Glue: Tips and Types

Plastic cement, CA glue, white glue, etc.

Plastic Cement

I tend to use Tamiya Extra Thin with the green cap for 90% of my builds. It has a fat jar that does not easily tip over, as well as one of the smallest applicator brushes in the business. I also use Tamiya regular Cement with the orange cap for other work. And I have another Tamiya Extra Thin bottle filled with the Model Master black cement.

  1. Tamiya Extra Thin
    • hold the pieces together and wick the cement into the cracks. Capillary action will pull it in.
    • buy 2 bottles and keep your main bottle filled about halfway. If there's too much cement in the bottle, you will constantly need to wipe off excess around the bottle's rim.
  2. Tamiya regular Cement orange cap
    • You can replace the brush in the orange regular bottle with a smaller brush from the Extra Thin bottle.
    • Use an old paintbrush to apply cement on large areas quickly, but use a brush only with one type of cement (don't cross dip).
  3. Model Master black
    • Model Master black dries much slower than Tamiya regular and allows flexing while it dries.
    • Great for individual track links
    • I like to put it in an old/clean Tamiya Extra Thin jar

CA Glue

Cyanoacrylate CA or super Glue is what I turn to for gluing brass and resin to styrene. Applying it can be tricky, as well as selecting the right viscosity. CA glue does lose it's effectiveness over time, so consider replacing your glue bottles every year or so. Also note, that finger oils will fog up if the CA vapors hit them (aka don't use this stuff on clear parts).

  • Medium CA
    • Can be applied with the glue bottle, nozzle tip, or toothpick.
    • Great for fitting brass rods
  • Thin CA
    • Best applied with an applicator like the Glue Looper. Put some Thin CA in a small cap, dip the Glue Looper into the CA.
    • Hold the part in place exactly where you want it, and tap the edge with the Glue Looper. The CA will wick into the crevasses like Tamiya Extra Thin. Use a lighter to clean the tips.
    • You might also try taping one end of a large brass piece down, then apply glue to the other end. This helps in keeping the part aligned.
    • Coat a brass piece with it for better paint adhesion
  • Thick CA
    • If you are attaching a brass rod, and you drilled the mounting hole too large, then layer some thick CA on it. It should bulk up the rod.

PVA White Glue

PVA or White glue is very common and quite versatile. I have several types and it has many specific uses:

  1. Titebond Wood glue
    • used for bonding wood or foam-board together (for dioramas)
    • Also great for bonding air-dry clay and plaster molds to a base
  2. Formula 560
    • General use white glue, great for canopies and clear parts
  3. Scenic Cement
    • This is a heavily thinned white glue
    • Great for gluing sand/terrain on
    • You can put it in a mister bottle...just make sure to shake it very well before use

Epoxy Glue

Epoxy glue is a special type of bonding agent that requires 2 parts to be mixed equally to bond.

  • Best to mix with toothpicks on wax paper (it can easily get everywhere)
  • Great for odd plastics that cement won't bond to
  • Great for bonding plastic to wood
  • Perfect for attaching structural supports (like brass tubes to wings)
  • You must brace or clamp things as the glue hardens (some epoxies take 24 hours)

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