Glues for white metal kits

I fancied doing a metal kit for a change and have my eye on one of the SE
Finecast car kits. Could any of you offer some advice as to which adhesives
are best for white metal, please? CA 'superglue' might be too fast curing
if repositioning is necessary. Is 'Araldite' a good alternative and, if so,
is the traditional version better than the rapid? Any advice gratefully
York, UK
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As these kits are largely made of relatively flat pieces, they need careful alignment - especially if you have a separate body and chassis. I use araldite (rapid) for the chassis, and hold the assembly square using a surface plate or a sheet of glass. I usually assemble the body with superglue gel, tacking it together to check that it fits the chassis ok. If it's not right chuck it in a bowl of hot soapy water and it will come apart. When you're happy with the fit, fillet inside the joints with araldite. If you are building any of the older kits, note that the metal is fairly soft, and the suspension will sag under the weight after 6 months or so. You can get around this by fixing a couple of stands under the car - I used 5mm metal threaded PCB standoffs so that I could screw the model down to a base.
Don't be put off - they are a lot of work, but can look terrific when they're finished.
Reply to
Jo Martin
Thanks for that, Jo. Sounds like it'll be a challenge but worth a go. I think I'll try one of the simpler, 1:43 models first, just to get a feel for working in a different material. Do you find that Finecast parts need a lot of cleaning up and/or filing to get a good fit?
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I don't build very many of these myself, but the guys I know that do use a lot of epoxy. That seems to be their adhesive of choice, while they do also use some CA.
Jo Mart>
Reply to
Don Stauffer
I built a white metal loco kit - Vulcan 04
I ended up soldering the main components - with a mains ordinary soldering iron - I was just careful and quick
Reply to
Martin Imber
That's an interesting option, Martin. I think it's possible to get 'low-melt' solder for soft metals but I'm not sure. What size of iron did you use, 25W or bigger? And did you need to make a jig to hold the parts properly for soldering?
You say "I ended up soldering the main components". Was that because you'd had trouble with glues or was there some other reasoning?
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Low melt solder from a model shop, flux as well
25W but I should have bought a temperature controlled iron (again good model shops)
Tape, pegs, plasticene ect.
1) Strength 2) Finish quality 3) Glueing white metal is looked on as wimpish
An etched 05 I am building is mainly soldered with electrical solder, - currently needs a motor.
I like shunters
Mainline 03 RTR (a Bath Road loco) Vulcan 04 Kit (a preserved example) A1 05 Kit (05 001) Lima 08 RTR (a Gloucester loco) Bachmann 08 RTR (not yet renumbered)
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Martin Imber
I thought you weren't a trainspotter?
-- Steve -
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There is a long history of white-metal kits in the model railway world. I have built some, and would always solder for preference: the joint is more solid, and can be filed with impunity.
I use an 8W 12V iron, bought specifically for the task. I use it in series with a 10 Ohm 10 Watt wirewound resistor and a 12V drill speed controller for fine control. May loco-modellers use a speed controller from their layout. The melting-point of white metal (around 150degC) is below that of electrical solder (about 200degC), and with most models you are working with small parts.
The solder is of course different from the soft solder you would use for, say, electrical components. It is a tin-lead-bismuth-cadmium alloy and melts at a temperature lower than white metal (around 75degC), and alloys with the basic metal to form the joint. The joint alloy needs a higher temperature to remelt, so unsoldering must be done with care.
White metal can be soldered to brass, by tinning the brass with normal tin-lead soft solder first.
Reply to
Alan Dicey
Two-minute, two-part epoxy is what I love for white metal 1/43 auto models. Easy to use, it fills a bit (in case by fitting wasn't absolutely perfect). And there's nothing to burn yourself with -- nor stick your fingers together with like CA. Good stuff!
Reply to
Charles Fox

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