Sunday 4 May 2014

No more Future

No, I'm not stepping away from my hobby, but if my 2 month absence and the not-so-subtle title of this post made you think that, I have succeeded. I'm an evil person :-).

I've been playing a lot of Diablo (and liking the expansion a lot more than the original game, for those who care), but that doesn't mean I haven't at least thought about my current projects or experimented a little.

On to the subject at hand : Future. I'm sure many of you use it or know someone who does. For some reason, a lot of modellers prefer this product (meant to clean and protect floors) as a clear coat, over specific products from various model brands, like Vallejo or Alclad. I've used Vallejo matt clear with some success, but the gloss simply baffles me. Alclad seemed like a good alternative, but it seems rather harsh on the airbrush, so I only use an old airbrush for this stuff.

Simply EVERY article about scale modelling mentions the use of Future as a gloss coat before decals and to subsequently seal in those decals. Because Future is not sold in Europe, many articles exist around the internet about either where to get it anyway or what alternative to use.

You can buy it in the States for $6 and have it shipped over for another $36. Uhm, no thanks. I found a reseller in Germany that sells small bottles of the stuff, for ridiculous prices, clearly profiting from a whole group of modellers that refuse to use anything else.

Some emails back and forth with the SC Johnson's divisions in Belgium and the Netherlands, convinced me that the product below is the closest thing available : Sols Plus.
An interesting (yet somewhat old) article lists the history of Future and some alternatives : The complete Future. ("Klir" no longer exists and is now "Sols plus")

While supposedly available in Colruyt and Carrefour, I had to go to a Match in Antwerp (not far from work, I'm not driving 2 hours for a €5 floor cleaner!) to find a bottle.

While I haven't had time to test airbrushing it as a clear coat, I have quickly tested it's recommended alternate use for cleaning and protecting transparent parts, like say : canopies and windows. It's supposed to make those parts shinier and more resistant to dust and fingerprints.

I dipped the entire transparent frame for the Revell Chinook in a glass jar with this stuff and slowly pulled it out again. Slowly, because if you do it too fast, you risk leaving droplets behind in corners, which are hard to clean up afterwards.  Leaving it to dry on some absorbent paper, should do the trick of removing any excess. I did it twice, after it had dried, just to be sure.

While the Chinook was on the bench, I proceeded to mask the interior, so I can get the cockpit and the cargo bay done and ready for a first test with airbrushing Future as a gloss coat for decals and/or weathering.


  1. watchout when airbrushing, it is actually thinner than future itself and you may find it's running much easier when airbrush onto the model. also due to this reason you have to account for the gravity, i mean coat only the upside and leave it several minutes to get itself fixed, then rotate repeat and rinse the other sections. otherwise if you coat the entire model in 1 go then during the drying phase no matter how misty the coat, it may "sag" towards the gravity on the sides if you get what i mean. apart from these it's ok. also here in my country the product is called Pronto, wooden surface polish or something like that.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I will keep this in mind when trying it out.
      You may have saved me from a lot of frustration :-)