Gluing Soft Plastic Figures

Converting soft plastic figures often requires gluing arms, legs, or heads to the torso.  Figures may need to be glued to the base.  In order to create additional poses, you may want to swap limbs, heads, or weapons.  Regular model glue usually does not work on these figures.

I recommend that you use gap filling superglue along with fine, stiff wire and N-Heptane to make strong glue joints.  A short pin between the two parts will help strengthen the glue joint. I often use a 1/4 inch pin cut from a metal number 8 guitar string. Because the guitar string is very rigid, you can often avoid having to pre-drill each part. 

A single guitar string will cost about a $1.00 and will provide enough wire for about a hundred figures.  I like to keep a couple on hand for big projects. Guitar string is very hard wire so don't use your sprue cutter to trim it to length.  Use regular wire cutters.  Wear eye protection when cutting wire.

N-Heptane is a solvent used to thin rubber cement. In the USA, you can find N-Heptane in art stores sold under the brand name "Bestine."  The N-Heptane will treat the surface and allow the gap filling superglue to work better.  Be sure to read the label and follow the safety precautions.  It is flammable and you need plenty of ventilation.  A lifetime supply will cost you just $4.00. You can apply it with any old junk paintbrush.

Apply a small amount of N-Heptane to both parts. Press one end of the pin into Part A and then press the other end of the pin in Part B. Then add a tiny drop of gap billing superglue.  It should dry in only seconds.

I used old Airfix WWI American Infantry with British Wolsey helmets from the Hat WWI British Artillery set to create World War Two Philippine Army Infantry.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek


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