Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 2009 Newsletter

Welcome to RatLines!

Cast Your Anchor is on the move.

Evolution: Cast Your Anchor will be moving to a new location effective February 15, 2009
Our new address will be: 4117 Lawrence Ave East
Unit 102
Toronto, Ontario M1E 2S2

This move represents our evolving business and will help us better serve you, our valued clients. Hobby stores of the future will be taking on a new format. Cast Your Anchor is on the leading edge of this shift.

Take a few minutes and come and visit our showroom. We are located on the southwest corner close to Lawrence and Kingston Road.

Web Site: Visit our new website at We offer information directed solely for model ship builders. You’ll find useful tips, a wide variety of kits, tools & parts for all your shipbuilding needs.



Our sticky arsenal of model glue includes glues or adhesives for every need. There are two types of glue that we recommend for wood to wood bonding. Wood glue from either Titebond or Elmers (our preference is Titebond because it is a bit thicker and therefore easier to work with than Elmers) and contact cement from LePages.

The advantage of wood glue is that it is water based and thus forms a true bond within the cellular structure of the wood. Also because it is water based, you can easily un-adhere two pieces by applying water. The disadvantage is that it is slow drying so you need to use clamps unless you have a lot of time on your hands. With contact cement, there is a bit of an art to using it. You do have to know how to work with this glue because once the pieces are bonded together, that’s it – they’re stuck for life.

For unlike materials such as metal to wood, cyanoacrylate (CA or super glue) or epoxy is recommended. CA glue comes in three versions ranging from instant adhesion to adhesion in about one minute. The longer setting glue is also known as gap filling glue. There are products that accelerate bonding or de-bonding making this glue fairly easy to use. The disadvantage with CA glue is that there is no true bonding that occurs between the materials. There is also a potential health issue due to the solvents if you use this glue in quantity over a prolonged period of time.

There is a third adhesive we use called hypo cement. We use this glue for binding of knots when rigging the model. It’s fairly slow drying but the advantage is that there is no shiny residue when it dries so you can’t see it on your work. It’s also a soft glue that doesn’t dry stiff. This leaves a natural looking finish to your rigging.


Finishes of ship models range from the natural wood look, stained or painted. This is all a matter of either personal choice or historical accuracy.

If you want the natural wood look, we recommend a spar semi gloss transparent urethane finish from Helmsman. Diluted 30% for the first two coats then full strength for the third coat, this finish will bring out the natural grain of the wood you are using.

Some builders prefer staining some or all of the wood. Staining can give a rich old world look to your model.

Some modelers prefer enamel paints, others prefer acrylic paints and both types of paint have strong supporters. Which type of paint you use is a matter of personal choice. Enamel paints generally provide a tougher finish and a higher gloss, while acrylic paints dry much faster and are often water-soluble, which makes them easier to clean up. All model paints, regardless of type, must be thinned for airbrushing. If you want to experiment, try using oil based paints especially if you are building a model of antiquity like a Viking ship. This paint will give a well aged look to your work. Cast Your Anchor has a wide range of model paints in the paint colors that you are looking for. We also have a great line of paint brushes and other paint accessories.

Finally, plating of metal parts can add a realistic patina to your work. There are plating solutions available to blacken bright metals like brass, or a solution to apply over copper to give it that greenish patina. There is even a product available to give wood an aged look without staining or painting.

Some builders prefer the natural look and others the stained look. The choice is yours but remember we’re here to offer advice and all the finishing materials you need!