Monday, April 10, 2017

Holding it together

Any craftsman or artist is only as good as their tools.  One of the most common tools for anyone playing miniature games is glue.

There are three types of glue you need when modelling - Cyanoacrylates (or super glue), plastic cement and PVA (or plain old white 'Elmers' glue)

I have found a great brand of super-glue that I really like, ThreeBond.  The unfortunate part is that I do not know any retailers that carry it - I only seem to be able to buy it at conventions in the Iron Wind Metals (the company that bought Ral Partha).  They mostly make industrial type glues and sealants, and I really like their thick super glue.  I pick up a big bottle at least once a year at either Origins or Gencon (though I currently have have a second one in my tool box) - it lasts me eight to ten months.

Doing a little googling while writing this, I find it humorous that not only am I supporting an Ohio company (headquartered less than an hour from my home), but their manufacturing plant is actually IN the same city where I live (a whopping 9 minute drive from my house according to Google).
Large (2 oz) gel
They also have an accelerator (often referred to by the brand Zip-Kick) which helps to instantly set the glue (so you don't have to hold it for 30 seconds to a minute).  Be aware, the spray attachment they give you with the bottle is crap - I do not recommend it.  It is inexact, sprays everywhere and makes a mess.  Instead I picked up some cheap plastic pipettes at my FLHS (Friendly Local Hobby Store - if it is only a game store they may not carry them - the place we game also has RC and slot cars), and use these to put a drop of accelerator exactly where I want it.

So in this case, while pinching the legs to the hips with the glue in the socket, a little drop of accelerator on each joint cures the glue and you can let go.  Then glue the legs into the feet.

cheap plastic pipettes
Now I am not perfect (I know, you are shocked).  Sometimes I end up with things not glued where I want them (including my fingers).  So I highly recommend you also get some super-glue remover. Not only will it unstick your fingers,but it can also remove parts etc.  One of the most common uses for me is to remove bases from models ( for example my Ratkin army was originally skaven, all on individual bases.  Well with Kings of War I won't put up with that crap, so I used this to remove the individual bases from all the infantry models, allowing me to then easily multi-base them).
for those oops times
For plastic cement - well at times I wonder if there is any other brand than Testors.  These are the people that make all sorts of plastic model kits - cars, planes, ships - you name it.  I know growing up we all had some of these kits.  This is available at your local hobby shop.  They do make a few varieties (low tox, etc), but the red squeeze tube (that always seems to have a big air bubble in the middle) was what I used as a kid, and still use today.
Like all glues, make sure you use this in a well ventilated area.  I always remember one warm summer day when I was working on an R2D2 flying rocket (by Estes) in my bedroom with the door closed.  I'm not sure how long I was working on it - but suddenly the entire room did a barrel roll on me.  I definitely knew it was past time to take a break and go for a walk!

Finally, PVA glue is used for terrain and applying basing materials (like sand and static grass). Elmer's is the most common brand in the US, but there are lots of store brands and this can be found almost everywhere, including convenience and grocery stores. 

It is water soluble, and I actually keep a bottle of watered down glue by my work table to use for basing.  I apply it with an old brush, and it saves time on thinning it each time.

Because it is all fun and games.

1 comment:

  1. 5 minute Epoxy can be quite handy too. It is best when pinning pieces that don't fit flush. The join isn't as brittle as you would get with super glue.