Monday, 7 May 2018

The Importance of Being Shiny

One of the things I have re discovered whilst engaged in my "Shinyloo" project is how much nicer certain figures look in a shiny gloss varnish. The colours stand out and the contrasts are sharper.  Now I do not think shinyness is a universal constant but more a fashion choice. Like choosing Yves Saint Laurent over Chanel or Janet Raeger over Rigby and Peller. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not.and in each case the choice it usually an individual one.

Shiny AWI - all 30mm Stadden figures
More shiny AWWI- again Stadden.

 For instance  my WW1, WW2 and Modern collections are all matt varnished . Indeed overall- although I like the shiny dudes by far the majority of my collections are matt finish.

This lot of 15mm irregualrs simply would not look right all shiny 

and you can't be shiny whilst carrying on up the Khyber. 

 As a general- and oft- broken rule  it is older figures that look better shiny I think  but equally period comes into it too. I can't imagine my NW frontier blokes being shiny.

Yet I could not conceive of these  shiny dudes being matt.. 

Yet having laid down that "rule" my ECW collections break it have both shiny and matt armies for that period.
 None of my 40mm collections are shiny so possibly it is a retro thing .
 Ah well  Not to worry after all shiny is as shiny does- except when it doesn't//////


  1. The varnish is as much a part of the look as the sculpting and painting style. I've also used Satin on figures and find it gives a bit of a highkight with out being too shiny.

  2. Andy, I have come round to shiny figures again as I have got older, a kind of retro or nostalgia thing possibly. I also find 'satin' a good happy medium, just enough shine to bring out the contrast and highlights. I'll keep the 40mm's matt though :)

    1. None of my 40mm are shiny with the very small exception of the Victorian style toy soldiers. Shiny is reserved as you say for the "retro" style.

  3. My Warrior Napoleonics and Minifigs Franco Prussian are shiny: it goes with the old school feel (and Airfix model railway buildings). My Cold War stuff and Blue Moon ACW are Matt - it just suits them better. For 10mm Satin works a treat, regardless of period.

    1. Yes the idea of shiny tanks really does not compute!