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Author Topic: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?  (Read 935 times)

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Offline gluebag

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Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
« on: June 19, 2008, 10:02:28 AM »
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  • So, I've tried several different searches and looked through the stickies in the painting/conversions forums, and I haven't found anything specifically about safely disassembling plastic models. That doesn't mean it's not there, but I haven't found it. Most of what I found was about stripping paint or glue on the surface of the model, or ways to take metal models apart that would be too abrasive for plastic.

    My problem is that when I first purchased a lot of my models I glued them together before realizing things like how much of a pain in the neck it is to try and paint Khorne Berzerkers' torsos once their arms and backpacks are glued on. Now I'm desperate for a way to safely take them apart without destroying the details on the models.

    I read in a couple of places that brake fluid might work, but then a link in the conversions forum went to a post saying that someone had tried that with little luck.

    I read about throwing models in the freezer for a couple of hours to let the model and glue contract at different rates and loosen the bond, but I'm not sure if that can be successfully done with plastic models.

    I read a post about Simple Green, but I think it was mostly about removing paint... doesn't seem like it would help me get those Berzerker arms off, but who knows?

    So, I would LOVE for anyone here with personal experience successfully disassembling PLASTIC models to tell me how they did it. If it matters, mine were glued together with locktite and Elmer's super glue.

    Thanks in advance.

    Offline gluebag

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 10:09:59 AM »
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  • Here's the closest thread I found, and it's not promising:
    http://www.40konline.com/index.php?topic=156182.msg1879127#msg1879127

    If all else fails, how on Earth are people prying these things apart with X-acto blades? I keep seeing recommendations for that method, but after tentatively poking around in one of my models last night, I'm pretty convinced I would destroy it if I tried.

    Offline iyar

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 06:39:25 PM »
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  • I dunno....I just kind of brake it...then scrap any glue reassess and its like new.
    From Eldar tactics article about-how to defeat chaos-(by Lanoral)
     "Actually the best strategy for not dying is to not play against Chaos all together."

    Offline ozzfann0666

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 07:16:26 PM »
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  • My method is similar to iyars. This is why plastic is so good: it's flexible, but sturdy.

    Offline small_furry_spider

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 07:31:59 PM »
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  • If plastic glue had been used then there is no way apart from breaking it- plastic glue melts and resets the plastic so there is not glue, just one piece of plastic. As for superglue, some of my plastic models fell apart when I soaked them in Dettol to strip them (I think pinesol is a similar US product). This also did not harm the plastic.
    Breaking works quite well as the join is normally weaker than the surrounding plastic. Don't try it with fragile parts though.

    Offline gluebag

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #5 on: June 20, 2008, 09:52:12 AM »
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  • Thanks for the tips.

    I ended up leaving them in the freezer for a few hours and they popped apart fairly easily, with a few exceptions. Luckily, I think the worst damage I did was snap off a couple of hands, which should be easily repairable.

    The little nub for lining up the backpacks snapped off, remaining in the recessed area of the backpack, on most of them. That shouldn't be an issue, though, because I should be able to line them up where they snapped.

    I hadn't heard about trying Dettol/Pinesol, but I'll have to look into that if I need to do this on more delicate models in the future.


    Offline Todosi

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 06:24:26 PM »
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  • What type of glue did you use?  That will help us with recommendations for you.

    Offline Raven

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    Re: Tips on how to safely unglue plastic models?
    « Reply #7 on: June 23, 2008, 07:08:30 PM »
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  • My reccomendation is to score into the joints with a sharp knife, then snap the model quickly harshly, letting the stress make the break reletively clean.

    I will pre-warn you. If it doesnt work, your limbs and such *WILL* break in horrible places and probably need some hefty repair work.

    But thats the problem with disassembling plastic figures.

     

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