Tool Tips – The Sticky Stick

Tool Tips – The Sticky Stick

I’ve been on a bit of an assembly craze lately. When the weather gets nicer, my Wife thinks it’s a perfect time for a vacation. I on the other hand immediately think “I should get some miniatures primed!”. Being in the midst of the Apocalypse, my hobby manages to win this time. But I needed to snip, trim, glue, clean,  *before* I can prime minis. This hobby sure sounds like fun, huh?!

In the midst of glueing, I came across the age old problem.


Pic 2: The Damned Witch Blade Thumb Bit

How to get those damned teeny tiny bits glued onto the mini!



Umm, nope. Learned long ago, that doesn’t work. IF I don’t drop it, chances are at best I will glue my fingers to the mini before gluing the bit in place.



I stumbled upon these locking tweezers at some point. Problem solved!

Nope. Though they can be handy on some pieces and the spring lock is great for holding things in place…most of these tiny bits are odd rounded shapes. As you can surmise, rounded pieces do not hold well in flat tipped metal tweezers. Often I would finally get the bit gripped in the tweezers, lift it up and SPRING!, the bit goes flying across the room into the carpet somewhere, NEVER to be seen again. 😦



My next goto was Sticky Tac (or whatever you want to call it). I have tons of it around, since I use it hold minis in place while painting. So why not use that to pick up a part and glue it in place?! Done!

Nope. Although Sticky Tac will usually stick better than tweezers…I find you have to apply some gentle pressure to the bit in order to get it to glue most of the time. With Sticky Tac, applying pressure just pushes the bit farther into the sticky tac, and soon you have sticky tac touching the mini and glue.

SO…(finally) the other day, I have those horribly tiny pieces to glue and my little brain is wondering “How do I hold something small but still apply pressure?”. At first I thought about putting something inside the Sticky Tac to make it more firm and while I was looking around my desk for stuff, I saw a Cuticle stick (yea, my Wife asked how come I have these and why do I need so many!). Oh, the hobby!



Enter The Sticky Stick!


With a little Sticky Tac on the the flatter side of the cuticle stick, you get an object that should hold the smallest of bits in place long enough to glue and allow you to apply some pressure.

Is it perfect? Nah, not really. But I’ve had more success with this method than others so far.  Sometimes the sticky tack gives way as I’m applying a bit and it lops over. One time I had too much sticky tac on, and it touched the mini/glue. Sticky tac doesn’t really mix well with glue though, so it’s usually easy to separate the two.

I also tried, tweezers and sticky tac afterwards, but found it didn’t work as well.


Springing bits isn’t as much of a factor, but the bit would slide back into the tweezers if I had to apply pressure. And then you end up getting glue on the tweezers, which isn’t a great thing.

Oh yea, I’ve tried alligator clips in the past too. Same problem as the tweezers. Browsing online, it looks like there are rubber tipped tweezers out there, which might be a better bet. Or perhaps a little rubber cement applied to the tip of some tweezers?

Back to Glue


Sometimes when joining a mini you get seams that show up. In this case it’s in the trousers.

Now I’ve heard that you could apply a thin bead of glue to the outside and it will weld the plastic and/or get rid of the seam. As usual, I was a bit skeptical.

But I found that it does appear to work pretty well. Modellers everywhere “Duh!”.


After applying some Revell Contact Glue over the seam of one mini, I couldn’t even see the seam on the shoulder pad pictured above. A pretty apparent gap was completely gone. Same for most of the trousers. Though I didn’t find that sometimes the glue just leaves a thin layer of glue over the top of the mini. Sealing the gap underneath, which is fine. But hopefully won’t show up when I go to prime/paint alter. I did apply the Revell after I had already glued the parts together using Bob Smith’s glue (and let it dry). So that might be a factor in the thin glue layer showing up.

One note, the Revell Contact Glue has strong fumes. I’m not too crazy about that part, and much prefer the Bob Smith glue for most of my gluing.

Do you have a favorite glue to use? Or a secret mystical solution for getting those little bitty parts glued on? Would love to hear it!

Ciao for now!

8 thoughts on “Tool Tips – The Sticky Stick

  1. Good thinking on the sticky stick, I might have to try that one out for myself. Personally I’ve always found that gluing down the fiddly part before cutting it off the sprue works wonders. It sounds counter-intuitive but rather than cutting the little component off the sprue and instantly loosing it (or having to struggle with the fiddly little bastard and getting yourself covered in glue along the way)instead leave the little bit on the sprue (or if that doesn’t allow you the correct angle to attach it to the model cut away a big lump of sprue with it). Then glue the whole thing in place sprue and all and once it’s firmly set snip away the remaining sprue and give it a very gentle tidy. Doesn’t work in every case of course but its saved me from a fair few fruitless searches of the carpet over the years I can tell you!

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    1. Kinda funny…I just found the tip of a Dark Elf boot in the carpet the other day. Thought that was lost forever, and tried to fake the bit with some green stuff already! Luckily the green stuff part just peeled away and all I have to now is re-prime.

      That’s a really good idea on the sprue/glue thing. I feel dumb for not even thinking about that! Though there is one catch, on a number of the smallest bits I’ve had to glue, the sprue join is where the bit would be glued to the model. Aggravating. But I am going to keep your awesome bit of advice in mind and will definitely try it at the next opportunity. You probably saved me at least 100 headaches!

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    1. I’d probably need to know the brand name. Luckily, we’re on the same continent, so I’ll know exactly what you’re talking about! 😉

      I do remember using plastic cement on some of those boxed plastic models when I was a kid. Had an F-18 that I thought was really cool. The thing I didn’t like about it then, is that it would melt the plastic. And if I screwed up a join, I’d soon have a horribly melted plastic mess.

      The Bob Smiths glue I’ve been using has worked really well for me, though I’ve now noticed that actual glue time is taking longer and longer, so it must already be getting old. Luckily I ordered some smaller bottles for the future. I should be able to burn through those quicker, without the glue getting old. There are also ‘cure’ sprays, that set the glue right away. But I haven’t bothered with that yet.

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      1. Most plastic cement works by melting so it’s a learned process. Testors has some good stuff with thin applicators. The key is to use very little on both connecting surfaces and let the melting happen. After priming you will be happy. I use it now on anything plastic, and it’s much less messy than glue on plastic.

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