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

July 24, 2017

A Fish Out of Water - A Wargamers Impressions of The Chicago World Expo Part 1

Michigan Toy Soldier's own Matt Koltonow takes a look at the World Model Expo 2017 in Chicago

Every year I make an effort to attend at least one historical wargaming show but aside from the big three conventions out east (Fall-in, Cold Wars, Historicon) and a few of the smaller local conventions, I’ve never been to any other shows. When the opportunity came to attend the World Expo int the Chicago Hilton in downtown Chicago this year I jumped at the chance. The World Expo is a figure and painting show that moves around every 3 years. This year is the first time the show has been in the US since 2005.

In this part 1 on this 3 part look at the Chicago World Expo I want to give a general impression of the show and some of my take aways. The show was divided into 4 main areas. There was one main area for the entries and displays. The dealer area was divided into 2 parts and there was a separate room for the armor displays. I’ve seen pictures of some of the entries from the MMSI Chicago show before and the biggest takeaway I had from this show was that pictures don’t come close to doing this kind of event justice. The main exhibitor hall is table after table of some of the most jaw-dropping displays I’ve ever seen. On display is a little of everything with a focus on figures. There were figure kits, wargaming figures, flat figures, monster kits, Gundam models, armor, aircraft and so much else. The level of painting presented at this show was truly incredible. It was an amazing experience and i was almost overwhelmed at both the sheer quantity of displays as well as the level of quality.

In addition to the exhibitor hall, there was a fully stocked vendor hall and various seminars being ran all weekend. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to attend any of these but everyone I spoke to about them said they enjoyed them. I made several trips through the vendor hall where people were selling all kinds of figures (both painted and unpainted) as well as different kinds of supplies, bases, books and artwork.
Vendor Area
Michigan Toy Soldier tables
Scale75 booth which had many painting demos
W Britains tables with beautiful dioramas
Artist Keith Rocco's tables
Reaper Miniatures had a large booth with a make & take area
I really can’t state enough how incredible it was to see all this stuff in person. Simply being at the show made me want to be a better painter. In the last few years I’ve been putting more of an emphasis on quicker techniques and shortcuts to try and get my wargaming figures on the table but seeing the sheer artistry behind a lot of the stuff at this show reminded me how much I love the hobby aspect and really made me want to get back to painting to a display quality and not just wargames standard.

To round off the first part of this show report, here’s a bit of a teaser of some of the incredible painting seen at the show.

July 21, 2017


The Weathering Magazine is a specialized publication designed for modelers of all skill levels and subjects. Each themed issue delivers, the classics to the most advanced painting and weathering techniques and the related products used to achieve incredible results in all aspects modeling. Through detailed “step by step” articles every technique is illustrated with high quality photos and concise descriptions by some of the finest modelers in the world.  Printed on high quality glossy paper, TWM is a collectible resource packed with useful techniques and inspiration.

The Weathering Magazine Issue 20 - Camouflage
The latest issue of The Weathering Magazine is entirely devoted to the critical subject of military camouflage. This is where the painting of all models begins. Within this release, you will see various examples of camouflage patterns used not only on tanks, trains, ships, uniforms, but also on science fiction subjects. We will show you how to create camouflage on a submarine - adding zenithal lightning as well as combining it with multi-layered chipping. We will explore how to paint one of the most difficult and visually interesting patterns, the well-known disc camouflage used by the Germans in 1944. Sharpen your skills and learn how to implement color modulation on a trichromatic camouflage, as expertly shown on the King Tiger model. If someone is still unable to measure their painting skills, we recommend hand-painting camouflage using lacquer paints - something that seems to be doomed to failure, but is possible and gives a very interesting and dynamic range of effects. You will also find two large articles describing the history of camouflage, featuring color profiles with descriptions that can be a great source of inspiration when choosing a camouflage scheme. Finally, for those of you who are fascinated by the art of figure painting, we will show an effective way of painting the German Erbsenmuster uniform pattern, and for winter lovers we have a Stug III in white washable camouflage.

The Weathering Magazine so far:
AMIG-4500 The Weathering Magazine Issue 1 - Rust 
AMIG-4501 The Weathering Magazine Issue 2 - Dust, Dirt And Earth
AMIG-4502 The Weathering Magazine Issue 3 - Chipping
AMIG-4503 The Weathering Magazine Issue 4 - Engines, Fuel And Oil SOLD OUT
AMIG-4504 The Weathering Magazine Issue 5 - Mud SOLD OUT
AMIG-4505 The Weathering Magazine Issue 6 - Kursk plus Vegetation SOLD OUT
AMIG-4506 The Weathering Magazine Issue 7 - Snow & Ice SOLD OUT
AMIG-4507 The Weathering Magazine Issue 8 - Vietnam Issue
AMIG-4508 The Weathering Magazine Issue 9 - K.O and Wrecks 
AMIG-4509 The Weathering Magazine Issue 10 - Water
AMIG-4510 The Weathering Magazine Issue 11 - 1945 
AMIG-4511 The Weathering Magazine Issue 12 - Styles
AMIG-4512 The Weathering Magazine Issue 13 - Desert
AMIG-4513 The Weathering Magazine Issue 14 - Heavy Metal
AMIG-4514 The Weathering Magazine Issue 15 - What if?
AMIG-4515 The Weathering Magazine Issue 16 - Interiors
AMIG-4516 The Weathering Magazine Issue 17 - Washes, Filters And Oils
AMIG-4517 The Weathering Magazine Issue 18 - Real
AMIG-4518 The Weathering Magazine Issue 19 - Pigments 
AMIG-4519 The Weathering Magazine Issue 20 - Camouflage
You can order these product from MTSC HERE

The Weathering Aircraft. This magazine follows the same concept from its big brother The Weathering Magazine but it is 100% focused on aircraft. 68 pages include detailed “step by step” articles on techniques from some of the best modelers in the world.

MTSC SneaK PeeK...Weathering Aircraft no.6 - CamouflageThe sixth issue of The Weathering Aircraft focuses on painting and weathering techniques for aircraft models. The color of the aircraft is certainly one of the main factors when we decide upon our next project. It is for this reason we have selected this subject, and instructed our contributors to work on it, explaining how to paint some of the most attractive camouflage schemes in great detail, which will allow you to build eye-catching and appealing models. Throughout these pages you will learn different techniques, from creating our own masking, to doing a whole camouflage scheme using decals. In addition, we will also see decorations as diverse as the flashy WWI lozenge patterns or today´s sophisticated digital camouflage schemes.
The Weathering Aircraft Magazine so far:
AMIG-5201 Weathering Aircraft no.1 - Panels
AMIG-5202 Weathering Aircraft no.2 - Chipping  
AMIG-5203 Weathering Aircraft no.3 - Engines
AMIG-5204 Weathering Aircraft no.4 - Base Colors
AMIG-5205 Weathering Aircraft no.5 - Metallics
AMIG-5206 Weathering Aircraft no.6 - Camouflage Coming Soon
You can order these product from MTSC HERE

The Weathering Magazine has produced a special edition compilation of some of the best articles featured in the magazine, chosen from the first two years of the magazine. This is available as a FREE PDF Download HERE