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Breaking down old glue

Q: I was given a 1/25 scale Sox & Martin "Boss Cuda" JoHan kit. It's unpainted but partially assembled, with that old glue that turned yellow. The chrome valve covers and carbs are glued on, too.

I have two questions:

1) How can I tell how old this kit is?

2) How can I break the old glue down so I can paint the parts?

The kit is in excellent condition otherwise, and I don't want to ruin it.

- Eric Robson
Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Ken:Two good questions, Eric. We at the T&T Workshop know and appreciate the value of research. Being able to find answers to modeling questions adds to our knowledge of the subject, and enhances the feeling of satisfaction when a project is successfully and accurately completed.

With that in mind, to answer your first question: We don't know how old the kit is. But we're going to point you in the right direction to find the answer - which is what research is all about.

One of the best places to go for info about all things plastic is our own Scale Auto Web site at From the home page, check the menu in the left column and click on "Forum," which will open up a whole world of topics that will provide most of the information you'll ever need to know about car modeling.

Post your question on the Forum, and guaranteed, you'll have your answer in a very short time.

Now for question number two: The old glue you're referring to is probably tube glue, which becomes brittle with age. In many cases, placing the model in the freezer will make the glue even more brittle, and typically, most glue joints should pop apart after experiencing the Big Chill. Just be patient and careful, and take your time.

For smaller parts such as carbs and valve covers, you may be able to pry them off by sliding a thin blade, such
as a single-edge razor blade, between the joints and actually cutting the pieces apart.

Warning: Be extra careful when you try to do this, and make sure that you push the blade through the joint while the blade is pointed away from you. Sharp things hurt!

Thanks for the question, Rob.


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