CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES: 101 – Customizer Product Reviews – “Bob Smith Industries Adhesives”
By Rob Panick


This week on Custom Action Figures: 101’s Customizing Product Reviews, we have a review of some awesome adhesives from Bob Smith Industries (BSI). The best adhesives for use in customizing action figures are cyanoacrylate adhesives (CA). Many people use “Super Glue” or “Crazy Glue”, but there are many better choices on the market that have specific qualities for each application. BSI has a wide range of just such CA glues. They have adhesives with different curing times, various viscosities, gap filling adhesives, rubberized adhesives, quick set epoxies… you can really dial in your specific needs with BSI’s adhesive varieties.

BSI’s HISTORY (From bsi-inc.com)
“BSI’s owner Bob Smith started competing in Radio Control Formula 1 Pylon Racing in 1968. In 1970, at the age of 17, Bob became the youngest pilot ever to win the U.S. Nationals. He went on to win the National Point Championship three times. In 1971 Bob started his own company, P.B. Products (later named Bob Smith R/C Aircraft) producing radio control airplane kits. With a U.S. Patent for a wing molding process mixed with Bob’s skills in fiberglass craftsmanship, he produced the first ever all fiberglass airplane, the T2-A, and was ahead of his time designing the “almost ready to fly” Seabreeze. After 12 years of manufacturing fiberglass kits, Bob came up with the idea of marketing custom labeled adhesives in the Hobby Industry. Starting with just 20 dealers and 3 types of epoxies, BSI now manufactures a full line of epoxy and cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesives for hobby and industrial use, with over 1800 dealers worldwide. In addition to the highest quality standard high performance surface insensitive CAs, BSI has a full line of flexible and rubber toughened CA along with both thin and gap-filling formulations of odorless foam safe CA and foam safe accelerator. BSI’s adhesives match or surpass the performance of the adhesive products from the billion dollar corporations in addition to being available locally at a fraction of the cost.”

(Product descriptions & pictures from http://www.bsi-inc.com)


Insta-Cure™ has a water-thin viscosity that wicks deep into joints by capillary action and cures in a matter of a few seconds. Surfaces to be bonded must be tight fitting and should be held together while you apply the CA around the edges of the seam. At the moment CAs cure, they give off a vapor that can irritate the nose and eyes, so be prepared. Thin CAs work very well on balsa since they penetrate into the wood and form more than just a surface bond.


Insta-Cure+™ is a higher viscosity CA for loose fitting joints in which the adhesive must bridge gaps. Normally, the thicker CA is applied to one surface and then the parts are held tightly together for about 5 to 15 seconds. For large surface areas, including those with close fitting joints such as laminations, INSTA-CURE+ ™ should also be used. To prevent premature curing, don’t spread the glue into a thin film. Lay down a serpentine bead with about 1″ separations on one surface, then assemble the parts, letting the pressure spread the CA out.


Maxi-Cure™ extra thick CA is the best CA for most plastics, including GE’s Lexan MAXI-CURE™ is the best choice for plastic model assembly. When used with INSTA-SET™, it works better than any putty for modifying or filling voids. It can be carved with a knife or razor blade and sanded and feathered to form a finish indistinguishable from plastic. MAXI-CURE™ bonds fiberglass, hardwood, metal and rubber better than any other hobby adhesive. For gluing to the inside, cloth textured surface of fiberglass, scrape the area to be bonded with a razor blade or coarse sandpaper before using MAXI-CURE™ or any other adhesive. It also is best for bonding the tires for R/C cars.
MAXI-CURE™ has proven to be very popular in the archery business for the fletching of vanes onto aluminum and carbon arrow shafts. Along with being the strongest, MAXI-CURE™ is usually the least expensive option for this application.
IC-2000™ is a rubber-toughened cyanoacrylate that forms superior shock resistant bonds on non-porous surfaces. The black colored CA has added flexibility for the bonding of metals, fiberglass, rubber, carbon-fiber and other advanced materials. For model use, IC-2000™ is ideal for the bonding of bulkheads, formers and servo rails to the inside of fiberglass hulls and fuselages. Setup time is 20-40 seconds, which can be accelerated with INSTA-SET™. When cured, IC-2000™ is pliable enough to be carved with a hobby knife. IC-2000™ is the best adhesive for R/C car tires.
IC-2000™ has found many uses in industrial applications, such as rubber to rubber bonding by Beechcraft, carbon composite bonding by Boeing, rubber door seals by Volkswagen, speaker and subwoofer assembly in the audio industry and many others that need the most durable, shock resistant fast bonding adhesive that is available.


SUPER-GOLD™ and SUPER-GOLD+™ are our odorless INSTA-CURE CAs They are non-frosting and take only 2 or 3 seconds longer to bond. There are no fumes that irritate the nose and eyes. The SUPER-GOLD™’s do not attack white foam; therefore, they can be used in the building of foam core wings and the assembly and repair of plastic and foam ARF’s. They will not fog clear plastic. SUPER-GOLD+™ is ideal for attaching clear canopies in plastic model kits; however, MAXI-CURE™ is still recommended for assembling the rest of plastic kits. Wood can be bonded to white foam with SUPER-GOLD +™ in less than fifteen seconds. For bonding foam to foam, spray a very light fog of INSTA-SET™ to one piece and apply SUPER-GOLD+™ to the other before joining. Excess INSTA-SET™ may create too much heat, which can melt the foam. Both SUPER-GOLD™’s cure to a more flexible consistency for better shock absorbtion. Whenever a large amount of CA is to be used in such applications as saturating fiberglass or Kevlar, SUPER-GOLD™ eliminates the irritating fumes from the evaporating monomer that make repeated use of CA unpleasant at times.


INSTA-SET™ is a catalyst which acts as an accelerator that allows CAs to quickly cure in thick layers by enhancing the alkaline conditions during polymerization. INSTA-SET™ in a spray bottle is normally used to cure the CA that flows from joints when parts are pressed together. Applying an additional bead of thick CA along a seam and then curing it with INSTA-SET™ significantly enhances a joint’s strength. For difficult to bond materials, INSTA-SET™ can be applied to one surface and CA to the opposite surface. When brought together, they will bond instantly. INSTA-SET™ is formulated with a strawberry scent and activates CA in 6 to 8 seconds without any degrading of the CAs strength, which can occur with many other accelerators. It is compatible with all surfaces, even clear plastic and white foam.


UN-CURE™ debonder will soften cured CA. If parts are bonded incorrectly or your fingers are stuck together, a few drops of UN-CURE™ will dissolve the CA in about a minute. Apply on bonded skin and roll apart fingers. Once stuck, use acetone to clean off softened CA, then wash off with soap and water. Since cured CA is essentially acrylic plastic, anything that will dissolve CA will also soften most plastics. Care must be used, therefore, when using Un-Cure on plastics. Separating plastics parts with a razor saw is usually the best option.


QUIK-CURE™ 5 min. epoxy cures to a slightly flexible consistency. This lack of brittleness allows it to form a lasting bond in areas subjected to high vibration or stress. QUIK-CURE™ shouldn’t be used in areas that are subject to long-term immersion in water; however, it works fine for the internal structure of wood framed boats. QUIKCURE™ is our only epoxy on which you can apply polyester resins. It can be mixed with microballoons to form a quick setting putty. Items bonded with QUIK-CURE™ can be handled after 15 minutes. Full strength is reached in 1 hour.

To find BSI adhesives at a hobby shop near you, visit http://www.bsi-inc.com/hobby/hdealer.html

adhesives chart

You can find lots of great tips and tricks for using adhesives at:

Website: http://www.bsi-inc.com
Like BSI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Bob-Smith-Industries-489926914425620
Email: info@bsi-inc.com

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