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PE headaches

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  • Member since
    October 2015
  • From: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
PE headaches
Posted by Brian Miller on Sunday, December 12, 2021 6:32 PM

So, I'm building the Tamiya Yamato in 1/700 and I got a lot of PE to improve the look of it. I must say that I have a new respect for people that use this stuff. I can do the basics, cranes, and the larger pieces. But the small stuff? ARRGGG!!! Does anyone out there actually use all the pieces cause my sausage fingers aren't working. And I'm gluing the brass to my finger more often than the model. Any tips would be appriciated. Sorry for the venting post.

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, December 12, 2021 6:44 PM

No problem. We've all been down that road. I only use a little bit of PE if I have to and always have a bottle of acetone based nail polish remover on the bench in plain sight for when/not if I glue my fingers together.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, December 12, 2021 7:02 PM

Sorry,no help here,I don't even try !!!

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, December 13, 2021 7:59 AM

As Jim said...we've all been there. Frustration and PE go together like PB & J! Eats

As far as assembly goes, for the tinier, non-stressed parts, something like Future...or even thinned in white glue...is a much more manageable adhesive than CA. For actually attaching parts...where the extra 'grab' and strength are a good thing...you can make a drop-sized 'puddle' of CA on something like wax paper, then quickly dip the part and attach it. [I use needle-nosed cross-lock tweezers for PE handling, absolutely invaluable.]

For things like ladders and railings, I find thinned white glue the only way to go, since you can brush it on fine and it will flow and 'fill' through capillary action. Then I'll usually go back and hit key points and corners with a tiny drop of CA for strength.

BTW, if you're not using some form of magnification like readers or an Optivisor, it will make the PE experience much less frustrating. Even 'sausage fingers' become much more adept when you can see what they're doing.Big Smile

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 13, 2021 9:28 AM

gregbale
BTW, if you're not using some form of magnification like readers or an Optivisor, it will make the PE experience much less frustrating. Even 'sausage fingers' become much more adept when you can see what they're doing.

Amen to that.  Being able to see what you're doing makes all the difference.

I use a pad of sticky notes for various things at my bench, with CA puddles (medium viscosity) being one of them.  I just dip the parts I need to attach in the puddle, and then I can pull that sticky note off the pad and throw it in the trash before I get a chance to get my fingers or arms into the CA on accident as I'm working.

Bondic UV curing glue also works great for PE, if its a part that can easily be stabilized while getting the light on it.

For PE where extra thin CA is the only viable option, I just make sure to have a couple of tightly wadded wicks made from tearing off corners of paper towels nearby to absorb any excess that runs from the joint.  Also helps to have something flame resistant to drop the wick into if the CA sets it on fire.  Pirate

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Monday, December 13, 2021 12:22 PM

Most eye problems can be fixed.  If you have cataracts get that fixed.  If you have the same focus in both eyes, you can just use cheap reader glasses.  I get mine at a dollar store- one buck apiece.  I bought several pair to work best at different distances.  Closeup work always have a depth of field problem.  Minimize this by using brighter lights, and positionable ones so you can get that light directly at what you are looking at.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Monday, December 13, 2021 4:07 PM

Everything everyone has said is right on target so I do not have much to add but the obvious.

- along with the bright light, when modeling with PE I find having a contrasting solid color (paper or colored paper) beneath the PE makes it better pick up where the part is, and to see the tiny tabs that need trimmed off easier.

- Use a dense / firm cutting board and sharp knife blades to avoid bending the PE while removing it from its carrier. Hobby type cutting boards are easy to find at most hobby shops.

- Change your knife blades often. I buy my Xacto blades in bulk as I can easily go through 10-20 in one sitting with PE. 

- Basic PE tools such as flat nose and pin point tweasers are a must. A metal straight edge rule is also valuable during some bending. Since most hard angle bending is already scoured on the PE at the bend location usually a quality flat edged tweaser can work as the lever to perform the bend accurately.

- For making round arching bends I find that using various diameters of brass, aluminim, and plastic rod spares work well to roll the PE on thus making a uniformed arc.

- take needed and sometimes frequent breaks to relax your stress level, muscles, etc. It makes the assembly and final result more enjoyable.

- if you have an unsteady hand you may want to lay the main assembly on a firm surface and then hold the part with tewasers using both hands for better stability and precision.

- If you do not already have it, I would recommend CA accelerator to cure the bond quicker. You do not need to always use the spray applicator. You can use a toothpick, or small wire to save a small drip of accelerator on its tip and allow it to touch the PE/CA bond to weld it into location. This works good for me when tacking a couple spots with medium CA cement. After initial curing add thin CA to flow across the rest of the contact point to make a stronger bond and cure it with a drop of CA accelerator.

- Thin CA will work as well as white glue to fill in areas not secured with the medium CA cement (even though it is less forgiving). While it may be more difficult to use, it can be bonded with the CA accelerator as well, which reduces the chance a PE part will shift while curing and make that stronger bond.

- Do not assume that all PE has the same qualities. What I mean is some companies manufacture thier PE very thin and fragile (difficult) to work with, while others might be thicker or more robust making it easier to manipulate without destroying the part or assembly. Much like a drummer liking a certian brand and size of stick, the same is for modelers with cement, PE, paints, PE, etc. Over time you will identify what brand(s)  of PE you prefer to work with so if multiple brands are available for your kit then you can choose the PE that works better for you. 

Also, like what was previously said about good lighting, vision correction or magnification, tools, methods, and experience will eventually make the PE use less challenging. Good luck and have at it my friend.

"Everyones the normal until you get to know them" (Unknown)

PROJECTS:

1/350 Tamiya Yamato WIP 

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 11:58 AM

I should probably talked about tweezers too.  Avoid ones with too sharp a tip.  If you even slightly twist the ends, it can launch the part into space.  Instead, broad tips are better.

Some of us have tremours when doing fine finger work.  Reduce the strain on your wrists and arms by having both wrists resting on something, workbench or large block of wood or cardboard box.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 12:24 PM

rocketman2000
I should probably talked about tweezers too. Avoid ones with too sharp a tip. If you even slightly twist the ends, it can launch the part into space. Instead, broad tips are better.

Here's one area where bargain tools are not your friend. Good-quality...read 'fairly expensive'...fine-nosed tweezers should be no problem; I've got my main pair that 10 years on have never slipped or twisted as Don describes.

However...I did 'forget' and get a cheapo pair as a backup...and they did exactly what he dedcribed, hurling tiny parts (at un-trackable angles) right and left at precisely the wrong moment.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 6:26 PM

My primary pair I got from my Father when I was much younger.  He used them for watch repair projects and when I started building boats that needed rigging he gave them to me.  I have various other types and sizes, including cross opening, a couple that are wide opened, and the smaller flat tipped tweezers.  You can never tell when one of them will be needed most.

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: West Virginia, USA
Posted by mfsob on Sunday, December 19, 2021 12:39 PM

Lighting is your friend - what I found saved me is an OttLight with a built-in 4.5-inch magnifier in the center. Yeah, it was expensive, but damn, has it saved my sanity more than a few times ...

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