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-leveling and dries to a finish that gets more and more shiny 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.

From the Humbrol website, where you can also view a video of the product being used:

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 leveling 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.


  • I’ve been using testors gloss coat for the same purpose but I find it gets a little tacky if I handle the mini with my hands too much. Do you find this the same?

  • No I haven’t found that with this or Johnsons Klear (I am lucky enough still to have 1/3 of a bottle!). The instructions say to leave 30 minutes before each coat but when applying with an airbrush it’s touch dry after about 10 minutes. After two or three coats I’d leave it overnight to fully cure.

    Having said that I don’t normally leave a model glossy for long. After decals and washes I give it a matte coat of Lahmian Medium.

  • I love this stuff- especially the quick dry time. I had been trying out a few gloss varnishes inc’ some artists gear but none come close to this stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.