Friday, July 02, 2010

Sticking plasticard bricks to cardboard

BrickworkBack in the good old days, the cardboard carcases of all the buildings on Melbridge Dock were covered with Slaters Plasticard fixed in place with Dunlop Thixofix. This was an excellent contact adhesive - you simply spread it over the card and plastic, left until the glue had become transparent and then brought the two parts together. Models created over 20 years ago are still as good as new with no sign of the dissimilar materials separating.

You'd have thought that thanks to this success I'd have carried on doing the same thing for ever more, but no. Sadly Thixofix in it's lovely yellow tub has disappeared. Presumably and business model relies on selling customers more than a tub a decade...

Looking for substitutes, Evostick was considered but let's be honest, it smells horrible. Other contact adhesives are doubless available but you really need something without a vicious solvent it it or the glue will eat the plastic.

Anyway, when we built Flockburgh we tried Bostick Solvent-free all purpose glue. It comes in a tube rather than a tub and doesn't really smell. Even if you get it on your hands it wipes off. The glue is squirted all over the card and then spread around using a glue spreader (try the Early Learning centre for these) to give a nice consistent film. Then press the plastic into place, wipe off any excess that has squidged out and allow to dry underneath a heavy wight. Try some old railway modelling magazines, we all have piles of them around.

A few hours later the plasticard can be trimmed to size and windows and doors opened out.

Finally, the best bit - decorate bricking. I find that cutting strips of bricks around 3 or 4 courses high and sticking these in place with cement followed by a wash of Mek-Pak works well. A further layer 1 or 2 courses deep makes things look even prettier. There are plenty of examples out there of more complicated brickery but this simple version seems adequate to adorn buildings and break them up a bit.

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