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chuck540z3

1/32 Kitty Hawk F-5E Kicked Up A Notch. Oct 3/19. Finished!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Guys!

 

I have been asked how I use CA glue as a filler in the other forum, especially when panel lines and rivet detail is enhanced or restored.  Although I’ve written tutorials on this subject before, I can’t find them, so here’s a new updated one that I will share here as well.

 

Using CA Glue as a Filler

 

I have been using Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue as a filler for many years and more recently, about 90% of the time over traditional modeling putties. I use CA glue on every single join of my models, to make sure there are no gaps to be found later.   While putty still has its place, CA glue has the following advantages over putty:

 

 

1)  Drying time is quick to immediate, especially if you use an accelerator.

 

2)  Since it dries harder, it sands finer- but sanding must be done within an hour or two of drying.  Left to cure overnight, it will become much harder than the plastic, making sanding difficult.

 

3)  As a glue, it strengthens joins while it fills them.

 

4)  Panel lines can be created or re-scribed over CA glue with a smooth finish, which you can't do with putty.  Again, this should be done within a short time after drying.

 

5)  CA glue doesn’t shrink as it dries, so what you see is what you get after drying.

 

6)  Tell tale flaws can be detected with strong lighting, allowing immediate repair.

 

 

CA Glue Properties.  The first point I stole from the internet, which explains it better than I could.

 

1)  CA glue can only bond with a surface when there is moisture present. This means if the CA glue is placed on a perfectly dry surface, it will not stick to the surface or form a bond.  In contrast, when any amount of moisture is present, the molecules in the glue will react with the moisture to form tight chains in between the two surfaces in contact. This reaction generates heat and occurs instantly, which differs from traditional glue bonding that occurs by evaporation of the base fluid. 

 

2)  Due to the above, thinner glues dry much faster than thicker glues, because more of the surface area to volume of glue is exposed to moisture.  For the same reason, glue in moist air dries quicker than dry air.

 

3)  Over time, thin CA glues get thicker, which is why I only buy thin glues and have a variety of new and older glues on hand resulting in a variety of viscosities.

 

4)  Thin and thick CA glues can be mixed, to create a custom viscosity that you might need for a particular application.

 

5)  CA glues don’t shrink very much, if at all, so only use what you need.

 

 

CA Glue Tools of the Trade.  Although mostly obvious, this is what you need:

 

1)  The right brand and viscosity of CA glue.  I’ve found that not all CA glue works the same and some are better than others.  I’m using Mercury M5 glue right now, because I know how it works and what to expect.  To get the right viscosity, just mix some thin and thicker glues together until you get what you need.  For most applications, I use thin glue only with no mixing.

 

2)  CA glue accelerator.  You often want the glue to dry immediately, so the application of an accelerator will do that, but again, some are better than others.  I used to use an accelerator that worked very quickly, but it also made the glue shrink and shrivel leaving bubble marks and it attacked paint.  The one I use now is much milder to use and does not harm paint if it is removed quickly.

 

3)  CA glue remover, or “Debonder”.  Sometimes the glue doesn’t go where you want it and needs to be removed without sanding.  Great Planes Debonder is the very best there is and it won’t harm the plastic like some other debonders.

 

4)  Applicator Microbrush.  Depending on the application and viscosity of the glue, I use either a very small microbrush (usually white), or the tip of the microbrush with the brush removed.  Bought in bulk, these brushes cost only pennies apiece and I use and throw away dozens of them on every model.

 

5)  Glue container, that is plastic and relatively deep.  Quite by accident I discovered that the cap to a small spray bottle can hold CA glue in a liquid form up to 24 hours.  Glue left on an open flat surface will dry quickly because it is exposed to air moisture, but for some reason glue in this type of container dries very slowly and the glue remains in a liquid form for several hours of glue application.

 

6)  Sandpaper, both #400 and #1000 Tamiya equivalent grits.  I say “Tamiya equivalent” grit, because one brand of #400 sandpaper will often be quite different than another brand of #400 sandpaper, which might be too coarse.

 

Other than the glue accelerator (I’ll find the brand name later), here’s a pic of what I currently use:

 

 

33PgCn.jpg

 

 

The Filling Procedure

 

To fill a seam or join like I’ve done above, the first thing to do is to use Tamiya Extra Thin Cement (TETC) to join the parts together, then ooze a good layer of this cement into the join to swell the plastic and close the gap.  The goal here is to get good adhesion and natural filling without the use of CA glue.  This doesn’t have to be neat along the join at all, but avoid getting any cement in fine detail.  Let this dry for a minimum of 24 hours, or 48 hours if you used a lot of glue.  You want it dry and as hard a possible for sanding.

 

When the TETC has dried properly, sand the join smooth using #400 sandpaper until it is flush, then remove the sanding dust with whatever works the best for you.  I use compressed air, a clean microbrush and sometimes solvent on a rag to get all the dust out of the join.

 

Dipping a microbrush into the CA glue container (not the bottle) and holding the surface horizontal so that the glue won’t drip, apply a thin bead of glue along the seam.  The goal is to totally fill the seam, plus about 10%, to get the top of the glue slightly higher than the surface of the plastic.  Let this dry for a few minutes, then apply glue accelerator with another microbrush along the seam next to the glue itself, but not directly on it.  Tip the parts allowing the accelerator to contact the CA glue and wait about a minute.  The glue will begin to harden on the surface.  When this has happened, apply more accelerator to the glue itself, which should harden completely within seconds.  Wipe off all accelerator with a dry rag.

 

       Note:  Thick CA glues take longer for the accelerator to dry them and they may be dry on the surface, but not internally.  Let thick glues dry much longer before sanding.

 

Again using #400 sandpaper, sand down the seam so that it’s flush.  Ideally, you have CA glue within the seam and not on the plastic on either side.  Using a strong light, check the seam for shiny spots.  These spots are low areas or bubbles where the glue has not been sanded yet.  Depending on the application, either sand down further or using a microbrush tip (without brush), apply a tiny drop of glue to these areas, add accelerator, then sand again.

 

When you are happy that the seam has been filled properly, use #1000 grit sandpaper and smooth the entire seam and surrounding areas to create a super smooth surface.  This takes a lot of time and a lot of sandpaper to get it right.

 

You can now apply or restore panel lines with a scriber and do the same thing for rivets with a needle in a pin vice.  Do it within an hour of applying the CA glue, so that it’s not too hard.  The glue is slightly harder than the plastic, so take care to dig a little bit more within the glue than the plastic to ensure a uniform panel line or rivet.  If you screw up- and you will- apply another drop or two of CA glue and do it all over again.  I have scribed and refilled the same panel line multiple times before I got it right and after some paint, you can’t see any flaws.

 

 

HTH,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Posted (edited)

April 8/19

 

 

I’ve been a bit distracted lately, but I did get a chance to work on the wings.  Like much of the kit parts, they are a bit lumpy, the surface is slightly rough and the rivet detail is shallow and bit wide.  Without adding a dark wash, it’s hard to photograph, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

 

 

b67ZKS.jpg

 

 

After giving the wings the same “Chuck” treatment I’ve given the rest of the model, the detail is much better and smoother.  This will be critical later for a smooth gloss black finish.  Also, rivet patterns were added according to references, top and bottom.

 

 

zuJlOM.jpg

 

 

4uCl6v.jpg

 

 

The bottom of the wings are a lot more complicated.

 

 

f56qxr.jpg

 

 

Here are the key things you should do if you follow my lead. 

1 The outer join does not exist, so it should be filled and sanded smooth, then a nose-like panel line scribed across it as shown.

2 The other join on the LEX is OK and should stay, but be re-scribed.

3 The gear bay walls should be glued securely to the top of the wing, because that’s all that’s holding on to the very weak landing gear legs.

4 If you aren’t using the inner pylons, do not open the holes as shown in the instructions in Step #19, while the outer pylon holes- which are already open- should be filled if you’re not using them.  Rather than just fill them with CA glue, I used styrene rod to create pylon anchor points or plugs with more detail, as found on the real deal.

 

 

B7bBoH.jpg

 

 

And this is all that’s holding the gear legs in place:  Two tiny slots.  Yikes!  While fairly accurate, they are fairly weak.  All the more reason to put them on at the very end of the build, like I usually do anyway.

 

 

pCkNCB.jpg

 

 

RegrxK.jpg

 

 

The wing to fuselage join isn’t horrible, but it’s not plug and play either.  While a chore to fix, this is more common in modeling than it’s not, so no big deal.  Again, a lot of those crooked ghost panel lines should disappear after a coat of paint (fingers crossed).

 

 

Z3b1Gp.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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On 4/12/2019 at 12:58 PM, fishermanivan said:

Can't believe nobody has commented on this, but it looks great.  I wish you'd be doing a CF-5 to complement your Hornet, but this looks amazing.

 

Makes me want to get back into modelling.

 

Thanks everyone for your comments.  While they didn't come for a few days, the reality is that the "Like" feature of this forum let me know that many tipped their hat without the need for a comment, so I was well aware that my efforts were appreciated.  My last post and my next one are not big steps of progress that might motivate comments, but I want to document every single step as a future reference for this relatively new kit.  I'm almost finished with the attachment of the wings, flaps and ailerons, which all have their own challenges, but the end result is well worth it.  Stay tuned- and continue with the Likes if you feel so inclined.  It's all I really need unless you have a question.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, chuck540z3 said:

 

Thanks everyone for your comments.  While they didn't come for a few days, the reality is that the "Like" feature of this forum let me know that many tipped their hat without the need for a comment, so I was well aware that my efforts were appreciated.  My last post and my next one are not big steps of progress that might motivate comments, but I want to document every single step as a future reference for this relatively new kit.  I'm almost finished with the attachment of the wings, flaps and ailerons, which all have their own challenges, but the end result is well worth it.  Stay tuned- and continue with the Likes if you feel so inclined.  It's all I really need unless you have a question.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

 

I'll probably be using this build as a guide to do an F-5 of my own this summer, so I appreciate everything you're doing here Chuck. 

 

Also your username... do you have a Z3?

Edited by fishermanivan

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19 hours ago, fishermanivan said:

 

I'll probably be using this build as a guide to do an F-5 of my own this summer, so I appreciate everything you're doing here Chuck. 

 

Also your username... do you have a Z3?

 

Yes I do!   I have a 1997 BMW 540 and 2002 M Roadster which are ancient now, but still in perfect shape.  My 22 year old 540 has only 170K km on it and the MZ only 45K, because it's really my wife's car and she only drives it on nice days in the summer.  While Z3's are not rare, this particular one is, because it has the 315 HP S54 engine that was used in the M3's during that time period.  Of the roughly 300,000 Z-3s made, only 1,565 were made with this engine, so I'm hoping it will become valuable one day due to how rare it is.

 

When the cars were new, I used to frequent BMW forums to get tips on repairs and modifications, which is where my screen name came from and I've stuck with it ever since.  Here they are on a couple of road trips through pour nearby mountains.

 

RIbS0w.jpg

 

qNWvva.jpg

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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