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Does Testors Tube glue ever go Bad?

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I just attempted to put together a 1/48 Hobbyboss F-111 together with a tube and seemingly,the parts are brittle and can be pulled apart easily.

Is there an expiration date that I dont know about?



Edited by Rt4957
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Depending on the vintage of the cement and the seal of the cap, it may have vented-off enough of a volatile component to cause issues.

Historically speaking, though, I've found the joins created by tube glue became brittle over time, which is why use some form of liquid weld.

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I have just the opposite problem---Testors red tube lasts forever unopened but liquids (including but not limited to Testors) lead to parts coming apart.

A Heller Connie hit a concrete floor from over 6 feet. Good news is there were only two cracks as a result. Better news is that they were in the sides and all seams held without fail.

A lot depends on how much you use. I prefer the ooze out approach so seams need little or no fill, except where that much would damage detail too much.

I've used unopened tubes some indefinite time after purchase and bought very dusty "new" tubes and had no problem.

All that being said, when near the end they deteriorate fast if left to sit---probably the vent-off mentioned above. There's almost always air in the tubes after first opening, even rolling them up so venting into that air space is assured.

One other thing---a nice even coating is essential. Skill is needed in laying it down and spreading it so the ooverage is even, thick enough, not too thick, and goes right to the edge of a seam. Thin spots tend to not "weld" and leave gaps which are weak points allowing further separation.

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Phil, et al

I doubt it is the age of the glue. When tube glue ages it usually gets very thick and stiff and difficult to get out of the tube. More likely it is just a normal property of tube glue.

Tube cement is just liquid plastic cement with clear plastic pellets dissolved in it to give it viscosity. It only exists because in the infancy of plastic models, most model cu8stomers (such as myself, for instance) were used to wood models, either solid wood or stick and paper, which were assembled with very viscous tube glues. We were reluctant to purchase and use a bottle of glue (which could, especially in the hands of an enthusiastic 10 year old kid) turn a plastic model into a fingerprint card! So Testors and others (Revell at one point had two types of cement: Type S for styrene plastic and Type A for acetate plastic) came up with the viscous tube glue as described for plastics, which were more acceptable to customers as well as being easier to control, and we still have them today.

It is a poor means of assembling a kit because when the solvent outgasses what you are left with is a thin layer of plastic between the parts, which may be quite different in its properties from the kit plastic. It is the plastic modeling equivalent of soldering, as opposed to liquid cements, which dissolve and fuse the surfaces of the parts to which it is applied, the equivalent of a weld. Tube glue is useful for attaching some parts where structural integrity is not an issue, and for young modelers, but not, in my opinion, for assembling the major parts of kits by adult modelers. (I do use it as a seam filler sometimes, though)

There is an exception to the rule: Faller of Germany has two formulations of a very thin tube cement: Expert and Super Expert. Super Expert is new to me, and I have not used it, but the Expert I used extensively when I lived in Germany and I liked it a lot.




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habu2 has an interesting insight.

I don't have much problem with NOT washing parts (pause for cries of derision and anguish---oh, I heard that: someone say you WHAT!!!!!).

Anyway, I wash parts that don't need much work done.

Being a fan of East Europe short runs (and Mach 2), I don't have a high percentage of experience with "not need much work".

By the time I'm ready to glue many kits, the sanding dust, wiping, etc. makes the part really dry with no evidence of release agent.

Those kits actually don't have much if any problem with bonding.

Yet the easy to build kits sometimes have odd lengths of no-bond where I had applied Testors red.

habu2 is on to something there that I had never thought of.

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What do you guys use tube glue for? I think the last tube I bought cost me about 19c, and Richard Nixon was president...

Mainly for things where I need some time to make adjustments (landing gear, wheels, doors, antennae, or other parts where alignment is a little tricky).

And since I'm so used to using it, I often reach for it even for larger parts too.

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I rarely do NOT use it. Maybe it's 'cause I've learned how and am used to it (with little success using liquids).

Big parts, little parts, tiny parts.

Small parts: when that little bit comes out of the tip, stick the end of the part in it---apply the part to the glue.

Also, counting to 30 really helps and the old adage of apply to both parts sometimes is ideal---can't really say when, just experience at when it helps.

The "experts" who say the bonds weaken are quoted a lot, never named, never show an example, and never say what they did in the first place.

Find an old kit that needs disassembly and learn fast about that.

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