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Removing superglue


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Are there any products that are good at dissolving superglue but at the same time won’t dissolve plastic and or resin (specifically FW resin)? Or any techniques?

I’m aware of some techniques to remove superglue, like freezing the whole model making the glue more brittle. I was just curious if there was anything else?

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Yep, you want superglue / cyanoacrylate debonder. Looks like you can get it in the UK here:

https://www.toolstation.com/super-glue-de-bonder/p81913

(the reviews on that one are a bit mixed though)

or there's this stuff that a scale modeler I follow uses:

https://www.scalemodelshop.co.uk/glue-remove-vms-p17749/

There are plenty of guides on how to use it, but it mostly comes down to gently swabbing at the excess with a cotton bud.

Full disclosure, I haven't tried either of these, but after a superglue disaster at the weekend and being forced to go at my fingers with a sanding stick, I've been looking into it.  I'm probably going to go with the VMS, on the basis that as it's model specific it's less likely to damage the plastic / resin.

 

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You want a debonder that's safe to use on polystyrene, which is what GW plastic models are made of, or it can melt the surface. The VMS one is; the toolstation one says its safe to use on plastic, but doesn't specify what kinds.

For debonding fingers, you also want a non toxic solvent, which VMS claims it is (though I've not seen the MSDS). I've always found vaseline works well enough to soften it up enough to peel the superglue off. Nail polish remover, i.e. acetone also works, but you want to use at little as you can get away with as it dries out the skin. (and obviously don't use acetone on plastic models!) You *can* use acetone on 3d printed resin - it's an alternative solvent to clean them. Extended exposure i.e. several hours will make it very brittle, but for a few minutes it's fine, so that may be an option with a cottonbud for FW resin.

VMS is the one I'd go for for models, as a less aggressive solvent. No idea how it'll react on FW resin models though alas. - test on an offcut first!

Video of use:

 

Edited by Arkhanist
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I use neat acetone as it will dissolve superglue without effort. However I have not tried it on polystyrene so check on a spare bit of sprue for safety.

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On 7/26/2022 at 9:40 AM, Karhedron said:

I use neat acetone as it will dissolve superglue without effort. However I have not tried it on polystyrene so check on a spare bit of sprue for safety.

Do NOT use acetone on plastic, you will destroy it. I tried stripping models with lacquer thinner containing acetone, heavily watered down with, uh, water, and it reduced the models (fortunately just very badly painted Gaunts) to goo!

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  • Solution
Posted (edited)

The VMS superglue debonder I ordered has arrived, so I tested it out on my AoD Contemptor to correct where I'd got overly enthusiastic adding some bonding studs. The studs were removed with a  scalpel leaving this:  

image.jpeg.58f3c6bb0ee64f17aeddacf66483dbf4.jpeg

It wasn't too bad, but it would have definitely come through any paint over the top of it.

I then applied a couple of quick coats of the debonder and was left with this:

image.jpeg.ded0dc46fe4dbcc361642ebaa1e3a358.jpeg

You can see a marks where a few of them were, but running a scalpel blade or a fingernail over it doesn't catch on anything, so I think it's just discolouration rather than anything else.

On the basis of that (admittedly small) test, I'm really happy with it. As I said, I used a couple of coats, but that may have been because I didn't have anything to hand to scrub it with so I was using a sculpting tool to scrape instead, but it worked really well. I picked mine up here:

https://www.scalemodelshop.co.uk/glue-remove-vms-p17749/

And for £7 I think it's probably an essential addition to a hobby kit.

 

Edit - As far as I can tell, the plastic is fine after - no warping or weakness after use. Let me know if you want me to test it on some resin.

Edited by Spottswoode
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Thanks for that mate, that was exactly what I was looking for.

I’ve just ordered some of the VMS Debonder, I’ll give it a go on some resin gates and see how it effects that once it arrives.

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3 hours ago, Sky Potato said:

Thanks for that mate, that was exactly what I was looking for.

I’ve just ordered some of the VMS Debonder, I’ll give it a go on some resin gates and see how it effects that once it arrives.

No worries, glad I could help. Hope it works out for you, and let me know how it goes on the resin.

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