Humbrol Clear Gloss – What, How, Why

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humbrol clear gloss
Humbrol’s Gloss Clear is an often overlooked material for model making but it’s an incredibly useful and is far more than just a clear finish.

You could be mistaken in believing that Humbrol’s Gloss Varnish is just for adding a shine to models but it’s far more.

It protects paintwork with a clear finish but can also be used to improve the look of clear plastic for windows and allows recessed and detail areas to be cleaned without damage (watch the video below for more). And don’t worry about the gloss finish, this can easily be changed to a matt finish if you prefer.

Rather than reinvent what’s already been said, here’s a review and summary of it from Luther at the Mighty Brush.

“Here it is – the answer to all hobbyist’s prayers! Well, maybe not all hobbyists, but those who are familiar with the old Johnson’s Klear floor polish will know how useful a substance that was for our hobby and what a gap was left when it was replaced with a completely different and much less useful formula. There has been a lack of thin, clear gloss varnish for a number of years but now, finally, Humbrol have stepped up to fill that gap.

The way the product is described on the Humbrol website makes it sound identical to the old Johnson’s Klear in terms of usage and result – and the good news is it’s true.

It’s thin and clear, can be applied undiluted with either brush or airbrush, is self-levelling and dries to a finish that gets more and shinier the more coats you apply.

The main uses are as a gloss varnish if you want a shiny finish to a model or part of a model, as a protective layer for the painted surface prior to using shading washes, as a preparation layer for applying decals, or as a dip to make clear parts such as aircraft canopies more realistic.

This Humbrol video demonstrates some of the uses and how its appliedL

A thin clear varnish that goes on clear and stays clear. Humbrol Clear drys to a low gloss finish, a higher gloss finish can be achieved by applying further thin coats.


A water-soluble, self-levelling gloss medium that can be prepare painted surfaces for decals, as a gloss varnish and to improve the appearance of clear parts.


Humbrol Enamel and Acrylic Paints.


Apply thinly with a brush or airbrush. To achieve a high gloss finish, apply additional coats.

Drying Time

Surface dry in 30 minutes. Recoat once dry.

How to Clean


Humbrol Gloss Clear is available in a 125ml bottle from Humbrol directly or from their stockists.”

Words reproduced by kind permission of The Mighty Brush.

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