Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Dull Coat Vs Army Painter Matt Varnish

So today, i thought i do alittle comparison, the dull coat vs army matt antishine varnish. Ive used both know quite abit and i thought id pass on some knowledge to those that are interested in using.

Dull Coat -

So now they have reformulated it, still smells like crap and has a lovely warning from the state of calforina stating there is stuff in it that may give you cancer. Lovely. It comes in quite a small can and is roughly the same price or abit cheaper than a can of GW spray depending on where you get it. When spraying i advise using a mask and some gloves due to the nasty nature of the stuff and always make sure you are up wind of it. Ive been using it to take down the shine on my flesh tearers which were gloss varnished in the GW ardcoat stuff from the pots. The varnish needs two thin coats to properly get into all the bits and cracks of a model and provides a nice matt finish that makes it looks like you just freshly painted it. My orginal worries was that it would effect the look of the GW matt washes, but i can safely say it does not. If anything it helps improve them! I was most impressed! If you want photos of these just look at my last post and you can see for yourself.

Army Painter Anti Shine Varnish -

So i have previously used this on some dipped items when i was doing an imperial guard army last year. It was my first real foray into varnishing models as i had never previously done anything. Id heard some interesting things about the cans and had watched the video about shaking them for about 2 minutes and making sure the cans became nice and warm. The anti shine varnish certainly did take the shine out but i find the quality not great and i was getting tiny white flecks from the spray. It also gives a interesting matt finish, not quite a true finish bringing back the orginal colours in the same way the dull coat does. A can is again about the same price as a GW spray can but you get a whole load more spray in the can. Here are some before and after photos so you can make you own mind up

Before (a dipped model)

After (After army painter varnish)

Overall Judgement -

Overall despite the dull coats nasty smell and rather toxic appearance, it for me is the better product mainly because it gives a nice truer matt finish than the army painter varnish. The downsides are certainly the smaller can and nasty smell but for the finish you can beat it. The army painter cans have been plagued by problems and the flecks of white are a common occurance no matter how much you shake or warm. Ive dull coated while it was damp outside (i live in a rain forest!) and ive had no problems!

Both are good products and do the job but as a choice id take the dullcoat anyday!


  1. I have used army painter's matt varnish before and I wasn't happy at all with the results. It roughened up the surfaces of the model and dulled the colours a lot. Never tried the other product but I'll take your word for it since I can't think of anything worse than the army painter spray (even Purity Seal is better).

  2. You will be surprised at the results its awesome stuff. Again try it on something you arent bothered about to make sure its right and remeber to use a mask and stay up wind! Its a dam nasty smell but worth it!

  3. Nowdays I use my airbrush to varnish my models. I use all the varnishes from the Vellejo range (gloss, satin and matt) and mix them with Windex. Airbrush gives you much better control and accuracy but then again it's a costly investment compared to spray cans.