Tuesday 28 January 2014

Sprue Cutters Union 26: Glue

A pretty simple question calls for a pretty simple answer. Right? No?

- What glue(s) do you use, and how do you apply them? -

Polystyrene cement
My goto-glue for over 10 years. It does what it does : it melts polystyrene (i.e. plastic model kit parts), creating a rather strong bond. The gel in the tubes is a little thick, so distributing it evenly and sparingly can be a bit tricky. Up to a point, I kept the empty tubes, but when the number reached 20+ I tossed them away.
At some point, I discovered the same product but with a needle applicator, which was a lot easier to use. This version is a lot more liquid as well, so it reaches the harder-to-get places. For really big surfaces you're still better off with the old gel-in-a-tube.

Over a year ago, I needed new glue to get started modelling again, and bought UHU plast. I assume it's the same stuff as the Revell Contacta. The bottle ran out not 2 days ago, but I still have a very small Revell bottle that came with the Bismarck kit, so I'll manage with that one until I can get new hobby supplies next saturday (road trip, woohoo!).

A product I discovered only recently : Tamiya extra thin cement (a LOT thinner than UHU). The brush applicator flows it effortlessly in between the tiniest places. You can snap together 2 pieces and when you're sure they are aligned properly, go over the seems with this little brush. It gives the best results possible. No excess glue oozing out of seems. It evaporates very quickly, so even if it goes where it shouldn't, it's gone without almost any trace.

What about non-plastic parts?
When one of the things you're glueing is not plastic, but photo-etch for instance, we all go for the traditional CA glue or instant glue or whatever it's called in your region of the world. Just watch out for sticky fingers. Separating bonded skin with a sharp knife is probably something all modellers have had to do at least once.

Also a more recent discovery of mine : Zip Kicker of the same brand as my CA glue. It makes the glue set (almost) instantly, eliminating the need to hold parts in your hands while applying pressure until the glue sets, only to discover you pressed too hard and some stuff got on your fingers and you're now walking around with a piece of tank permanently attached to your body. (The next product to discover would be a CA de-bonder, but I can't seem to find any).

Good ol' white glue.
This is the stuff I use when I need huge amounts of glue for something (it's cheaper), or when glueing larger amounts of pigment or just plain dirt. More the stuff for ground-work in diorama's, it sets almost rock-hard, but takes a long time to do so. I mainly use it thinned with water, then apply with a dropper (or just an old paintbrush) over pigments, pigments mixed with plaster (for bigger apllications, pigments are expensive) or the heavy stuff, like the base for my M60 (which is ALMOST finished).

Check out who got his fingers stuck together :


  1. All this talk about Tamiya Extra Thin has inspired me to purchase it...just bought it on eBay. Thus why I love the Sprue Cutters Union

  2. Glues are everything to us modellers, I like the look of the Tamiya extra thin, I'm off to the hobby shop today to see if the have it.

  3. Love the revell glue myself. It is said that it is a more agressive type as opposed to tamyia extra thing but i never experimented myself. I like how it literally melts the joins. How is your experience with agressiveness comparing the tamyia to the revell?

  4. If you're after debonder, just look online. Loads to choose from:


    I have a loctite one but have never used it - Needed it, yes, just never bothered.

    1. It's one of those nice-to-have-but-rarely-used things.