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Sealing models before or after flocking?

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Are people still doing the glossy and then dull coat method? Or is that just a hipster thing?

Depends. If you are rough on your models, or constantly play on GW's crap Realm of Battle tables, then yeah. Gloss then matte. But if you play on fat mats and whatnot, just a matte coat should do.
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I like to use a special base sealer rather than miniature varnish. Equal parts water and white glue with a splash of matte medium and a drop of dish soap. This sinks into the flock, static grass or whatever else and holds it tight. It's sometimes necessary to distress the surface slightly after its dried to get the right texture. But I think it looks a lot better than shiny flock. 


You do need to take care not to use too much because that will upset the initial adhesive your basing materials are sticking to. The idea is just barely dampen the flock on the surface but not the surface itself. I'd also recommend a bit of testing on something you don't care about to get the right result. 

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