Assembling ITLA Scale Models structures...
There are a variety of adhesives on the market that work well with our product...here are our suggestions based on our modelling experience...
WELDBOND - universal adhesive for wood, tile, glass and styrofiam - a non toxic, clear drying, flexible bond glue which tacks fast and sets up in 24 hours. Made in Canada under the trade name "Weldbond". We use this for all our major structure joints. Modellers have also successfully used "white carpenters glue" of any source, so long as it dries clear. We (and other modellers) do not recommend "yellow wood glue".
FORMULA 500 CANOPY GLUE - from Pacer Technologies (available in the USA) - a clear, fast drying adhesive from the model airplane world for use in adhering clear plastic parts - caution "mild irritant", use per manufacterer's recommendations. We use this for our window glass installations where a specific sized frame mounted piece of glass is desired (double-hung windows).
LePage ULTRA GEL - "ACC" Super glue we use for may of our small part assemblies. The Gel format provides setting time to adjust your part positions, bonds well with our wood. Any Gel type super glue will work.
Walthers GOO - a tried and true all purpose adhesive for those challenging joints where some flexibility is required.
As pictured, an additional variety of glues from Woodland Scenics to Craft Store adhesives ...
Assembling Wall Sections:
Our product is designed to build easily, using simple hand tools and glues (Weldbond glue used below). The key is to use a flat work surface, basic clamps, squares, and tape.
Always consider your clamping / squaring strategy before commiting glue to the joints.
As shown in the photo, we lay our building walls flat on the worksurface and engage the tabs in slots where possible. Use very little glue applied on the contact sufaces of the joint to reduce squeeze out on show surfces. Allow it to tack up, then "fold" the side walls onto the front wall using the roof & floor panel as the squaring fixtures. We then clamp across the side walls as shown and allow the glue to fully set. At this point we even "dry fit" the rear wall in place (no glue!) to ensure the whole structure dries square and true. The back wall is temporarily left loose to allow for additional floors, details and lighting to be installed if you wish. Add more glue to the inside seams if you wish to strenghen the joints.
Once the basic structure shape is set (glue has dried), you can now handle it on your bench and add the many surface layers, details, and paint enhancements.
Applying Paper Signs ...
TIP– make extra copies of the signs included and practice this technique before starting on the model. Learning this technique will allow you to apply signs to any structure model on your layout!
Finely spray the paper wall signs once or twice on their carrier sheets with a clear matte spray sealer. This is to seal the printer ink & minimize its “bleeding” (less sealer allows more “bleeding” of the inks).
Once dry, trim the sign from the carrier paper.
(HO Allstate Factory model shown)
Using fine sandpaper (150 grit or finer, lightly sand the rear edges & back of the sign to reduce the paper thickness. Pull the sandpaper in one direction only along the sign. We also lightly sand through, or nearly through in spots to allow the wall detail & colour to show through. This gives a nice start to an aged & weathered sign. Be very gentle when sanding. Minimizing the edge thickness is key to achieving the painted-on-brick look. This is where those extra copies may come in handy!
Using diluted white glue (50%glue / 50% water) give the sealed wall surface a good coating & spread with your finger tip. Start at one end of the wall & carefully apply the sign into the glue using the brick course as a guide, minimizing bubbling & wrinkles as you smooth it out with your finger tips.
Have a paper towel nearby to wipe the excess glue off your fingers and the wall surface.
Thin the edges and back of the sign with a fine grit sandpaper ...
Diluted white glue ... 50/50 ...
Spread with your finger or a brush ...
Lay the paper sign in place and "wet it out" with your finger or a brush...
After the sign dries you may weather its surface by washing acrylic paints over it, or dust it with chalks.
Windows - painting frames and installing "glass":
Since our precision cut window components are designed to snugly fit into our wall openings, a build up of paint thickness may impact this.
So we recomend this neat trick in order to avoid paint build up AND save lots of time... colour your window frames with "Sharpie" or "Crayola" majic markers (black, brown, green, etc.). Sounds a bit strange or "amateur-ish", but give it a try ... you will be amazed!
Once your frames are coloured, the next challenge is to glaze them. There are a couple choices here..
1) We've designed our window frames to set into the walls and be flush with the inner surface. This allows you to use the easy "glue a strip of "glass" to the inside of the wall" trick. Setting the windows to be flush with the inner surface allows us to add the individual sills and headers from the exterior and maintain a consistent surface dimensional fit.
2) A neat trick we've learned to glaze window frames to their exact dimension is helpful when building operational double-hung windows, or you intend to decorate the interior of the structure. In this case we use "Formula 500 Canopy Glue" which comes from the Model Airplane world. It dries almost totally clear, but actualy provides a neat surface texture which an represent those old leaded glass windows of the past.
Simply smear a thin, even film of the glue across your acetate sheet and drop your pre-coloured window frame onto it, ensuring it presses into the glue evenly. Let this dry overnight! Then, with a sharp #11 Exacto blade, hold the frame down with your fingers and draw the blade away along the window frame (using it as a guide). With some practice you will find that you can trim out the window frame cleanly from the acetate and enjoy an exact fit glazed window...se below.
Staircases and Small Details:
Another quick tip involves using "green painters masking tape" (low adhesion masking tape) on your worksurface to hold parts in position while you assemble onto them. In the following picture we use the tape to hold the staircase stringers in place while supergluing the step treads and handrails in place. Another simple but effecitive idea!