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Removing model glue from badly constructed buildings

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Removing model glue from badly constructed buildings
Posted by gthomson on Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:34 AM

Sorry if this is a re-post but didn't find anything in search. I like to pick up old buildngs from the flea market shows and then modify them into something else but often they were badly built with a "more glue is better" approach.
What's the best way to remove the excessive glue stains, for lack of a better word?

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:41 AM

If its a glue that welds the plastic, IOW melts it like testors, its not possible to simply remove the glue.  The plastic has been deformed and the only way to smooth it for reassembly is to sand it or file it.  If its smeared on the outside of the building instead of just the seams, the details will be effected obviously.

But painting the entire model conceals these issues pretty well.  As does applying other details like downspouts or signs.

Other glues that merely stick to the surface can be chiseled off.  The amount of force and care you use will determine how much damage is done.

Like you, I like to buy other people's mess ups at train shows.  Usually 5 to 10 bucks for a normally 30 to 40 dollar kit is all it takes.  If I can't salvage enough to rebuild the kit as designed, I can use the walls as add-ons to an existing kit or for general kitbashing fodder.  I sometimes buy the built kit to simply take apart and use the walls for these purposes.

- Douglas

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, November 7, 2019 8:02 AM

Been there done that and gave up.
 
Unless you have a limited time frame how about scratch building?  As I was assembling a Craftsman Laser Cut kit about 7 years ago and just looking at all the cutout sections I decided “I can do this”.
 
Before that I had never considered scratch building, didn’t think I had that in me.
 
It actually was a really good decision, much more fun as well as more satisfying.  All but three plastic structures are gone and the rest are either Craftsman built kits or scratch built.
 
I made a post on my blog of my first scratch built house.
 
  
After the first build each one became much easier.  After a few errors here and there they got much better as well as faster to build.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by gthomson on Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:27 AM

Thanks Douglass and Mel, looks like painting and adding details might be my best route. The glue isn't protruding from the structure to be able to chip or chisel but rather covering parts of the plastic like a stain. See the image below and if you look down at the bottom right on the door you can see it. 
Plan is to turn this into a trolley barn. Not sure what it originally was but I think it's a good start for my purposes.

Mel, I am not at the stage to scratch build yet, maybe down the road. I'm just happy when i can take a basic build like this, re-paint and weather it to add some realism.

https://flic.kr/p/2hGxXru

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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:55 PM

If the model was assembled with super glue, I have read that cold often works - putting the model in the freezer.  Acetone brushhed on joint will often work with super glue.

Sometimes a solvent like acetone brushed on a joint (inside if wall) will work if the model was poorly assembled with tube plastic cement.  

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:10 PM

Within reason I have had success removing solvent based or ACC cement "oops" marks off of styrene surfaces (structures and rolling stock) using the fiberglass scratchbrush that came with a set of 3 scratchbrushes I bought at a train show.  I wrote about it in my Frugal Modeler column in the Midwest Region "Waybill" for Fall 2019 and you can find the issue here:

www.mwr-nmra.org/mwr2016/mwr-images/waybillfiles/waybill2019fall.pdf

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by gthomson on Friday, November 8, 2019 3:49 PM

All great advice, thanks again. 

Dave, those brushes would be handy for many things, great find. I'll keep my eyes open at the train shows!

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, November 8, 2019 5:44 PM

DSchmitt

If the model was assembled with super glue, I have read that cold often works - putting the model in the freezer.  Acetone brushhed on joint will often work with super glue.

Sometimes a solvent like acetone brushed on a joint (inside if wall) will work if the model was poorly assembled with tube plastic cement.  

 

Yes.  When disassembling the sometimes stubborn and poorly aligned walls glued together by others, I put a slice into the inside of the joints with an xacto blade or razor saw, then brush on mineral spirits so it midly attacks the joint at the groove-cut.  Several applications and the joints can be broken apart at the seam after a few minutes.  Of course, care and an eagle eye needs to be used to ensure the seam breaks cleanly along the slice.  If it wanders, then I try to simply cut throught the joint at that spot.

Since its a welding type of glue, each seam ends up a bit rough and must be sanded smooth before being reglued for reassembly.

- Douglas

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, November 8, 2019 5:59 PM

Doughless
Like you, I like to buy other people's mess ups at train shows

I salute you guys, you have way more patience than I do.  There was some better used stuff at the last Timonium show than I usually see, but it wasn't bargin priced. 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Eilif on Monday, November 11, 2019 9:52 AM

As others have said, with solvent glues you've usually got to  sand/file, sometimes fill (though I usually don't bother) and then paint.

NOt a problem for me as I generally paint structures and terrain and such.

If you're lucky enough to find plastic models assembled with superglue, rubber cement or hot glue, a few days bath in purple power (or super clean) will weaken the joints,  then you just pop them out separate the parts and reassemble.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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