Glue Selection

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by bwallaw, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. bwallaw

    bwallaw Member

    I'm working on my ship model of the Ambrose Lightship which is at 1:250 scale and contains a lot of small pieces and end joins. What glue do folks prefer for this kind of work? CA? Elmers?

    Most of my previous models have been larger scale buildings which have rather large tabs. On these models I used Yes glue with a brush. It worked well in this situation, but I don't think Yes glue will give a quick or strong enough bond for end joins and small tabs and edges. I appreciate your feedback.


    "Beautiful Bainbridge Island"
  2. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    I'm not familiar with "Yes" glue, I assume it's a water based product simlar to Alene's Tacky Glue (PVA based cement). To firmly attach small items rigidly there is no substitue for medium viscosity CA cement. A small secret is to take a small diameter drill and if possible drill a hole into the item to be mounted and one into the mounting surface. A small wooden dowel is then CA'd into the mounting surface, let set, followed by applying cement to the protruding end of the dowel and affixing the item by pressing it on to the dowel. This insures that the item's position is aligned and will hold tight when mounted with no fiddling around. This saves an incredible amount of futz time, believe me.

    Best regards, Gil
  3. bwallaw

    bwallaw Member

    Thanks Gil

    I JUST bought some medium viscosity CA with the intention of trying it out. Your tips help me think I'm on the right track.

    The Yes glue is very good for flat surfaces. It sticks particularly well to paper and is paste consistency so it doesn't cause any wrinkling and curling. It also claims to not yellow. I think it is a water based starch product.

    Since I'm new to ship modelling, your glueing technique is hard for me to visualize. That must be a VERY small diameter drill and dowel! I think I get the general concept and try to improvise with some tools I have and see what I can do. Anything that helps to place these pieces accurately (and not to my fingers) is very useful.


    Beautiful Bainbridge Island
  4. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Hi Bill,

    Yes, they are small drills. Harbour Freight offers a grab bag assortment of 20 carbide drills and burrs for around $5.00 U.S. They contain various sizes from very small to around 4 mm. They all have a 0.125" shaft and can be colleted in a standard Dremel tool. Thesse drills have become an invaluable tool for modeling. A small diameter drill can be improvised from a suitably sized sewing needle. Grind one side of the tip portion until it makes the tip cross section into a half moon shape. This simple drill will work quite well on soft materials when inserted into a pin vise or Dremel tool.

    Best regards, Gil
  5. While working on a Digital Navy FW190 F8 i ran into a problem with some CA. It did not want to set up at all. :? :? :? :?
  6. Bernhard

    Bernhard Member

    CA that won't set

    Hey Mark,

    If CA glue doesn't want to set it is probably too old. Once opened CA has a very limited shelf life. Buy some new stuff and try again!
    I always buy the smallest bottle available and still most of it goes to waste.

    Happy glueing

  7. Have used the same CA since and had no problems. Could inks/toners/acryllic gloss or some other stuff cause a problem?
  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    CA will take forever to set if the humidity is low.

  9. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    A tip for times when CA doesn't want to set....a small pinch of baking soda lightly sprinkled on the joint sets it up instantly. For thin CA, it has the additional benefit of gap filling. It does not dry clear, however, and may "foam up" a bit like expanding foam insulation. (It is sandable.) I would not recommend it for small surface details, but works great on internal joints and on framework.

    As long as the topic is glue....I ran across a new product at the local Michael's Crafts. A pack of five different types of glue (two glue sticks, a tape-type adhesive applicator, a foam-tipped tube of liquid glue, and a fine-tip bottle of liquid glue) for under $5.00. Put out by an outfit called Adhesive Tech. So far I've used the glue stick, which has worked great for laminating parts to poster board. Michael's is also carrying several types of Uhu glue...finally a chance to compare it to Aleene's.
  10. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

    CA glues are triggered by atmospheric moisture, so sometimes a bit of heavy breathing on the joint will set the glue.

    However, some folks do say that these glues are actually intelligent, some brands being helpful and benign, others malevolent, like wartime gremlins. How else do you explain CA glue that won't set when you want it to, and does when you don't! Or, sets between your tweezers and the model, so you think it has gone off, and then when you pull the tweezers away, you damage the model; and the part you were trying to stick then drops off, untouched by the glue!

    'Tis the work of the Faerie folk, I reckon......

    Tim (been at the Guiness again!
  11. silverw

    silverw Member

    Plain old white glue.

    Hi all.
    When I started paper modelling, I read a lot of posts before I realized what PVA was. :shock: Maybe this will save someone else the aggravation.


    There's also some interesting links at the bottom of the page.
  12. Jim Nunn

    Jim Nunn Member

    CA works best with a non-porous surface and the thin CA is useless on paper. The thick CA works well for gluing metal, plastic to paper and will glue paper to paper. The down side of CA is that it does change the color of the ink, tends to darken the color. On the personal side I do not like the smell of CA glue.

    I have used Elmer’s for literally decades but some people do not like Elmer’s because it is on the thin side and can give you problems if you use to much glue on a part. My favorite general-purpose glue is Aleene’s tacky Glue and I use a syringe to dispense the glue.

    Like Darwin I found UHU on sale at Michael's Crafts and thought that I had found the holy grail of paper modeling, I had used UHU way back in the 60’s and thought that it was good but the glue had a tendency to make glue strings. I purchased a tube and ran a little unscientific test by gluing a vertical piece of card stock to a flat piece of stock and let them dry over night. Aleene’s was considerably stronger then the UHU glue and though the label said “no strings†you will find that UHU will make glue strings. I was using the UHU cardboard/craft paper glue, UHU also has a specific glue for paper but I have not been able to fid it.

    Lighthouse Models has some of the Polish card modeler’s glue in stock and I’ll be purchasing some with my next order to give it a try.

    Jim Nunn
  13. rowiac

    rowiac Member

    I've had similar experience with UHU cardboard/craft glue--stringy, not particularly tacky, etc. Aleene's I've found to be too thick for my liking, so I've been using regular old Elmer's White Glue for years now. That is, until I recently tried Elmer's "NO RUN White Glue". It comes in a gold bottle and is marketed as a washable school glue. This glue is thicker than regular Elmer's, but not as thick as Aleene's. I found it at the local dollar store for--you guessed it--$1.00. It can probably be found cheaper on sale at grocery stores. Note this is not Elmer's "No Run Gel" (the blue stuff), which didn't work well for me at all.

    I tried the No Run White Glue after I read about somewhere on one of the lists, so whoever recommended it originally--Thanks.

  14. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Can one of the members in the EU that's using Uhu "Alleskleber" (all purpose) glue give us a report?
    Uhu sold in North America comes in different guises and it would be nice to identify the same type sold in the EU.

    "Strings" are technically called "legs" in the adhesives trade.

    I have been experimenting with a lot of different types of glues as part of the Aluminum Foil Paper experiments and have come up with a few unexpected surpises and also problems that are at this time left unresolved.

    I tried water based glues to bond aluminum to paper with varying degrees of success mostly all negative. The issue I thought was causing the problem was the paper shrinking as the glue dries causing the combined laminate to roll up. Unrolling it when dry caused several unattractive problems to crop up. Sealing the paper was tried with the same results. It was finally realized that the glue layer itself was shrinking as it dried causing the problem. The other issue with the PVA glues was that they did not bond well to aluminum no matter how it was prepped (even tried phosphoric acid prep). PVA glues were given up as being too problematic for this application.

    I was thinking about abandoning water based glues altogether for this application, well almost..., what seems to work well and yields a rather pleasing construction element is hard acrylic modeling paste filled with microballons. A similar mixture is sold as magic modeling filler in hobby shops and is probably familiar to some of you. It takes some finesse to spread the paste evenly on the foil with a squeegee followed by application of the paper but once mastered it's not to difficult to turn pieces out. It does shrink somewhat while drying but is no where near that experienced with PVA. When dry the paste backs and supports the foil with a tough acrylic layer that adheres to the point of destruction to the aluminum. The combined laminate just has the "right" feel to it for card modeling work taking sharp bends without exhibiting laminate debonding.

    The modeling paste bonds to most materials I've tried and seems to be work extremely well for paper planking ship bottoms. It sands extremely well (where a breathing mask) and takes acrylic finishes with ease.

    Hard acrylic modeling paste can be found at most art supply stores. I've found some good buys on the internet at Dick Blick which has some store brands on sale at a good price.

    One other point is that the paste can be thinned with acrylic Gloss Medium Varnish to a consistency that can be "pounced" by a brush giving a great ocean surface simulation. Certain of the pastes dry clear and can be colored with acrylic paints. Grades of sand, pebbles and other aggregates (including ground up grocery bags) can be added to simulate paving, cobblestones, roofing tiles, asphalt, cement roadway, dirt, muddy roads, adobe and ..., well you get the general idea.

    This stuff is godd for a card modeler to have around.

    Best regards, Gil

    P.S. This is not the glue used for metal forming. I use it for structural components. Shaping is done while the paste is still pliable. Once set the laminate becomes very strong and holds shape tenaciously.
  15. Falcon

    Falcon Member

    Hi there, I would recommend UHU Craftglue, No matter if its small or huge it works . I use this glue for 5 years and I never had trouble.

  16. Gil I have been trying UHU Alleskleber of late (available from the people atLighthouse). I have not noticed any of the stringyness I have seen with the other UHU products I had founs on store shelves at places like Micheals
  17. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    I too have purchased a couple of tubes of UHU Alleskleber, also from lighthouse. I used it briefly on a FG plane and immediately learned it will dissolve HP printer ink in a heartbeat. I have stopped using it on models I print at home. Am waiting to try it on a kit. So my jury is still out. I also bought the UHU craft glue and found it of limited use, too stringy.

  18. shrike

    shrike Guest

    I stick with good old Elmers. Here in central Arizona it's thinness isn't an issue for 10.5 months of the year, as even the tiniest dab will pass through the 'tacky' stage to solid in a matter of minutes.
    I tend to put a small blob on scrap card then use flat toothpicks to apply and/or spread to the piece I need. In dry summer sometimes I have to work pretty fast.
  19. silverw

    silverw Member

    I'll try a different kind as soon as I finish this one. :shock:

    I hate to think back about how many times I've refilled my favouite dispensers. The mustard bottle is dilluted 50% for laminating etc.
  20. Falcon

    Falcon Member

    Hi Guy's ,when it comes to glue there is really only one and that is UHU Craftglue Its a Jellow tube with a pink cap. I use this glue for about 5 years and never would change.


Share This Page