The whole story started with Future floor polish. It is considered to be the leading alternative to gloss varnish. In other words, any other floor polish can be used provided it does not contain wax into its composition!
The one I use is Long Shine, as pictured. Keep in mind that for reasons I haven’t figured out myself yet, the company has the …obsession constantly changing the packaging. The bottle label changes from time to time, while the product remains the same.Talking with other modelers, it appears that other brands of floor polish are suitable, provided they are intended for all surfaces and have no wax.
I use floor polish for quite some time now and am very satisfied with it. The ideal scenario is: enamel paints for the base, two coats of floor polish, decals, wash, another coat of floor polish and finally weathering.
The floor polish is used undissolved and can be applied either with a brush or an airbrush. Most of the time I use an airbrush in order to have a more even distribution. Attention is needed cleaning the airbrush in order to avoid damage. Therefore I use water and window cleaner.
Regarding the decals, floor polish can be applied directly on them. Floor polish, like any gloss varnishes, eliminates the film and seals the decals properly, thus protecting them from the wear and weathering process. When the floor polish has dried completely, we can move on to the weathering process. We use either oil paints diluted with white spirit, or enamels with the same solvent.
Once we complete the work in our model, we can move on to the final finishing. Here we decide if it will be matt, glossy or satin, which basically depends on what kit we are building. If you want a glossy finish, you can apply another coat of floor polish. If you want a matt or satin finish, you can apply a corresponding coat of varnish, which should be enamel.
I experimented with enamels and acrylics – as long as someone can call acrylics the paints by Gunze. The only change in the technique for the acrylics was to extend the drying time before applying the floor polish. Regarding the results, the F-104G was painted with Humbrol acrylic spray while the Harrier with Gunze colors.
Another use of floor polish is polishing the canopies of aircraft models. I put some floor polish in a bowl and then dive the canopy in it. After that I place canopy on some paper towel to drain.
I’m almost certain that the end result will leave you speechless!
As always, the biggest “enemy” when we apply varnish is dust. This is why, when using floor polish or varnish, the model has to be placed in a covered place, (i.e. box), In order to dry properly with no dust sticking on the still damp finish.
Text, photos: Antonis Galenianos
Translation: George Roumbos