Miniatures Talk

Gluing HaT wagons -how?

Posted by Jesse on 28 Jan 2020, 10:11

I just received HäT:s French bagage wagons, and they are made of the "non-gluable" plastic so many figures are made of. I have several glues but nothing works on the wagons, since the fit of the parts are not perfect either. Any suggestions? Why do they even make kits of this plastic? Insane!
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Jesse  Sweden
 
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Posted by sberry on 28 Jan 2020, 11:08

Superglue plus activator will do the job.
That kind of plastic is a nuisance IMHO, not only because of the gluing problem. I find getting rid of mould lines also quite tedious.
However, when you use the above combination for glueing, it should work pretty well.
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sberry  Germany
 
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Posted by Michael Robert on 28 Jan 2020, 17:53

For me only superglue already works well enough (no activator). Superglue is already shitty not healthy - make sure you aerate well while using it.
Totally agree with Sberry, the soft HAT plastic is a nuisance, doesn't cut properly and mold line cleaning is a nightmare.
Cheers Michael
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by Beano Boy on 28 Jan 2020, 23:31

I remember trying to glue hat wagons together. i gave up and made paper card wagons in the end and stuck the Hat wheels on wooden pegs. Their horses trotted along nicely for a while, but in time they and those wheels rotted away, like most of my Hat figures did. BB
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Posted by Paul on 29 Jan 2020, 19:42

Slightly off Topic..How do you mean "rotted" ? After using glue on them or adding paint or the "plastic rot" type of Thing? Do you refer to the "soft" plastic HäT or the earlier "hard" plastic ones?

Back on Topic. Pattex 100 gel. Takes slighlty longer to dry and harden than other "second glues" but does the Job.
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Paul  China

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Posted by zulu`s 1000`s of em on 29 Jan 2020, 21:50

Super glue and activator work, give the figures a good wash in soapy water first to get rid of any mould release agent still on the figures/wagons. I know of no one who has suffered plastic rot with hat figures, unlike Airfix and Esci that we know go brittle with the passing of time , I suspect Hat and most other modern figures will still be good long after most of us have passed.
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Posted by Jesse on 29 Jan 2020, 22:59

Thanks guys! I will buy the activator +glue and/or Pattex 100 gel, and clean the parts. If successful, they will be in service of either a WSS or GNW army. Or something 17th century :)
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Jesse  Sweden
 
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Posted by angliru001 on 29 Jan 2020, 23:49

From my experience, I'd go with BB on Hat figures also 'rotting'....I've got a few battalions of their 8095 French infantry that have lost muskets, legs, arms and other extremities. Honestly can't see the point in this soft plastic.
Haven't really noticed it with older hard plastic.
angliru001  Australia
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 30 Jan 2020, 05:31

Image

Bought in 2007

Image

Off topic Paul, but since you asked the question plainly i will endeavour to answer it.

Above bought in 2005. i could not get glue or super glue to stick any parts while trying to construct any of the wagons i bought... Later
After painting...
The soft Chinese rubber wheels of the HAT Wagons became fragile to the touch due to rubber fatigue.
Well it ain`t plastic.

Image

Bought in 2005, these were and still are made in this rather soft material.

i used enamel paint on my HAT figures above and in 15 years since painting a dozen boxes i've incurred at least a loss of 80% of my toy soldiers shown above due to rubber fatigue. These were all stored in plastic storage boxes completely in the dark.

Many in the hobby world wide have experienced this rather starchy problem.
AIRFIX production in its early days and even now suffer still from the same problem...
Rubber and Starch!

Now a days I only buy the hard 28mm plastic items produced by HAT. BB
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Posted by C M Dodson on 30 Jan 2020, 06:59

Hi,

I also have seen most of my ‘soft plastic’ Hat figures disintegrate.

I wrote to HAT and they asked for samples.

That was a few years ago and I have heard nothing since.

The figures are really useful, but the plastic used is rubbish.

A not very happy bunny.

Chris
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Posted by Jesse on 30 Jan 2020, 09:23

If i can't get the hät wagons in order, do you have any alternatives? Any resin or white metal baggage wagons in 1/72 out there? Stuff suitable for 17 and 18 century.
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Jesse  Sweden
 
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Posted by Graeme on 30 Jan 2020, 13:51

I use the two part 'All Plastics' glue with the super glue and the activator pen for everything and I think it works pretty well.

I'm not sure which plastic you mean when you say the "non-gluable" plastic. Complaints I hear about HaT plastic are usually about the rubbery stuff (not my favourite thing) but that is specifically designed to be paintable and easily glued. It's supposed to be able to be glued with ordinary modelling polystyrene cement but I haven't tried that because I always just use the 2 part All Plastics.

I haven't experienced any plastic rot with HaT figures. If we're talking about the rubbery plastic the only issue I've had is that it sometimes won't play nicely with enamel paint. I painted a Celtic chariot with Humbrol wood coloured paint and it took three months for the paint to dry (no exaggeration). An officer in the ANZAC Heavy Weapons set painted in khaki was still tacky after a couple of weeks. It occurred to me that maybe the solvents in enamel paints were drawing some chemical out of the new plastic which was keeping the paint in solution so I decided that any time I was painting figures in HaT's rubbery plastic I would switch to acrylic paints.

A couple of guys on the old HaT forum had similar experiences with enamels. When we asked about it on the forum HaT's simple response was "Use acrylic paints". Seems the plastic was formulated to be paintable with the acrylic paints most folks are using these days and they are probably the best thing to use on it.

If I'm right in thinking the solvents in enamel paints are drawing chemicals out of the plastic, that can't be good for the structure of the plastic so I wonder if that's the reason BB's figures became so brittle; I'd be interested to know which paints Chris used on his. I'm the least diligent painter in the world so I can tell you that the HaT rubbery figures I haven't got round to painting yet are still as rubbery as ever.

The only time I've had parts break off HaT figures was not with the new rubbery plastic but with some of the older ones. Sets like the Roman Command and the Napoleonic Dutch infantry were in a plastic so stiff that parts like swords and Optio's plumes and bayonets were brittle and sometimes snapped off in the box. I've had the same problem with other brands, e.g. Zvezdas excellent French Artillery.

I'm not a fan of HaT's rubbery plastic, I'm one of the few people that voted against it when they asked for comment but I have to say that HaT used it because it's what their customers asked for. It should be noted that when the tide turned, and complaints about the plastic started to outweigh the praises haT changed their plastic again. The Zulu and Landwehr figures were released in a different plastic which I quite like; it's still formulated to be paintable but it's flexible without being rubbery and it cuts much cleaner and without furring.
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by Michael Robert on 30 Jan 2020, 17:21

Hello,

this talk about plastic rot teases me to contribute my few coins. Actually, I work most of my life in the plastic, resin and paint business.
Most of the plastics used can rather easily be identified:
Old Airfix is old type low density polyethylene. At the time it was not very pure and little stabilized which explains the ageing observed. When it ages (due to heat and sunlight/ UV light) it becomes brittle.
Since then many other plastics have been used.
Most recent producers still use types of low density polyethylene (LDPE) - most notoriously Streletz. Todays' compounds are purer and better stabilized than old compounds. They have a good chance to survive a long time but remain sensitive to UV light (painting helps).
Zvesda has used polypropylene which is much harder than polyethylene. Then, there are many different types of polyethylene mostly characterized by their density which kind of correlates with its hardness - ESCI probably used these.
Generally, polyolefines (PP and LDPE) do not glue well. You need to use an activator to achieve real strong bonds. Recently, there appear specifically developed glues which activate on their own (I have no experience with these).
Hard plastics used in model kits are usually made from polystyrene (PS) which glues easily with solvent glue (actually you can simply use a solvent like toluene). Be aware that toluene is the major constituent of most commercial model kit glues and it is not healthy stuff. You should vent well when using it.

HAT has tested some entirely different resins. The big set French infantry is actually made from plasticzed polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This stuff - exactly as suggested by Graeme - will leak plasticizer (low molecular oils to soften th compound) when given the chance to do so. Painting with oil compatible paint (Humbrol) will result in never drying paint. Also, the figure will become hard and fragile when the plasticizer is lost.
The "rubbery stuff" is another compound which is actually not so easy to analyze without a lab. However, it must be said that it is not real rubber because the figures are manufactured by injection molding. To my mind it appears to be polyolefin copolymers additionally softened with plasticizer. This explains their very soft nature, the sudden brittleness when the plasticizer is lost and also the "easy glue and easy paint" nature which is due to comonomers (polar parts in the polymer) linking well with paint or glue, much unlike pure polyolefines.
Well, I hope my writing is comprehensible to people not in the field.
Cheers

Michael
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by C M Dodson on 30 Jan 2020, 17:37

Hi Michael.

I am not a chemist but you have explained my problem wonderfully.

The long wait for my French to dry out etc.

Why HAT have not rectified this is beyond belief, but then again HAT is on occasion beyond belief!

A change of paints would seem to be in order for these guys in particular.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by Paul on 30 Jan 2020, 17:41

Thank you Michael. That has to be the most definitive write up on the different types of Plastics used in the Hobby I have read. :yeah: :yeah: :yeah:
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Paul  China

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Posted by Paul on 30 Jan 2020, 17:48

Jesse wrote:If i can't get the hät wagons in order, do you have any alternatives? Any resin or white metal baggage wagons in 1/72 out there? Stuff suitable for 17 and 18 century.

Anything suitable here?
https://www.schilling-figuren.de/produk ... rankreich/
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Posted by Jesse on 30 Jan 2020, 18:38

With "non-gluable" plastic I mean those that need an activator :) The wagons I bought are the recent reissues, and tvey seem to have a different plastic than earlier Hät. More like later Esci.
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Jesse  Sweden
 
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Posted by lobo on 01 Feb 2020, 09:27

michel, thank you very much for the explanation.
Jesse, I have the same wagons from Hat, and I have to face the same problem¡
Antonio.
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Posted by MABO on 02 Feb 2020, 09:05

Two things:

At first, thanks Michael for your paper about plastics.
And then: I have painted and glued the HäT wagons and never had any problems. I used acrylics and some kind of superglue as well. But until today am content with these sets. :eh:
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Posted by Beano Boy on 02 Feb 2020, 11:42

Image

The HAT wheels upon my paper card wagon....
the screwed up paper canvas top...
and the easily broken wheel.
It all makes for fun.

Glue has improved upon the market place in 15 years since the HAT,
wagons rolled out upon the toy soldier scene. BB
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