Modelling

Fun with Tricky Stick: Gluing & Converting Plastic Figures

Posted by MichToySoldier on 09 Jun 2016, 18:27

I recently had the pleasure of meeting John & Vivienne Bristol from the UK's Deluxe Materials while they were traveling the USA and meeting with their distributors. Deluxe has quickly become one of our best selling hobby product lines because of their reputation for innovative, world class modeling products. John was showing me how to use some of the newer products they have when we came across Tricky Stick. When we first received this product I didn't give it much of a look, thinking it was simply a tacky glue and boy was that a mistake. What it is, is a surface primer for polythene and polypropylene plastics (and others) that allows CA glue (a.k.a. cyanoacrylate or super glue) to bond difficult shiny plastics. Tricky increases the versatility of CA as a glue and also improves it's strength.

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Tricky Stick vs. Soft plastic figures (in this case Airfix)
Ever since Airfix first produced their figures the issue of glue has been a problem. Airfix made their own brand glue, which was your basic polystyrene (model) cement. This worked well for the hard plastic that kits are made out of as it, but on the soft plastic figures it could not penetrate the surface and the bond was very weak. Since some Airfix figure sets, particularly the cavalry, really require gluing this was a big drawback to their product and these old figures defy assembling. Of course we now have an answer to this...Tricky Stick & Super Glue.

First up I tried gluing a Airfix cavalry figure from the 1960s to the horse and then the horse to the base. A dab of Tricky Stick on each piece. A drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...end of problem. Perfectly mounted and based cavalry!
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Next up I hacked up a couple of Airfix foot figures, swaped the torsos, added a dab of Tricky Stick on each piece then a drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...
2 minutes to a completely new figure
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Michael Smith wrote on our Blog….
I got my bottle a few weeks ago and can't recommend this enough! It's what I've been waiting for since my Dad brought home my first Airfix figures from a trip to England in 1965. So far I've used it with great success on Hat figures (both their original plastic and the more recent softer kind) as well as Airfix, Zvezda, and Italeri. Just be careful of the fumes.


This stuff really works!
you can read my articles on Tricky Stick here:
http://michtoy-from-the-front.blogspot. ... h?q=tricky
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Posted by davbenbak1 on 10 Jun 2016, 15:19

Thanks for the review. Will come in handy as I assemble the latest HAT figures. I'll get a bottle next time I order from your site.
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Posted by Xantippos on 12 Jun 2016, 06:32

Surprising indeed, does it smell very bad? they are like solvent, or stronger?

About the action itself, does it kind of melt the plastic, turning it into something rough, or it is simply a sort of very sticky substance? or simply it makes a layer that superglue bonds to it?
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Posted by stenfalk on 12 Jun 2016, 10:24

Thanks for this valuable hint. I always need good glue and adhesive helper. I´ve ever wanted, it is to buy in Germany also... :-D
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Posted by MichToySoldier on 15 Jun 2016, 16:02

It smells like it has some acetone in it but it is not overpowering. It makes a layer that super glue bonds to.
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Posted by Paul on 15 Jun 2016, 19:17

But surely this stuff has been around for a while now ? The car industry for example, with the same properties ..ie; priming PA 12 / PE / PETP / PI / POM / PP / PTFE / MVQ / TPE etc for glueing with superglues ( Cyanacrylate) and in a lot of cases.. cheaper. I can get a 100ml of plastic primer for the Price the above is being sold for.
Another case of the model industry discovering and repacking what´s available elsewhere and slapping a higher pricetag on it ?
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 15 Jun 2016, 19:25

I understand Paul's concern, but I am still strongly considering buying some of the Tricky Stick. I love making conversions and this stuff seems to be formulated specifically for that.
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Posted by Paul on 15 Jun 2016, 19:34

Bluefalchion wrote:I understand Paul's concern, but I am still strongly considering buying some of the Tricky Stick. I love making conversions and this stuff seems to be formulated specifically for that.

What concern would that be?
The modelling Scene has been using similar glue since 2014 at least..based on the glues used in the car industry etc
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 16 Jun 2016, 06:10

The concern is overpaying for a hobby material cleverly packaged and marketed that could be found much cheaper from other sources. I am not going to fret over it, though.
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Posted by Kekso on 17 Jun 2016, 08:45

I agree... Among modelers here in Croatia putty for cars (Impa brand) is very popular. It is excellent and for around 5€ you can get almost lifetime supply of it.
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Posted by Beano Boy on 21 Jun 2016, 15:48

Plumbers use glue which they brush into place onto the inside of plastic pipes i guess one could used that,as long as you don`t glob the darn stuff all over your figure melting it in the process. BB
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Posted by Paul on 21 Jun 2016, 17:30

Bluefalchion wrote:The concern is overpaying for a hobby material cleverly packaged and marketed that could be found much cheaper from other sources. .

Not a concern..an Observation of fact
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 21 Jun 2016, 18:34

Paul--

Perhaps my use of the word 'concern' was inapt. How about 'objection?' I will get some and post the results.
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Posted by Paul on 21 Jun 2016, 20:47

Objection ..?? Would suggest I´m against the idea..?
Concern..?? Would suggest I´m worried about it ?
Neither of the above. I´m not against the glue per se and I don´t worry about something that isn´t new. It was an Observation that the product has been around a while now and in it´s usage in industrie, cheaper to obtain. ;-)
I´d be interested to see the production and or R&D facilities of the sellers of the paraphernalia connected to the Hobby, Particually the paints and glues.
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 22 Jun 2016, 02:48

Paul--

Presumably, it would be:

1) Buy a large container of auto-part glue treatment;

2) Pour it into tiny bottles with the company logo;

3) Price it at 5x cost and voila!
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Posted by Paul on 22 Jun 2016, 16:31

Bluefalchion wrote:Paul--

Presumably, it would be:

1) Buy a large container of auto-part glue treatment;

2) Pour it into tiny bottles with the company logo;

3) Price it at 5x cost and voila!

:lol:
Funnily, I found a source yesterday...at the amount divided by Price, it came out at roughly 0.5 US Cents (0.4 € Cents) per ml, so roughly €0.20 or $ 0.25 per 50ml. Ok, the bottles and Labels would cost a few Cents per unit more, but I reckon a tiny Profit may be possible . Printing press anyone??

Also, After reading a 1999 medical Report on cyanates and primers (interest in the health/enviroment risks etc and what else is there to do when the crickets playing on the radio) I found another source. Medical primer (polymer based primer) for superglues. Price around $15-16 per 50ml but this stuff sticks just about everything to everything else and permanently. If I remember correctly, it´s made by Scotch 3M and they´ve got a bucket load of different cyanates and primers for sticking everything to anything else, (using different primers with different glues..they´ve even got one that they reckon sticks all Plastics to other Plastics without a primer) and they sell in industrial quantities. Took a bit of digging about on the web but they were one of the sources for the above 0.4/0.5 Cents per ml.
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Posted by steve_pickstock on 27 Jun 2016, 07:01

Locktite have had a product like this - also aimed at the craft/hobby market for about ten years maybe more. I suppose the difference is the size of the bottle.
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