Glue is an essential part of modeling. However, picking the best glue for plastic models can be a difficult task. Most people barely have the correct information to settle on a particular adhesive for their plastic models.
If you need to stick your plastic models and they stay put until either someone removes them or their adhesive force weakens hence they fall off after an extended period, you do not need to worry.
Here, you will get a comprehensive guide that should help you settle on the best glue for plastic models. You will find a review of 5 of the best products you may use and a comprehensive guide that should help you compare hence settle on the ideal product for you.
Best Glue for Plastic Model Kits 2020
|Tamiy Extra Thin Cement Glue||Solvent||Plastic (polystyrene)|
|Tamiya CA Cement Kit||Cyanoacrylate (superglue)||Most surfaces|
|Micro Kristal Klear||White glue modification||Plastic, wood|
|Bob Smith QUIK-CURE Epoxy||Epoxy resin||Plastic, wood, metal, glass|
|Micro Sol and Micro Set||Solvent based (Micro Sol), Acid based (Micro Set)||Decals|
Tamiya Extra Thin Cement – Best Glue for Plastic
This might be one of the best cement to use. The glue comes in a tiny cubed glass jar with a bright green lid. The liquid is subtle. The cover has a small brush and offers an original method of sticking plastics with glue. You can use this adhesive to connect plastic parts from polystyrene, from which almost all sprues are made.
Capillary action powers this glue. Capillary action is a feature of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement that generally causes it to pull into tiny cracks and gaps.
The capillary action is brought about by surface tension between the molecules of the glue. Tamiya Extra Thin Cement uses the force to fill the cracks between the plastic surfaces that are being put together.
If you opt to paint it, you should remove a significant portion of the glue by merely running it across the bottle’s lip. You ought to take appropriate care as if too much of the glue loads up, and it might find a seam and a crack on the plastic model and run through it. This might be quite messy.
A little amount of this glue can form a strong bond. Therefore, you should use it sparingly. The adhesive has powerful chemicals, and it is quite thin. The capillary action does work in reverse on your plastic. The glue takes a few minutes to completely dry. The capillary action may also allow you to be quite precise when bonding your plastics.
The glue should also not be taken internally. It should be kept away from kids. You should also avoid it making contact with your eyes or skin. You should not use it with an elastomer as it can cause brittleness.
Tamiya CA Cement Kit (Quick Type) – Best Precision Glue
The thin viscosity allows the glue to run further into the gaps.
The dropper style applicator can help you effectively use a drop at a time. The glue offers greater resistance against impact. Its tube has a screw-on cap that helps to prevent nozzle blockage. The glue sets fast enough, you will have only a few seconds to install the part.
Inhaling the vapor can be catastrophic. You should use it in a ventilated environment to avoid inhaling a lot of the thick smoke.
Micro Kristal Klear – Best Glue That Dries Clear
Micro Krystal Klear can significantly increase the appearance of your plastic models. It is an adhesive that you can use to for windows or set up clear plastic parts on your models. You can use it to make lens either clear or add food color to the glue.
Moreover, the painted parts can be put together with the transparent parts with utterly transparent glue. This means that you will not have to mask around those parts that are clear.
The sills you paint will be visible through the transparent adhesive. While wet, the glue cleans up with water while when dry, it becomes waterproof. You can quickly tell when the glue is dry since it turns to clear from milky white.
The glue can be an excellent adhesive for models that you make from a mixture of materials. Therefore, if you use a combination of plastic and other materials. Micro Krystal Klear can offer not only strength but also flexibility with the models made from plastic and other different materials.
For large transparent parts, paint the model before applying the Micro Kristal Klear along those edges that you want to join. Finally, install the transparent part then allow it to dry.
Bob Smith Industries QUIK-CURE 5 Min. Epoxy – Strong as a Horse
QUIK-CURE cures quickly with a short dry out time and soft consistency, after which your repairs are ready to be put to use. This glue has excellent adhesiveness to areas with high vibration or stress. This is because it lacks brittleness that would make it succumb to the pressure.
However, you can only use this glue for dry areas. If you place it in water for too long, it cannot fulfill its purpose as the water makes is rather weak. It stands out as this is one of the few epoxies you can use with polyester resins.
It forms its bonds through the help of resin and the hardener. To build the strong bonds, they undergo chemical reactions. Not many chemicals can react with the epoxy that will form.
Of all the epoxies you might decide to choose, this epoxy is not sensitive to temperature. Curing takes place in temperatures that scrape the lows of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When you subject it to temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and above, the working time is taken for the epoxy to begin setting up shortens by 5 to less than 4 minutes.
Micro Sol and Micro Set – Best for Strengthening Decals
Micro Sol and Micro Set are not glues in the usual sense, but a decals setting solutions. They are better to buy together because they are applied in different ways and complement each other. This is because you first apply the Micro Set in the areas that you will put on the decal. You after that place put the sticker and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. At the next stage, the Micro Sol goes on the decal. Micro Sol brings conformance between to the lines and other aspects of the model.
What are Micro Set and Micro Sol?
Micro Set is a versatile seating solution for decals. It is used to prepare the surface on which you want to place decal. Micro Set has special agents to that facilitate wetting of the oil found in new paint. It lengthens the holding life of a decal by turning its adhesive back into long-lasting characteristic.
It is also responsible for slight softening of the film on the decal. This helps with its conformance to surface you apply it on. Better adhesion serves the purpose of keeping small air bell out.
Micro Sol, on the other hand, is a setting solution for the more irregular surfaces. The decal will completely soften which helps with conformance, and you will avoid distortion. Micro Sol integrates the decal into the paint hence you should avoid interference by touching or any other way.
Please do not interfere with the Micro Sol on the decal until it thoroughly dries.
You may find choosing a modeling glue to be a difficult task. Generally, one accepting a model depends on some considerations that one should adequately evaluate.
You need to consider the material you are planning to put together, the clamp time, the duration it takes to get the full cure and the surface type among others. If you carefully consider these factors, then you will end up picking the right glue that will turn your models to be durable and robust.
This is a significant factor as it will likely dictate the glue you choose. Different adhesives stick differently with different materials. Therefore, you need to consider the elements before buying glue. For example, Tamiya CA Cement can be quite versatile. It is ideal when you are trying to join either plastics or plastic and other materials.
However, there are those glues more suitable for specific materials like Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. They work by just melting the synthetic surfaces upon application then joining the two plastics together to create a relatively strong bond.
The clamping time
Clamping time is the period you need to either hold the materials together as the glue is drying or the time the materials should be left free of any disturbance as they dry up after you apply the glue. If you disturb the materials early then, the bonds may be weak and less durable.
You often use glue while you are working on your model. Therefore, you need to ensure that the glue you choose will not significantly interfere with the work you are doing. Different glues have different clamping time.
Most of the plastic glues take around a minute to clamp so they will not take up much of your time. However, their clamp time varies from one cement to the other.
If you are working on models with a lot of joining together, then they can take up a lot of your time if each clamp time is more than a minute. You may want to consider those whose clamp time is around 30 seconds or less.
The viscosity of the glue
Glues come in different viscosities. We have those that are medium, thick and ultra-thin. The thicker glues come in metal tubes and tend to have consistency. These glues have a big plus in that they often take a bit more time to dry up hence give you ample time to modify the plastic model before hardening completely.
You should use only a small amount of these to avoid damaging your plastic items. Glues with medium viscosity tend to come in plastic bottles that have a thin applicator for applying the glue. They dry faster than those of thick thickness.
However, the time before it is scorched should be enough for you to make adjustments. The ultra-thin glues often come in bottles that have brush applicators in their caps. Alternatively, you may use a detail brush to apply the glue.
These ultra-thin glues tend to dry relatively fast hence they offer little time to modify the items you are joining before it is dry. The silver lining though is that they may cause little or no damage to the surface of the issues you are joining together as they dry fast.
Time has taken before it is fully dry
This is the period it takes for the part you are joining together to dry up thoroughly and the bond to be strong enough. The time varies depending on the glue you use. For example, some tend to take about 5 minutes while some take up to a day before they are fully dry.
If you are in a hurry and a day can be too much to wait, those that take a short period before they are fully healed are ideal. However, if you can expect then, you can find those that need a day to be fully cured.
Regardless of the time you have, it is vital that you give the plastic glue ample time such that it is fully dry. This will be enough for the glue to form strong bonds that are durable.
Glues generally tend to cost a little amount of money. However, if you are buying on a broad scale for large-scale use, the costs can be a bit too much when you add them. Therefore, you need to consider the total cost of buying a given type of glue and see if you can afford it or not.
There could be cheaper alternatives if you cannot provide the given type. Similarly, you want to get value for money even when buying on a small scale. Therefore, it is essential you camp are them such that you settle for the best alternative in your price range.
You should compare their effectiveness and price to see that you are getting a useful glue at the lowest price possible.
General instructions while using glue to join plastics
It is essential that you follow these general guidelines if you want the surfaces you join together to have strong bonds. You may have weak bonds if you fail to follow these which can be wasteful.
- You should clean the surfaces before you apply your glue. It is essential that you thoroughly clean the surface before you use the glue. You should clean the surface to be free of things like loose particles, dirt, and grease. If you apply the glue with these on the surface, then it might not be as active in joining the two surfaces.
- Then try roughing up the surface. This is optional as it only applies while using the glues that have a label showing that you should be using them with rough surfaces. You may use sandpaper to rough up the surface. You should clean the surface when you are done. This step is vital as roughing will increase the surface area of the material that is in contact with the glue hence eventually increase the bond strength between the two parts you are putting together.
- Clamping time is when you either hold the materials together or leave them as they dry up. If you have any unnecessary disturbances, then the bond of the elements is likely to be less durable and weak.
- You should control your eagerness. This sounds easy to do, but you may quickly fall a victim and begin using the items before they are fully cured. If you do this, then you will make the bond less durable as it will not have been strong enough the moment you use before the parts you join together being fully cured.
Concerns with glues
Plastic types of cement may often not stick surfaces that have paint. This is because they are for use primarily with plastics. However, you can scrape away some color from the surface you want to join together and apply glue on the spots to join together. This permits the cement to bond together.
You may remove the glue from the surfaces you do not want it by rubbing it with a soft cloth. If they are more, you may use an excellent rubbing compound like a tube of toothpaste. Alternatively, you may use a polishing kit. If it is a pure fog then model wax, liquid acrylic floor wax or clear enamel can help you to remove it.
You should use the glues in places with proper ventilation. In case you inhale the vapor, take appropriate care as they direct in their packaging materials.
Glues are essential for joining plastics together or with other materials. While they have benefits and features, picking one can be a bit difficult. However, this should help you settle on the best glue for joining your plastics.
If you properly evaluate and compare the adhesives, then you should end up with the best glue for plastics. These form a strong bond. However, care should be taken with them as if you use them in excess then they may dissolve the plastic or damage any surface details.