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un-gluing old models

3 replies
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  • Member since
    October 2008
Posted by oldcarguy on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 8:14 AM


 One word, Freezer!   O.C.G.

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: The Villages, FL
Posted by Shambles on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 9:13 AM

Thanks, Trevor. I'll give the freezing a try. I've got plenty to practice on.



  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 8:11 AM

I've heard a number of ideas for breaking apart old kits, the most common of which is to put the model in the deep freeze to make the joints more brittle. Some will soak the model in water first to allow water to get into the joints, if it can, so the freezing can further break the joint apart. Some will even put the model in a ziplock bag with a bit of water before putting in the freezer. It is plausible that repeated applications of soaking/freezing may be more effective. Chest freezers are better than the kitchen fridge freezer since they are about 10 degrees colder.

This works better on some model than others, depending on how glue bombed they are and the types of glues used. Some claim that soaking the model in various (hobby) paint strippers helps to free the joint. There is no magic pill for model disassembly, though. There is nothing that can actually disolve cured solvent based model glue without harming the plastic itself, since the joint is technically welded (fused) together.

Hopefully others will chime in with further info and actual success stories. Good luck.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy


  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: The Villages, FL
un-gluing old models
Posted by Shambles on Monday, April 1, 2019 6:34 PM

I'm a long-time model builder who's buying some old built kits to create some obscure, classic NASCAR racers. I've tried different agents for stripping paint, with oven cleaner seeming to work best. But it also strips the chrome. Anyone have advice on how to disolve old glue so I can disassemble these models?


John (


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