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I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.

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  • I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.

    First off...

    Merry Christmas ya'all!!

    Regarding the email "subject", it's been many years since I touched traditional styrene model kits. So in effect, that part of building is quite rusty. My RC boat's are built more for functionality than display, so I don't mind sand scrapes, bent scopes and "whiskey "dings. IOW, detailing is not primary, it's actually 3rd after Survivability and Functionality. They're models I play with, static models are where I like to stretch my detailing craftsmanship. I'm not saying I haven't seen "museum" or 'mantle" quality hit the water and run as flawless as they look, I just don't personally count myself among that elite group.

    Now loookit what the Krampus dropped off !! (For some strange reason, it brings me the gifts.)

    Discovery XD-1

    Anyway, I'm beginning to amass quite a static collection as you can see for my future Sci-Fi "Air,Space and Sea" collection that will be displayed in the Recreation/Shop room.

    Air, Space and Sea Collections

    Two more kits are pending to complete the collection. PAN AM ORION also from 2001, which not only complement the new Discovery XD-1, but the 707 you see there which will display PAN AM colors instead of AF1 (the $5 open box flea market buy had no decals), showing a timeline promised but never happening. Also in the buy que is a 1/144 Scale Saturn V scale matching Discovery. Our greatest achievement, yet greatest dropped ball at the same time.

    Anyway...don't get me started as to what happened politically.

    Dave, specifically for you when you get a free moment, hopefully before 2023.
    Having been out of the styrene world for many years, what do you recommend for best results?

    Adhesives (People still use Testor's Cement?)
    Fillers for joints (I loathed the white Testor's stuff)
    Paint, Primer (I used Tamiya Acrylics in the past, which I loved)
    Tools (Decent Airbrush etc)
    Reference Material (You tube authors you like etc)

    Any model with an interior will (J2, PROTEUS,VOYAGER, SPINDRIFT etc....) will be built without them as they will be suspended "in flight" from the ceiling. The interiors to be used for future shelf mount dioramas. So I plan to light these (aren't modern, lower power LED's wonderful!) and I'm concerned with light bleed through the plastic, so any tips to handle that is welcome. J2 rotating Fusion core itself makes it worth it!!

    Any help would be appreciated because I'm sure this particular hobby has come a long way since I l was last prolific with it in the late '80's.

    Thanks in advance
    "Sub" Ed

    PS If someone know where I can get a model of the "Dove" (From Doppleganger, aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun) that would really crown the collection!
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.

  • #2
    Good to hear from you Ed.

    For those reading over our shoulders, know that Ed goes way, way back to the beginning days of the SubCommitte. My first memory of him was trying to get a DeBoer SEAVIEW working at one of the first SubRegattas -- then held at the Officers Lake, Naval Submarine Base New London (now more correctly known as Groton). It was kicking his ass, if anyone cares.

    So, you want to revisit your youth and take on assembling styrene model kits again. What's wrong with you!

    Here are my recommendations, point, by point:

    First, before I launch into answering your questions, lets look at the basic tools you'll need to assembly that kit, and convert it to r/c operation.

    ADHESIVES A broad category of binding agents that hold parts together either through the introduction of a third-party binder or by fusing the materials of the parts to be joined together. Adhesives work through atomic attraction of the different molecules (the parts and the binding agent) -- it's the close proximity to the surface of the parts that holds them together. Adhesion is not fusion or welding -- there is no cross linking between the parts being joined. Adhesives are the goo that holds other items together. The weld, or fusion bond is achieved through the application of heat or chemicals to break down the solid state at the union between the items being joined, permitting cross-linking of the substrates molecules -- once the items resume room temperature or the dissolving solvent has evaporated the bond is completed. Typically cohesives work slower than adhesives.

    'Tube cement' is a cohesive, the very active hydrocarbon solvents in this paste melts and effects a fusion (weld) bond between the polystyrene model parts being joined. The familiar cyanoacrylate (CA) is a adhesive and finds application also as a filler in some situations. CA's easily break when subjected to shock shear loads (drop a CA'ed together model on the floor and watch the pieces fly!). The cement and brush applied liquid are solvent cements: cohesives.

    Just some of the commercially available adhesives and cohesive I've collected over the years. But, it's just the tube and brush on cohesives and CA adhesives you'll need for those plastic models, Ed. Why is solder pictured above? Because solder is a adhesive, that's why! Think hot-glue gun for metal work. Solder (and most brazing) joining IS NOT WELDING!


    Last edited by He Who Shall Not Be Named; 12-25-2017, 10:41 PM.
    "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"


    • #3
      OK, that takes care of the adhesive and cohesive goo's that holds the stupid plastic parts together.

      FILLERS First off: any 'filler' you get from the hobby store will be crap. They carry stuff that is safe, not good. Squadron Green-Stuff sucks! As does that awful white Tester's crap-in-a-tube they try to sell off as 'filler'. The only air-dry putty you want to use is Nitro-Stan brand ... and to be honest, the 3M air-dry putty is pretty damned good too.

      You can smear a filler on as thick as you want -- the thicker you apply, the more heat it generates, and the quicker it cures to a state where you start working it with file and sandpaper. Air-dry putty takes time to give up its solvents and must only be applied in thin layers.

      Now onto the goo that fills gaps, seams, and -- when applied and worked skillfully -- built up into structures of their own. That's right, boys and girls: Bondo. Food of the God's!

      And other Bondo like automotive fillers.

      I differentiate between 'filler' and 'putty' like this: A filler is typically a two-part thermosetting polyurethane or epoxy resin heavily doped with thickening agents to give the goo substantial body and keep it from sagging by its own weight as it transitions from the liquid to solid state.

      Putty is an air-drying -- typically lacquer based -- goo good for light filling of file marks, narrow seams, rough surfaces.

      Heres the use of fillers to build up structures lost during seam work
      Last edited by He Who Shall Not Be Named; 12-25-2017, 11:49 PM.
      "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"


      • #4
        PAINT There are many chemistries -- broadly characterized as organic and inorganic. Go for the durable, quick curing/drying, chemically stable (once it hardens) stuff, which tends to be hydrocarbons formulated to dry/cure into tough, UV resistant films. Films that either contain fillers (primers), pigments (paint) or neat (clear coat).

        The lacquers air-dry, the polyurethanes are a two-mart mix that heat up and transition from a liquid to a solid through polymerization of the film through an exothermic reaction.

        Surface preparation is vital, even injection formed polystyrene kit parts have a bit of oil on their surfaces, and if this is not scrubbed off with a 'surface prep' then you'll have adhesion problems when you lay down the primer. **** up the primer and everything that goes over it is totally ****ed! Resin and GRP parts are scrubbed clean with an abrasive pad saturated with clean lacquer thinner (acetone, ketone, MEK, and some other nasty but useful dissolving chemicals). Since you are working styrene kits, Ed, it's vital that you DO NOT scrub things down with lacquer thinner or the plastic will turn to goo in your hands!

        I prime in lacquer, but paint and clear-coat using the tough polyurethanes -- DuPont Chroma Color and Chroma Clear. Paint color is matched to your sample at the store. The way I do it is to buy the primary colors, black, white, and the recommended thinners. I color match in-house -- a color wheel is a must for this task.

        Again (now that K&S epoxy paint is long gone), hobby shop paints are to be avoided. Pure crap in a can. And steer clear of most brands of rattle-can paints carried by the box store (though some of the spray primers are quite good) -- most of them employ inorganic chemistry and will bubble up under the strong solvents and vehicle of the recommended organic chemistry paints and clear-coats.

        However, I have had luck with the Krylon brand spray-paints. But, first I decant the stuff and spray it on with my old, trusty Paasche Model-H, single-action spray-brush. Stay away from the over-complicated double-action brushes -- not worth the expense and labor need to keep those little POS' working.

        Your best source for primer, paint, and clear coats (as well as Nitro-Stan air-dry putty, and surface prep) is your local automotive refinishing supply house. The major players are DuPont and Sherwin-Williams. The best primer is DuPont's S131 automotive lacquer primer, but their cheaper Neson brand is acceptable.

        Let me know if you want me to get into any particulars on anything I've brought up, Ed. I have not even touched on 'weathering' mediums, tools and techniques.

        "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"


        • #5
          I'm writing all this down. Its lucky that you don't write very fast because I'm a slow reader.


          • #6
            Great article! Quick, somebody ask him more questions....


            • #7

              Is it ok to heavy pet on a first date?
              ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Boattrainman View Post
                Is it ok to heavy pet on a first date?
                Well .... thanks for ruining my breakfast, pal!
                "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"


                • #9
                  Regarding products names and labels, I find it's very rare they cross the water.

                  For instance, here in the Uk, Evercoat, Bondo, Nitro stan are simply unobtanium. However equally good products are available under the brands of Upol and 3M. Same goes with paint. It is a case of suck it and see.

                  I dare say Australia is different again.
                  DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON!


                  • #10
                    Sorry for the late reply Dave. As always thanks for the excellent guidance!! My biggest concern now is applying the cohesive/adhesive. I always had a heavy hand (know your faults?) Any suggestions for 3rd party applicators like the syringe I saw? Is that useful for two part adhesive? Which applicator for what adhesive/cohesive? Good source for these? I always find myself resisting the urge to "glob it on" and whisper silently "Less is more." I plan to get some $5 cheapo kits to practice on before I tackle a $150 Discovery XD-1.
                    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.


                    • #11
                      BTW Dave, I hope you and Ellie are enjoying that 8" of snow you guys are expecting. DDC shut down and gave us a snow day as Eastern LI is expecting a paltry 14". I'm sure our friends across our northern border are giggling at this, but I'm taking advantage of it to go down to the shop and work on that 3" SubDriver!! To be fair, I can barely see the trees just across the street from the whiteout conditions.
                      NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.


                      • #12
                        I'm not sure you need complex and (sometimes) expensive products, quality is the issue.

                        I've painted all my models including the two below................

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                        .............. with readily available products.................

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                        ...............large areas are done with automotive spray cans, smaller areas with Humbrol enamels, the secret is to use the sprays cans in a warm, clean room and spend 5 minutes shaking the can and always keep it moving and do small light coats (same technique as air-brushing). With the enamels the secret is ultra clean brushes and lots of white spirit or other thinners and again thin coats.

                        The whole is united by an over coat of flat matt Rustoleum, again from a spray can, this unites the blemishes and even brush strokes.

                        Most of the below details are brushed enamels..........

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                        A bit of a wash with dirty thinners and an odd drybrush on the darker items and I'm happy.

                        I think a lot of people are put off modelling by the painting process, but it's not that difficult as long as you don't want complex effects that can only done with an airbrush.

                        ''We're after men, and I wish to God I was with them........!''


                        • #13
                          OK, Ed. I understand that you wish to get good information on the correct adhesives and cohesive to slap that plastic model kit together. As a rule, these kits are manufactured by squirting molten polystyrene into molds. Clean the parts as I described earlier. And sand the joining surfaces to make them more receptive to the bonding process.

                          The hobby industry provides several choices as to the goos required to hold all the parts together. The mechanism of bond being either atomic (adhesive), or fusion (cohesive). Fusion unions are stronger than third-party bonding agents.

                          I don’t care if your plastic model submarine is for static or r/c use – you want the best possible bond between the parts which, over time, will be subject to some handling (and miss-handling) loads. That means a fusion bond between the major structural parts of the kit – usually the hull and sail pieces. All other items can be glued on with an adhesive, cyanoacrylate (CA) being the preferred agent do to its quick bonding action, and use as a filler.

                          Above we see the two types of cohesive used on styrene: A very runny liquid, applied with a brush, pippete, or syringe. But, more commonly with a brush. And the gell-type, dispensed directly from the squeeze tube. The two work by dissolving the plastic through a strong solvent. The liquid works quickly and is good for union gaps of small area. The tube version has a gelling agent that thickens up the goo and also gives it a viscosity that prevents running of the cohesive.

                          The two bottles of CA behind are typical of the packaging that adhesive is despenced with.

                          You get these adhesives and cohesive from the local hobby shop.
                          Application tools for CA is either straight from the bottle (not recommended), or through a wood, plastic, or metal rod. Here you see a typical CA caddy. Two bottles of CA, a tray full of backing soda, and two forms of liquid ‘accelerator’. CA cures through absorbtion of water, and cures quickest when exposed to a base (alkilin) chemistry – which is what the baking soda is used for.

                          Here you see an obvious advantage to using CA adhesive: it not only will hold two or more parts together, it can also – with the application of baking soda – form a filler. I’m repairing an artifact of the molding process by restoring the correct shape of these limber holes atop the Bronco 1/35 Type-23 kit. Some backing tape is applied to the inside of the hole, a small amount of CA placed over the tape where I want to tighten up the hole, and baking soda sprinkled over the goo. The low pH of the baking soda immediately catalyses the CA and at the same time bonds around the selected portions of the hole. The backing tape is removed and the hole refined with appropriate jewelers and riffler files.

                          Another example where the CA-baking soda filler is used on these two control surface operating shaft yoke masters -- basically soldered brass constructs. The set-screw foundations were built up of CA and baking soda. This kind of work goes very quickly.

                          For those areas you want to be strong, you go for the cohesive, and if the contact surface area where you want the weld is large, you go with the thick tube-glue, not the brushed on runny stuff. The gelled tube-glue takes a long time to give up all the solvents at the unions, but what is left is a union nearly as strong in tension, compression, and shear as the rest of the parts.

                          The thin, brushed on cohesive is excellent for parts that must be positioned in place before gluing. The ‘wet’ solvent runs into the tiniest of gaps through capillary action, as you see here, sticking the propeller shaft struts to the hull of this 1/72 GATO class submarine model kit. As the plastic melts it fuses the adjacent plastic and what was once several discrete pieces become one.

                          Just like metal fusion (welding) you want the adjoining areas to be made ready for the process. Before using the thick tube-glue on the hull or other big cross-section parts, you first soften the bonding areas with brushed on solvent cement. Though this will quickly dry and not contribute much to the eventual weld, it will start the process of changing the bond areas from a solid to a semi-solid. That done the thick tube-glue is applied to one parts edge (or flange), and the parts assembled and held together with rubber bands or tape until the bond is reasonably hard.

                          A useful application tool for this type work are small bore, glass pipettes – these permit the quick and high rate transfer of the thin solvent cement to the areas to be treated. Glass syringes are also useful, but only if the seal between plunger and tube is lapped glass, not plastic (old-school).


                          Last edited by He Who Shall Not Be Named; 01-05-2018, 12:43 AM.
                          "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"