and another burst. I do this as I move around the Mini in a circle. Then I let it dry. Simple as that. Once that's done, then I'm ready to finish the base (I've read that it's best to do like sand or grass on the base AFTER sealing as the enamel can bunch up on the base material and make it look like crap).
I started sealing because I want to protect the minis I spend so much time painting. However I never really saw the need for it until Zagstruk. He's the first metal mini I've painted, and I've noticed that the paint comes off the corners and sharp edges easier than the plastic minis. Maybe I need a different primer? I'm not sure, but to be safe, I definitely have him sealed. The only thing I've noticed is that the flat enamel sealer I use dulls the colors a bit. Maybe it's just the stark contrast to the shiny gloss I used before...but maybe a semi-gloss would be better? Do they make a clear semi-gloss spray enamel? Anyway, as the name of the blog implies, I am no expert - just a new guy to a game. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.