July 25, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Julian Conde "flexes" his modeling skills with a review of VMS 5K Flexy CA

After seeing the videos of this new cyano glue on Michtoy’s website I got very excited to get a sample for testing. You see, CA glues are a important part of our hobby. Sometimes you need extreme holding force on a minimal contact point, and only Cyano glues can achieve that, forget other types of glues that “melts” and fuses plastic parts together, they don’t work on resin, photo-etched (PE) and metal parts. So this is where we must trust our work to a CA glue.


I don’t want to compare this product with other CA glues I use, first because my CA glues are all in use for some time and maybe are not top of their game for a fair comparison. I have great CA glues from Deluxe Materials and BSI (Bob Smith Industries) which has the best and most complete line of CA and Epoxy glues I know of. They have several sizes, and curing time (read as different viscosity), applicators and all the accessories you can think of. Love BSI. But they dry out very quickly, just tossed a brand new one in the trash this week without opening. Sad. The second issue to not compare (already did, right?) is that this product seems to have a viscosity just right to balance with being a little flexiblity and not to crack and become brittle under pressure. Let’s see…

I will make 3 tests. One with PE part, the second with PE on Plastic, and third plastic on plastic. Got some spare parts PE box to fold using my beloved Small Shop Hold & Fold to glue in a box format.


After a quick bend to shape, I use my Glue Looper from Creative Dynamic to apply the VMS 5k Flexy CA...

I started gluing the inside walls, since it’s a closed box, we can work without worries on visible glue marks . With this kind of PE part we swant to make a strong joint, so if you have a place to apply more glue, do it. I sand the whole PE fret with a fine sanding file, so we get some surface resistance for the CA to grab on. You can sand it part by part or just sand the whole fret at once.


The first thing I noticed is the VMS CA has medium viscosity, so it wont flow around the part as liquid, or with capilarity action. It was easy to apply with the Looper or any similar tool. I like this medium viscosity the most, if it’s too thin it’s a danger to mess up the work, but needed sometimes to flow down a unreacheable area. Maybe VMS will work on a different viscosity in the near future. Or maybe the secret to a flexible joint is this kind of viscosity?

The part was secured in place with a little amount of glue and in about 15 seconds is was solid. I then got to glue the top lid of the box, that was not fully bent due to limited space of the other side walls. So some counter-force will be in place to glue this part.


As mentioned before, inside the box we don’t have to worry about messy application. we want maximum contact points. After a few seconds (around 30) the part was fixed in place.

The outside looks clean and free from excess glue, even after pressure.


I then wanted to glue the two small PE tabs on a plastic strip. minimum contact point here :

Went to fold in place to make it flush with the plastic strip. Applied very little glue to secure it in place, you see no excess glue so far...


Now, delicate as a thunder, I punctured the PE box with a tweezer, to simulate a bullet hole or puncture damage in combat. It was a ninja-type strike. The box held in place amazingly well, the picture below shows the whole PE box being held in the air by the tweezer. I could not make it stand as the weight would tip the whole thing over, but you get the idea..


Removed the tweezers and the box is still in shape...


Glued the box on its side now to have a larger contact point with the plastic strip to test pressure and bending of the joint...


You can see the whole strip is being lifted by the force applied. The VMS Glue held it until breaking point (after considerable pressure) and it did not crack. There was solid removal of all the CA applied on the contact surface. Great for errors and second chances, not taking time to remove all of the remaining glue to try again...


This was easy to clean with a knife and tweezers...


As we can see, the glue is only present on the plastic part, the PE box was clean and without residue for a second try...


I then removed the whole area to try again. This is what a flexible bond should be. Not brittle and even surface of contact. This makes a secure bond between parts, and we have less chance of knocking off a PE part of the kit by accident, which I’ve done before when weathering...


I then removed the glue from the PE box and got it straight again. We got some white fumes on the inside, so be careful with inside cockpits and cabins application, you could get white fumes on canopies and transparencies, let alone painted areas. This needs a open area to let the fumes evaporate...


We see no leftovers of glue after quick removal with a sharp blade...


Now to some plastic on plastic test. Glued two strips of plastic together, waited a minute and started to bend with pressure...


...after these photos, I held the plastic parts with both hands and tried to pull the apart in opposite direction, with maximum force. It did not come apart. I could not show this since my two hands were busy. Amazing stuff!...


Had to to separate the parts with a sharp blade. You can see the jointed area remains in one piece. It levels itself to make a solid one piece bond. Flexible for sure. Note that the plastic beneath the glue
remains intact...


Now for a final test I glued my Tamiya Tweezer on the plastic strip. waited 30 seconds and this is the result...


It stands upright with minimum contact to the glued area after 30 seconds. Sometimes with other CA Glues I have a lot of work trying to make a simple plastic part stand straight. Not anymore!


And it came off the plastic strip only after removing the paint from the metal tweezer...


Conclusion :
All Cyano glues are strong. But the way it makes the bond to the surfaces and how flexible it is, that’s the difference. I am very happy with the VMS Flexy Glue. It gave me the flexibility I wanted for a CA glue, with a strong hold, and little mess. It’s easy to try again by cleaning the previous attempt, as it does not damage plastic nor cracks when you try to removed it. It comes off like a masking fluid, and that is the flexibility at work! Now we will wait and see how long is the shelf life and durability of the glue is, hopefully it won’t dry out quickly.
Keep an eye out for VMS products, they are amazing!
Julian Conde 2017

3 comments:

  1. This was a very informative and rigorous product review, much better than most reviews seen on the web or in print.

    The glue's performance seems very impressive. I've had a bottle for a while but haven't got round to using it yet, because I want to use up older stock first. I generally dislike CA glue, partly because of the tendency to dry out quickly which you mention, which makes it very wasteful (I've also had to dispose of completely unused bottles, as well as many with very little use), so if the VMS product isn't subject to this, it will be an enormous asset. I hope you'll provided an update on how well it lasts.

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    1. Thank you Andrew. I really like VMS products. They are well made, well packaged and we can see the result in use. This became my primary CA for use, so far so good. Will post any news good or bad. Best wishes !

      Julian

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