AK Interactive’s Matt Varnish

AK Matt Varnish

AK Interactive have released their 3rd Generation Acrylics, clearly they have been doing the research and work on making new paint formula’s.   Until now I have been using the Army Painter Matt or the Testors Dull coat, however the Dull coat in the last application just was not matt and it also dulled down some of the tone changes on the skin on of the figures I had painted. My Army Painter can is leaking out the contents at the bottom of the can along the seam, apparently this happens.

So I though it was time to get an airbrush applied varnish.   There are loads of these out there, however this was new and shinny and these guys along with Mig, and Ammo by Mig tend to make products for scale modellers so they are aimed at a target audience that we fit right in to.

I went with a local supplier that does scale models and go this delivered next day, and Yes in a Covid-19 time, when Aus Post can’t do next day, some how, couriers out there can do next day.  I digress, at the time of purchase I did not see the Ultra Matt, Nanotanks pointed that our to me later, I am sort of kicking my self.

This varnish does require it to be thinned out, I also go AK interactive thinners which is remarkably like Isopropyl alcohol!.  I may have been stooged here, the other brands don’t require thinning. While I got 100ml of Varnish, I paid $14.50 for the Varnish and 11.95 for the thinner.  I could have had 60ml of Ultra Matt for $10.50.  (In all cases shipping is or was $7.75).  I may have been taken for a ride, but we will see.

The information on the AK site is lacking, or should I say non existent. I am going to be guessing about how thin to make this varnish.



I applied the varnish at 17psi (1.2 bar)

I used my Harder & Steenbeck airbrush and I painted the Ogre Bloodbowl Team. There is still a sheen on the models that I was not expecting.

Running Ogre for Bloodbowl

It is a very low sheen but it is there, not quite mat.

The biggest problem I had was when I was cleaning the airbrush, it gummed up the airbrush when I used water to clean it out.  there could have been a contaminate in the water that caused that, but it has taken me many hours to try to clean. I will have to drop it around to a friend with and ultrasonic bath to clean it, then replace all the seals in the airbrush.


I also have a can of Testors Dull Coat and a can of Army Painter Matt Varnish.

TestorsAK Interactive's Matt Varnish 1

The Results of these two:

Left side Jenner IIcAK Interactive's Matt Varnish 2Running Ogre for Bloodbowl

These three images are:

Testors Dull Coat on the Mech, Army Painter Matt on the Crossbowman, and AK Interactive on the Ogre.

The Testors has lost it’s matt, just not matt at all. Where as the Army Painter is very Matt, however it is affected by weather. That weather is why there are white spots, that is where the varnish has reacted to the humidity of the air.

While the Army Painter Matt is what I was after, I find my self liking more and more the AK over it.  The Army Painter is as a little reliant on perfect weather.  That said I would prefer the mattness of it, with the ease of application of AK.


For $26.45 you are almost better off getting the Army Painter, that retails between $27 to $30.  If you didn’t need both the Matt and Thinner the decision would be the AK Interactive product any day of the week.

While you do have alot of waste with the Spray can’s you do get 400ml and mixing 1:1 Varnish to Thinner you are only getting 200ml of the AK Interactive.  Unless you waste 200ml of the army painter, you are better off getting that. Even if you get a can that ends up leaking, like they have been known to do it is still easier and cheaper. The time needed for cleaning the airbrush and mixing the 1:1 thinners and varnish, again the can of Army Painter is better.

For me I am still looking for an airbrush applied Matt Varnish  so I going to test out the ULTRA-MATT LUCKY VARNISH this is Ammo by Mig at around $10.50 for 60ml it is worth trying, and you don’t have to thin this product down.

For everybody else, stick with the spray can’s of Matt Vanish by Army Painter.

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Floppy has been playing wargames poorly for over 20 years. A founding member of the Monday Knights.

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