April 19, 2016

MTSC PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Tricky Stick by Deluxe Materials Part 1: Gluing & Converting Plastic Figures

Deluxe Materials Tricky Stick ref. AC17
I recently had the pleasure of meeting John & Vivienne Bristol from the UK's Deluxe Materials while they were traveling the USA and meeting with their distributors. Deluxe has quickly become one of our best selling hobby product lines because of their reputation for innovative, world class modeling products. John was showing me how to use some of the newer products they have when we came across Tricky Stick. When we first received this product I didn't give it much of a look, thinking it was simply a tacky glue and boy was that a mistake. What it is, 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.There are many different uses for Tricky Stick which we will cover in future posts but here we look at using it to glue together parts and converting large scale plastic figures. 

Gluing & Converting Plastic Figures
Large scale toy soldiers are made out of several different types of plastic. The most common, used by companies such as Marx, MPC, Atlantic, Matchbox, Italeri, Armies in Plastic, CTS, TSSD, Paragon, Airfix and countless others, are made from polyethylene or polypropylene. Some plastics like Timpo from the 50s & 60s have chalk blended in for better paint adhesion which causes them to became very brittle over time. What they all have in common is that until now they didn't take to glue very well. Along comes Deluxe Materials and their Tricky Stick.

In short Tricky Stick allows you to use super glue on plastic figures. Until now those of you who like to convert plastic figures had few choices in getting a good strong bond between parts or joints. Goop worked ok and it seems like everyone had their own concoction but these aren't ideal and almost always involved pinning the parts first. With this stuff it's as simple as coating each part with Tricky Stick primer and then using a drop of super glue. It dries pretty quick and stays pliable long enough to position the parts correctly Then for the best results I found allowing the glue to dry overnight created a super strong bond with no pinning involved. It really is that simple.  Below are some of the 1000 & 1 uses for this product. VIEW TO ORDER

Polyethylene is a member of the important family of polyolefin resins. It is the most widely used plastic in the world, being made into products ranging from clear food wrap and shopping bags to detergent bottles and automobile fuel tanks and of course toy soldiers. It has a relatively slippery "low energy surface" that means that many common glues will not form adequate joints. Joining of polypropylene is often done using welding processes.

Polypropylene (PP), also known as polypropene, is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging and labeling, textiles (e.g., ropes, thermal underwear and carpets), stationery, plastic parts and reusable containers. Like Polyethylene it has a relatively slippery "low energy surface" and many common glues will not form adequate joints.

Simple head swaps on TSSD figures

Gluing together parts on Relicants figures

Simple torso swaps on LOD figures


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi, does the super glue need to be applied while the tricky stick coating is wet - or does it need to try-out first?

  3. No you can apply it dry or wet. I just brushed it on both parts and a minute later I used the super glue.

  4. Great -thanks for the clarification! Adding this to my next order.