I have a problem with varnishing... mainly due to a limited access to quality varnish products, I opted to use a clear gloss enamel paint as a varnish. I have subsequently varnished 4 armies (Tau, Tyranids, Guard and Chaos Marines) in Enamel gloss.
They are shiny.
After basing my most recent army, the Chaosmarines, I was looking at the options. Open discussion and constructive feedback down the club came up with a cunning plan:
Step 1: Continue to use the gloss enamel hardcoat, as it is legendarily hard wearing, never chips and presents the original paint job well.
Step 2: Overspray lightly with a matt finish Army Painter varnish to give a professional finish.
Now I know that its the 'wisdom' that models should be matt or maybe a bit satin, but that gloss is sooo 1993 ... but after doing a couple of tester models - I'm unconvinced.
The colours and details on the gloss models really 'pop'. While photographing can be more tricky, to the natural eye, the lustre and finish of the gloss is much preferable.
But I can still hear the 'snickering' at the back of the class...
So what's your opinion, gloss or matt, dull or shiny ... what's your preferred finish?