Being an AFOL i was always strongly against gluing bricks, but yesterday i had to do it for the first time. That was an awkward eperience and it pushed me in a philosophical mood. To glue or not to glue? That is the question!
You need to know that all big statues built by LEGO are actually glued together and have metal skeleton inside. But why? There are reasons for that. Ease of transportation and safety are two main factors. This would not have happened if the model was glued:
The Lego sculpture knocked over by a child
But for most AFOLs, gluing bricks is abomination. The stories of father gluing their kids lego models together so they wont fell apart during play are horror for us. First, it is against the philosophy of the bricks. It should be possible to rearange and reuse bricks. Then, bricks cost us much more than TLG, so buying couple thousands bricks and freezing them in the shape forever after building initial model does not sound reasonable. We rarely, if ever, have any income from presenting our models.
But wouldn’t it be convenient for transportation? Sure. But that is not the problem. We usually travel with our models, we can reassemble them if they fell apart in the transport. Also safety is not that much problem for us. We are not multi-million corporation that people are looking for occasions to sue. In most cases we manage to keep hands of the kids off our models.
But when you are building model for somebody else that is totally different. You want the model to be delivered in one piece, and you wont always be around to make sure it is assembled properly. That was the case for me yesterday. I was finishing model LEGO Poland asked me to build for one of their favorite clients, the model was supposed to stand in the casing, so the safety was not an issue, but it had to be transported at least twice, and i could not be there. I chosen to glue to make sure it will reach it’s destination in shape.
So in the end i glued some parts – no, not entire model, that would be an overkill for me to glue all 17 thousands of bricks, and i do not know what would have killed me first, costs of the glue or it’s fumes.
Well, i ended up gluing only those parts that were connected by just one stud. There were not so manny of them so it was pretty quick. I was afraid i will have nightmares, but i slept well. So here i’m, i glued some bricks and lived, yet another experience checked on my list 🙂
The only thing i’m afraid of is, if you glue bricks in the most volatile part of the model, it wont fell apart there, but stress can propagate, and it can make it fell apart in other sections of the model, and reassembling it when parts are glued wont be that easy…
For those who wonder what glue is used by LEGO, it is some kind of MEK, that is very dangerous substance. You have to have special ventilation systems to remove fumes otherwise it seriously endengers your health.
What did i use? I used kropelka, which is local Polish equivalent of SuperGlue, or famous from The Lego Movie, KrazyGlue. It is much safer, but i still advise to take care while gluing, and better yet keep your bricks glue-free.
In case you wonder what i was building, i will reveal that soon on my blog, so please subscribe if you are curious.