Subscribe
  1. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    May 23, 2005, 4:11 PM - #1

    OK. I'm just beginning to work with fiber optics and, as you can see from my ID, I have already had my share of problems with super glue. However, I have been using it recently (with an accelerator) to secure fibers on my first attempt (TIE Interceptor Cockpit).

    I read somewhere that someone else had done this "prior to his knowing better" and lost a number of his fibers. Anyone know anything about this? The fibers that I have glued so far don't appear to be affected. Yeah, the outside of the fiber is a bit crazed, but it still trasmits light.

    Should I anticipate any problems here? With such a tight spot as the interceptor cockpit, I really need to be able to secure fibers instantly.



  2. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    May 25, 2005, 10:02 AM - #2

    --silence-- Well I am shocked that this thread has gone unanswered. It has become quite a hot topic on another unmentioned forum and this seems to be a VERY common mistake for beginners. Given that, I will share my newly found knowledge and answer my own thread because it doesn't look like anyone else is going to

    Superglue (or Cyanoacrylate - commonly referrd to as CA) will craze the outside of the fiber. And this may possibly reduce the transfer of light but is not the real problem. Superglue generates heat as it cures causing damage to the fiber from a complete melting of the fiber to a brittling of the fiber that will likely break in the future, particularly if the fiber is under any tension. Using a CA accelerator seems to stop the melting of the fibers but still leaves the fiber a bit brittle. It has been recomended that a bit of epoxy be placed over any site where superglue was used to secure fiber (to prevent the fiber from breaking) or, preferably, rip it all out and begin again.

    A small handful of alternatives has been suggested: Again, epoxy (5 minute epoxy is fine). Epoxy can also be used to attach fiber to LEDs if you make sure that it dries clear.

    Rubber cement, JB weld and epoxy putty have also been suggested - anything that does not produce a chemical bond.

    The overall most suggested solution seems to be hot glue. It dries quickly (not as fast as CA with an accelerator, but pretty fast), remains somewhat flexible and does not damage the fiber.

    The only drawback: Hot Glue won't hold paint. That's not big problem as fibers are generally hidden within the model. But, if needed, the epoxy putty might be a good choice here.

    I have also considered running fiber through small styrene tubing that has already been secured.

    There question answered. Ya'll have been a big help on this one C'mon, were you born with the knowledge that CA melts optic fiber? Or that it bonds SKIN, for that matter?

    My adventures with superglue continue..
  3. Watson's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2001
    From
    Allen, TX
    Messages
    2,953
    May 25, 2005, 10:19 AM - #3

    With my CC X-Wing cockpit, I used elmers glue to secure them. Once the cockpit is in place and the fibers are trimmed flush i have had no pcroblems with losing any fibers.

    It takes longer to dry but it holds well enough entil you can get the cockpit in it's final position.

    Greg

    Also, as a side note, I used some CA in my R2 fiber optics and have had no problems, but it was thicker fiber not the thin "hair-like" strands.

  4. Member Since
    Jul 2003
    From
    Covington, Wa
    Messages
    261
    May 25, 2005, 10:23 AM - #4

    Thanks for the info you saved me some big headaches. I had always been told that superglue was the way to go, just leave the fiber long and Zap it into place then trim. Had no idea it would damage the fiber. Looks like I’ll be using epoxy on my refit.

    Alan
  5. RPF Premium Member knightdriver2001's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2002
    From
    Vernon/South Windsor, Connecticut
    Messages
    1,697
    May 25, 2005, 11:00 AM - #5

    I was thinking a dab of silicone or hot glue myself, but I haven't really
    done this before and am not at the step yet to even try, but that info
    above helped. Thanks.
  6. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    May 25, 2005, 5:25 PM - #6

    AHH. There are people here. Thanks for responding. I think that this is a good topic.

    Greg:

    I've admired your CC-Incom build for a while and actually wanted to ask a question about your R2 fiber optic work.

    From what I could see, it looks as if you managed to light a single fiber with two lights. I purchased electronics for lighting an R2 for my ProShop build, but it has two lights: one red, one blue - both blink alternately. Were your electronics the same way, two lights? It looks that way from the pics. If so, how did you get two lights to light one fiber? Is that fiber stuck perpendicularly into a stryene tube with LED's on each end of the tubing? How did you get the light to travel down the fiber without placing it directly in front of the light? Did you file the end of the fiber down to some kind of "V" or what? I've been trying to figure out you did that for weeks.

    Kick butt work on the x-wing..
  7. Aegis159's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2002
    Messages
    2,202
    May 26, 2005, 6:58 PM - #7

    I've used all kinds of glues on fiber optics.... epoxy, white glue, contact cement, and several different CA's. If you plan on using the CA I would go with an odorless one. it doesn't have the harmful fumes that will craze the fiber.

    When the person said " before they knew better" I would think they were refering as to how the CA makes the fiber brittle.... it takes the flex out of the line. It doesn't affect light transmission or rather I haven't noticed it affecting it, and I've got some pieces that are over 10 years old with fibers in them that still transmit fine.. But the CA will make the lines brittle over time, so if it's a pretty tight curve on it I would use the hot glue or white glue as JDH has.

  8. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    Jun 11, 2005, 11:39 AM - #8

    Here is one more classic example: The winner of Starshipmodeler's Star Wars Online Modeling Contest in the "Kits" division, states that he lost 20% of his fibers due to damage by superglue.

    http://www.starshipmodeler.com/contest/kit_12.htm

    A very nice model - winning 1st place. But, it could have been nicer. OOPS.

  9. Heisenberg RPF Premium Member Gordon Gekko's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    Messages
    1,166
    Jun 15, 2005, 12:53 AM - #9



    5 minute epoxy also works great with fiber optics. We've glued 10's of thousands over the years with no problems.

  10. Member Since
    Nov 2001
    From
    Langhorne, PA - just outside of Philadelphia
    Messages
    1,850
    Jun 16, 2005, 9:38 AM - #10

    In reality you can use just about anything...drill and run the fibers from the back side of the peice before the peice is set in place. Glueing with a hot glue gun is easy and fast but a bit messy since it kind of "gloppy"... It also easy to do over it its "too messy".

    My real suggestion to you is this... You've stated that you need to glue it instantly into place. To me that says you're workign too fast. Slow down run the fiber through your little holes and glue it into palce (elmers glue or 5 min epoxy sounds good to me) tape it in place then walk away for a bit until its dry. In modeling I've found that anything you do that requires the word "instant" or "quickly" is usually a recipe for disaster. If you find yourself having to do it quickly you're probably better off finding another way to accompish your task

    Jedi Dade
  11. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    Jun 16, 2005, 4:57 PM - #11

    I certainly see your point and generally agree with you. But let me explain...

    I am attempting to glue small raised pieces (the triangular and other shaped panels) to the interior of an AMT TIE fighter cockpit with the fibers behind the panels. Small "notches" have to be cut in the side of the panels for the fibers to run behind. It's not that I am having trouble securing the fibers, I'm having trouble securing the tiny pieces that contain the fibers. The fibers need to be bent considerably and this put a decent amount of stress on actually attaching the raised panel to the interior of the fuselage - the fiber is able to give the radius bend I need, but it doesn't want to... The panel has to be well secured to hold the fiber down. I can't secure the panel without some of the bonding agent coming in contact with the fiber. If it damages the fiber in any way, I can't use it. The concave interior makes clamping difficult, if not impossible - I gave up on that idea. So I have to HOLD these pieces in place, under stress (creating slippage and such), while whatever bonding agent cures. I wish i had a camera, I hope that makes sense.

    It really is a tight fit. I play guitar and figure that I have fairly strong fingers. But I can't hold these panels in place for 5 minutes without slipping or screwing it up somehow while epoxy cures. I'm all for taking my time, JD. I consider patience a fundamental prerequisite for this hobby. But this time, I need something that bonds FAST and STRONG without a chemical bond. It's a pickle. Certainly a bad project choice given my experience.

    My initial solution was a great idea, in theory... It was also an ignorant idea. I used a superglue gel with an excelerator - instant bond. Then the fibers started to break off under the stress, as they were now "brittled" by the curing process. I didn't know that it would do that - seems I'm not the only one. This portion of my education into the "ways and means" of superglue required a measure of patience. Now that I think about it, all of my educational experiences with superglue have required respective measures of patience - often in the midst of PANIC.

    I yanked it all out and ground away the residual superglue. I wonder if even hot glue would be strong enough to hold the pieces in place indefinately. I'm not sure how solidly it cures. If it's rubbery or cualky or has any real "play" it won't hold these pieces well. I'm going to pick up a hot glue gun - but I'm already considering other options. EL sheet is an idea that I'm trying to work the kinks out of. But that's even more electronics in an already very tight space. I was hoping to be able to do this with only two led's. EL sheet means that another set of wires must be run into the model. How does CA and other glues effect EL sheet ? Could I cut EL sheet that small? Would it be bright enough? Could I use large pieces to light several panels or will I have to wire several of them? . Hmm... more questions.

    All in all, you may be right JD. There may be a better way. And then there may not. I'm starting to see that there are more reasons for NOT accurizing the AMT TIE cockpit besides: "Well, you can't see in there, anyway." But, I'm not giving up. No, sir.

    We'll see how the hot glue works... It doesn't bond skin does it?
  12. Member Since
    Nov 2001
    From
    Langhorne, PA - just outside of Philadelphia
    Messages
    1,850
    Jun 17, 2005, 9:27 AM - #12

    How about a completely different approach to solving your problem... Do you have any expereicen in casting? You could create the panels for the inside of your cokpit in styrene then cast it in clear resin. The the lighting problem becomes running light to the clear peices with a bit of masking and painting.

    As for clamping and such - there are fairly small "c" shaped clamps that could probably go around the curved hull and hold the peices in place while they cure the regular clamps are for flat to flat things "C" clamps work almost everywhere Obviously the interior would need to be built (and clamped) before the hulls were joined for this to have any shot at working

    Jedi Dade
  13. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    Jun 17, 2005, 10:58 AM - #13

    I agree. A completely different approach is warranted. Casting is something that I eventually want to get into, but not now. Entering into a new facet of this hobby always means one thing: MONEY. Or in my case, a lack thereof. My research into casting led me to believe that it's fairly expensive, particularly upon start up. I'm just not ready for that yet. My recent move into the airbrush realm set me back $700.00 and I haven't airbrushed a damned thing. I intend to get results with the materials that I have before I can justify putting anymore money into this hobby.

    However, I think that we are on the same page. I'm considering using clear styrene sheet for the top (actual panel) of each piece. The problem is, as you stated, getting light behind each panel. I only see two options: EL sheet and possibly surface mount LEDs. I've never actually seen a surface mount LED - I wonder how much light they put out? Is the light diffused? And wiring each light source presents a lot of the same problems as running fibers. It's possible that I could light several panels with one CAREFULLY cut piece of EL sheet, but then the EL sheet needs to be secured to the fuselage and the panels secured OVER the EL sheet. Once again I have a glue issue. I would think that anything that would damage plastic fiber would damage the EL sheet - but that's a guess. WHAT KIND OF GLUE CAN YOU USE TO SECURE EL SHEET?

    Honestly, I'm beginning to lose faith in this project or at least my ability to pull it off the way I had hoped. This whole thing started because I wanted to run two fibers for engine lights. I figured heck, if I'm going to put light in the model, then put some light in it.. I'm thinking that it may be best to finish my panels, paint the panels in flourescent colors, spotlight the whole cockpit with a few extra 3mm UV LEDs and be satisfied. Voodoo FX has a kit similar to this except it looks like they used a single red superbright LED. See "Fiberoptic Tie Lighting Kit" at: http://www.voodoofx.com/fiberfx.htm

    Except that I can do this without fiber winding all around in the cockpit by placing an LED and resistor in each wing strut. I don't have the figures in front of me, but I may be able to add a 3mm LED to this circuit. If not, and I have to run an extra circuit into the model... I may well go slap freakin' insane Where's my patience now? At the point of running two circuits into the model, EL sheet is probably my best choice. Aside from all the issues noted above. O.K., now I'm rambling and I'm sure nobody is that interested in my loopy mental processes. This probably belongs on another thread anyway.

    I'll figure this out one way or another. I'm not one for giving up. But this project has become a real bugger. Thanks for the input, JD. I'll have to find some C clamps - should've thought of that. And you've really got me thinking.... though that may be a bad thing.
  14. Member Since
    Nov 2001
    From
    Langhorne, PA - just outside of Philadelphia
    Messages
    1,850
    Jun 17, 2005, 11:20 AM - #14

    Glad I could help ... sort of

    As for casting - it can be expensive but doesn't have to be. Basic casting with RTV rubber molds and polyurethane resin can be started out for way less then you spend on an Airbrush I think my first foray into it cost me about $50. It got me enough resin and rubber to mold up a set of detail parts for the side panels of an ERTL falcon. Since then I have bought the stuff by the gallon In short you can start (and learn how to do it) cheaply. Clear resin is more expensive, but I've hear of people using the 5 minute epoxy as relear resin in the past.. Heck its clear and it hardens up It just doesn't flow as nicely into all of the little details but if the part is simple...

    Another problem is that fiber isn't really supposed to make 90 degree turns... which is adding to you're brittle problem. You might want to consider a really nice paint job on the inside of the cockpit and then a red LED int he cockpit mounted behind the seat or something (where you wont see it) that powers both the cockpit light and the engine thrusters. If I remerber the cockpit from themovies itr wasn't all that brightly lit, and kind of a diffused red... That gives you enough light to "see" your interior without having to actaully wire the LEDs into the parts... maybe some Florescent "dayglo" paint could bring out your "lights" utilizing that kind of method.

    Just a couple of things for you to think about

    Jedi Dade
  15. ralphee is offline ralphee
    Jun 17, 2005, 11:45 AM - #15

    while were on this subject, and im also a newbie to lighting i may add, ive started work on an SSD and i plan to light it, ive looked at F/O but it seems like overkill and a tricky one to get the placement right on the looms, one idea i had was using and clear styrene on polycarbonate for the sidewalls and main centre structure then adding the ridges and greeblies to it in a sporadic pattern, the micro "gaps" would then produce thousands of tiny windows, the idea on light source was then small flo neon tubes it would take a great amount of effort in detail placement but i prefer this idea to optics, anyone got an opinion on this, great thread btw fingers.
  16. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    Jun 17, 2005, 8:18 PM - #16

    50 bucks huh? Maybe soon....

    You're right. That was a tight bend on those fibers, but it looked great until the superglue. It might have worked with 5 min epoxy. But my new idea may be better/easier:

    I was fiddling around with some EL sheet. If I break it down into four small sections, the EL sheet will conform to the concave interior quite easily - I've bent EL sheet much farther. I can then mask, paint or lay stencil over it. THEN secure the EL sheet to the interior, mask it and finish the rest of the cockpit. It lacks the 3-D effect, but I was having a hard time getting that accurate anyway. That cockpit design is nuts and good luck finding good resource pics. I've researched this for months. Also the studio model and the set designs don't jive - especially the forward part of the cockpit. In ANH, when vader is closing in on Luke, you can see straight throught the entire window. That piece that covers nearly the bottom half of the window isn't there. You can get a really good idea of what the cockpit looks like behind the pilot - that's about it. If anyone has a pic of the cokpit set besides the one I've used for my icon, I'd love that. My icon is the best resource pic I've found. The Starlog Tech Journal Magazine #3 (i believe) had a great fold out of the cockpit design, but it doesn't jive with the film set. Anyway, it's a compromise between, as you say, a really nice paint job and a near impossible lighting project. It does present some additional problems though - a lot of extra wiring, any painting that I do prior to installation may crack when I bend it, I still have to secure the sheet to the fuselage with something and I'm not the best at painting on this scale (especially if I have to do it after it's installed). I could use a sharpie, but the finish is a bit "streaky". I may need to look into creating some kind of transparency. But that's a whole new endeavor and I'm not real computer savy. CAD software and the like intimidates me a bit.

    O.K. I'm way of topic. Sorry.

    Ralphee, I'm not sure I get it.
    a tricky one to get the placement right on the looms
    Not sure what you mean by that. It sounds like you are going to make a clear star destroyer and greeblie around where the windows are supposed to be until the whole thing is filled in? Surely I'm misunderstanding you. Sounds to me like you would end up with lit panel lines, not windows [edit: that actually sounds kinda cool for a ship design though]. If you did greeblie over the clear styrene to the point that nothing was left but windows - well that whole process seems backwards to me. Surely I missed something.

    I can't see lighting a star detroyer with anything beside fiber optics. Good enough for ILM, good enough for me. Overkill? On a Star Destroyer? I don't think that I could run enough fiber on a SD for overkill. Go with the F/O. You won't regret it.
  17. SGluedMyFingers's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2005
    From
    Out there...
    Messages
    46
    Jun 17, 2005, 10:46 PM - #17

    Thanks for the inspiration Master Dade. You know what? This EL sheet is going to work. And it is going to look much better than if I had used F/O. I just need a little help working out a few kinks - but I think that belongs on another thread.

    I think this superglue-fiberoptics thread is about cashed anyway. You're right ralphee. It turned out to be a good thread.

  18. Member Since
    Nov 2001
    From
    Langhorne, PA - just outside of Philadelphia
    Messages
    1,850
    Jun 18, 2005, 2:27 PM - #18

    AS for the star destroyer FIber is a pretty good way to go with that model. the bends are not all that tight and its easy to secure the fibers in place from the back sides of the peices while the parts are disassembled. Remeber to leave a decent amount of fiber hanging out the "good" side fo the part. they can be easily smipped after painting and give a very nice effect. Casting things in clear and then intentonally leaving paint holes worls great too but its much more of a pain in the butt then running the fiber, plus celar resin is expensive...

    Jedi Dade

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 13
    Last Post: Nov 21, 2012, 11:32 AM
  2. Fiber optics dudes...li'l help?
    Mr Walker, General Modeling
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Apr 25, 2012, 9:51 PM
  3. Fiber Optics (little help)
    youngwm, General Modeling
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Jan 22, 2012, 2:59 PM
  4. Imitation fiber optics?
    adamata, Replica Props
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Jun 17, 2009, 3:29 PM
  5. Cheap Fiber optics option
    GF, General Modeling
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Feb 28, 2008, 8:59 AM