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 What is modeling glue?

Modeling glue is a type of adhesive that is commonly used in the hobby and craft industry for various applications such as model-building, woodwork, and other similar projects. This type of product for models is specifically designed to provide a strong bond for small parts and delicate materials.

It can come in various forms, including CA liquid version, and the CA gel version, and can be made from different types of adhesive chemicals such as cyanoacrylate, epoxy, or polyurethane. It is also possible to find modeling glues that are specifically designed for the use of specific materials, such as resins, metal, or wood.

When using it, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, as improper use can result in a weak bond or damage to the materials being bonded. It's also important to work in a well-ventilated area, as many types can release fumes that can be harmful if inhaled.

When building a scale model, you may encounter several difficulties. Ensuring the structural integrity of the model can be a challenge, particularly when scaling down larger objects. The reduced size may introduce weaknesses or make it difficult to create stable connections between parts. Reinforcement with glues or alternative construction methods might be necessary to maintain stability and prevent the model from becoming fragile or easily damaged.

Overall, it can be a useful tool for a wide range of projects, but it's important to choose the right type of adhesive for the specific application and to use it carefully and responsibly.

What glue to use for models?

Several types work well for plastic model kits, and the best one depends on the project and personal preference. Here are a few common options:

  • Plastic cement Skull: This is a type of solvent-based adhesive that chemically melts and fuses the plastic together. It works best for the following polystyrene PE, ABS, methacrylate, and PVC which can create a very strong bond. 
  • Cyanoacrylate Instant Glue: This is a very popular fast-drying version that works well for small parts and can be used on a variety of materials, including wargame miniatures, model airplanes, model cars, and also for model kits. It is important to use a small amount of cyanoacrylate, as too much could generate uncomfortable toxic fumes.
  • Epoxy adhesive: This is a two-part adhesive that creates a strong, durable bond. It's often used for larger parts. An example would be Brown Stuff epoxy putty, which also serves to sculpt.
  • PVA: Water-based adhesive normally used for cardboard and papers, which also works for plastic models and model kits. It's not as strong as some of the other options, but it dries clearly and can be a good choice for certain applications. 
  • Tuft: This is a high-tack repositionable adhesive to create modeling grass clumps. Perfect for permanently attaching foliage, and other natural materials to scale models terrains. Also valid for gluing extruded polystyrene and expanded polystyrene.
  • Stencil: Low-adherence repositionable adhesive that will convert an airbrush stencil into a repositionable one, allowing it to be easily placed on curved or difficult-to-fix surfaces, without leaving any sticky residue.

It's important to choose the one that is specifically designed for plastic models and to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. It's also a good idea to do a test fit before gluing parts together to ensure a proper fit.

What is the best glue for model kit?

The world of model-making offers infinite possibilities to create scale replicas of all kinds of objects, from airplanes and ships to buildings and characters. To achieve a perfect result it is essential to choose the right product for each type of material and part that needs to be fixed.

One of the most common materials used for scale modeling parts is wood. In this case, PVA is usually the most commonly used adhesive, in fact, it is also known as wood adhesive, carpenter's glue, or polyvinyl acetate. Not only is it useful for bonding wood, but it also works well on other materials such as cardboard, rubber, or paper. It is also a good choice for transparent parts, as it dries colorless and will not smear.

When models contain plastic parts, it is recommended to use, above all, cyanoacrylate glues, characterized by its fast adhesion and high strength. It is one of the so-called "superglue" for which it is necessary to take into account its strength of fixation because a piece placed incorrectly with this product will be difficult to correct. In fact, it works with very small quantities because of its effectiveness. However, it is also important to be careful when using it because it can irritate the skin and eyes.

In the case of needing to bond metal parts, epoxy glue is always a good choice. It is a two-component adhesive that provides an extremely strong, sturdy and water-resistant bond. It is perfect for parts that support a lot of weight and structural stress.

There are also specific modeling glues for other materials such as fabric, paper or cardboard; although PVA one is effective in all these cases and will not leave stains on the parts.

Tips for using modeling glue

Before using it, read the instructions for use. In addition, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully
  • Work in a well-ventilated area
  • When using strong adhesives, wear gloves and, if necessary, protective gloves to avoid contact with the product.
  • Apply it carefully and in the necessary amount.
  • Press the pieces firmly during the drying time.
  • In case of excess product, wipe it off with a damp cloth before drying.

How to get model glue off clear plastic?

Before starting to remove it from plastic, it is necessary to know how the material will behave when the solvent is applied. Therefore, it is advisable to test the technique used on a small, inconspicuous part of the figure. 

There are several ways to clean it, one of the least intrusive is to use vegetable oil or skin moisturizer. To apply it, use a cloth and soak it in the product and then rub the adhesive for several seconds. Allow time for it to absorb and wipe off the plastic with a dry cloth. 

Another option is to use vinegar. In this case, soak the area only with white vinegar and try to remove the modeling glue with a spatula, old credit card, or any other similar instrument with an edge. 

How to glue resin models?

To properly bond resin parts you must have several tools to ensure a strong and durable bond:

  • Cyanoacrylate: the most commonly used for resin models.
  • Epoxy resin: for larger and heavier pieces it provides a much stronger bond.
  • Hobby hand drill (if necessary). For drilling holes in the larger pieces to be nailed.
  • Brass rods (if necessary): to nail and join two pieces together.
  • Hobby Knife: to remove unnecessary protrusions.
  • Sandpaper or file: to smooth out imperfections. 
  • Accelerator (optional): to speed up the curing time of the cyanoacrylate glue.
  • Tweezers: to handle small parts.
  • Safety materials: gloves, goggles, and mask for resin dust and adhesive vapors.

Once all the utensils are prepared, wash the resin parts with warm soapy water to remove any release agent. Rinse them well and let them dry completely. If needed, trim any burrs or mold lines and sand any contact surfaces to ensure a good fit. This also helps the adhesive adhere better. Dry fit the pieces to ensure proper alignment and make any necessary adjustments.

To join large pieces together use a modeling drill to drill small holes in the two pieces you want to join. They should be perfectly aligned. When you have them, cut small pieces of brass and insert it into one of the holes. Before gluing, make sure you don't need any adjustments. When ready, apply a small amount of cyanoacrylate adhesive to one of the surfaces and hold the pieces together for a few seconds until it hardens. To reduce drying time, apply accelerator. 

If you prefer epoxy, mix the two components according to the manufacturer's instructions and apply as above until it sets (several minutes to an hour). 

Finally, check for gaps or mismatches where you have placed the modeling glue and fill them with putty or more adhesive. Sand once dry and wipe off the excess model glue. Now you can paint your figure, model or diorama. 

Remember to work in a ventilated place to avoid inhaling product vapors or resin dust.

Do Warhammer models need glue?

Yes, practically all Warhammer models need model glue, except for the easiest ones to build. Even so, artists often use modeling glue or putty to fill in the gaps that are left so that they can paint easily. Sometimes magnets are used for the arms and weapons so that they can be interchanged depending on the opponent or preferences in each game, although it is not the most common.