Thankfully, we have moved on to liquid based cements for welding together our latest plastic masterpiece. Trouble is, the models have moved on to. No longer is a kit always just pieces of plastic that need to be glued together. We have entered the world of modelling multimedia where metal parts, resin parts and other materials combine to make a more accurate and pleasing kit. Sadly, there is now no single glue that can do it all. Or is there? One of the greatest inventions of the last few decades has been “Super Glue”. Is it always just glue and is it ever ‘Super’? Cyanoacrylate, to give Super Glue it’s Sunday name or CA for short, is one of those miracle products that has lots of uses and even has it’s own folk lore around it. I have read where it was invented to stick gaping wounds together for US Medics in Vietnam. I have also read where it was invented to provide a repair for rubber drive belts. I don’t know if any of this is true but what I do know is that, love them or hate them, we all have CA glue in our sheds. Usually, this is either a branded type or a pack of five bottles for a quid from the local Pound shop. I bet we all have bottles that are now solid superglue and I, for one, have never finished a bottle up, it has always gone off before I get the chance, mainly due to the packaging not being suitable. I have got in front of me now a set of CA glues, yes a set which I will describe in a while, which offer the modeller a variety of CA glues that should fill just about every glueing need. The set I have consists of “Instant - HV”, “Instant - MV”, “Instant - LV”, “Wicking”, “Black” and “Clear”. The sample set also includes “Undo” and a “Kicka-Pen”(sic) The Instants are High, Medium and Low Viscosity. The Wicking is, as the name implies, very thin, almost if not as thin as water. The Black (yes it is actually black, other colours are also available) and the clear are described as impregnated with rubber and ‘give a tough bond with a certain degree of shock resistance and the ability to bridge gaps’. Both of these are High Viscosity. The Undo is a solution that dissolves the CA glues and is very useful for cleaning, ready for re use, of the well thought out “Dosing Tips” The kika-Pen is a felt tip style pen, a bit like a small felt tip marker pen with a sloping chisel tip. The Kika-Pen is a ‘conditioner/activator’ for the CA glue which also cleans and prepares the surface to be joined. Filla Glue also do other glues and products in the range which I do not have for test but consist of “Filla-Powder” This is a mineral based powder that can be applied to gaps and uneven joins and activated by using the Wicking CA to form an instant ‘filler’ that can be built on by repeating the process to fill large gaps or holes and it can be then sanded, drilled and painted. Interestingly for us plastic kit modellers, there is a product in the range called “Filla-Glue - Low Odour” This is available in HV, MV and LV but importantly for us, the low odour bit means that not only do they not smell of much, the do not have the blooming effect that CA glue can have on other parts it does not come into contact with. So, for example, it could be used to attach aircraft canopies without the worry of the fumes damaging the inside of the canopy, always a real problem with liquid cement and conventional CA. They also produce one for wood, a gel based CA and a brush on type. The sample bottles are representative of the full size versions in manufacture and are very well made. The caps covering the nozzle screw on and off and the nozzles are ready for use, no cutting the ends off. The Dosing tips are very fine and slip over the tip of the nozzle for use giving very fine control, most useful for the Low Viscosity (LV) and Wicking types. One of the issues I have had with cheap Superglue is the unreliability of it. While building my Shelby Cobra I used ‘5 bottles for a quid’ stuff that I ended up getting very frustrated with as I was having to hold pieces together for ages to get them to stick, other bottles from the pack had been much quicker. It stuck me to the part very quickly however and was quite frustrating in use and I ended up having to use quite a bit as I was constantly having to give up, clean up and re try. Also, Superglue is notorious for not working where a really good surface to surface contact is achieved. Any irregularity and it just would not stick of give a weak join by sticking in a very small proportion of the joint, the bits that actually touched. The good thing about the Filla-Glue range is that you can build up a collection of differing CAs that will tackle just about any joint be it good or ‘gappy’ as well as just about any material to plastic that you will come across in normal modelling. In effect, you are building up a glue tool box I will be doing some practical tests with these glues so I would be very interested if you have any questions that you would want me to try with these while testing them, I would be only too happy to try and answer them. Results of tests will be in part two.