by: Mark R. Smith [ ]
This "first look" style review is of crew mate Kenny "Gator" Loup's latest offering, introducing "Gator's Grip Hobby Glue", acrylic polymer adhesive.
I've had the ultimate pleasure of being on the ground floor testing of this new adhesive, and I have put the glue to test in many different applications...brass to brass, plastic to brass, stainless steel to plastic, stainless steel to brass, and even plastic to plastic!
The glue itself very closely resembles the look and consistency of standard white glue, but that's where the similarity ends...yes, you can use white glue for PE attachment to your models, but you have the problem of supporting odd pieces until tack action begins to take place. With this new glue, there's no need, as the glue, just like the motto says, "bites" upon touch, and holds securely. The glue dries transparent, to a smooth, sandable finish.
Unlike Cyanoacrylate adhesives, you do have the capability to reposition with Gator Glue, that is while the glue is still uncured. Once cured, your part is stuck, and stuck quite well! I'm not quite sure of exactly how long the recommended cure time is, but the glue does begin to cure very quickly, and the warmer the air temperature, the faster the process goes...I let the stuff dry overnight before, as I usually would do the same with any other adhesive that I would be using at any time.
Application is easy, I used either an artists paint brush or a toothpick, and found that the thinner that you do apply the glue, the better the instant adhesion...it works equally as well "contact cement" style, coating each part, allowing to cure for a few minutes, then assemble as necessary. Clean up is a breeze, as it is acrylic based glue, until final curing. The glue removes quite well from carpeting, as I did an experiment by spilling some on a carpet swatch, letting it sink in a bit (you know, to make it seem like you are running about the house, looking for something to wipe up the spill!) and then washed the glue up with a bit of warm water and dish soap...after the carpet dried, you couldn't tell that a spill had occurred...try that with Cy!
Just as an experiment, I took a small section of 1/700 scale PE ship railing, standard mount, nothing fancy...I attached this railing to a flat piece of evergreen with some Gator Glue, and let the glue cure over-night (after pulling the railing up and repositioning, just to make the test even more difficult). The next day, I performed a few basic stress tests on the joint, first, took a small alligator (no pun intended) clamp attached to a line, clamped it in the center of the railing, placed the assembly flat on the floor, and did a straight up pull test...lifted the piece 50 times, with no give in the joint.
Next test, a bit more radical...I wanted to test the flexibility of the joint, especially at the point of attachment. So, I placed a small ruler parallel to the glued-on PE railing , and proceeded to fold the railing down flat against the evergreen, so that the ruler was laying flat on top of the entire assembly, thus placing the maximum amount of flex that might be expected in a situation.
I removed the ruler, expecting to see that the PE had broken free of the evergreen, but the PE sprung back up to its original position! So, I tried it again...and again...still, no separation at the glue joint....fantastic flexibility and adhesion!
I made several test assembly pieces up, and using both acrylic paints, as well as solvent based paints of many different manufacturers, and the glue joints passed each test 100%. There were no signs of weakening or degradation of the glue joint at all.
I personally don't think that I'll ever use Cy as my main PE adhesive again, and I can't wait to use the glue on a complete PE dress out on my next ship subject. The glue is offered in 1.5 fluid ounce bottles, sent straight from the swamps of Louisiana, at a small price of $5.00 USD $1.50 shipping, and one bottle should last a long time, mates! Visit Gators website to place an order (and check out the other fine products available from Gators Paint Mask).
Highs: Great adhesion properties, great durability, holding power, and a soap and water clean up!
Lows: The only low of this product is that it will freeze (being an acrylic base) and seperate...just keep it in a warm place!
Verdict: Overall, I think that this new adhesive gives the modeler a new choice, and although not an "instant" adhesive as Cy is, it still has instant adhesive qualities...Highly recommended from this modelers point of view!
Copyright ©2018 text by Mark R. Smith [ ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.
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