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Subject: Anyone spray their counters? I have a question. rss

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Joshua Speelman
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Wolverine Lake
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I've always sprayed my ASL counters with Krylon Matte finish clear spray. Never had an issue. I'm not much of a wargame player so I was opening my first non-ASL wargame, John Prados' Third Reich, and figured I'd spray them too. Well specifically on the red russian counters there's a "haze" on the edges. Are there certain counters that should not get sprayed? Is there a way to tell what will have a bad reaction or not?
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Jim F
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I've never been brave enough to do it, particularly after seeing the result of varnish going awry on some beautifully painted miniatures (not mine which are of the 'wargame standard' variety).
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I use Testors Dullcote on Combat Commander chits, no problem. Spray the sheets before separating the counters. I have a nasty feeling Dullcote is not available in the USA- certainly it's banned in the EU outside Britain.
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Martin Gallo
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I stopped spraying my counters when I first started to see that haze effect. I never did figure out for sure what caused it but I suspect a change in the spray formula since it seemed to happen suddenly and persisted with every can I tried for a while (testing on empty sprues).

I stopped worrying about it when I stopped playing enough to be an issue. I never thought I would reach a point where I played less than three times a week. So far in 2012 I have played one game! It was somebody elses copy (and I was careful with the counters).
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Barry Kendall
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We can still get Dullcote, though you raise a good point--who knows for how long. I think I'll go out and buy half a dozen cans to be safe.

I use acrylic matte medium from an art supply store. I don't coat most pre-printed counters (Victory Games products are an exception: I fear the ink wearing off, they just don't "feel" like the colors are well-fused) but I coat many DTP countersets.

It's important to apply light coats--at least two--rather than one heavy coat. Too much at once will result in a "dusty" finish.

At a miniatures con I saw a very large well-painted cavalry army--Huns or Mongols or someone like that--and they had a wonderful "dusty" look as though they'd been riding hard for days.

I complimented the owner and he smiled wanly and replied that it was entirely accidental; he'd gone too heavy with the Dullcote application. In that case, it worked, but I'd hate to see this happen to wargame counters.

I haven't coated any AH counters, ever, and they've held up well, but I do know that my first wargame, AH "Waterloo," saw the color start to wear off the counter edges. But that's because I played the heck out of it when it was the only wargame I had.

I can see coating ASL counters--they get a huge amount of handling, stacking, sorting through to find the right variant of this-or-that. I'd be a little concerned about a finishing product adhering to the glossy surface, but then again, if one notices that the counters are getting shiny, I guess that means it's time for another coat.

One other thing to bear in mind: a dull finish is not as smooth as a glossy finish, which can make for better handling but will also pick up and hold more body oils than glossy counters. So in the long run, one might see more counter discoloration from retention of body oil than one would lose by not coating the counter at all.

Stay away from fried snacks while playing!
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Warren Bruhn
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You must be talking about extremely heavy use of games. One friend of mine wore out copies of VG The Civil War and AH Russian Campaign, but I can't imagine wearing out the games I have now. I've got three copies of AH Empires in Arms, two copies of VG The Civil War, and two copies of GMT Paths of Glory, so I will probably be able to play those for another 20 to 25 years at the rate I get to use them. And my VG Pax Britannica won't get enough use to wear it out before something better comes along (did play it twice last year though).

Maybe I should spray Campaign for North Africa? Should be playing that one all the time...
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Peter Pariseau
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Barry Kendall wrote:

It's important to apply light coats--at least two--rather than one heavy coat. Too much at once will result in a "dusty" finish.


This is very good advice. A couple of very light passes are better than one that's too heavy, if you're concerned about a foggy or dusty finish.
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Gabriel Gendron
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I use Krylon Clear Glaze on my print and play games, I also used some on Thunder at Cassino because of the matte counters. Once applied there is no glare whatsoever and it protects from humidity and UV color fading.
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Wargames » Forums » General
Re: Anyone spray their counters? I have a question.
Spray or neuter your counters today!


ninja
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Hi diddle dee dee. Goddamn. The pirate's life for me.
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(Think about what part of the counter you're clipping!)
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Joseph
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Joshua the Gamer wrote:
I've always sprayed my ASL counters with Krylon Matte finish clear spray. Never had an issue. I'm not much of a wargame player so I was opening my first non-ASL wargame, John Prados' Third Reich, and figured I'd spray them too. Well specifically on the red russian counters there's a "haze" on the edges. Are there certain counters that should not get sprayed? Is there a way to tell what will have a bad reaction or not?


Ambient temperature, the amount of pre-shaking, and the age of the can add to the complexities of the job. In no particular order:

1. If the can is more than a couple years old, consider replacing it
2. Shake the can a lot
3. A single light coat is generally good enough. Otherwise, be certain to wait until a coat dries before reapplication.
4. Use long, even, sweeping motions
5. Use in low humidity environments (too cold or too warm will mess things up)
6. 10-12 inches from the surface
7. Clean the nozzle IMMEDIATELY after each use
8. By all means, conduct a test run on something disposable
9. If you're near the end of the can, stop...the mixture can become wierd near the bottom

If the can is spurting or dripping, something is wrong with the nozzle or the mixture — stop immediately.

Hope this helps!
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Jeff Yeackle
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I've only done it a few times after one of my games recommended it (FAB: The Bulge), and have since done it on a few others after that (several of the sea games from L2). I only apply several light coats with the Krylon Matte finish.

I noticed that drying temperature had a big difference. On hot days it was perfect, and on colder ones it was either a bit hazy or mottled. Thankfully not enough to stand out except when scrutinized by a picky bastard like myself. I can imagine if it was a lot colder it might have an even more dramatic effect.

Edit: Falloutfan posted a great list while I was typing this up. To clarify, a hot day here is usually in the mid-70s (yeah, not very hot but warm) while a cold day is in the 40s or 50s. When it spikes to 113 I ain't spraying shit except myself with the garden hose.
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Marshall
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I have had great success with Mod Podge Matte. I get it at Wal-Mart and use it to spray the counters for every game I have.

I use a VERY heavy hand when spraying (no light coats here), and have had no problems with haze or staining. On white counters they always "darken" to the point that starts to scare me but when they dry they are white and perfect again.

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Martin Gallo
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usrlocal wrote:
Anyone spray cards? I'd rather do that than use card protectors. Or is that just crazy talk?
That is just plain old crazy talk!

In the earlier days of dtp games (before sleeves were readily available for anything other than sports cards or cogs) I remember seeing recommendations to spray the cards. Tried it once and HATED the feel. It also made the cards very brittle. There are also 'laminative' coatings for maps and puzzles but I never liked the feel of those either.

Once different sleeve sizes started to appear I stopped worrying about spray/brush/roll on coatings for cards.
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Bill Wood
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Eden
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Kris2476 wrote:
Spray or neuter your counters today!


ninja


How about 'Spray and Clip your counters today!.'


We have no catch phrases with our BGG Wargamer community.

I have rarely sprayed counters, know I experimented with it in High School - now, I do not recall to what games I did it.

two years ago a second hand copy of Victory in the West came my way that has them sprayed with GLOSS COTE....awful - I need to over spray that in Dull Cote.

-----------------

Three years ago I parted with my also second hand copies of SPI's HTTR and and a couple of other SPI monsters. The guy I got those from in the early 80s had sprayed them back in the late 70s.

And then they sat around for years, sometimes in the heat, resulting in the sprayed on material breaking down a bit and 'fusing' counters together.

To get them to come part, I FROZE the counters and then they easily separated with a finger squeeze.
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Geo
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Wash you hands before playing, avoid eating snacks during the game, remove the drinks from the gaming table and your counters will last a long time.

The only counters i ever spray-coated were the ones from VPG which are printed on an inkjet printer and the counters from Up Front which had no coat at all.

I used Talens 680 Protective Spray (non-yellowing, used to protect paintings) with great results until now. But i don't plan to coat any counters which are already factory coated.

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Jay Sheely
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I wish I played enough to have a need to spray my counters!
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Bill Wood
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usrlocal wrote:
Poster child for the cause of counter spraying:




Yep - it is about time to get me another copy of that game.

Kutuzov and Napoleon are ghost like counters now.
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Gordon Watson
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Spraying counters sounds really weird - and that coming from someone who has a long history of counter-clipping.

Surely the risk of ruining the counters by spraying them before you've actually used them is far greater than the chance of you playing the game enough times to make them unusable.
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Martin Gallo
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Once you get the system down it is easy and predictable (until the spray formula changes).
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Alan Kaiser
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usrlocal wrote:
Poster child for the cause of counter spraying:



I think someone needs to stop licking the counters when they play!
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Reinhard Mueller
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alkaiser wrote:

I think someone needs to stop licking the counters when they play!

Is there a spray which prevents counter licking?
Something bitter tasting like it is used to prevent nail biting?
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M@tthijs
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Venlo
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Warren Bruhn wrote:
You must be talking about extremely heavy use of games.
I've played Victory at Midway only a couple of times now and already so counters are fading.
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Cracky McCracken
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Quote:
We can still get Dullcote, though you raise a good point--who knows for how long. I think I'll go out and buy half a dozen cans to be safe.


Dullcote isn't going away, you can get it at hobby stores. But why would you spray cardboard chits with it?
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Rob Ryan
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alkaiser wrote:
usrlocal wrote:
Poster child for the cause of counter spraying:



I think someone needs to stop licking the counters when they play!


Now thats what I call Fog of war...
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