Glue For Soft Plastics

1/72 polyethylene cannon — Airfix in front, unknown manufacturer behind.

Selleys AllPlasticFix
The soft polyethylene plastics used by Airfix, Revell, and the like for their 1/72 figure ranges are notoriously terrible to glue. Almost nothing will bond with them, and up until relatively recently the only practical method of gluing pieces in that material together was to effectively encapsulate them with PVA or epoxy or the like.

However, a few years ago this product appeared on the market from Selleys: a two-stage primer and glue system which will attach one piece of polyethylene to another (or to other materials) without needing unsightly globs of gunk everywhere.

It comes with a felt pen primer, which is scrubbed over the area to be cemented, and which prepares the surfaces for the second stage, a clear viscous liquid cement. The joint grabs quite quickly — I usually allow about ten seconds, but depending on circumstance it could be anywhere from 2 to 30 seconds.

Once the glue sets, the join is very strong. I've done head-swaps on 1/72 figures using this stuff, and then shaken the figure violently by its head without getting any separation.

It's not amazingly cheap; here in New Zealand I pay about $NZ12 for a pack, but that's not a great deal more than a good quality cyanoacrylate in the same sort of quantity. It does seem to have a fairly limited shelf life once opened, so it would be a good idea to have your gluing project all set up and ready to go en masse, rather than relying on having the glue remain effective a month or two later.

2 comments:

  1. Cheers Peter, try keeping the glue in the fridge once opened, may keep much longer! This definitely works with super glue.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have used a similar product for gluing soft plastic piping to harder plastic piping (PE to PVC) and I believe that the glue part is more or less high grade superglue, and the etching portion is really what is doing the work.

    In any case something that fixes the notoriously soft stuff together is great to have!

    ReplyDelete