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Military figures of all shapes and sizes.
Gluing polythene figures ...
pbennett
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United Kingdom
Joined: October 14, 2007
KitMaker: 262 posts
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 11:10 PM UTC
A question I am sure many have asked over the years ... is there any glue that will bond polythene figures (the type offered in sets produced by Revell, Italeri and Airfix). As a small-scale modeller, I often consider converting certain figures, but can never find a suitable adhesive). I have been told that the molecular structure of polythene (as compared with hard plastic, white metal or resin) prevents any such bonding.
mrblackpublications
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Attica, Greece / Ελλάδα
Joined: February 20, 2017
KitMaker: 54 posts
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 01:54 AM UTC
Hello,
I have tried White Glue with some baking soda or even plaster but not to support a lot of weight. Another solution for big transformation is Epoxy Putty (you must wash the parts thoroughly). For a good adhere of primer and then painting try matt varnish (but maybe cover the details a little) or diluted White Glue. Of course, very good washing is necessary!
To have better bonds we put small pins (needles) after we warm the needles in a candle.

Make your try first in old figures and then go on. I hope that this helped!

All the Best
Stelios
pbennett
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 02:30 AM UTC
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I often attach new heads and limbs using short lengths of fuse wire or dressmaker's pins. What a pity that many of these figure sets are not produced in hard plastic ... that would really make life easier.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 02:53 AM UTC
Cyanoacrylate or super glue and a touch of accelerator. Use the thicker stuff. A dab and then the accelerator.

Epoxy glue works with everything, just slow to work with. You're not changing the molecules but using a separate material to hold stuff together. Like photoetch to plastic. You never weld the molecules but introduce a bonding agent to hold stuff together.

Vinyl cement as used for fixing pool liners.

Some swear by Gorilla Glue. A glue that doesn't weld the molecules but bonds dissimilar surfaces.

Emhar figures glue with regular liquid glue. Some HAT sets are also gluable. Not all soft plastic figures are made from the same stuff. New Airfix 1/32 are from a poly resin that glues readily.

Some of us have piles and piles and piles of the sets and rarely have problems just keep collecting additional skills and techniques.

I have so got to finish that Balaclava diorama with all the Strelets figures.
pbennett
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 04:33 AM UTC
Interesting ... I've never had much luck with super glue (CA), but I will try your suggestions.
GeraldOwens
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Florida, United States
Joined: March 30, 2006
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 05:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A question I am sure many have asked over the years ... is there any glue that will bond polythene figures (the type offered in sets produced by Revell, Italeri and Airfix). As a small-scale modeller, I often consider converting certain figures, but can never find a suitable adhesive). I have been told that the molecular structure of polythene (as compared with hard plastic, white metal or resin) prevents any such bonding.


British model building magazines used to argue over this. Epoxy reinforced with sewing pins seems to have been the winner. Then coat the plastic completely with PVA glue or white glue thinned with water, so paint will adhere (and oil from the plastic doesn't leach out, turning the paint shiny).
jrutman
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 07:37 PM UTC
The problem with some of those figs is they are made with the same type of plastic that the bottles containing super glue are sold in.So of course the super glue won't bond.
It is nice to know that some figs are now produced in different types of plastic. I must have about 5 thousand teeny dudes in boxes.
J
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 04:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The problem with some of those figs is they are made with the same type of plastic that the bottles containing super glue are sold in.So of course the super glue won't bond.
It is nice to know that some figs are now produced in different types of plastic. I must have about 5 thousand teeny dudes in boxes.
J



Dunno sometimes the stupid super glue bonds better to the freaking bottle than it does to anything I try to use it on. And trying to get the lid off after it sitting on the shelf for a week?

If it glues good enough for the plastic bottle to tear apart as fumble fingers me is trying to open it, it'll glue that figure. People who collect and customize action figures use superglue on all kinds of things that don't bond but you make do for display. Many of the figures get handled more roughly than a soft plastic figure on a diorama would, so close enough for government work-- just do the best you can.
Biggles2
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: January 01, 2004
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Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 08:05 PM UTC
Why are the manufacturers still molding their 1/72 figs from "soft plastic"? Won't the molds accept styrene? Is there something really appealing for figures that are impossible to glue, and difficult to paint? (Sure, you could get paint to stick with a good primer, but as soon as you handle the fig, or drop him, the paint wears or chips off )
pbennett
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2018 - 09:24 PM UTC
My sentiments exactly!!

I was once told that the moulds used for hard plastic are different from those used for polythene ... true? I'm not sure.

Of course there are several companies providing excellent figures in white-metal, resin and plastic, but the range of subjects is really quite limited in this scale.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 04:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Why are the manufacturers still molding their 1/72 figs from "soft plastic"? Won't the molds accept styrene? Is there something really appealing for figures that are impossible to glue, and difficult to paint? (Sure, you could get paint to stick with a good primer, but as soon as you handle the fig, or drop him, the paint wears or chips off )



Once painted and sealed just don't touch him. If for wargaming use the stand, if for diorama touch up once mounted and forget abut the blighter.

Just don't touch him. Resist all temptation, just don't touch it-- there now I have to repaint again.

Didn't I say, just don't touch it-- STOP TOUCHING THE FIGURE!

Seal and forget about it and just don't touch it.

Did lots of wargaming as as long as I kept my fingers off the figures I really didn't have a problem once I sealed the figure. Secret? Base coats in enamels.

Enamels stick, acrylics float and flake.

And have a good sense of humor.
Yankasippi
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Mississippi, United States
Joined: April 30, 2015
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Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 - 04:02 AM UTC
Hey Jerry, another good suggestion from the Gentleman Modeler!
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 - 04:43 AM UTC
In answer to the question as to why a lot of these figure sets are made in soft plastic-- I think it has to do with the target audience-- in the old days when the molds were new, these figures were made for the young set, and they would bend rather than break or shatter. Casting in Polyethlene was also cheaper than polystyrene-- as the plastic has a simpler formulation and less chemical "hardeners" are used in the casting process. This is also a reason milk containers are recycled today-- it's easier to return them to a "plastic" state than it is to restore the harder plastics-- it takes less heat. I've tried various types of glues on them in the past, and I agree, two part epoxy seems to work the best, usually reinforced with a bit of brass or copper wire through a pre-drilled hole. What I wonder (I don't feel the need to try it myself) is if anyone has tried to use the acetate based glues that are commonly used in plumbing and sprinkler systems to see if those will work-- anyone?
VR, Russ
Chillidragon
Joined: September 20, 2012
KitMaker: 58 posts
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Posted: Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 05:41 PM UTC
I have tried an acrylic formula on other materials (white metal, IIRC) but found it clumsy and messy to work with.

I'm going to try a combination of CA plus primer (included in the package, said to increase the surface energy of Polythene and Polypropylene) as soon as I have things ready on some Call to Arms figures which I intend to 'surgically re-pose'. I'll try to remember to post my findings.
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: November 19, 2008
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2018 - 10:04 PM UTC
Hi, I think what John is referring to is the primer that you can now get with some ca glue packs to allow ca glue to work with polythene. There's a couple of brands available, but also aimed directly at the modelling community is Deluxe Materials' Tricky Stick. It seems that this is a chemical means of increasing the tack of the polythene itself so that the ca glue actually bonds with it at a micro level (ahem, technically speaking) rather than just forming a bond around the part which is what normally happens.

Needless to say, I haven't actually tried it yet, but I see it recommended on Benno's Figures Forum, and Deluxe are normally pretty decent products, so I will be giving it a go on my newly purchased Revell Japanese Infantry, who are way too tall and need some sections taking out...

https://www.deluxematerials.co.uk/gb/rc-modelling/18-tricky-stick-5060243901255.html
trooper82
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: September 11, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 12:04 PM UTC
Last night I tried a solvent cement called FloPlast which is for plumbing applications and tonight the two soft bases' I experimented on are well and truly stuck together. I didn't even wash the piece's beforehand . I will try a quick convertion and let you know if it bonds small areas as well