Read any amount of model build articles in books, magazines or online and you will see plenty of references to the use of a product called Future (known as Klear in the UK). This is sold as an acrylic floor finish but at some point in history an enterprising modeller obviously decided to try this stuff as a gloss varnish replacement, achieved good results and spread the word. So, as a protective layer against weathering, aiding decal placement and aeroplane canopy polishing it seems very good indeed. The only problem is its availability – for me at least in the UK. Klear was discontinued years ago – before I had restarted this hobby – and replaced by a product called “Pledge Multi-Surface Wax”. Now this I have tried and it sort of worked for me on test pieces. I found that it needed multiple applications to build up a truly glossy surface suitable for decals. This is acceptable and I suppose that with practice it would work OK. But something held me back from using it on something valuable – perhaps the lack of use by many people, to judge from searching online?
Anyway, why am casting around for alternatives when there are proper modelling varnishes available? Up till now I have mostly used gloss varnish from a rattle can. This does give a brilliantly glossy finish but I was finding that a more than acceptable amount of blemishes (dust and other bits) were being introduced onto the model surface during this stage. This after taking all reasonable precautions against it. In short, I needed a more controlled method for covering the paint job. This obviously means an airbrush, but I found that those varnishes for airbrush (e.g. Vallejo) difficult to control. Even with thinning I found them thick and tending to spray in a lumpy fashion. Obviously there was reason that almost all of the experts use Future!
Luckily, I noticed a few people mentioning an alternative product called Quick Shine, which is readily available to me. Again it is a glossy self-levelling floor finish. I must say that initial use has been very promising. It has the consistency of water with a milky white colour. I can only assume it dries to a transparent finish as the test model was olive drab in colour. It sprays well to give a very glossy surface. It can be brush painted too with no marks visible. Decal application with the use of Micro Set and Micro Sol was fine. Returning the surface to a satin finish with Purity Seal was trouble free too. Subsequent weathering with oils and enamels did not reveal any problems. Unless anything untoward subsequently happens whilst using it this could be my product of choice. For anyone like me, unable to obtain Future, I would say give this a try.