The varnish I used on the Crimson Fists has gone slightly cloudy and it now looks (to my eyes at least) poor and inconsistent. I tried to take some photos, but you can't really tell anything is wrong from the photos, so I'm not bothering to post them.
I started painting those guys something like 4 months before I got around to actually finishing them. Even though I certainly didn't 'spend 4 months on them', it's still feels as if they took a long time for nothing. It's very disheartening. And it's worrying; I used the same varnish for Chaplain Sebastian. Is is going to get ruined eventually? Has it already started and I just can't tell yet?
What's more, it's off-putting: I keep hearing people complain about the various matt varnishes they've used. Sprays can go cloudy or 'powdery' if you use them wrong or the temperature or humidity is not suitable, and my own experiments with a range of satin and matt varnishes have mostly failed - in fact I was very happy when this one initially seemed to work because the problem of how to varnish my minis made it feel pointless to paint until I could find the solution.
Typically every matt varnish I've tried before this one goes shiny if you apply it too thickly, and if you apply it over a gloss coat it's hard to tell where you've covered and where you haven't unless you apply it thickly, so I don't know how to ensure that I get an even thin coat. Perhaps if I apply it, wait for it to dry, then go back and get the spot's that I've missed? I don't think that will work. I tried to water one down so I could apply it generously and it would dry to a thin even layer, but that particular varnish was not water soluble so it didn't work. I need to try thinning it again with some acrylic medium or flow improver or something.
So right now I'm back to feeling that there's no point in painting - not if I can't varnish properly. I need to find a solution, but I have so little time and energy and a number of other things that need doing right now. So even though I have several things waiting to be painted and several modeling ideas in my head, I guess it's going to be a while longer.
On a more positive note, I have found it possible to get about a half-hour of programming done on the underground on the way to and from work. On the negative side, since I discovered this my right shoulder has started to ache. A lot. And it's been getting worse.
On a related positive note, I have fixed some old bugs in my engine and cleaned up some rather messy bits, and I'm currently working on an early control system. I have an idea for a much simpler game than the one I described so long ago on this blog, in fact I feel I might actually have a chance of completing this one. If I can get more time to work on it of course. A few friends have even expressed a reluctant acceptance towards the idea of doing some modeling for it, though it's still early for that right now.