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A method to repair small delicate components on your models. Options · View
Posted: Saturday, February 24, 2018 8:49:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: 10/9/2012
Posts: 483
Location: Ontario, Canada
Receiving a brand new highly detailed model is a joy until you open up the packaging and see some of that fine detail rattling around as loose pieces in the box. You're now faced with the dilemma of return or repair. Because shipping is so costly I prefer to repair whenever possible. Small delicate plastic pieces can be a challenge. Fragile cyanoacrylate glue will likely result in further breakage and a suboptimal repair. Epoxy can give you a more robust repair, but typically becomes brittle over time and still results in a less than confident repair. One solution I've ripped from the dental world is to place a metal core into the broken piece and the base which actually makes it stronger than it was originally.

Firstly use a needle tip to depress the area on the part and the base area where the part came from so you now have two guides for your drill bit which will help it stay true (not slip off and cause further damage) and give you the best chance of having perfectly aligned holes. One trick so that you don't drill right through your part is to measure the depth of the hole you can tolerate and then mark that depth on the bit, once that mark hits the edge of your drilled hole then stop. Easily wipe the mark on your drill bit with rubbing alcohol. Now depending on how small you had to go with your drill bit use either a sewing needle or fine wire and cut a single length that will cross the core from the broken piece to the base piece on the model. To achieve this I insert the rod into both drilled ends one at a time and mark the edge on the side. By adding those two depths I have the length I need to cross both pieces. Test fit dry to ensure everything fits well and practice how you will orient the pieces with your tweezers before gluing (line of sight to make sure it's level and even during final fitting). If your rod piece is too long either trim or gently sand with coarse sandpaper. If your holes did not align perfectly then you have the option of increasing the drilled holes in the broken pieces (least recommended) or coming down in diameter on the rod piece which will now give you some wiggle room to perfectly align the pieces. Once confident it'll work, apply some gel cyanoacrylate which gives you optimal control. You'll have about 20-30 secs of working time to get the part in the right position. Now you can touch up the broken edges with a little enamel model paint and you'll have a piece that is stronger than the original and won't leave you with trepidation it will simply break again.

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