April 26, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: More Fun with Tricky Stick by Deluxe Materials Part 2: Tricky Stick vs. Airfix

Tricky Stick vs. Airfix soft plastic figures...
Last time I introduced you to Tricky Stick and how it works on various large scale plastic figures. This time we tried it on some old plastic figures from Airfix.

Ever since Airfix first produced their figures the issue of glue has been a problem. Airfix made their own brand glue, which was your basic polystyrene (model) cement. This worked well for the hard plastic that kits are made out of as it, but on the soft plastic figures it could not penetrate the surface and the bond was very weak. Since some Airfix figure sets, particularly the cavalry, really require gluing this was a big drawback to their product and these old figures defy assembling. Of course we now have an answer to this...Tricky Stick & Super Glue.  

First up I tried gluing a Airfix cavalry figure from the 1960s to the horse and then the horse to the base. A dab of Tricky Stick on each piece. A drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...end of problem. Perfectly mounted and based cavalry!

Next up I hacked up a couple of Airfix foot figures, swaped the torsos, added a dab of Tricky Stick on each piece then a drop of super glue, let cure (dry) for a few hours and...
2 minutes to a completely new figure! 

Hacked up a couple of old Airfix figures.
...and yes, i purposely glued one guy on backwards.

This stuff really works!

Tricky Stick is...a surface primer for polythene and polypropylene plastics (and others) that allows CA glue (a.k.a. cyanoacrylate or super glue) to bond difficult shiny plastics. Tricky increases the versatility of CA as a glue and also improves it's strength. 



  1. If you plan on painting these figures, before doing any gluing, I'd recommend doing what all soft plastic collectors do, is give them a good bath in dish washing soap to remove the mold release. Then make any modifications. That way you don't risk weakening or breaking the bond when you do glue any modifications.

    - Smitty (Lorton, VA)

  2. I got my bottle a few weeks ago and can't recommend this enough! It's what I've been waiting for since my Dad brought home my first Airfix figures from a trip to England in 1965.

    So far I've used it with great success on Hat figures (both their original plastic and the more recent softer kind) as well as Airfix, Zvezda, and Italerai.

    Just be careful of the fumes.